Graduate entry pharmacy attracts international attention

The graduate entry pathway into the Monash pharmacy program has been around since 2014. But now that the new BPharm(Hons)/MPharm is open to graduate entry students, it’s beginning to attract attention from far afield.

Since developing this dual qualification course Monash has also seen itself climb the international rankings. This has caught the attention of international students and among the 46 Graduate Entry students enrolled in the program in 2019 are seven international students, including three from Canada.

“Melbourne is pretty similar to Vancouver,” says Canadian student Eunice Park. “The coursework keeps me busy, I couldn’t miss home too much!”

Zainib discusses her PhD aspirations with PhD student Beatrice Chiew

Eunice says Monash University is well known in Canada and she was attracted to the fast-tracked two years of study plus a paid intern year, compared to a four-year commitment at a Canadian university.

“I like how the course is structured very differently compared to a traditional science degree. Lectures are interactive lectures,” Eunice says. “There are lots of workshops where we can consolidate our knowledge, I like how we focus on one specific topic per week.”

The course is designed to create pharmacists who are job ready. Students are involved in active learning and skills coaching and are required to do more than just learn the content.

Canadian student Zainab Wanas heard about the program through Oztrekk, a company connecting Canadian students to study in Australia, and chose the course because it was the only one offering graduate entry into third year. Both Zainab and Eunice used Oztrekk as their student representative.

“The application process is quite simple, you just need to have your transcripts and relevant documents and apply online. I think it took me about two weeks to hear back from Monash,” says Eunice.

While Zainab had obtained a Bachelor of Science Kinesiology in Canada, Eunice has a maths background.

“I studied Mathematics at the University of British Columbia,” says Eunice. “I graduated with a Bachelor of Science major in Mathematics. It was a big change and the first few weeks of pharmacy school were quite challenging.”

To help the transition into the course students are required to complete a six and a half week summer school unit and then an overload unit when they begin their studies.

Eunice says the program has opened up so many choices for her future career in pharmacy. “There are just so many different options and career paths I could take with this degree. But, I know I want to start off my career as either a hospital pharmacist or a community pharmacist.”

Zainab is already considering a PhD after graduating. “My experience has been life changing. I have become much more independent and aware of the environment around me.”