Progression and assessment for Pharmacy students outside Victoria

Your ability to progress in the Pharmacy course is contingent on you completing experiential placements in community pharmacies, hospitals, and other health care sites.

These experiential placements are conducted on-site in Melbourne. They include a substantial amount of on-the-job learning. They are designed to give you enough authentic practice experience so that you can safely care for patients. They are often the part of the pharmacy course that students rate most highly.


In health profession education programs (like pharmacy, medicine, nursing, etc.) these experiential placements are not only a University requirement. They are also a requirement for registration as a pharmacist in Australia. This means that the Faculty does not have much flexibility around the completion of these placement activities, particularly in the later years of the course.


If you are not able to be in Melbourne, you cannot complete your experiential placements. Not completing these experiential placements may then impact on your progression to either future years of the course or registration as an intern pharmacist.


We want you to have all the information you need to make a good decision about how you approach your studies in 2021. Please find below specific information for each pharmacy year level.

  • P4 2021 (Fourth Year)
    • P4 students have 8 weeks of required clinical placements and 8 weeks of required research projects placements in Semester 1 (S1) 2021.
    • These placements require P4 students to be physically located in Melbourne. They are scheduled to begin on 1st February 2021.
    • P3 students currently in Melbourne who choose to leave the country at the end of 2020 risk not being able to progress with their cohort if they cannot return to Melbourne in time.
    • By 1st February 2021, P4 students currently located outside Melbourne must
      • return to Melbourne,
      • complete any required quarantine period/health screenings, and
      • complete all pre-placement requirements
    • P4 students who are not able to achieve all of the above requirements should apply for course intermission for 2021 prior to the S1 census date.
      • Successful completion of all P4S1 units is a prerequisite for commencing any P4S2 units.
      • P4 students outside of Melbourne who apply for course intermission before the S1 census date can complete P4 requirements in S1 2022 without academic or financial penalty.
      • P4 students outside of Melbourne who choose to remain enrolled after the S1 census date will not be able to pass these units. They will need to repeat them in S1 2022. There is no refund on fees for students who remain enrolled after the census date.
  • P3 2021 (Third Year)
    • P3 Students have 4 weeks of required clinical placements over the course of semester 1 (S1) and semester 2 (S2) in 2021. The required clinical placements include:
      • 2 Weeks of Hospital Placement
      • 2 Weeks of Community Pharmacy Placement
    • These placements require P3 students to be physically located in Melbourne. They are scheduled to begin on 17th May 2021.
    • By 17th May 2021, P3 students located outside Melbourne must
      • return to Melbourne,
      • complete any required quarantine period/health screenings, and
      • complete all pre-placement requirements
    • For the following specific P3 student groups (no additional exceptions are possible), we have pre-arranged a delayed placement start date of 6th September 2021:
        • Transfer students from Monash Malaysia,
        • Graduate Entry Pathway Students, and
        • P2 students currently known to be overseas in 2020
      • If you are in one of these categories, then by 6th September 2021 you must
        • return to Melbourne,
        • complete any required quarantine period/health screenings, and
        • complete all pre-placement requirements
    • P3 students who are not able to achieve all of the above requirements should apply for course intermission for 2021 prior to the S1 census date.
      • Successful completion of all P3 units is a prerequisite for commencing any P4 units.
      • P3 students outside of Melbourne who apply for course intermission before the S1 census date can complete P3 requirements in S1 2022 without academic or financial penalty.
      • P3 students outside of Melbourne who choose to remain enrolled after the S1 census date will not be able to pass these units. They will need to repeat them in S1 2022. There is no refund on fees for students who remain enrolled after the census date.
  • P2 2021 (Second Year)
    • P2 students have 2 weeks of required clinical placements in Semester 2 (S2) 2021.
    • These placements require P2 students to be physically located in Melbourne. They are scheduled to begin on 16th August 2021.
    • By 16th August 2021, P2 students currently located outside Melbourne must
      • return to Melbourne,
      • complete any required quarantine period/health screenings, and
      • complete all pre-placement requirements
    • P2 students who are not able to achieve all of the above requirements should apply for course intermission for S2 2021 prior to the S2 census date.
      • Successful completion of all P2 units is a prerequisite for commencing any P3 units.
      • P2 students outside of Melbourne who apply for course intermission before the S2 census date can complete P2 requirements in S2 2022 without academic or financial penalty.
      • P2 students outside of Melbourne who choose to remain enrolled after the S2 census date will not be able to pass these units. They will need to repeat them in S2 2022. There is no refund on fees for students who remain enrolled after the census date.
  • P1 2021 (First Year)
    • P1 Students have required visits to both hospital and community pharmacies over the course of semester 1 (S1) and semester 2 (S2) in 2021.
    • While the availability of on-site visits for P1 is at this stage unclear, we will do our best to provide opportunities to make up these experiences for P1 students who are not able to be physically present in Melbourne in 2021. Flexibility will be required.

What should you do if you think you won’t be able to complete your placements?

If you are not able to be physically present in Melbourne for placements in 2021 as described above, please email pharmacy.steps@monash.edu as soon as possible.

If you need assistance with applying for intermission or adjusting your course plan, please direct your query to: https://www.monash.edu/connect/contact-us

How can I obtain a letter to support a potential exemption to return to Australia on education grounds?

As per the Federal Government's announcement on 15 November 2020, the Australian Commonwealth Government Department of Home Affairs is prioritising the return of Australian citizens at this stage.

However, if you are a student in a medicine, nursing, health or pharmacy course that requires you to undertake practical face-to-face clinical learning and assessment in 2021, then we will provide you with a letter of support to support your application to the Department of Home Affairs for an exemption to return to Australia on education grounds. Contact pharmacy.steps@monash.edu if you would like a letter of support.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that this letter will be effective, and there may still be quarantine restrictions at the time you travel back to Australia.

The application, your travel arrangements, and quarantine are your individual responsibilities.

The Australian Government has asked state and territory governments to submit plans as to how they can bring in international students back within quarantine limits. If these plans change the support available for international students, we will be in touch with more information.