How to apply to UK pharmacy schools?


There are several ways to apply for Universities in UK:

  1. Apply through UCAS (typical pathway for students studied Six-form in UK)
  2. Direct admission through Education UK Fair / clearing held in Hong Kong
  3. Apply to foundation courses (for students who do not have the traditional entry requirements, they will take a full-time course over one year to equip them with broader science knowledge.  If they pass all the exams and will be admitted to the pharmacy degree.)


UCAS is an organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK which serves like JUPAS in HK.  Usually, the application will close in mid-January.  You will have to choose five schools, each with varied standards for entry requirement.  In addition to a personal statement explaining your skills, ambition and experience, you will also need a good academic reference to support your application.

If your application stands out and meets their criteria, they will offer you an interview or even a direct conditional offer. So, if you fulfil the requirements – e.g. good exam results AAB, you are on board! Good luck!

Top tips:

  1. Remember to leave plenty of time (at least a month) for your teacher to write the reference!!!  Start at October!
  2. Also for your personal statement too, you will need a lot of editing.
  3. Some schools offer 5-year course with integrated pre-reg scheme or one year industrial experience.  Remember to choose the right UCAS no. course. B230 v.s B236 v.s B231
  4. Other than academic result, some universities also consider your achievements in extracurricular activities such as accreditation of ABRSM (music) exams.  They use a system use ‘Tariff Points’.

How does the UCAS system works?

How to get extra UCAS point?

Personal statement

You have to write a 4000 character statement to explain your passion and reflect on the skills and qualities that the university value most.  In order to stand out, it is worth mentioning your clinical attachment experience or any books that enlightens you in embarking on a career in pharmacy.


You can apply to UCAS with your DSE result or GCE A-level result.  Each school has different standards.  Most schools’ entry requirement for GCE is AAB, one of which must be chemistry and at least one other Science subjects, either from Biology, Math or Physics.  Bear in mind that some pharmacy schools do not accept Chinese, as well as general studies as one of the 3 A-levels.  You should always check with your preferred school first.

As for DSE, generally a minimum of 4 in two electives and level 4 in English are required. IELTS may not be mandatory for some schools but if it is, 6.5 or above is normally needed.


Congratulation on getting this far!  The interview will be conducted in person during education fairs, through phone or Skype.  Some interviews are quite casual, typically it would be a 10 minutes conversation aiming to assess if your characters fit the pharmacists’ attributes.  Calmness, confidence, good communication skills are some general features they would like to see.  Some interviews are more complicated, they involve different components such as calculation tests, knowledge of pharmacy, ethical dilemmas.  There are some questions you should prepare for

  • Why are you interested in Pharmacy?
  • Why do you choose us?
  • What do you see yourself in five year time?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Tell me some recent news about the pharmacy.

For details of the process of the UCAS Application, please refer to

(It is a really user-friendly and very informative website)


Author: Joe, a UK final year student