New pharmacy school set to open at Teesside University
A new pharmacy school is set to open at Teesside University from 2025, the university has revealed to C+D.
Teesside University in Middlesbrough “has begun work towards the accreditation of an MPharm degree programme”, C+D can reveal.
The Middlesbrough university told C+D last week (November 1) that it “is working towards a first intake of students in September 2025”, subject to provisional accreditation by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
A spokesperson said that the university is currently developing its curriculum, which they said would provide a cohort of “work-ready graduates” for 2028/29.
The spokesperson added that pharmacy students completing the new degree “will be able to experience significant placement opportunities across a range of pharmacy areas”.
Students will also “[begin] their journey” towards earning their independent prescriber (IP) certification “as part of their undergraduate studies”, which will “embed external engagement and social impact at the heart of the curriculum”, they said.
“Direct impact” on local workforce
The spokesperson said that the degree “is aligned with the school strategic plan of increasing healthcare provision in the university”.
And they claimed that “the development of the MPharm programme will have a direct impact on the resilience of workforce development within the Tees region”.
The degree will be taught in a recently completed “state-of-the-art” £36.9 million facility on the Middlesbrough campus that houses “cutting-edge facilities for the science and clinical subjects”, they told C+D.
They added that Teesside University is also strengthening “the current allied healthcare professional (AHP), nursing and midwifery” and “optometry” education it offers.
Boosting pharmacy training places
The new school is set to contribute to the planned 29% increase in pharmacist training places in England by 2028/29 announced as part of the NHS long term workforce plan released in June.
The plan set out to boost the number of pharmacist training places to 4,307 by 2028, a 29% increase from the 3,339 training places available for trainee pharmacists in 2022.
By 2031, the number of training places available is planned to be 4,970, it said.
At the time, the plan was welcomed as a “proactive approach” by some pharmacy leaders but others warned that it would “only deepen” the workforce crisis facing community pharmacy and said it was “another kick in the teeth” for the sector.
The Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC) – “the collective voice” of the UK’s pharmacy schools –said in July that “several universities” had indicated that they would start new MPharm courses “over the coming years”.
But it warned that “greater funding” was needed as well as “greater capacity in all pharmacy sectors…to accommodate placements for future undergraduate students”.
Join C+D's next Big Debate on the C+D Community on November 23 1-2pm, where we will be asking whether the MPharm is still fit for purpose