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Which pharmacy schools achieved a 100% pass rate?

The University of Bath, Cardiff University, De Montfort University and King's College London all had 100% first-time exam pass rates

Four pharmacy schools achieved 100% first-time pass rates in June’s registration exam, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced.

The University of Bath, Cardiff University, De Montfort University and King’s College London were the highest-scoring universities, after all of their students sitting the exam for the first time passed, according to papers published ahead of the regulator’s council meeting last week (September 8).

The University of Central Lancashire came bottom of the class, with an 86% first-time pass rate, followed by Kingston University, with 88%.

Students who sat this June’s new-look registration exam achieved the highest pass rate in four years at 95% – a more than 20 percentage point increase on the same sitting in 2015, when the pass rate was 74%.

The GPhC said this could be due to "strong" anecdotal evidence that some training providers had "invested more heavily" in support for trainees this year, and that some organisations had offered training courses and mock exams that attracted "significant numbers" of trainees.

The possibility that this year's cohort was a "strong one" should also not be discounted, it said.

Persistent trends

The GPhC noted “persistent…underlying trends identified in previous years”, such as higher pass rates among Scottish and Welsh students, and hospital or industry trainees.

One-hundred per cent of Welsh trainees who sat the exam for the first time passed, compared to 99% of Scottish trainees and 96% of English trainees.

All 13 academia or industry trainees sitting the exam for the first time passed the assessment, compared with 99% of hospital candidates and 95% of those training in community pharmacy.

See first-time pass rates by university

Pharmacy school

First attempt pass rate

Aston University


University of Bath


University of Bradford (four-year degree)


University of Bradford (five-year  degree)


University of Brighton


Cardiff University


University of Central Lancashire


De Montfort University


University of East Anglia


University of Hertfordshire


University of Huddersfield


Keele University


King’s College London


Kingston University


Liverpool John Moores University


University of Manchester


Medway School of Pharmacy


University of Nottingham


University of Portsmouth


University of Reading


The Robert Gordon University


University of Strathclyde


University of Sunderland


University College London


University of Wolverhampton



How well did your pharmacy school perform in June's exam?

Ian Williams, Industrial pharmacist

I am in my 60's and qualfied in Pharmacy Cardiff in the '70's.

I had the A level grades to do medicine, or dentistry, as well as pharmacy, and seeking sage insight I went to to a local GP seeking their advice on whether they, in my position or having their time over again, would apply study pharmacy, dentistry or their original choice medicine. You might (rightly) get the impression that I was never a "vocational pharmacist", but I became one after 5 years of post-grad experience. I am still very proud of the degree that I took, in terms of its content and prestige. However subsequent government policies (and patent expiries - another factor which reduces dispensing oncost payments) over the last 40 years have unfortunately coincided to erode what pharmacy was, or perhaps more correctly forced it to evolve into something it wasn't.

Back to my advising GP's surgery. "Pharmacy" he said, unhesitatingly; shorter course, shorter hours, same earning potential. Wow. Times have changed.

Today, in my opinion and based on my own experience, I think that smart science students who don't want to be a doctor should consider the other professional channels such as dentistry or optometry, or do a complete 180 degree redirection and go into financial analysis - health economics, for example. You could do a pharmacy degree and then a Health Economics Masters.  Top those off with an MBA and we'll see you in the top management echelons of research-based phama/biotech enterprises, consultancies, healthcare sector investment analysts and in government policy.

 Community pharmacy isn't going to be the same (qf "as good") for future pharmacists as it was back when I graduated. Now, too many schools are producing too many pharmacists, governments are clawing back payments, increased genericisation is reducing on-cost dispensing profits, all of which factors are eroding pay outcomes, (and consequently, but in a delayed reaction, pay expectations). Then there is increasing workplace stress, increasing responsibility, increasing regulation, mail order, Amazon etc etc. The only offsetting positive is the aging population and their growing need for medications and healthcare generally. But the lucrative side of that coin which offers hope to health providers from that demographic demand has a flip side:- it creates  an equal and opposite incentive to Government to contain the cost of providing those healthcare products and services. Makes sense.

Amal England, Public Relations

On the contrary, the training providers did not invest heavily in supporting their trainees, nor was the cohort a strong one. The exam was simplified to fit in with the governments agenda, as dictated by the multiples.
On a separate note let's break out a glass of champagne for their glory and why not down a bottle for our sorrow and anxiety.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

I pity the poor sods.

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

Woohoo we've increased the pass rate so we can attrite pharmacy salaries quicker than in previous years!!

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

It's hard not to be cynical about this. Well done to all those new graduates but also welcome to an uncertain future, with poor pay, poor conditions and very few prospects.

Peter Clarke, Pharmacy

So many schools of Pharmacy too nowadays compared wth my day. A league of pass rates will be detrimental to the future and lower standards.

With prospects so poor for Pharmacist employees. why on earth not choose medicine. Most students who qualify to do pharmacy could get into, and do well in a medical school especially in the current NHS climate

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