Study Pharmacy in Malaysia

Get to know one of the most popular courses among Malaysian students
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Pharmacy is a popular course in Malaysia. You might wonder what is so fancy about having a career to dispense medicine? 

pharmacy courses in malaysia

The common perception about Pharmacy is that a pharmacist has a similar social status like a doctor or a lawyer, who people respect. 

Yet you do not have to study as hard as a doctor or a lawyer. Now, this article will challenge the stereotypes you have towards Pharmacy. Read on to find out!

What is Pharmacy all about?

A pharmacy degree will cover topics related to the human body and its reaction to various drugs. 

The core of Pharmacy is the type and dosage of medicine to cure disease so expect to deal with a lot of chemistry related subjects. Pharmacy often complements the consultation of a doctor.

What are the major fields in Pharmacy course?

pharmacy course in malaysia

Pharmacy is all about drugs. What other fields can be found in Pharmacy? Many people do not realize that in Pharmacy, there are a few distinctive fields that separate the role of a pharmacist. 

The pharmacist you see in common drugstores like Watson and Guardian is different from the one you see in the hospital. 

Generally, the fields are:

1. Academic Pharmacy
In Academic Pharmacy, you will require at least a PhD in order to work in educational institutions to teach, to conduct research or evaluate the findings of clinical studies. You will get the opportunity to teach and nurture a new generation of pharmacists!

2. Community Pharmacy
Community pharmacists are in charge of dispensing medication to customers in retail stores, such as Watsons and Guardian pharmacies. You will evaluate the dosage of prescription to the common public.

3. Hospital Pharmacy
In addition to dispensing medication, hospital pharmacists also prepare intravenous medications, participate in ward rounds, and purchase and quality test medication used in the hospital. 

Pharmacists must also be able to decide what medication is appropriate for each patient and identify any errors by physicians in prescribing medication to patients. 

They must also review other medications which patients are taking prior to filling new prescriptions to ensure there are no possible harmful drug interactions between medications.

4. Industrial Pharmacy
Industrial pharmacists are involved in drug production for pharmaceutical companies, ensuring that the medication produced is of high quality and is safe

What are the entry requirements and qualifications?

The academic entry requirements will also vary based on your choice of institution and level of study. Outlined below are the general academic entry requirements in Malaysia for each level of study:

1. Foundation

SPM / O-Level (or equivalent)

5Bs including Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology with

2. Diploma

SPM / O-Level (or equivalent)

5 credits including Bahasa Melayu, Mathematics and a Science subject with a pass in English

3. Bachelor’s degree

STPM / A-Level

BBB, ABC or AAC in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics

UEC

B4 in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics

Australian Matriculation

ATAR 80.0, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics

Foundation in Science

CGPA 3.0 in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics

Matriculation

CGPA 3.0 in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics

In addition, a minimum of 5Bs including Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology in SPM / O-Level (or equivalent) is typically required.

4. Master's degree

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in relevant field

CGPA 3.0

A certain amount of working experience may be required.

5. Doctorate

Master’s degree or equivalent in relevant field

CGPA 3.0

Bachelor’s degree (for direct Bachelor to PhD students)

CGPA 3.70

A certain amount of working experience may also be required.

How long do you study to get a Pharmacy degree?

Pre-University / Foundation studies (1-2 years) → Pharmacy degree (4 years) → Pharmacist training (1 year) → Registered Pharmacist

A typical undergraduate degree in Pharmacy is 4 years long. Then, you will need to complete one year of training followed by one year of compulsory service at a training premise that is recognised by the Pharmacy Board Malaysia. 

Check out the official site to find out recognised government and private premises. You will also need to sit and pass an examination (Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination) within the training period. After successful completion, you will then be a Fully Registered Pharmacist (FRP). Hooray!

In total, the duration taken to be a fully registered pharmacist will take around 6 years

How much does it cost to study Pharmacy in Malaysia?

Studying Pharmacy can be relatively more expensive. Here are the estimated fees of studying Pharmacy in Malaysia according to study levels:

Programme

Estimated Fees per year

Bachelor's Degree

RM150,000 - RM250,000

Master's Degree

RM120,000 - RM140,000

PhD

RM100,000 - RM120,000

What are the job opportunities?

pharmacy career

Being a pharmacist is the most common career with a Pharmacy degree but there are a lot more that you can explore. Check out the list here:

  • Academic Pharmacist
  • Community Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research Pharmacist
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinary Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Consultant

Best universities to study Pharmacy courses in Malaysia

The toughest part about studying Pharmacy is deciding which pharmacy school to enrol in. This can be difficult for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from affording tuition and having the resources to relocate to another city or even country, to meeting your chosen school’s requirements. Here is a list of best universities in Malaysia to study Pharmacy course:

1. University Malaya

Known as the top university in Malaysia, Universiti Malaya has a good reputation in producing competitive and holistic graduates. As the oldest and most prestigious university in Malaysia, the University of Malaya (UM) is located in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

UM offers a wide range of programmes for both undergraduate and postgraduate students with more than 12 faculties, four academies and centres. Extensive and holistic student service and support system is available to equip students with vital skills and exposure.

2. Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science

Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) is ranked as one of the pre-eminent private universities in Malaysia. Located in Cyberjaya, CUCMS is a renowned healthcare university with a wide variety of courses to offer. If you are considering to further your study in Pharmacy up to doctorate, then this is the place for you! CUCMS offers bachelor, master and doctorate of Pharmacy.

3. International Medical University

The International Medical University (IMU) is a private, English language, health sciences university in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Malaysia's leading private medical and healthcare university. It was established in 1992 and is active in research and teaching within medicine and healthcare with a strong international orientation.

3. Taylor’s University

Taylor’s University is an educational provider based in Malaysia. The University offers a range of study options covering subject areas such as Accounting, Finance, Arts, Computer Science, Business, Hospitality and Tourism, and much more. It enjoys 49 years in the education industry and has a global network of more than 3,000 career partners. 74% of Taylor’s students interned with top employers globally in recent years.

4. UCSI University

UCSI University is a comprehensive university in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is Malaysia's best private university in the 2019 QS World University Rankings. In the rankings, UCSI is ranked 481, standing out as the only private university in Malaysia to make the top 500.

5. Monash University Malaysia

Monash University Malaysia gives students the opportunity to obtain a prestigious Australian degree, from the campus in Sunway City, Malaysia. Tuition fees and living expenses are significantly lower than in Australia, but students will be recognised internationally as a member of the Monash Alumni.

Monash University is ranked in the top 60 universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2020 and is also number 35 on the Times Higher Education list of the World’s Most International Universities 2019.

6. International University of Malaya-Wales

International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) was established based on a collaboration between the University of Malaya (UM) and the University of Wales, UK. IUMW is the first university in the country that offers the Dual Award with credit transfer options for its programmes. Students get to study abroad in the United Kingdom for up to three years.

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