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Esther, MPharm Pharmacy


MPharm Pharmacy

The subject for me

"The thing that attracted me to Pharmacy was the prior experience I had. That experience developed a love for it.

"After school I didn’t go to university straight away. I worked in a community pharmacy for a year and it really helped me.

"I wanted to do medicine before. Then I didn’t get into medicine and luckily the pharmacist gave me a job. Before that, I’d never considered pharmacy as a subject. My options were to do biomedical science and then go on to medicine or to do clinical sciences and then go on to medicine, but working at the pharmacy opened my eyes to the career of actually being a pharmacist.

"What attracted me to pharmacy was the ability and the opportunity to build strong community relationships. A lot of the patients that came in had casual conversations with the pharmacist and he knew things about them and their families. There is an opportunity to build that relationship and actually get involved in the community."

A practical approach

"On my course, we do a lot of Team-Based Learning. It's not so much traditional lectures. We're able to work together in groups and tackle different tasks and things like that.

"Every week the timetable changes, so it's not a boring routine. One week we might be in for three days, one week for five, so it gives that spice I guess.

"We have a lot of practical aspects so it's not just learning theory. We have a simulating pharmacy at the University, so we can do a dispensing simulation or consultation. We have hospital beds so we're able to simulate what it's like in the real world.

"Even if we're not in the simulation suites or on placement, the Team-Based Learning that we do prepares you for the outside world. A lot of the time you have to work with people so you develop skills such as communicating, researching in groups and having to understand other people's point of view.

"The way our course is structured is that they release a reading pack for a unit, we then get a lecture on it, then a support session lecture and then we do an individual test called an IRAT. Straight after that test, we do the same test as a group. You can see the increase in scores happen because everyone is coming together to get the answers."

Esther Ikeije, MPharm Pharmacy

We do placements every year in the community and in a hospital. That allows me to apply what I learn in lectures in the practical field so that's been really good. Prior to the course, it's very difficult to get hospital placements but the University have connections, so that's been useful for me.

Different opportunities

"You can do either a 4-year or 5-year MPharm. I'm doing the 5-year.

"My placement is split into two six-month periods, one at the beginning of fourth year and one at the end of fifth year. This allows me to get two separate types of placement, potentially one in a hospital and one in a community pharmacy, as well as spreading things out a bit. 

"I think the good thing with pharmacy is there's a lot more out there. Things are advancing now, so there are a lot of opportunities. It's now quite popular to become a prescriber, which would mean working in a general practice and that seems quite interesting to me. 

"Maybe for the first year or so I could work in a hospital to get more experience working with patients with major illnesses, whereas in the community it's usually common or minor ailments. I'd maybe start off with that and then hopefully advance to the general practice prescribing or do a postgraduate qualification, you never know.

"It’s good to get experience. Reading about something is completely different from getting experience. There are a lot of opportunities out there. There’s industry, hospital, general practice and you don’t want to just restrict yourself to one particular area when other areas are advancing as well."

I think the good thing with student accommodation is you get to meet other people that are not from your course so you broaden your relationship skills and learn how to relate with people.

Settling somewhere new

"I didn't want to stay in London. I'm quite an adventurous person so I really wanted something new and a new environment.

"I visited the uni and it was a nice environment. I’ve quite liked the move actually. I can easily adapt to different environments so it’s been okay.

"I think the weirdest thing has been how early the shops close because usually in London, you can go out quite late and still manage to buy something, whereas here, they close quite early!

"Not everybody’s the same and you get on better with some people and some people you don’t, but it’s just learning to be tolerant of people and things like that. It’s been nice having my own space. It gives me that best of both worlds. I can go home when I need to for family time and then I can escape back to uni for my own time."

This is where

...I explore

My confidence has definitely grown since coming to Bradford.

I've challenged myself a lot more and I've done a lot more things that I would never have done before university.

I would shy away from campaigns like 'this is bradford', doing videos and photoshoots and things like that, and blogs as well. Those are things I never thought of doing before and it's been good because the University constantly publicises opportunities such as becoming a student hub creator and ambassador.

In first year I was part of the Pharmacy society (BPSA) and we did some work with other courses as well.

I'm also part of a Christian society called First Love which I've done in first and second year. That's allowed me to meet other people from the same faith but from dfferent courses and diverse backgrounds and cultures.

All these opportunities have really helped me to grow in confidence, challenge myself more, and do things that I would never have done before.

Esther Ikeije, MPharm Pharmacy