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Pharmacy at KCL or UCL

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    I'm trying to decide between KCL and UCLsop for Pharmacy and I was wondering if any Pharmacy students at Kings could give me some if info about how good the course is at Kings? During my interview I got the impression that Kings almost relied on their reputation to make an impression about the Pharmacy course. I liked the uni/campus itself and it's in a perfect location for me sooo I just want some more information.

    Thanks!
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    I'm a current first year student doing Pharmacy at King's.

    I'm not quite sure what it is you're asking when you want to know how good the course is, and having not studied in UCLsop or any other Pharmacy school I cannot compare King's to any other schools.

    Also what I understand about the course of Pharmacy is that the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council) primarily dictates what are the basics that are to be taught on the course and it is up to the University to decide how it is going to be taught and what subjects and experiences they can include on the course to aid in the student's learning experience.

    What I can say is that in the first year, King's breaks the mould of teaching that many students are used to. Rather than spoon feed your information, they make you think for yourself and understand and internalise topics and subject matter in order that you for you to be able to apply them to the real world, rather than memorise facts in order to pass exams.

    To many students, this may seem as though they have been chucked in the deep end and left to fend for themselves, however they are putting you in a controlled environment ready to face life and the many difficulties you will find in the real world. One aspect of the course that I have just finished is working together with students from medicine and nursing. This is under IPE (Interprofessional Education) which in the up coming years will also include dentistry, physiotherapy and nutrition students.

    Based on the criteria set by the GPhC, the main focus would have to be the people teaching you, and you can be assured that the staff are willing to help you as long as you are first willing to help yourself. The staff are primarily pharmacists and those that work in the field of drug research. From what I deduce, their fields of expertise are normally from the hospital and industry settings. Though to my knowledge, all have also worked in community. Together with Pharmacists, the other members of staff, (from what I have read on their backgrounds and may or may not remember correctly from what they say), come from a variety of other backgrounds and even universities. With some having come from Cambridge University, UCL, LSOP (before it joined UCL), Imperial and even other leading universities from countries such as France, Germany and the US. Other than pharmacists there are biochemists, chemists (as in chemistry graduates), nutritionists, engineers (chemical) and a number of people from other professions that are teaching on the course. Most if not all of whom have also taught (from what I believe) in other pharmacy schools in the country and in various universities around the world.

    To add to the staff, is the fact that King's will be undertaking the drugs testing for the London 2012 Olympics. I believe the school has sought the use of the testing facilities of Glaxosmithkline in order to be able to handle the amount of samples that will be involved. I'm not sure if an undergraduate will be direct experience of it, but anything that is learnt from this experience and many of the aspects covered in research by King's is also made available to the students through optional lectures and seminars.

    I'm not sure what you have heard or what sort of reputation Pharmacy at King's College has in your mind, but what I heard was that it was a tough. Something I can readily agree with, however if you take studying seriously, not only manage but plan your time well and use all the resources available to you, Pharmacy at King's (or the first year at least because that is my only experience so far) will be an interesting and challenging experience into the world of pharmacy, and the various other disciplines that interconnect with it, and about you (because due to the speed, volume and amount of time required of you to understand the information given to you, you'll learn a lot about yourself).
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    (Original post by Maturestudent1)
    I'm a current first year student doing Pharmacy at King's.

    I'm not quite sure what it is you're asking when you want to know how good the course is, and having not studied in UCLsop or any other Pharmacy school I cannot compare King's to any other schools.

    Also what I understand about the course of Pharmacy is that the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council) primarily dictates what are the basics that are to be taught on the course and it is up to the University to decide how it is going to be taught and what subjects and experiences they can include on the course to aid in the student's learning experience.

    What I can say is that in the first year, King's breaks the mould of teaching that many students are used to. Rather than spoon feed your information, they make you think for yourself and understand and internalise topics and subject matter in order that you for you to be able to apply them to the real world, rather than memorise facts in order to pass exams.

    To many students, this may seem as though they have been chucked in the deep end and left to fend for themselves, however they are putting you in a controlled environment ready to face life and the many difficulties you will find in the real world. One aspect of the course that I have just finished is working together with students from medicine and nursing. This is under IPE (Interprofessional Education) which in the up coming years will also include dentistry, physiotherapy and nutrition students.

    Based on the criteria set by the GPhC, the main focus would have to be the people teaching you, and you can be assured that the staff are willing to help you as long as you are first willing to help yourself. The staff are primarily pharmacists and those that work in the field of drug research. From what I deduce, their fields of expertise are normally from the hospital and industry settings. Though to my knowledge, all have also worked in community. Together with Pharmacists, the other members of staff, (from what I have read on their backgrounds and may or may not remember correctly from what they say), come from a variety of other backgrounds and even universities. With some having come from Cambridge University, UCL, LSOP (before it joined UCL), Imperial and even other leading universities from countries such as France, Germany and the US. Other than pharmacists there are biochemists, chemists (as in chemistry graduates), nutritionists, engineers (chemical) and a number of people from other professions that are teaching on the course. Most if not all of whom have also taught (from what I believe) in other pharmacy schools in the country and in various universities around the world.

    To add to the staff, is the fact that King's will be undertaking the drugs testing for the London 2012 Olympics. I believe the school has sought the use of the testing facilities of Glaxosmithkline in order to be able to handle the amount of samples that will be involved. I'm not sure if an undergraduate will be direct experience of it, but anything that is learnt from this experience and many of the aspects covered in research by King's is also made available to the students through optional lectures and seminars.

    I'm not sure what you have heard or what sort of reputation Pharmacy at King's College has in your mind, but what I heard was that it was a tough. Something I can readily agree with, however if you take studying seriously, not only manage but plan your time well and use all the resources available to you, Pharmacy at King's (or the first year at least because that is my only experience so far) will be an interesting and challenging experience into the world of pharmacy, and the various other disciplines that interconnect with it, and about you (because due to the speed, volume and amount of time required of you to understand the information given to you, you'll learn a lot about yourself).
    Ahh thanks for the reply! Nice and detailed Yes I heard Pharmacy at King's was quite tough in terms of the independence that you have but I guess it does make sense with what you said - you'll have to face the real world one day so it's better if you start earlier on.

    Sorry about the vague-ness of my post haha Just another couple of questions: how is the course taught (as in what other kind of teaching methods do they use other than lectures and labs)? Also what is a first year's time table like? And is the teaching based around systems of the body and what drugs it uses or is it based on individual drugs?

    Your input is much appreciated, I'm leaning towards firming Kings
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    Ahh thanks for the reply! Nice and detailed Yes I heard Pharmacy at King's was quite tough in terms of the independence that you have but I guess it does make sense with what you said - you'll have to face the real world one day so it's better if you start earlier on.

    Sorry about the vague-ness of my post haha Just another couple of questions: how is the course taught (as in what other kind of teaching methods do they use other than lectures and labs)? Also what is a first year's time table like? And is the teaching based around systems of the body and what drugs it uses or is it based on individual drugs?

    Your input is much appreciated, I'm leaning towards firming Kings
    From what I have deduced so far, most of the first year course is taught through lectures and labs, however a lot of my own learning is through self study as the amount of information they want you to have, is fairly impossible (with my simple brain at least) to have and cover in the lecture time allotted. There is another part of the course which I have forgot to mention, which is a cultural awareness and sensitivity. This topic is not merely about race, but about the different mind sets of people. This is primarily done through group discussion and self reflection. You'll also have a few small (as in percentage wise) tests throughout the academic year, which is more of a preparation for the end of year exams as these small tests force you to revise, and they highlight the areas you need to work on prior to the end of year exams.

    Throughout the year the timetable is made predominately with lectures and labs with the odd workshop here and there, however now that most of my lectures have recently come to an end, the majority of slots in my upcoming schedule are timetabled with workshops.

    As I was told before I started, the timetable for MPharm1 (Masters in Pharmacy first year) can change quite drastically from year to year, due to the availability of lecture theatres, lecturers availability, things going on at King's (an example is when you start, the summer olympics + paraolympics will have just finished and I'm not sure how much work the Uni will still have to do) and a number of other factors that are difficult to determine or foresee. So it will be difficult to use what I say as a basis for your timetable. In addition, the timetable can (will) change several times throughout the year, again due to the factors that I previously mentioned. However I shall inform you none the less of what my timetable is , but I will continually repeat that next years MPharm1 timetable may be totally different.

    Monday and Tuesday I have lectures from 9-12 with the rest of the day off. (though yours may be different)

    Wednesdays afternoons are normally free. However when we did IPE with other healthcare professionals, ours was scheduled Wednesday morning and sometimes reached till about 1-2pm depending. Again, for next year this may be different.

    Thursday and Friday I have lectures from 9-12 and labs from about 1.30 till about 4.30 (finish times vary with labs, I've been in some labs sweating till 5, others I've come out feeling fresh and enlightened at 2.30-3). Additionally, most labs will require a write up which will have to be submitted normally Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on the lab and whether you did it Thursday or Friday). And again, your lab days and submission dates may be different.

    The first year covers mostly chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry. Then as you go on through the years, you cover the various aspects of the body. It is done this way because you will need to have a basic understanding of the chemistry of the drugs and its excipients (covered by organic and physical chemistry), how manufacturing, storage, structure, etc will have and effect on this chemistry (again organic and physical chemistry), then once it goes inside the body, how the body will (can/may) cope and react to these drugs (biochemistry together with organic and physical chemistry). Then from what I understand, you'll go into detail in the upcoming years by covering the systems of the body and the various classes of drugs.

    Before you make a decision, I would recommend you ask around as I'm sure there will be someone at UCLsop that will be able to give you the same information about their school. Also come to King's and ask around (open day, interview days, post offer open day, book an appointment to come and talk to someone). Don't just base your decision on what I say.
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    (Original post by Maturestudent1)
    From what I have deduced so far, most of the first year course is taught through lectures and labs, however a lot of my own learning is through self study as the amount of information they want you to have, is fairly impossible (with my simple brain at least) to have and cover in the lecture time allotted. There is another part of the course which I have forgot to mention, which is a cultural awareness and sensitivity. This topic is not merely about race, but about the different mind sets of people. This is primarily done through group discussion and self reflection. You'll also have a few small (as in percentage wise) tests throughout the academic year, which is more of a preparation for the end of year exams as these small tests force you to revise, and they highlight the areas you need to work on prior to the end of year exams.

    Throughout the year the timetable is made predominately with lectures and labs with the odd workshop here and there, however now that most of my lectures have recently come to an end, the majority of slots in my upcoming schedule are timetabled with workshops.

    As I was told before I started, the timetable for MPharm1 (Masters in Pharmacy first year) can change quite drastically from year to year, due to the availability of lecture theatres, lecturers availability, things going on at King's (an example is when you start, the summer olympics + paraolympics will have just finished and I'm not sure how much work the Uni will still have to do) and a number of other factors that are difficult to determine or foresee. So it will be difficult to use what I say as a basis for your timetable. In addition, the timetable can (will) change several times throughout the year, again due to the factors that I previously mentioned. However I shall inform you none the less of what my timetable is , but I will continually repeat that next years MPharm1 timetable may be totally different.

    Monday and Tuesday I have lectures from 9-12 with the rest of the day off. (though yours may be different)

    Wednesdays afternoons are normally free. However when we did IPE with other healthcare professionals, ours was scheduled Wednesday morning and sometimes reached till about 1-2pm depending. Again, for next year this may be different.

    Thursday and Friday I have lectures from 9-12 and labs from about 1.30 till about 4.30 (finish times vary with labs, I've been in some labs sweating till 5, others I've come out feeling fresh and enlightened at 2.30-3). Additionally, most labs will require a write up which will have to be submitted normally Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on the lab and whether you did it Thursday or Friday). And again, your lab days and submission dates may be different.

    The first year covers mostly chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry. Then as you go on through the years, you cover the various aspects of the body. It is done this way because you will need to have a basic understanding of the chemistry of the drugs and its excipients (covered by organic and physical chemistry), how manufacturing, storage, structure, etc will have and effect on this chemistry (again organic and physical chemistry), then once it goes inside the body, how the body will (can/may) cope and react to these drugs (biochemistry together with organic and physical chemistry). Then from what I understand, you'll go into detail in the upcoming years by covering the systems of the body and the various classes of drugs.

    Before you make a decision, I would recommend you ask around as I'm sure there will be someone at UCLsop that will be able to give you the same information about their school. Also come to King's and ask around (open day, interview days, post offer open day, book an appointment to come and talk to someone). Don't just base your decision on what I say.
    I know someone who goes to UCLsop but I don't know anyone who does Pharmacy at Kings so this is where your input helps. So far I'm inclining towards Kings and I have a post offer open day coming up so hopefully that'll help me make my decision. Also because I'm staying in London I'm not planning on moving out which means travel is something to consider; it'd take me 40 minutes to get to Kings whereas UCLsop would take an hour and a half. But yeah, I'll definitely take the open day into consideration (even though it's at Guy's campus...); just a couple more questions (I realise I'm annoying now..): what are the placements like (as in is it more hospital based etc) and what made you choose Kings over other unis?

    Once again, thanks a lot!!
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    (Original post by mimsicle)
    I know someone who goes to UCLsop but I don't know anyone who does Pharmacy at Kings so this is where your input helps. So far I'm inclining towards Kings and I have a post offer open day coming up so hopefully that'll help me make my decision. Also because I'm staying in London I'm not planning on moving out which means travel is something to consider; it'd take me 40 minutes to get to Kings whereas UCLsop would take an hour and a half. But yeah, I'll definitely take the open day into consideration (even though it's at Guy's campus...); just a couple more questions (I realise I'm annoying now..): what are the placements like (as in is it more hospital based etc) and what made you choose Kings over other unis?

    Once again, thanks a lot!!
    Not annoying at all mimsicle. Not problem. When I was applying it was so difficult to get info so I'm glad I can help.

    As for placements during first year, we only had one hospital placement. I'm not quite sure how it will be in the upcoming years, but when I used to work in a pharmacy, we had King's and LSOP second and third year students coming to work with us for about a month or so. But that was a while back.

    Why did I choose King's, my decision was based on distance. Because if you haven't guessed already, I'm a mature student. Being a little older means I have a job so I need to stay close to home and work. I was deciding between King's and LSOP. King's had already given me an offer and LSOP were still processing my interview date (after the UCAS deadline) and requesting additional papers. So I didn't need that extra hassle and went with King's.
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    Thanks so much, your answers most definitely will help me in making this decision. Like I said before, I'm leaning towards Kings as the only real reason I was against going there was because I was worried that they relied on their reputation rather than actually having the resources for a good Pharmacy department. So once again, thank you!
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    It's a pleasure. If I have time, I'm more than happy to answer any queries you may have.
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    (Original post by mimsicle)
    Thanks so much, your answers most definitely will help me in making this decision. Like I said before, I'm leaning towards Kings as the only real reason I was against going there was because I was worried that they relied on their reputation rather than actually having the resources for a good Pharmacy department. So once again, thank you!
    Just to add, if you do come to King's and I make it to second year let me know.
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    (Original post by mimsicle)
    Thanks so much, your answers most definitely will help me in making this decision. Like I said before, I'm leaning towards Kings as the only real reason I was against going there was because I was worried that they relied on their reputation rather than actually having the resources for a good Pharmacy department. So once again, thank you!
    hi mimsicle.
    im having the same trouble as you.. kings or ucl? the only thing that puts me off kings is that there's alot of independant study involved and i dont feel ready for that bcoz i know what a demanding degree pharmacy will be so the more help the better.
    i was just wondering which uni u decided to go for, as im still having trouble deciding
    thanks
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    (Original post by Hkadiri)
    hi mimsicle.
    im having the same trouble as you.. kings or ucl? the only thing that puts me off kings is that there's alot of independant study involved and i dont feel ready for that bcoz i know what a demanding degree pharmacy will be so the more help the better.
    i was just wondering which uni u decided to go for, as im still having trouble deciding
    thanks

    Hey Hkadiri, I ended up firming King's for several reasons:

    - Gut instinct (lame I know, but it was still there!)

    - The way the course is taught; I much prefer the fact that King's teaches by taking the systems of the body as I think for me that'd be a better way to understand the topics covered - basically I liked the structure of their course. I think this was the overriding factor for me!

    - Travel; it'd take me an hour and a half on a good day just to get to UCL whereas with King's it's only 40 minutes. I'm not planning on moving out so this was a pretty big factor to consider - is it worth spending 3 hours just for travel?


    That's all I can think of right now, what are you leaning towards right now?

    Oh and with the independent study I think it just comes down to personal preference; personally I'm actually looking forward to this new way of studying since it's getting tiring tjust learning textbooks for an exam (i.e. how sixth form is). So that really is up to you!
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    I'm still deciding, I've booked tours for both Uni's for next week so hopefully that will help me too.

    Thank you for your advice - it was very useful.
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    Hi guys, im in year 12 at the moment and am seriously considering applying to kings for pharmacy but what im really worried about is the amount of independent study that you mentioned...
    so how have your years at kings been so far?
    and if you dont mind me asking what did you get for your gcse's, AS grades and predicted grades?

    thanks for all the help xx

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