Frequently Asked Questions

What does a pharmacist do?

Pharmacy is the branch of medical science concerned with the preparation, dispensing and proper utilization of medicinal drugs.  Pharmacists are key professionals in the health care system and play a central role in providing advice on the management of a patient's medication.  The pharmacist is often the first point of contact between the public and the health care system, and is increasingly called upon to give health-related advice.

What Subjects (prerequisites) do I need to study Pharmacy?

English, Maths B and Chemistry.

What if I don’t have all the prerequisites?

James Cook University offers Bridging Courses which can be undertaken in the holidays prior to starting University.

How long is the BPharm course?

The Bachelor of Pharmacy degree takes FOUR (4) years full time, on-campus (JCU Townsville) study.

After graduating with a BPharm degree, you must complete a ‘pre-registration year’ (also known as Intern training) under the supervision of a registered pharmacist.  During the pre-registration year, assessments are completed so as to ensure your competency to register as a pharmacist.  

Can I work anywhere in Australia?

After successful completion of your Pre-registration training year, you are registered (by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Association) and are able to work anywhere in Australia.

How much will I get paid?

The rate of pay varies according to your experience, where you are working, what days of the week you are working and what you do as part of your position as a pharmacist.

Pharmacists in non-capital cities or non-metropolitan areas may receive higher salaries, or other bonuses (e.g. rural/remote allowances).

Pay, of course, has to be negotiated with your employer.

How long do I have to be a Pharmacist before I can buy a pharmacy?

You can buy a pharmacy as soon as you are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.  Registration as a pharmacist occurs after your ‘pre-registration’ training year.

How large are the class sizes at JCU?

Class sizes for Pharmacy-only subjects average about 80-100 students. An advantage of these relatively small class sizes is that the members of staff get to know you as a person not merely a number.  Lecturers are also more accessible should you need assistance.