College of Medicine and Dentistry Top 9 frequently asked questions about pharmacy

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Top 9 frequently asked questions about pharmacy

Thu, 14 Oct 2021
Categories: Students.

JCU Pharmacy FAQS JCU Pharmacy FAQS

Interested in a career in pharmacy? We answer your most frequently asked questions about pharmacy career opportunities, course information, entry requirements and more.

1. What career opportunities are there for pharmacists?

Pharmacists are in demand. Pharmacy is the number one undergraduate study area in Australia for graduate full-time employment.* A vital role in the healthcare industry, pharmacists are often the first point of contact.

A pharmacy degree will provide more career opportunities than you might expect including community pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, defence force, research, drug development, consultant pharmacist, aged care facilities, home visits, health service management, government and much more.

Pharmacists can also benefit from flexible working arrangements, making it a great career choice for those looking to balance work and life.


"I’ve worked with JCU Pharmacy students since the course began. We love having JCU Pharmacy students for placements and on staff. We employ JCU Pharmacy graduates as our first choice and have many working now in our stores.” - Nick Loukas Pharmacist, Brand Manager and Alive Pharmacy Founder

2. What can I expect when studying JCU’s Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree?

While studying your Bachelor of Pharmacy (honours) degree at JCU, you’ll:

  • Learn about the practical use of medicines, preventative healthcare strategies, and effective communication.
  • Study a comprehensive range of core subjects including chemistry, human anatomy, physiology, biology, pharmacology, therapeutics, and research.
  • Gain plenty of hands-on experience, with over 600 hours of clinical practice hours, one of the highest in an Australian pharmacy degree. When you graduate, you’ll be well equipped with the skills, knowledge and experienced to work in a range of settings from the outback to the city.
  • Develop a wide scope of practice through hands-on clinical practice in community and hospital pharmacies, in a range of diverse settings including metropolitan, regional, rural remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

"I studied pharmacy at JCU for four years and I had an awesome experience. The support was amazing and by the time I got to my internship I felt really ready to take on my career." - Tegan Stark JCU Pharmacy Graduate

3. Am I eligible? What are the entry requirements for JCU’s pharmacy degree?

Entry requirements for JCU’s Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) are:

  • ATAR/rank 79.3
  • English (Units 3/4,C), Chemistry (3/4,C), Mathematical Methods (3/4,C).

If you’re not sure if you meet the entry requirements there are other alternate pathways to JCU Pharmacy. Get in contact with the team via email or free call 1800 246 446.

4. What do I do if I don’t meet the course entry requirements?

Not everyone takes the same pathway to university. If you don’t meet the course entry requirements, JCU has a number of pathways to help you get to where you want to be.

Pathway options:

  • Certificate of Higher Education
    If you meet the ATAR/rank for pharmacy but are missing Maths and/or Chemistry, then the Certificate of Higher Education is the pathway for you. You’ll complete the studies online in short intensive blocks over the summer period, preparing you to start your pharmacy degree in February.
  • Diploma of Higher Education
    The six-month to one-year full-time course in Cairns and Townsville is designed to help you if you want to study pharmacy but need to improve or gain an ATAR/rank, or if you are missing the pre-requisite subjects. Maybe it’s been a while since you studied, or you didn’t finish Year 12. No matter your circumstances, the JCU team are here to help you succeed.

Do you have a question about your pathway to JCU Pharmacy? Get in contact with the team via email or free call 1800 246 446.

5. What on campus accommodation is available to JCU Pharmacy students?

Living on campus is a great way to meet new people and experience all that uni life has to offer. JCU has a variety of accommodation options available on campus at JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus and Mackay.

6. I’m studying pharmacy from Cairns or Mackay and need a weeks accommodation in Townsville for my residential classes once a semester.

No problem, we have matched our semester rates and weekly rates so you can have affordable accommodation on the JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus during the week-long semester residential. There are self-catering and catered options – both at a reasonable rate. This is a cost-effective and stress-free accommodation option for that short duration stay!

7. I stay in uni accommodation in Cairns or Mackay during the semester – will I have to pay for accommodation in Townsville for the residential?

If you live at John Grey Hall and need to stay in Townsville for a week or two, we will cover your accommodation. Stay at JCU Halls of Residence and you will only pay for meals $100 per week (if you choose a catered option) and an $82 departure fee when you leave (to cover cleaning).

If you aren’t living on-campus and need to stay in Townsville, contact us at and we will help you.

8. How will I learn and how often will I need to go on campus?

You can study JCU’s Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree at the Cairns, Mackay or Townsville campus, through a mix of online and on-campus classes. Throughout the semester you’ll learn in small classes with high-quality digital learning materials. You’ll connect with mentors and pharmacists regularly throughout the semester which will also help to develop your professional identity early on.

Throughout your pharmacy degree, you’ll gain plenty of hands-on practical experience (over 600 hours) through clinical placements, preparing you to work confidently when you graduate. Once a semester all students from Cairns, Mackay and Townsville will gather in Townsville to access JCU’s world-class pharmacy laboratories where they will practice and develop their skills further.

9. I’ve heard I need to complete a pharmacy internship. What does this look like?

After completing your Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree, pharmacy students in Australia must complete a paid internship year, completing 1,824 hours over a 12-month period. During this time, intern pharmacists work under supervision, have their work reviewed by a senior pharmacist and complete board exams to qualify. There are opportunities to complete the internship full-time and part-time basis.

Still have questions and want to find out more about a career in pharmacy or studying at JCU? Discover more here or contact our team who will help answer your questions.

* Graduate Outcomes Survey Data, 2020 + Australian Government, Job Outlook