Future Students JCU Stories 5 reasons to study Pharmacy

5 reasons to study Pharmacy

JCU Pharmacy could be your first step to a successful career in pharmaceutical science. Whether you see yourself becoming an integral part of community healthcare within a regional setting, or engaging with recovering patients in a busy metropolitan hospital, there are many exciting opportunities for graduates with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours).

Read on to discover why Pharmacy is a dynamic and exciting choice, and why you should study Pharmacy at JCU.

A wide shot of the Science Place at James Cook University.

1. Exceptional student support

JCU’s Student Success Officers are your first stop when you have questions about anything relating to your studies. As a JCU student, you also have access to a Student Mentor Program that matches new students with experienced student mentors who are studying the same course as you do. The Student Mentor Program is very popular, and it has won many awards since it started in 1991 as the first of its type in Australian Higher Education.

Aside from that, JCU has a dedicated team of Indigenous Student Support Advisors, and there are a range of additional support services and resources available especially for international students.

A female James Cook University student sits at a desk holding papers while a male student mentor sits next to her.

Based on the wide range of excellent student support services available at JCU, the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) received 5 stars for student support in the 2024 Good Universities Guide. The overwhelming majority (82.1%) of Pharmacy students at JCU are satisfied with the support they are receiving, not only when settling into study, but throughout their journey towards their Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree.

This makes JCU number #1 in Australia for supporting undergraduate pharmacy students.*

* Good Universities Guide 2024, UG Pharmacy.

2. Real world placement experiences

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree is taught over 3 years full-time (or 5 years part-time). During your studies, you will have the opportunity to gain more hands-on experience than at any other university in Australia.

When you graduate, you will have gone through at least 644 hours of placement, which is the highest number of clinical placement hours for any undergraduate Pharmacy degree in Australia.

These placements will equip you to work in metropolitan, rural or remote workplaces, and you could work in a Pharmacy, in a hospital or in a different setting.

A James Cook University pharmacy student stands by a shelf of medication.

3. Quality learner engagement

Learner engagement works on a number of different levels. You could say that, in general, it means how well a student feels connected to JCU and their fellow students. It means how well students feel prepared for their studies, if they feel a sense of belonging to JCU and how much they participate in discussions online or face to face.

Two James Cook University pharmacy students wearing white lab coats complete practical work at a lab bench.

But there is also another side to learner engagement, and that is working and interacting with other students outside of study and connecting with students from different backgrounds. For an international student, for instance, this would mean how well they feel they can connect with local students.

According to the 2024 Good Universities Guide, Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) students at JCU are extremely satisfied with the learner engagement at JCU.

Indeed, more than 78% of JCU’s undergraduate pharmacy students say they are engaged learners, which earned JCU a 5 star rating for learner engagement. Based on this student feedback, JCU is ranked number #1 in Australia for learner engagement, which might be interesting to know if you want to study Pharmacy in Australia.

"After hearing about the demand for pharmacists and the wide variety of career opportunities available, I decided pharmacy was the perfect choice. JCU has a great reputation in this area of study. The course really sets you up for the future, giving you lots of experience on placements, in both a community and hospital setting, where I have been able to put my knowledge into practice."

Sofia Brescianini


Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)

JCU Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) student Sofia Brescianini.

4. Strong graduate salaries

JCU offers the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) in Townsville, Cairns and Mackay. So, if you are from the Townsville, Cairns or Mackay region, you don’t have to leave home and move to a capital city if you want to study Pharmacy.

Several JCU alumni are among the new generation of Cairns and Mackay pharmacists who have taken advantage of the option to study and work in their hometowns.

The median salary of JCU Pharmacy graduates is currently around $62,600, which is the highest salary for Pharmacy graduates in Australia. In comparison, pharmacy graduates of almost all other Australian universities earn a median salary of under $60,000 per year.

Three James Cook University pharmacy students stand in a pharmacy dispensing area.

5. Flexible learning opportunities

A James Cook University student sits working at a computer.

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) is offered as a mixed online- and offline degree, which is a great choice for those who would like to study as much as possible from home, for instance.

After finishing trimesters 1 and 2 of year 1, which are taught on campus in Townsville, Cairns or Mackay (depending on your preference), the following trimesters will be a mix of online and on-campus activities.

For example, in order to give you the possibility to study Pharmacy from home (or from a place of your choice) a subject such as Introduction to Evidence in Pharmacy Practice may consist of in-class workshops, online activities and lectures as well as self-directed study and an assessment.

Pharmacy: engaging study, dynamic career

If you have a passion for helping others and the drive to dig into the chemistry behind medicine, you might want to study Pharmacy at JCU. JCU is number #1 in Australia not only for graduate salaries, but also for student support and learner engagement.

Embrace the feeling of knowing you’re helping others, one prescription at a time, by studying Pharmacy at JCU.

Explore Pharmacy at JCU
A group of James Cook University pharmacy students sit around a lecturer and an anatomical model.