Overview of Rhodes University Pharmacy Degree Program

Rhodes University Pharmacy Degree Structure – Faculty of Pharmacy | This post contains full information regarding the Pharmacy Degree program at Rhodes University RU.


Rhodes University Pharmacy Degree Program


A new curriculum was introduced in 2013.  The Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Rhodes University is a 4 year programme.  The curriculum for this degree is laid down by the South African Pharmacy Council and all students must pass all courses of this prescribed curriculum to be awarded the degree in Pharmacy.

Whilst the general curriculum is prescribed, each of the universities that offer pharmacy, have different emphases, thus making transfers between different Schools or Faculties of Pharmacy in South Africa difficult.


In the final year students are permitted to select electives and undertake a research project in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree.

The following is a brief description of the courses in the BPharm Degree:

Chemistry: Chemistry 101 (CHE 101) is held in the first semester and Chemistry 102 (CHE 102) in the second. CHE 101— includes learning about chemical symbols and numeracy, nuclear chemistry, atomic structure and bonding, chemical and physical equilibrium, introduction to organic chemistry. CHE 102—includes learning about properties of inorganic systems, chemistry and the environment, organic functional group chemistry, biological building blocks, reaction rates, chemical thermodynamics, electrochemistry.

Cell Biology: This course compares cell structure in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and examines cellular processes including cell to cell communication, photosynthesis and cell respiration. Cell division and fundamental genetics, including the structure of genetic material and how it controls cellular processes.


Mathematics for Life Sciences: A study of mathematical concepts and applications relevant for the study and practice of Pharmacy.

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Anatomy and Physiology: A study of the functional anatomy and physiology of humans.

Pharmaceutical Biochemistry: A study of the important molecules found in living organisms.

Introduction to ICT (Information & Communication Technology)Fundamental concepts and applications of hardware, computing environments, editing and word processing, spread sheets, databases, other software packages, networks, the Internet, social issues, and the logic of problem solving.

Foundations of Pharmacy: An introductory course in Pharmacy, where learners will be introduced to the fundamentals of Pharmacy Practice, Pharmaceutics, and Ethics.

Anatomy Physiology, Pathophysiology & Pathology: A study of the functional anatomy and physiology of humans and of diseases and pathological conditions in different body systems, how diseases develop, their characteristics, features of common diseases and conditions as they occur in humans, and the effects of diseases on human functioning.

Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology:  A study of the important molecules found in living organisms and of the role of Pharmaceutical Microbiologists and the application of microbiology in the practice of pharmacy, the health and economic implications of microbial contamination of pharmaceutical and hospital environments, the basic characteristics,  pathogenesis, diagnosis, disease, epidemiology, prevention and treatment of microorganisms found in pharmaceutical and hospital environments, water and sewage systems.

Pharmaceutics:   A 2½-year course covering basic pharmaceutical principles and their application to the formulation, production and assessment of medicinal products, microbiology and sterility.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry: A two-year course covering the study of the purity and chemical properties of various materials and formulations used in the practice of pharmacy.

Pharmacy  Practice:   A  2½-year  programme,  which  examines  Pharmaceutical  Care  and  the  role  of  the  pharmacist;  various  aspects of management including performance management, organizational management, managing pharmaceutical supply; Understanding and influencing behavior; Primary Health Care; legal and psychosocial principles and their application in providing safe and effective medicine use by pharmacists and patients.

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Pharmacology: A 1½-year study of the interaction between medicaments and the human body; disease states and medicinal therapy used to relieve these; the toxic effects of household agents, medicines and street drugs.

Biostatistics: A study of statistics that is used in pharmaceutical and biomedical research, so as to use and understand different statistical methods used in research.

Pharmacotherapy: A study of the relevant pathophysiology of diseases and conditions, how mechanisms of action of medicines are used to treat these diseases and/or disorders to counteract their pathophysiological origins, synthesizing and integrating information to make an informed and rational pharmacotherapeutic decision justifying the selection of appropriate dosage forms.

Research Project: An individual project on an approved topic in any pharmaceutical field.

Electives: Candidates may select elective courses offered in other Faculties provided they are relevant to Pharmacy and can be accommodated in the time-table for that academic year.


The specific subjects for each year of the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree are listed below:

BPharm 1

BPharm 2

BPharm 3

BPharm 4

Chemistry (Semester 1 & 2)

Pharmaceutical Chemistry 2

(Semester 1 & 2)

Pharmaceutical Chemistry 3

(Semester 1 & 2)

Pharmacology 4

(Semester 1)

Cell Biology (Semester 1)

Anatomy Physiology, Patho-

physiology & Pathology 2

(Semester 1 & 2)

Pharmacology 3

(Semester 1 & 2)


(Semester 2)

Introduction to ICT ((Information

& Communication Technology)

(Semester 1)

Biochemistry, Microbiology &


(Semester 1 & 2)

Pharmaceutics 3

(Semester 1 & 2)

Research Project

(Semester 1 & 2)

Mathematics for Life Sciences

(Semester 1)

Pharmaceutics 2

(Semester 1 & 2)

Pharmacy Practice 3

(Semester 1 & 2)


(Semester 1 or 2)

Anatomy & Physiology 1

(Semester 2)

Pharmacy Practice 2

(Semester 1 & 2)


(Semester 1)

Pharmaceutics 4

(Semester 1)

Biochemistry 1

(Semester 2)


Pharmacy Practice 4

(Semester 1)

Foundations of Pharmacy

(Semester 2)





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