This paper examines the work-based placement scheme in UCLan’s MPharm course to determine whether or not work placement experiences benefit students on this degree programme and the extent to which this experience may contextualise the theoretical learning at the university. The aim was to identify which aspects of the placement can influence the learning process and what can be done to improve current placements. The study focused on undergraduate students and pre-registration and practising pharmacists. Data collection occurred through two types of paper based questionnaires and analysis of the data was carried out using SPSS software.
Results showed there was variability (P>0.05) in answers between student years, especially regarding mentor feedback and the amount of time mentors spent with students. With regard to placement length, there was little difference between years, with 51% of students in general believing that placement length was currently sufficient. However, there was a significant difference (P<0.05) between qualifications that practising pharmacists held, and their opinions regarding placement length.
Overall, both pharmacists and students reported that work-based experience is beneficial and should be continued as it helps contextualise theory with practice. Activities and assignments assist students to think critically and reflectively about their experience as well as future career choice.
Keywords –Placement, MPharm, UCLan, Mentoring, Pharmacy Practice
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