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University of Strathclyde

Supporting the University of Strathclyde to develop work ready graduates

The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences recognised that although students graduating from their MPharm Course were technically sound, they tended to lack the confidence to relate their knowledge to real patient needs and open effective communications to apply their expertise in person.

The problem

Students needed to be better prepared to communicate effectively with both patients and other stakeholders in the pharmacy work place. Course leaders identified that a lack of interpersonal skills was potentially inhibiting performance at interview and getting the best possible outcomes from patient consultations.

The solution

Working with the MPharm course developers, RoleplayUK designed specific modules to enhance the course content to equip their students with relevant interpersonal skills. The modules focused on building communication skills year on year, progressing with the student as their knowledge and capability increased. Undergraduates learned about individual communication styles, how to plan for interview and the need to adapt and adjust throughout a conversation.

With the opportunity to practise ‘real’ interactions with patients in simulated ‘over the counter’ consultations, students could explore questioning styles, active listening techniques and appreciate when and how they should request advice from a supervisor. Mock interviews also helped students to prepare their individual story and engage potential employers in their ability.

The Results

By developing ‘work ready’ graduates, MPharm students from the University of Strathclyde were clearly differentiated within the market place and sought after by employers. On an individual level students felt that their confidence was boosted and that they could confidently relate their pharmacy studies to their ultimate role.

“The sessions delivered to our new entrant MPharm students gave them an intense and stimulating experience which will enable them to participate more fully in their first experiential learning in a Pharmacy. The sessions were delivered in a highly professional manner, encouraging enthusiastic participation from the students. Feedback from the class has been overwhelmingly positive and we are exploring ways to extend this form of learning, tailored to each year of our MPharm programme.”

Anne Boyter, MPharm Director

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