B Pharm stands for Bachelor of Pharmacy. It is a 4 years long undergraduate course. After completing the course, graduates will obtain the ‘Bachelor of Pharmacy’ degree. After obtaining this degree, graduates may start practice as a Pharmacist in India as well as abroad! Science stream students, from both Mathematics and Biology groups, are eligible to pursue B Pharm course after completing 12th standard. In this article, you will be reading about B Pharm course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, syllabus, PG courses, career prospects and job profiles available after graduation.
Bachelor of Pharmacy: Introduction
One of the main tasks of a pharmacist is to prescribe medications to patients. It is evident from this very fact that the course of B Pharm focuses on the study of biology, pharmaceutical chemistry (inorganic, physical and organic), biochemistry, medicines, physiology, pharmacology, dispensing etc.
The course trains students in the above mentioned aspects and makes them ready to take on various roles in the pharmaceutical industry. Possessing the knowledge of medicines and biology, graduates may perform tasks such as prescribing appropriate medicine to patients (pharmacist), clinical research, work at pharmaceutical companies etc.
In India, the role of a pharmacist is limited. Abroad, the scenario is fully different! There, pharmacists play a far greater role and command more respect!
Bachelor of Pharmacy is an undergraduate degree course. Let us check out the course duration details now.
Duration: Course duration is 4 years. The 4 years’ duration is divided into 8 semesters, with each semester lasting for a period of 6 months. In case of each semester, students will have to face one theoretical external examination (main exam). In case of some semesters, practical examinations will also be held, with the subjects being hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy and community pharmacy.
To get admission, candidates must satisfy the minimum marks criteria, which is 50% marks (in PCM/B subjects). Most institutes follow the merit based admission process, where deserving candidates are allotted seats based on the marks scored by them in board examination and entrance test. In case of some Deemed Universities and reputed private institutes, private entrance tests are used to allot seats to deserving students.
To get a better idea about the syllabus and nature of the course, let us go through some important course content and subjects.
1st year subjects-
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Organic, Inorganic and Physical)
- Dispensing and General Pharmacy
- Human Anatomy
2nd year subjects-
- Pharmaceutical Analysis
- Advanced Organic Chemistry
- Health Education
- Clinical Chemistry
- Molecular Biology
3rd year subjects-
- Chemistry of Natural Products
- Pharmacology 1
- Industrial Management
- Computer Applications
4th year subjects-
- Pharmaceutics (Advanced)
- Pharmacology 2
- Pharmacy Practice
- Pharmaceutical Analysis (Advanced)
Note: Only the important subjects have been mentioned in the above list. Many subjects are recurring ones, meaning that they will appear in more than just one semester! In case of last academic year, there also will be project work involved.
Since you are interested in the field of pharmacy, I must also present before you an alternative courses that you may pursue, instead of B Pharm. One such alternative course is D Pharm (Diploma in Pharmacy).
It is a 2 years long course. D Pharm is the minimum qualification required in India for one to become eligible to practice as a Pharmacist. Thus, D Pharm qualification too could help you become a Pharmacist!
I must also add that B Pharm course is more valuable than D Pharm. D Pharm course will be of help to those, who failed to secure admission in B Pharm program. On completion of the Diploma course, one may secure admission directly to the second year of Bachelor’s program (Lateral entry)!
Another (more valuable) course is Pharm D. It is a 6 years long integrated course (5 years academic program and 1 year internship). This course has much more content and value than the traditional B Pharm course!
On completion of Bachelor of Pharmacy course, graduates have handful of postgraduate courses to choose from. The most natural step forward is the M Pharm (Master of Pharmacy) course. It is a 2 years long PG course. With the help of this PG course, graduates may specialize in a specific field within the sector of pharmacy. They may then do advanced course, such as PhD and venture into the Research and Development field too. After M Pharm, one may also star working as a Lecturer!
Trend among B Pharm graduates these days is to pursue an MBA course! Pursuing this management course helps them acquire key management skills. The combination of management skills and pharmacy studies makes them highly employable in the pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as marketing sectors!
Career prospects and Job opportunities
Ample amount of job opportunities are available in Government as well as private sectors for B Pharm graduates. One of the most common job that graduates take up is that of a pharmacist. After completing the course and obtaining practice license, graduates may work as pharmacists at Government hospitals, private hospitals/clinics or private medical shops. If one has access to decent financial resources, one may also start an own medical shop!
Other than that, pharmaceutical companies are also prime recruiters of graduates. In a pharmaceutical company, graduates may work in departments such as manufacturing, quality control, packing, marketing etc.
State wise health boards also provides numerous job opportunities to graduates. Drug inspector, State owned tablets, capsules, powders and ORS manufacturing units etc are well know job providers in the Government domain.
Job profiles available in front of graduates are-
- Medical representative
- Scientist (Research field)
- Teacher (Junior Lecturer)
- Quality Control Officer
- Clinical Research professional
- Drug Inspector
- Marketing professional
Some of the well known recruiters are-
- Hospitals and Clinics (Government and Private)
- Medical Shop chains (the likes of Apollo Pharmacy)
- State wise Drugs and Pharmaceutical Boards
- Sun Pharmaceuticals
- Abbott India
- GlaxoSmithKline India
- Research bodies and labs