Biomedical laboratory


Research opportunities

This degree responds to an identified need for more NHS pharmacists to engage in research linked to their professional and practice role in areas where a PhD research programme may not be the most appropriate qualification.

The DPharm fits with all areas of the practice of pharmacy including hospital clinical pharmacy, technical services and community pharmacy practice. The programme aims to develop, strengthen and enhance pharmacy research and help to build the credibility of pharmacy as a research focussed profession.

This course is suitable for pharmacists who already have some research experience and wish to enhance their research skills and experience.

Course structure

The course is either a minimum of three years full-time or four years part-time study.

One third of the course is taught and two thirds is research-based. The taught classes are:

  • Clinical skills
  • Research skills including health service skills & protocol design
  • Literature review

When does teaching begin?

The teaching will take place in the academic year starting at the beginning of October each year.

If you're undertaking the course on a full-time basis all the taught classes will take place in the first year of the course. For part-time students this will take 18 months. The taught classes must be passed to proceed to the research element.

Can I get credit for previous learning?

This may be awarded on an individual basis at the point of application. Any recognised prior learning must be ratified by the Board of Study. Credit for prior leaning may only be awarded in blocks of 60 credits (60, 120 or 180). Only under exceptional circumstances will a student be awarded 180 credits for prior learning.

Will the minimum duration of study be reduced if I get credit for prior learning?

There may be a reduction in the minimum duration of study if credit is given for prior learning but this will be awarded on an individual basis following application and discussion between the DPharm course organiser and the head of Institute. This must also be ratified by the Faculty of Science Board of Study.

What is the final assessment?

Once you have completed all the taught elements and the research, you'll submit a thesis which will be sent to an external examiner (outwith the University of Strathclyde) and an internal examiner (within Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, who is GPhC registered). You'll be called for an oral exam in which you'll defend your thesis and the work that it contains. The examiners will make the decision on whether you should be awarded the qualification.


How will I know if my proposed project will be suitable for a DPharm?

On application you'll be asked to submit your research idea. This can then be discussed with a potential supervisor. Alternatively you can discuss research ideas informally with a potential supervisor before application.

If I have no project idea but want to do the DPharm will you allocate me a suitable project?

The DPharm is linked to your professional practice so it's expected that when you apply you'll have a suitable project idea. Staff at the university may have ideas to help you develop your practice.

What does the research involve?

The research in the DPharm must be linked to professional practice and should normally be undertaken at your place of work. It should be related to the role you have as a pharmacist. Areas of research that may be suitable include clinical practice in hospital or community pharmacy, technical services or a combination of both. This is not an exhaustive list and if you are interested in studying for a DPharm and have an idea for research then you should contact Dr Boyter for further information.

Your research must original and at doctoral level that is suitable for publication in a quality research journal.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Scotland/ EU

  • £4,327*

Rest of UK

  • £4,327*

* Please note that 2019-20 PGR entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period

International students

  • £18,950 (full-time)

Do I pay more fees if I do not complete in 36 months (full time) or 48 months (part time)? 

If you are still undertaking active research then you may be asked to pay fees if you exceed the minimum duration of study. If you have entered a period of writing up your thesis then you'll not be asked to pay additional fees.


Funding for the DPharm can be sought from a variety of sources including NES (Pharmacy), charities, funding councils, or your employer.  The university does not have funding to support your studies.

Proof of funding for the duration of your studies will be required before you start the DPharm.

If you can't find what you're looking for, try our scholarship search instead.

Research Council studentships (AHRC, BBSRC, ESPRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC)

  • full Research Council studentships can only be awarded to UK and EU students.
  • if you're an EU student, you're eligible for Research Council studentships if you've been living in the UK for three years, including for studying, immediately before starting your PhD.
  • if you're an EU student and you haven't been living in the UK for three years, you may be eligible for a 'fees only' studentship.
  • if you're an International student, you can only be funded by a Research Council if you have the Right to Abode (ie if your passport describes you as a British citizen), if you have Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. 
  • if you have full Refugee status, you're eligible for fees and stipend.

Travel awards

Postgraduate Research Travel Award

This award contributes to the costs of conference and international travel for research purposes. The fund is open all year round but you can only make one application during your PhD.

Mac Robertson Travel Award

This is a joint fund between the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow.

It provides funding for students studying a PhD or an MRes, to undertake a course that lasts from two months to a year at a centre of advanced study either in or outside Scotland. It doesn't cover conference travel and applications close in May each year.

Finn Randall Travel Award

This award was created in memory of Finn Randall, an alumnus of the University of Strathclyde and an adventurous traveller.

It was established to help a registered student with the cost of a particular travel scheme that's considered to be the most enterprising and relevant to their course of study. It doesn't cover conference attendance or travel for research purposes. Applications close in March each year.

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Application is via the University of Strathclyde website.

What information is required on the application form?

You'll be asked for information about you, your qualifications, referees, and the area in which you wish to study. There's also space for you to select a preferred supervisor and to give an outline of your proposed area of study. It's acceptable to indicate that you have no preferred supervisor.

What happens to the application form?

Once your educational qualifications have been checked, your application will be circulated to all potential supervisors unless you have specified a supervisor your application. If a supervisor is found and you meet all the entry requirements, including having the funding in place to pay the fees, you'll be offered an unconditional place. You may also be offered a conditional place and in this case the conditions would be specified.

Who can be a supervisor of a DPharm student?

The first supervisor of any student undertaking a DPharm must be an academic member of staff in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences who is registered with the GPhC. A list of potential first supervisors is available from Dr Boyter on request.
The second supervisor can be any member of academic staff within the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences. This is to meet the University of Strathclyde requirements that all students on a research degree have two internal university supervisors.

Additional supervisors from the NHS may be appointed.

Does application automatically mean that I will get a place?

In common with other research degrees, places on the DPharm course require confirmation of funding and the availability of a suitably qualified supervisor who has capacity to take on additional research students.

Do I need permission from my senior line managers?

Any application should be discussed with your line manager before it's submitted to the university. It's your responsibility to ensure that you have the support of your line manager.

What if my job changes while doing the DPharm – will this affect my studies?

As the DPharm is a professional doctorate which is lined to your professional practice any change in job may affect the duration of your studies. If this happens it should be discussed with your supervisor at the earliest opportunity.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.


We have a great careers service here at Strathclyde that can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Progress through the course

Who makes the decision on whether a student progresses to the research element? 

Progress decisions will be made at the joint exam board of the MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, MRes in Clinical Pharmacy and DPharm. 

What happens if I am not allowed to progress to research?

If you are not permitted to progress to research then you may be eligible for transfer to and completion of an MRes (Master of Research) in Clinical Pharmacy. This is at the discretion of the exam board.

Can I change from an MSc to a DPharm after I have completed the clinical skills classes?

The MSc in Clinical Pharmacy is a taught postgraduate qualification and therefore transfer between the MSc and the DPharm is not normally permitted. If you have completed an MSc then you may be eligible for credit for prior learning if you apply to the DPharm.