Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science (N73)

Why PHARM?

  • Unique curriculum integrates clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical science applications to lay strong foundation for future academic and career progression 
  • Final-year electives in Complementary Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrition & Dietetic Science broadens knowledge for new possibilities in drug and treatment development 
  • Opportunity to go on six-month internship at reputable healthcare institutes or pharmaceutical companies
  • Exclusive 3D-learning experience via an interactive 360 virtual community pharmacy

About PHARM

Discover what it is like to work at the forefront of drug discovery and development when you choose the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science (PHARM). With Singapore being one of the most advanced hubs in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing and research in Asia, you can expect bright career prospects in this sector!

Besides building a solid foundation in biological, chemical and pharmaceutical sciences, you will also learn more advanced topics that include the biomedical aspects of drugs such as clinical trials, drug manufacturing, pharmaceutics and pharmacology. In addition, you will acquire knowledge on the distribution of pharmaceuticals, as well as the best practices of the pharmaceutical industry.

Our close links with the industry will provide you with valuable, hands-on work experience, where you will work closely with experienced industry professionals and be involved in projects that solve real-world issues. You can choose to complete your six-month internship in community and hospital pharmacies, such as National Healthcare Group polyclinics and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, or global pharmaceutical companies such as National Healthcare Group polyclinics and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, or global pharmaceutical companies such as Lonza.

              

 

Disruptive technologies and emerging trends such as robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and precision medicine are impacting the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals. To help you embrace new technologies, you will get a chance to learn 3D printing and prototyping skills that will help you to develop innovative solutions that can improve patients’ healthcare journeys. 

You can also explore learning technologies such as our interactive 360 virtual community pharmacy, which allows you to find out about the inner workings of a pharmacy through a 3D experience.

To give you an added edge, you can take electives to widen your skills and future career choices. Choose the Complementary Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine elective if you want to learn how to evaluate the evidence behind alternative therapies and traditional Chinese medicines. Or opt for the Nutrition & Dietetic Science elective if you are interested in learning about how nutrients, supplements and weight management can impact one’s health.

Further Studies

As a PHARM graduate, you can apply for the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) and Bachelor of Science (Pharmaceutical Science) at National University of Singapore. Besides, you can apply for related degrees in allied health, biological science, chemistry, life sciences, dentistry and medicine, or a wide range of other degrees such as arts, architecture, business, education, psychology and social science offered by the local universities.

You may enjoy exemption when applying for related degree programmes at overseas universities, including:

Australia

  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • RMIT University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Western Australia

New Zealand

  • The University of Auckland
  • University of Otago
Nicolette Koh

Nicolette Koh
Pharmaceutical Science graduate, Class of 2022

A recipient of the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Outstanding Achievement Award, Nicolette is pursuing a degree in Pharmacy at NUS.

Claudia Heng

Claudia Heng
Pharmaceutical Science graduate, Class of 2022

Claudia is pursuing Medicine at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

Careers

Your PHARM diploma will open doors to many careers. Here are some roles that you can look forward to:

  • Clinical Trial Associate / Coordinator
  • Healthcare Product Executive
  • Laboratory Technologist
  • Pharmacy Sales Executive
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Regulatory Executive
  • Research Technologist
Joyce Nai

Joyce Nai
Pharmacy Science* graduate, Class of 2015

Currently working as a pharmacist at Unity Pharmacy

*Renamed the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science

Felicia Ngiam

Felicia Ngiam
Pharmacy Science* graduate, Class of 2016

Felicia is a pharmacy technician at the National Healthcare Group Polyclinic, Hougang

*Renamed the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science

Entry Requirements

AGGREGATE TYPE ELR2B2-C

To be eligible for consideration, candidates must have the following GCE ‘O’ Level examination (or equivalent) results.

Subject'O' Level Grade
English Language1-7
Mathematics (Elementary/Additional)1-6
Science 
(with Physics, Chemistry or Biology component) or Biotechnology
or Combined Science
or Design & Technology
or Electronics/Fundamentals of Electronics
or Engineering Science
or Food & Nutrition/Nutrition & Food Science
or Physical Science
1-6

You must also fulfil the aggregate computation requirements for the ELR2B2-C Aggregate Type listed here (    33KB).

For students with other qualifications, please refer to the NP website for the entry requirements and admissions exercise period.

Candidates with colour vision deficiency should not apply for the course.

What You Will Learn

Anatomy & Physiology (4 Credit Units)

This module introduces the anatomy and functions of the human body. It equips students with an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, neuromuscular, skeletal, endocrine and reproductive systems.

Biosafety & Risk Management (2 Credit Units)

This module is designed based on the curriculum of the WSQ “Follow Good Biosafety Practices” course. This module aims to equip students with essential knowledge and skills for safe handling of chemicals and biological agents as well as fundamentals of decontamination and waste management. Topics such as follow biosafety and biosecurity principles and practices, risk assessment and mitigation, national and international biosafety guidelines and legislation, and emergency response programme will also be covered.

Career & Professional Preparation 1 (1 Credit Units)

This module is part of the Education and Career Guidance framework to provide students with the tools and resources necessary for their career and/ or further education. In this first module, students will undergo personal discovery and exploration of industry and career prospects. Students will learn how to plan and set achievable goals in preparation for their future. Students will also learn the importance of passion and professionalism, along with basic teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Fundamentals in Pharmaceutical Science (4 Credit Units)

This module introduces students to pharmaceuticals and the roles, responsibilities, job scopes and future of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The module provides a foundation for subsequent modules in the course. Introductory topic in pharmacology, pharmaceutical science, pharmacy laws and pharmaceutics will be covered. Students will also learn how to perform pharmaceutical calculations to determine dosage.

Organic & Biological Chemistry (5 Credit Units)

In this module, students are introduced to the chemistry of hydrocarbons, alcohols, amines, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives. The structures, functions and chemical reactions of biological molecules, including carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and their derivatives are also covered.

English Language Express*

English Language Express aims to give you a better grounding in the English Language and to strengthen the written and oral communications skills that you will need in your academic and professional careers. You will be engaged in writing, reading, listening and speaking activities that will develop your ability to speak and write grammatically, coherently and clearly. You will also hone your reading and listening comprehension skills.

Innovation Made Possible^ (3 Credit Units)

Biostatistics (3 Credit Units)

This module is designed to provide students with basic statistical skills to analyse and interpret simple biological, pre- clinical and clinical data. The basic statistical skills covered are descriptive statistics, data distribution, set sample size, measurement of central tendency, scatter diagram, cluster analysis, and simple linear correlation and regression analysis for linear data. Students will learn about the presentation of data in graphical forms using Microsoft Excel, including selection and preparation of different types of graphs, how to write titles and legends, and interpretation of results and draw conclusions.

Cell Biology (5 Credit Units)

This module provides fundamental overview of cellular systems specifically eukaryotes and prokaryotes. There will also be an introduction to pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. The topics include the fundamental chemicals of life, structure and function of cells and organelles, cell division, cytogenetics, DNA structure, cell communication, principles of hereditary, apoptosis and cancer.

Inorganic & Physical Chemistry (5 Credit Units)

The module covers the structure of matter, chemical bonding, thermochemistry, chemical equilibria, kinetics, electrochemistry and redox reactions, transition metal chemistry, and chemistry of solutions, including acids, bases and buffers, polarity and solubility.

Mathematics (3 Credit Units)

This module provides students with a fundamental analytical knowledge of mathematics essential for the study of pharmaceutical and life science. The rules of conversion of one unit of measurement to another as well as basic mathematical operations will be covered. Students will also learn the properties governing the operation of polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions and understand their applications in chemistry and biology.

Communication Essentials^ (3 Credit Units)

Health & Wellness^ (1 Credit Unit)

Current Good Manufacturing Practice (2 Credit Units)

This module aims to equip students with an understanding of current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for pharmaceuticals and related products. Various aspects, such as attributes of materials, labelling, materials in process, finished pharmaceuticals, manufacturing validation, quality control, personnel and facilities are covered.

Pathology (3 Credit Units)

This module helps students to understand the causes and mechanisms of disease. Students will learn about disease processes affecting common organ systems. The mechanisms of disease, natural history and progression and implications for treatment and prevention will be discussed.

Pharmaceutical Analysis (5 Credit Units)

This module studies modern analytical techniques that are used for the detection, identification and quantitative determination of drugs and related substances. Techniques for the evaluation of analytical data and validation of analytical methods will be discussed.

Pharmaceutics (5 Credit Units)

This module focuses on the design and formulation of two-phase pharmaceutical products, including suspensions, emulsions and solid pharmaceutical products, and how they relate to absorption and drug delivery routes. Topics include drug formulations, preparation and dispensing of pharmaceuticals, introduction to biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, bioavailability, specialised dosage forms, prodrugs, liposomes, targeted drug delivery, drug stability of various formulations and shelf life.

Pharmacology (5 Credit Units)

This module covers the basic principles of pharmacology, the mechanism of drug action, dose response relation, adverse reaction, pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination) and major drug classes.

Applied Biostatistics (3 Credit Units)

This module covers advanced statistical skills to analyse and interpret a wide range of biological, pre-clinical and clinical data, and preparation of data for scientific presentation. The statistical skills covered are biological experiment design, hypothesis testing, quantitative data analysis by parametric and non-parametric methods, qualitative data analysis by Chi-square and Fisher tests, and simple correlation and regression analysis for non- linear data. The scientific presentation section covers how to organise data, prepare and incorporate statistical results on graphs and interpretation of results.

Career & Professional Preparation 2 (2 Credit Units)

This module is part of the Education and Career Guidance framework to provide students with the tools and resources necessary for their further career and/or education. In this module, students will explore basic job search strategies, practise writing effective resumes and cover letters, and learn interview skills. Students will also learn professional and intercultural communication skills to prepare them for a dynamic and diverse workplace.

Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery (3 Credit Units)

The first part of this module highlights the drug discovery process and how compounds are identified and developed into drugs. The second part of the module introduces students to the chemistry of drugs and drug systems, with particular emphasis on heterocyclic chemistry and the major drug classes. They will also learn about the relationship between activity and functional group chemistry, and drug design.

Microbiology & Immunology (5 Credit Units)

This module covers fundamental knowledge regarding the role of microbial pathogenesis and the role of immune cells in protective immunity against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections. Topics include mechanisms of disease production, antibiotic resistance, contamination, sterilization and disinfection, infection control, methods of treatment and prevention of disease, innate and adaptive immune system. Students will gain an understanding in medical microbiology, microbial pathogenesis, functions of the immune system and immunological concepts for the understanding of drugs that target components of the immune system.

Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry (5 Credit Units)

This module builds upon knowledge covered in foundation modules and encompass molecular biology, protein structure, and cell function with a focus on cellular metabolism. Students will learn not only how molecules function in healthy cells but also how disruption of their function leads to disease. This module equips students with an understanding of molecular biology, cellular metabolism and biochemical techniques.

World Issues: A Singapore Perspective^ (2 Credit Units) 

6-Month Internship (Local/Overseas) (20 Credit Units)

The six-month internship provides students with exposure to the real work environment, providing opportunities to relate and apply the knowledge acquired during the course to work situations and enable the transition into the workplace. Clear learning outcomes, close mentorship, meaningful and real work activities allow for structured learning throughout the duration of the internship. Students will be attached to companies in various healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Students will also have the opportunity to go for overseas internships.

Clinical & Pharmacy Practice (4 Credit Units)

In this module, students will study foundational concepts in patient care, pharmacy law and professional ethics. They will develop effective communication skills for interacting with patients, caregivers and other healthcare professionals. The application of clinical data in interpreting results and the optimization of drug therapy in a clinical setting will be the focus of the clinical component. The module will also review medication safety and error prevention.

Pharmacotherapeutics & Good Dispensing Skills (6 Credit Units)

In this module, students will study the therapeutic effects of drugs, their mechanisms of action, common doses for disease states, and the concept of rational drug selection. This will be simultaneously integrated with the fundamentals of good dispensing practice. Students will learn how to dispense medications in a safe, timely and effective manner and further develop their competencies in counselling through role play.

Pharmacy Management & Logistics (2 Credit Units)

This module focuses on business aspects relating to the operation of hospital and retail pharmacies. Topics include procurement, logistics and inventory management, business automation, marketing and principles of finance pertaining to the operations of a pharmacy.

Project ID: Connecting the Dots^ (4 Credit Units)

Electives (Choose any 1) (2 Credit Units)

Complementary Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine

This module describes how philosophies of alternative medicines and therapies are used to complement those of conventional medicine. The mechanism of action, dosage forms and pharmacological aspects of selected complementary medicines and traditional Chinese medicines will be covered, including the responsibilities associated with the sale and marketing of complementary medicines.

Nutrition & Dietetic Science

This module provides students with a basic understanding of nutritional and dietetic concepts, including the role of micro and macronutrients in the diet and their effects on health. Principles of clinical nutrition and dietary requirements for special medical conditions and at different life stages will also be covered. Students will also learn to evaluate the evidence behind the use of common nutraceuticals and functional foods for health benefits as well as the regulations associated with the sales and marketing of such therapies.