The MPharm degree at Robert Gordon University (RGU) has been ranked as one of the top pharmacy courses in the world.

The announcement came from the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject which were recently released by higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, and which are designed to help applicants identify the world’s strongest universities for each discipline.

To ascertain their rankings, the analysts evaluated over 4,400 institutions, finally ranking the top 1,117, and RGU was ranked in the top 250 universities for Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

This latest accolade continues to build on the worldwide reputation for the university’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, which has also been ranked as the top pharmacy school in

Scotland in The Guardian University Guide, as well as being in the UK top 20 in both The Guardian and The Complete University Guide.

‘Our constant goal, said Professor Donald Cairns, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, ‘is to offer one of the best pharmacy programmes around and help our students be a positive force for society and the healthcare industry.

‘I believe that the pharmacists of tomorrow will have an important role to play as approachable experts in drugs and medicines and it is important that they receive the best possible preparation.

‘With the help of our expert staff and fantastic teaching facilities, we work hard to ensure our degree is of the highest standard and I’m pleased that we’ve been recognised in the latest QS rankings.’


PRESCRIBING GROUP Details of a national body to manage and oversee medicines policy across Scotland have been revealed by the Scottish Government.

In a series of written answers to questions from the Conservative’s public health spokesman, Miles Briggs MSP, Health Secretary Shona Robison explained that the Effective Prescribing Programme has been set up by NHS National Services Scotland, NHS Boards and the Scottish Government to ‘facilitate and support the quality of prescribing and medicines use’, and to ‘accelerate change through clinical leadership, removing barriers to change and adding focus and pace’.

‘The challenge of an ageing population with increasingly

complex multiple long-term conditions,’ Ms Robison told parliament, ‘requires that the NHS finds new and innovative ways of using its resources. An important guiding principle of this is, where possible, to adopt a ‘once for Scotland’ approach, ensuring best use of resources through joint working in order to improve patient healthcare outcomes.

‘The Effective Prescribing Programme is currently focusing on: the clinical effectiveness of biological medicines; developing a clinical consensus approach to particular clinical areas; scaling up the holistic review of patients on multiple medicines; supporting the implementation of prescribing strategies; and review of NHS boards’ use of formularies to support effective use of medicines.’

Professor Donald Cairns, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences


A highly successful partnership between the University of Strathclyde and GSK, a global healthcare company, has been extended significantly in an agreement worth more than £2.5million.

The award-winning collaborative programmes involve MPhil and PhD students working side-by-side with GSK scientists to develop and conduct novel research approaches to drug discovery and therapeutic treatments.

Since launching in 2009, this landmark Business-University partnership has supported both GSK employees and new graduates towards higher research degrees. The collaboration has included over 120 research students to date and has seen nearly 50 research papers published, 16 patents filed and eight students named inventors, in an outstanding contribution towards the UK health sector.

The partnership extension will see a total of 42 new PhD studentships created, 24 of which will be fully- funded industrial PhD studentships based at GSK, with secondments to


Strathclyde. The programme model boasts appreciable translational knowledge exchange impact, whereby students will conduct research projects under the joint supervision of a senior scientist from GSK and the experienced academics from Strathclyde.

‘Since 2009,’ said Strathclyde Programme Director, Professor Billy Kerr of the University’s Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Deputy Associate Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange, ‘the GSK-Strathclyde programme has evolved into an expansive and flexible partnership, and has been transformative in opening up novel approaches to research collaborations, knowledge exchange, employer engagement, and personal advancement. The key principle behind the programme continues to be the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and experience between the two organisations, allowing us to work together to deliver internationally-leading research outputs and for the advancement of the sector.’

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