Introduction to the Subjects and Courses in Pharmacy you’ll study

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  • Pharmacy is a combination of art and science and has a worldwide scope throughout the world. 
  • Students are more curious to know about the subjects and course title to get an idea about the diversity of the pharmacy field. 
  • Course title or subjects help to understand more about the field and develop the interest of students along with the above-mentioned points, subject titles also help in the selection of the most recent edition of books related to that specific subject.

In this article, we’ll not only try to acknowledge students about the courses in pharmacy but also the topics covered by these courses in this field.  


Students who have a keen interest in pharmacy and want to choose it as an academic and career field want to know about the courses and semester they will cover throughout their pharm.D degree.

Subject detail is provided by your respective university on a very first day but to know a bit about your subjects will make you mentally stable more and to make a decision whether to choose Pharmacy or not. It will help you in the following ways: 

  • The subject name provides the general structure of your field 
  • A relation can be developed between subjects you study and the field you want to choose as your profession
  • It will give an idea about the nature of the field whether it is hard, dry, interesting, etc
  • It helps you to be prepared mentally about challenges and tasks you will perform in the future while studying this field 

Tittle of course in the pharmacy 

Subjects and courses in pharmacy are almost the same all over the world. No matter from which country or institute you belong, the basic information of Pharmacy remains constant. Here is a very strict criterion that after completing your pharm D degree you must be well known with all aspects of medicines.

So no need to focus on country and institute. The sequence of courses with respect to the semester in which you study the following courses may have deviated but they will remain constant. Simply we can say that course a study by one student during 1st year may be studied by another student in the Second year.

During 6 years of Pharm D, different students from different countries are studying the same course in a different semester. 

  • Fundamental of Pharmaceutics 
  • Pharma dosage forms 
  • Organic chemistry 
  • Physical chemistry 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Anatomy 
  • Physiology & histology 
  • Microbiology 
  • Pathology 
  • Statistics 
  • Mathematics 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Pharmacognosy 
  • Computer 
  • Pharmacognosy 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Toxicology 
  • Pharmacy practice 
  • Forensic pharmacy 
  • Management & marketing 

1. Fundamental of Pharmaceutics

This course of pharmacy is basically elated with all the basic information that further constitutes the new concept of pharmacy. Proper understanding of the fundamentals of pharmacy helps you to be stable in your career and academic life.

Fundamentals of pharmacy include the history of pharmacy, scope, its branches, diversity, and some fundamental terminologies that will help you throughout the year, for e.g concept of dosage form, the difference between a drug, medicine, and chemical, and much more like this. 

This course covers a brief introduction and orientation to the profession of pharmacy, a survey of literature to overview the history of pharmacy, the concept of pharmacopeias, formularies, codices & abstracts. It may also cover the physiochemical processes like crystallization, precipitation, and extraction process. 

2. Pharma dosage forms

Under the heading of this course in pharmacy, you will cover all the types of dosage forms, their lace of need, their routes like oral route, nasal route, etc & the specific function of the proper dosage form like:

  • Tablets 
  • Capsules 
  • Injections 
  • Syrups 
  • Elixirs
  • Suspensions 
  • Suppositories 
  • Creams 
  • Ointments 
  • Pastes 
  • Gargles

This course covers the dosage forms in a very extensive way that covers not only definitions of dosage form but its advantages, disadvantages, modified form, conditions in which the specific dosage form should be administered, route of administration, the concept of therapeutic, and legal drug concentration. 

3. Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is the branch of pharmacy that is the part of Pharm D curriculum. It is essential with revised concepts of all the theoretical aspects.

Organic chemistry is about carbon and its derivative and is the part of pharmacy to enhance the concept of carbon-containing functional groups, its modification, the effect of modifying functional groups on dosage form, etc. 

The topics that pharmaceutical chemistry covers include IUPAC naming of hydrocarbons, nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution reactions aromatic substance, stereoisomerism, conformational analysis, identification test for various functional groups, organic reactions, and free radicals structure and stability. 

4. Physical chemistry

It is the branch of chemistry that is correlated with pharmacy in such a way that medicine is a chemical being in touch with chemistry is an essential need of pharmacists. You cannot handle medicine and its nature without knowing its chemistry.

This course in pharmacy has both parts that are theoretical and practical. In general, it gives an understanding of physical properties and molecular constitution, solutions, colloidal system, ionic behavior, etc. 

It covers physical properties and molecular constitution, surface and interfacial tension, dielectric constant, characteristic features of colloids, types & properties of the colloidal system, solutions of electrolytes, definition types and properties, solubility and solubilization, factors affecting solubility, and much more topics related to the physical chemistry of medicinal drug molecules. 

5. Biochemistry 

The biochemistry that belongs to both biology & chemistry is a basic course in the pharmacy field as it deals with the synthesis chain, the concept of precursors, carbohydrates, protein, fats & DNA recombinant technology. 

6. Anatomy

This course in the pharmacy field is relatively short as it does not include any type of in-depth and descriptive topics. Its addition in pharmacy helps to stabilize the concepts of physiology, pathology, and histology. It commonly includes the anatomical position of bones, muscles, and joints. 

7. Physiology and histology

This course in pharmacy has its significance as it makes the students capable of understanding further subjects like pathology. Physiology is the study of the normal functioning of the human body whereas histology deals with the orientation of tissues and muscles.

Before going to understand pathology (disease state) we must know what is normal body physiology and histology. Further, in the upcoming years and semesters, it connects with the mechanisms of pharmacology. 

8. Microbiology

Microbiology deals with the study of microorganisms. It is a significant course in pharmacy as it covers the nature of microorganisms, their pathogenicity, stability issues, degradation and contamination, and the concept of sterilization and sanitation in the area where medicine is either prepared, tested, or dispensed.

Moreover, its practical part includes the testing of a number of microbes in a particular area. 

It covers the microorganisms that contaminate the pharmaceutical product, total microbial count in the production area, Colony-forming units, air particulate count, sterility testing for water for injection, bio-assays of antibiotics, Sampling of air from the production area, and its test by running media to check viable microorganisms growth. 

9. Pathology

Pathology deals with the disease condition and diagnoses test by observing abnormal tissue in the form of slides under a microscope. This course in pharmacy helps students to diagnose some common diseases like fatty liver disease, high cholesterol level, reading ECG, inflammation, etc.

Pathology is not required in pharmacy with detailed descriptions and depth. 

General pathology helps future pharmacists to read the test reports, identify infection in correlation with its causative agent, and to diagnose some common diseases.

This course enables him to identify any sort of abnormal or cancerous tissue under microscopic study, however, pathologists are actually responsible for performing such duty. 

10. Statistics and Mathematics 

Mathematics and statistics are important courses in pharmacy. A Pharmacist needs to do calculations for formulations so he must be aware of algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry, differential, and integral calculus. 

Statistics in pharmacy seem irrelevant but it helps to enable the pharmacist to handle data with statistics, biostatistics, and so on. Pharmacists need to be updated with sampling methods, probability, summarizing data, and variation which is impossible without studying the basics of statistics. 

Mathematics and statistics seem irrelevant to the field of pharmacy but it will further prove itself too significant to understand the statistical formulation, calculation of probabilities, and handling data for research purposes or in case of sampling for batches more than ten.

These all calculations will help pharmacists to handle the data having basic know-how about it. 

11. Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the most significant course in pharmacy and demands full command over this subject. It is a very detailed course having two main branches namely:

  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinemaics

General and systemic pharmacology deal with the classification of the drug, its mechanism of action, its indication, contraindications, therapeutic potency, and lethal dose. 

Pharmacology is the most significant course that is directly related to medicines generic. Full common on this course in pharmacy is very essential to prove yourself as a doctor of medicine.

Actually, pharmacology dominates pharmacists over physicians in terms of medical knowledge and prescription writing as it includes the mechanism of action of the drug, its indications and contraindications, its interactions with food and other drugs, and precautions too. 

Physicians and pharmacists both study pharmacology during their academic life but the duration of this course marks a difference between them. Pharmacists study 4 years of pharmacology while physicians study 1-2 years of pharmacology. 

12. Pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is considered the mother of pharmacy. It deals with all the conventional and modern techniques of extraction of an active constituent from plants, crudely drug evaluation, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, herbal products, and active chemical compounds that naturally exist in plants like alkaloids, resins, tannins, glycosides, fixed and volatile oil, etc. 

Pharmacognosy help in the extraction of an active constituent from plants that is responsible for therapeutic effects. By using extraction processes and technologies the naturally occurring compound can be separated and further synthesized in labs or large quantities.

So this is essential in upcoming research procedures and trials for the discovery of new drug molecules. 

13. Computer

A computer course in pharmacy is added with an objective to update students with modern software and windows setups, the basic process of maintaining documents, and preparing sheets on excels. It will enable the students to understand the software at which equipment works. 

This course in pharmacy also seems irrelevant as mathematics but it gives brief information about the latest medicinal software and windows, key facts about documentation and thesis papers, maintaining excel sheets, general fonts required for documentation and its generation, and a lot of technical topics are covered by it. 

14. Toxicology

The concept of medicines is closely related to poison, toxins, and antidotes. A drug can behave both as medicine and poison if administered in the wrong doses. Moreover, toxicities related to the chemotherapeutic agent are indeed another wide topic that is covered by this course in pharmacy.

The toxicology course covers different types of toxicities associated with different organs, toxins, and antidotes. It deals with the natural toxicants, allergies associated with them, principles of toxicology, total organ toxicity, and applications of toxicity. 

15. Pharmacy practice

Pharmacy practice as the name itself indicates that it involves the practice of pharmacy within a community or in hospitals or clinics.

It is the summarized form of pharmacology that involves drug of choice, first-line agents, hospital formulary development, aseptic & cytotoxic dispensing and so much that cannot be covered in a single heading. 

Pharmacy practice includes clinical rounds and enables the students of pharmacy to use knowledge of pharmacology in practical practice. Moreover, it provides confidence to pharmacists to choose the right medicine and don’t hesitate to mention any blunder in the physician’s prescriptions. 

16. Forensic pharmacy

Forensic pharmacy is basically dealing with the application of medical science to legal drug issues. In other words, we can say that forensic pharmacy is a practical application of pharmaceutical knowledge used for the investigation of crimes that can lead to death such as overdose, uncontrolled use of narcotics and sedatives, inappropriate use of antibiotics, and their generations. 

This course in pharmacy deals with rules and legal aspects regarding dangerous and narcotic substances. It deals with the study of drug laws and acts, provincial drug rules, advertisement and factory laws, poisonous acts, shops, and establishment ordinances with rules. 

17. Management and marketing 

It is another very significant course in pharmacy that enables the student of pharmacy to understand about basics of sales and marketing as the pharmaceutical company cannot show growth without strong marketing of their product.

The worth of this course will understand by the students when they can be enabled to start a career as marketing personals and the pharma industry doesn’t require any outsider (other than pharmacists) to manage the sales and marketing of products. This results in more jobs and employment opportunities for pharmacists. 

Therefore, this course is designed to cover the nature and principles of management, type, and functions of managers, production management, supply management, sales promotion and customer services, types of community pharmacy, marketing channels, promotion, advertising and salesmanship, promotion marketing and a lot of topics that will enable a student to have core knowledge about management. 

Before you leave!

This overview about subjects and courses in the pharmacy of course does not contain each and every topic you will cover within the course but at least gives an overview that helps you to understand the diversity of the pharmacy field.

This course title clearly proves pharmacy as a multi-functional field that relates it with its worldwide scope and career opportunities.