How to Take Up a Pharmacy Course and Advance Your Pharmacy Career in 2024

How to Take Up a Pharmacy Course and Advance Your Pharmacy Career in 2024

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Nov 8, 2023 17:55 IST

Pharmacy is a dynamic and ever-evolving field that offers a rewarding career path for individuals passionate about healthcare and science. Pharmacists are crucial in ensuring patient safety and optimizing medication therapy, making them integral members of the healthcare team. Their roles involve designing and developing new treatments, prescriptions, and care management. Read our guide about studying pharmacy, different types of pharmacy courses, course requirements, career paths, etc. 


The Department of Pharmaceuticals suggests that India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally. The Indian pharmaceutical industry covers more than half of the worldwide demand for vaccines – Covering almost 40% of demand in the US and 25% of all medicine in the UK. Globally, India ranks 3rd in terms of pharmaceutical production by volume and 14th by value. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian pharma companies maintained their price competitiveness and good quality. India has successfully provided 60% of the world’s vaccines and 20% of generic medicines. With such extensive growth in this field, the demand for well-trained professional pharmacists is expected to remain high. In 2021, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) increased the number of diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate pharmaceutical programs offered nationwide. This article explores different levels of pharmacy course that can help you start a career in pharmaceuticals.


What is Pharmacy?

Pharmacy is the science that studies everything related to the preparation, preservation, promotion, and dispensing of medicines. The term pharmacy is derived from the Greek “pharmakia” or “pharmakon”, a word that indicates drugs and poison in ancient Greek. 

The pharmacy has been around for centuries, dating back to the 2nd century when it was known as the Galenic pharmacy. Pharmacy is named after Claudius Galen, a Greek doctor. His studies were the starting point of European medicine, especially in the field of anatomy and physiology.

Pharmacy Course Eligibility 

Below are the eligibility criteria for different types of pharmacy courses –

Diploma in Pharmacy: The applicants should complete 10+2 with science i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and/or Mathematics (PCB/PCM)

Bachelor in Pharmacy: The applicants should complete 10+2 with science i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and/or Mathematics (PCB/PCM) 

Master of Pharmacy: The applicants must have completed their graduate degree (B. Pharm.) in the pharmaceutical field, from a recognized university/college with a minimum aggregate score of 60% at the graduate level.

PharmD or Doctor of Pharmacy: The applicants must have completed 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and/or Mathematics (PCB/PCM). Candidates with a diploma in pharmacy can also apply for are also eligible for a PharmD or Doctor of Pharmacy course.

Note – The cut-off percentage of marks differs as per the University/College/Institute.

Top Online Pharmacy Courses

Online courses in Pharmacy are usually short-term and offer a good way to upskill yourself. Here are some popular pharmaceuticals courses available online. 

Course Name Description
Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research & Pharmacovigilance by ICRI (Duration -10 Months) Gives a broader understanding of the basic principles of
clinical research and pharmacovigilance.
Pharmaceutical Sciences, MS – Cannabis Science and Medicine by University of Colorado (Duration – 2 Years) The course covers the core concepts in basic and clinical pharmaceutical
sciences and explains the potential benefits and risks of medical cannabis.
Drug Development on Coursera (Duration – 3 Weeks) In this course, you will learn the different phases of clinical development
and their regulations.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Innovations (Duration – 4 Weeks) This course offers an in-depth view of intellectual property creation in
pharma, an understanding of the strategy deployed for pricing drugs and new
technologies, and also teaches how to make future research and development investments.
Blockchain applications in Food Safety, Healthcare & Pharma on Udemy (Duration – 1.5 Hours ) In this course, you will learn how blockchain can revolutionize pharma, food, and healthcare industries, and also explores its future prospects in these multi-billion industries

Top Online Vendors for Pharmacy Courses

Coursera – Coursera lists around 60 online Pharmacy courses from the top universities globally, including the University of Manchester, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of California San Diego, the University of Minnesota, and Arizona State University. It offers more than 180 pharmacy courses online. These courses cover topics like the Design of Experiments, how to Design, Develop and Improve Products and Processes, intellectual property creation, drug discovery, drug development and drug commercialization, etc.

Udemy – Udemy offers more than 180 pharmacy courses online. You will learn about the pharma industry, Pharma Product Design, Technology & Commercial Manufacturing, current market trends, medicines, healthcare, pharmacy markets, and other major developments.

Types of Pharmacy Course

Pharmacy courses are majorly segregated into diploma courses, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, and doctoral programs. Let us take a look at the major pharma courses.

Diploma in Pharmacy 

A diploma in Pharmacy or DPharma is a two-year course. These courses are perfect for candidates willing to make a quick start in a pharmacy career. This course can be used as a stepping stone to understanding the principles of pharma and then progressing to further courses such as B. Pharm, M. Pharm, and PharmD. 

Types of Diploma in Pharmacy courses Diploma In Pharmacy (2 Years)
Diploma In Ayurvedic Pharmacy (2 Years)
Diploma In Veterinary Pharmacy (2 Years)
Diploma In Pharmaceutical Management (2 Years)
PGDM in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance (1 -3 Years)
PGDM in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs (1 -3 Years)
PGDM in Pharmacovigilance (1 -3 Years)
PGDM in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (1 -3 Years)
PGDM in Clinical Pharmacology (1 -3 Years)
PGDM in Pharmaceutical Management (2 Years)
Average Course Fees for Diploma in Pharmacy course INR 10,000 – 100,000 Per annum
Mode of Study Regular, Distance Learning, Online Learning
Average Salaries for Diploma in Pharmacy course INR 200,000 – 500,000 Per annum
Popular Job Profiles after Diploma in Pharmacy Medical Transcriptor
Technical Supervisor
Quality Analyst
Medical Representative
Product Executive
Junior Scientific officers

Top Courses After Diploma in Pharmacy

  • B.Pharma
  • M.Pharma
  • MBA in Pharmaceuticals Management
  • Doctor of Pharmacy

Bachelor in Pharmacy

The B. Pharm degree trains professionals in the field of health with the knowledge, skills, and ethical, scientific-humanistic attitudes. The students learn about the development, modification, production, evaluation, and regulation of medicines and cosmetics. 

Furthermore, the B.Pharma courses prepare them to choose, utilize, and administer pharmaceuticals in a reasonable manner in order to integrate interdisciplinary health teams focused on disease prevention, control, and treatment. The courses also cover therapy monitoring, optimizing resources, and ensuring the quality of pharmaceutical goods and services.

Types of B. Pharma Courses Bachelor of Pharmacy 
Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honors)
Bachelor of Pharmacy in Ayurveda
Bachelor of Pharmacy in Pharmaceutical Chemistry 
Bachelor of Pharmacy in Pharmaceutics
Bachelor of Pharmacy in Pharmacognosy
Bachelor of Pharmacy in Pharmacology
Average Course Fees for B. Pharma Courses INR 40,000 – 100,000 per annum
Entrance Exams GPAT (Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test)
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) JEE
Manipal Entrance Test for Pharmacy (MET Pharmacy)
Telangana State Engineering, Agriculture & Medical Common Entrance Test (TS EAMCET)
Andhra Pradesh Engineering, Agriculture & Medical Common Entrance Test (AP EAMCET)
Odisha Joint Entrance Examination Pharmacy (OJEE pharm)
Average Salaries after B. Pharma Courses ₹ 0.9 Lakh to ₹ 4.0 Lakh
Popular Job Profiles after B. Pharma Courses Hospital Pharmacist 
Medical Transcriptionist
Medical Representative
Clinical Research Associate
College Professor
Drug Therapist
Pharmaceutical Scientist
Quality Control Associate
Drug Technician

Top Pharmacy Courses after Graduation

  • Master of Pharmacy
  • MBA In Pharmaceutical Management
  • Master of Cosmetic Technology (MCT)
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Public Health
  • PGDM in Clinical Research
  • Postgraduate Diploma In Pharmacovigilance
  • PGDM in In Medical Coding
  • MBA in Healthcare Management
  • Doctor of Pharmacy

Master of Pharmacy

M.Pharm is a two-year postgraduate program in pharmacy. During the course, students develop in-depth knowledge of drugs, their formulations, dosage, and side effects.  

B.Pharma and other science graduates with PCM/PCB at 10+2 levels can apply for the program. Admissions are based on minimum marks criteria and/or entrance exams.

Types of M. Pharma Courses M.Pharm. in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance)
M. Pharm in Pharmaceutical Technology)
M. Pharm in Pharmaceutics)
M. Pharm in Industrial Pharmacy)
M Pharm in Medicinal Chemistry
M Pharm in Regulatory Affairs
M Pharm in Biotechnology 
M.Pharm. (Pharmaceutics) + MBA (Pharma Tech & Healthcare Management)
M.Pharm. (Industrial Pharmacy) + MBA (Pharma Tech & Healthcare Management)
M Pharm (Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance) + MBA (Pharma Tech & Healthcare Management)
M.Pharm. (Pharmaceutical Technology) + MBA (Pharma Tech & Healthcare Management)
Average Course Fees for M. Pharma Courses INR 40,000 – 600,000 per annum (Depending on specialization)
M. Pharma Entrance Exams  National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) JEE
U.P State Entrance Examination M.Pharm
Manipal Entrance Test for Pharmacy (MET Pharmacy)
Telangana State Engineering, Agriculture & Medical Common Entrance Test (TS EAMCET)
Andhra Pradesh Engineering, Agriculture & Medical Common Entrance Test (AP EAMCET)
Odisha Joint Entrance Examination Pharmacy (OJEE pharm)
Average Salaries after M. Pharma Courses ₹ 1.3 Lakh to ₹ 5.2 Lakh
Popular Job Profiles after M. Pharma Courses Pharmaceutical Production Manager
Quality Control Manager
Clinical Research Scientist
Research scientist
Intellectual property (IP) Analyst
Health Care Unit Manager
Drug Inspector
Analytical Chemist
Academic Researcher
Analytical Chemist
Biomedical Scientist
Registration and Regulatory Affairs Head
Marketing Head
Higher Education after M. Pharma Courses Ph.D. in Pharmacy, MBA or PGDM, LLB

Top Pharmacy Courses after Postgraduation

  • Ph.D. in Pharmacy
  • MBA or PGDM in Pharmaceutical Management/Clinical Research/Pharmacovigilance/Healthcare Management, etc.
  • LLB

PharmD or Doctor of Pharmacy

PharmD or Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional degree in pharmacy. The curriculum lasts six years, with five years of intensive coursework and one year of internship to understand the practical components. PharmD is the only doctoral degree that can be taken up after completing 10+2. BPharm graduates can also take up PharmD through lateral entry (Post Baccalaureate).

Doctor of Pharmacy Specializations Pharm.D (Pre Baccalaureate)
Pharm.D (Post Baccalaureate)
Pharm.D Specializations –
Pharmaceutical Technology
Pharmaceutical R&D
Medicinal Chemistry
Industrial Pharmacies
Average Course Fees for PharmD course INR 6,00,000 – 20,00,000
PharmD Entrance Exams  UP CPMT
Bharti Vidyapeeth CET
VELS Entrance test
Maharashtra CET
Average Salaries for PharmD course ₹ 1.0 Lakh to ₹ 3.5 Lakh
Popular Job Profiles after PharmD  Clinical Pharmacist
Medical Research Scientist
Pharmaceutical Director
Medical Writer
Pharmaceutical Advisor
Quality Analyst
Medical Safety Physician
Pharmaceutical Supply Logistics Manager
Drug Safety Associate

Pharmacy Course Syllabus

Here is the syllabus for pharmacy courses –

D Pharma Syllabus

  • Pharmaceutics – Theory
  • Pharmaceutics – Practical 
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry – Theory
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry – Practical 
  • Pharmacognosy – Theory
  • Pharmacognosy – Practical 
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology – Theory
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology – Practical 
  • Social Pharmacy – Theory
  • Social Pharmacy – Practical

B Pharma Syllabus

Semester Topics Covered
Semester I Pharmaceutical Analysis-I 
Remedial Mathematics Biology 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry-I (Inorganic Pharmaceutical Chemistry) 
Basic Electronics & Computer Applications
Semester II Pharmaceutics -I (Physical Pharmacy)
Advanced Mathematics 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry -II (Physical Chemistry) 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry-III (Organic Chemistry-I)
Anatomy, Physiology & Health Education (APHE) -I
Semester III Pharmaceutics -II (Unit Operations _ I, including Engg Drawing) 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry-IV (Organic Chemistry – II) 
Pharmacognosy -II 
Pharmaceutical Analysis – II 
Semester IV Pharmaceutics – III (Unit Operations – II) 
Pharmaceutical Microbiology 
Pharmacognosy – III 
Pathophysiology of Common Diseases 
Pharmaceutics -N (Dispensing & Community Pharmacy) 
Semester V Pharmaceutical Chemistry – V (Biochemistry)’ 
Pharmaceutics – V (Pharmaceutical Technology I) 
Pharmacology – I 
Pharmacognosy -N 
Pharmaceutics -VI (Hospital pharmacy)
Semester VI Pharmaceutical Chemistry – VI (Medicinal Chemistry -I) 
Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence & Ethics 
Pharmaceutics -VII (Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics) 
Pharmacology -II 
Pharmacognosy – V (Chemistry of Natural Products)
Semester VII Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 
Pharmaceutics – VIII (Pharmaceutical Technology – II) 
Pharmaceutical IndustrialManagement 
Pharmacology -III 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry _ VII (Medicinal Chemistry – II) 
Elective (Theory) 
Semester VIII Pharmaceutics – IX 
Pharmaceutical Analysis – III 
Pharmaceutical Chemistry – VIII (Medicinal Chemistry – III) 
Pharmacognosy – VI 
Pharmacology – IV (Clinical Pharmacy & Drug Interactions) 

M.Pharma Syllabus

Semester Topics Covered
Semester I Clinical Pharmacy Practice
Hospital & Community
Clinical Research
Pharmacy Practice Practical I
Semester II Principles of Quality Use of Medicines
Pharmacotherapeutics II
Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics
Pharmacy Practice Practical II
Semester III Research Methodology and Biostatistics 
Journal Club 
Discussion / Presentation 
Research Work
Semester IV Journal Club 
Research Work
Discussion/Final Presentation

PharmaD Syllabus

Year Topics Covered
First Year  Human Anatomy and Physiology 
Medicinal Biochemistry 
Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry 
Pharmaceutical Inorganic Chemistry 
Remedial Mathematics/ Biology
Second Year Pathophysiology
Pharmaceutical Microbiology 
Pharmacognosy & Phytopharmaceuticals 
Community Pharmacy
Third Year Pharmacology-II 
Pharmaceutical Analysis 
Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence-
Medicinal Chemistry 
Pharmaceutical Formulations
Fourth Year Pharmacotherapeutics-III 
Hospital Pharmacy 
Clinical Pharmacy 
Biostatistics & Research Methodology
Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics 
Clinical Toxicology
Fifth Year Clinical Research
Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics
Clinical Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacotherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Clerkship (Attending ward rounds on daily basis)
Project work (Six Months)
Sixth Year Internship or residency training including postings in specialty units.
Students should independently provide clinical pharmacy services to
the allotted wards.
(i) Six months in the General Medicine department, and
(ii) Two months each in three other specialty departments

Resource – AICTE and PCI (Pharmacy Council of India)

Top Pharmacy Colleges in India

According to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), the Ministry of Education below is the India Rankings 2022 –

Rank College Name Average Annual Fees (Per Annum)
1 Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi Rs. 2,50,000
2 National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Hyderabad, Hyderabad Rs. 1,42,000
3 Panjab University, Chandigarh Rs. 16,575 
4 National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali Rs. 90,500
5 Birla Institute of Technology & Science – Pilani Rs. 5,00,000
6 JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty Rs. 57,500 – 2.85 Lakh
7 Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai Rs. 85,350
8 JSS College of Pharmacy, Mysore Rs. 55,400 – 2.85 Lakh
9 Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal, Udupi Rs. 3,35500
10 National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar Rs.  1,30850 

Career Prospects in Pharmacy

To meet the increased demands of pharma products like medicines, vaccines, and other prescription drugs, the pharmaceutical industry requires skilled professionals. Pharma graduates work mainly in the healthcare industry. Their roles relate to the design and development of new treatments, prescription, and care management, 

Career Prospects in Pharmacy


Top Recruiters for Pharma Professionals

Some top pharma recruiters are –

1. Sage Therapeutics – Sage Therapeutics is a biopharma company that specializes in developing novel therapies for disorders of the brain.  

2. Genentech – Genentech, Inc., is an American biotechnology corporation engaged in discovering and developing medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases.

3. Pfizer – Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation that develops medicines and vaccines for immunology, oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, and neurology.

4. Roche Pharmaceuticals – Roche Pharmaceuticals is a Swiss multinational healthcare company. It is the largest pharmaceutical company globally and a leading provider of cancer treatments.

5. Janssen Pharmaceuticals – Janssen Pharmaceuticals is the pharmaceutical segment of Johnson & Johnson. The company develops medicines and vaccines for a range of human medical disorders, including mental illness, neurological disorders, anesthesia and analgesia, gastrointestinal disorders, fungal infection, HIV/AIDS, allergies, and cancer.

Other Recruiters 

6. Novartis

7. Merck & Co.

8. Novo Nordisk

9. AstraZeneca

10. Boehringer Ingelheim

11. Bayer

12. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

13. Amgen

14. Eli Lilly and Company

15. Biogen

Salaries for Pharma Professionals

Position  Number of Jobs on Naukri Average Salary
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative 13937 ₹ 3 Lakh
Clinical Data Manager 13894 ₹ 5 Lakh
Drug Manufacturer/Production Manager 3776 ₹ 3.2 Lakh
Pharma Research Scientist 18959 ₹ 6.8 Lakh
Pharmacy Manager 14521 ₹ 4.6 Lakh
Biotechnology Consultant 28273 ₹11.1 Lakh
Biostatistician 3784 ₹ 4.5 Lakh
Pharmacovigilance scientist 13786 ₹ 9.9 Lakh
Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Manager 14334 ₹ 11.9 Lakh
Pharmaceutical Professor 17310 ₹ 3 Lakh


What is a pharmacy course?

Pharmacy is the clinical health science that connects medical science with chemistry. A pharmacy course prepares students for careers in pharmaceuticals, medications, cosmetics, control, manufacturing, and food analysis, as well as clinical and toxicological testing. There are various pharmacy courses, including - B.Pharm, M.Pham, PharmD, DPharm, MBA in Pharmaceutical management, PGDM IN Pharmaceutical management, etc.

Which pharmacy course is best?

Bachelor of Pharmacy or B. Pharm is among the most popular pharmacy courses. It is an undergraduate course that leads to a variety of jobs such as Pharma sales rep, Drug Inspector, Drug Coordinator, Clinical Data analyst, Pharmacy Manager, Pharmaceutical OA manager, etc.

How many years d pharmacy course?

Diploma in Pharmacy or D. Pharma is a two-year academic program. The course can be taken up after 10+2 in PCM/PCB. It covers the concepts of pharmaceuticals, formulation of pharmacy, best practices of medicines management, etc.

Is pharmacy a paramedical course?

Pharmacy is neither a medical nor a paramedical course. It is a professional technical course, and the cour content is approved by AICTE and the Pharmacy Council of India.

Which course is best after B.Pharm,?

After B.Pharm, you can consider taking up courses like - Master of Pharmacy MBA In Pharmaceutical Management Master of Cosmetic Technology MBA in Healthcare Management PGDM In Public Health PGDM In Clinical Research PGDM In Pharmacovigilance PGDM In Medical Coding Doctor of Pharmacy (post-bacculaureate), etc.

How many years of b pharmacy course?

Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) is a four-year undergraduate program. It is available to students who have completed their 10+2 with PCM/PCB.

Is pharmacy a good course?

Yes, pharmacy is a good career option, given its massive growth in the past few years. According to IBEF, the Indian pharmaceutical market marked a growth of 17.7% annually in August 2021, up from 13.7% in July 2020. The market is always ripe with the demand for skilled pharma professionals, and the demand is here to stay.

About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio