University of Illinois at Chicago
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A three-year post-graduate Doctorate in Pharmacy course incorporating professional, experiential and research activities: A collaborative innovative approach

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posted on 2021-06-16, 15:57 authored by Janis Vella, Maresca Attard Pizzuto, Nicolette Sammut Bartolo, Francesca Wirth, Louise Grech, Jennifer PhamJennifer Pham, Christina Mactal Haaf, Alan Lau, Anthony Serracino Inglott, Lilian M Azzopardi


A three-year post-graduate international Doctorate in Pharmacy collaborative course, was launched by the Department of Pharmacy, University of Malta in collaboration with the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Aim and rationale

To demonstrate that the professional Doctorate in Pharmacy (i) fits the requirements of a Level 8 degree according to the Bologna process, (ii) helps graduates develop competencies and attributes in proficiency in clinical and professional aspects, (iii) has a research component that provides the right level of abilities to participate in research initiatives and to interpret research outcomes, (iv) enables graduates to obtain leadership characteristics.


The unique characteristics of the course were evaluated through an outcomes result-oriented measurement. Leadership aspects were measured through policies and strategies presented by students and graduates.


i) course is in line with the Bologna declaration, ii) research work shown in the dissertation satisfied competencies required iii) research abilities have been examined through a third party and found to be compliant with acquiring of concepts in the design, carrying out, assessment of outcomes and interpretation of results of the research study carried out by each student, and iv) leadership characteristics were shown by the positions taken up by the graduates and early outcomes from these positions.


Learning activities enable development of professionals able to merge scientific and practice aspects in the evaluation of innovative therapies, the use of medicines and patient monitoring, and in pharmaceutical policy development and regulation. Leadership positions taken up by graduates point to the acquisition of leadership skills by graduates.

Next Steps

The authors are happy to extend collaboration for this model to be adapted by other institutions for the curricular development entailed in this programme to enhance and improve an innovative aspect in the evolvement of the pharmacy profession on the international scenario.



Vella, J., Attard Pizzuto, M., Sammut Bartolo, N., Wirth, F., Grech, L., Pham, J., Mactal Haaf, C., Lau, A., Serracino Inglott, A.Azzopardi, L. M. (2021). A three-year post-graduate Doctorate in Pharmacy course incorporating professional, experiential and research activities: A collaborative innovative approach. MedEdPublish, 10(1).


Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)



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