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Title: An exploration of the relationship between undergraduate pharmacy knowledge and professional practice
Author: Waterfield, Jonathan Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 819X
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2014
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Pharmacy education is undergoing a transition as the pharmacy profession aspires to a more clinical role. The two main areas of study within the undergraduate curriculum are pharmaceutical science and pharmacy 'practice'. 'Practice' includes subjects that relate directly to the practice of pharmacy such as: dispensing, pharmacy law, ethics and communication skills. In recent years the 'practice' content of the undergraduate curriculum for the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) programme has increased in comparison to the traditional emphasis on pharmaceutical science. The thesis examines the tension between pharmaceutical science and pharmacy 'practice' framed by a discussion of the perspectives of Schon, Bourdieu and Bernstein. A mixed methods approach included a questionnaire study of the views of academic members of staff across 12 Schools of Pharmacy (SOP). The questionnaire was followed by 12 semi-structured interviews with respondents representing three different types of SOP. The data collection was undertaken in conjunction with the ongoing writing of a reflexive diary to summarise emerging themes. The research design is based on a narrative, reflexive approach where I recognise my personal history in relation to the interface between knowledge and professional practice. Overall the questionnaire results from nearly 200 respondents portray the MPharm curriculum as an educational rather than a training programme where there is the integration of science and 'practice' and the opportunity to apply knowledge. Key findings from the interviews indicate a polarisation between the views of pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy practitioners regarding what constitutes pharmacy knowledge. There is a general lack of clarity about the professional role of the pharmacist. My research shows that whilst an appeal to scientific identity strengthens the claim for professional status there is also some uncertainty about the scientific identity of the pharmacist particularly in the new SOP.The findings show that the move towards an integration of science and 'practice' is a challenging ideal as the scientific subject specialist and pharmacy practitioner occupy different spaces within the pharmacy education field. Acknowledgement of the social basis of knowledge can support our understanding of the multidisciplinary MPharm curriculum. Overall, this research draws attention to the need for a more open discussion of the epistemology of pharmacy practice within the academic community.
Supervisor: Coldwell, Michael ; Garland, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available