In Singapore, Pharmacy education began in 1905 with the establishment of the Department of Pharmaceutics at the King Edward VII College of Medicine. In 1935, a Diploma course was introduced in the form of a full-time one-year study, preceded by a period of pupilage. This Diploma course was revised to a two-year study followed by a three-year pupilage, with the founding of the University of Malaya in 1949. A degree course in Pharmacy was introduced in 1957.
The School of Pharmacy was established in 1965, however, in 1974, Pharmacy joined the Faculty of Science as a Department at the University of Singapore. Today, the Department of Pharmacy remains as one of the six Departments that constitute the Faculty of Science at the National University of Singapore.
Over the last century, the Department has evolved in its approach to educating pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists for Singapore and Malaysia. The entry programme to pharmacy practice has been transformed from apprenticeship centred training in the early 1900s to the current 4-year Bachelor degree course, which comprises a strong scientific content together with an emphasis on competency in patient-centred care. Till today, the Department remains as the only place where Pharmacy education is being offered in Singapore. Therefore the Department has the responsibility to ensure that it is providing good quality educational programme to train pharmacists for Singapore.
Pharmacy has been inseparable from mankind’s history since it fulfils one of our most basic needs. As man made his way through remote times or places, he reached out, often blindly, towards the resources of nature for cures and remedies of diseases and in the process gradually developed pharmaceutical theories, techniques and implements. The person supplying this essential service is known as a Pharmacist in modern times though he has been designated in a variety of ways throughout the ages.
Pharmacy is a profession concerned with an applied science of preparing from natural and synthetic sources suitable and convenient materials for distribution and use in the treatment and prevention of diseases. The applied science is firmly rooted in physical, chemical and biological sciences. It embraces a knowledge of the identification, selection, pharmacological action, preservation, combination, analysis and standardisation of medicines and their proper and safe distribution and use. A specialist in medications and the outcomes of their use on the healthy and sick must have a broad scientific education. The Pharmacy course is designed to give the student a solid groundwork in the relevant sciences.