Pharmacy Courses in New Zealand

Studying a pharmacy course in New Zealand

A pharmacy degree is perfect for students interested in chemistry and how medicine assists patients with their conditions. Pharmacy courses generally last four years, and modules will look at pharmacology, biology and physiology, pharmaceutics, chemistry, ethics and economics.

Students will also benefit from work placements within the industry to provide valuable insights and professional experience. State-of-the-art labs will help you finesse your skills with replica medicine-dispensing stations, consulting areas, and computers linked to the systems used by the pharmaceutical industry.

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Types of Pharmacy Degrees 

Bachelor’s in Pharmacy

A Bachelor of Pharmacy in New Zealand is an undergraduate program with a high employability rate that provides in-depth knowledge of pharmacy’s theoretical, practical, and clinical aspects. The pharmacist study curriculum equips students with skills in preparing, processing, producing, and marketing medicines and drugs. Overall, it comprehensively overviews how health professionals work as a team. 

Postgraduate Diploma in Pharmacy

A postgraduate diploma in pharmacy is a specialization in the health science stream. The course is above the bachelor’s level and below the master’s level. This course can be taken by those who want to get a postgraduate qualification and start earning quickly. 

The curriculum comprises advanced concepts and the processes involved in healthcare and scientific innovations. After completing the course, students can opt for jobs in government and private sectors, research institutes, pharmaceutical industries, and drug manufacturing companies. 

Master’s in Pharmacy

It is a postgraduate program focusing on pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. The course provides students with advanced skills and knowledge in pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, pharmacy practice, etc. Graduates with a master’s in pharmacy perform activities such as analysis, testing, data interpretation, and researching drugs to treat illness.

Doctorate in Pharmacy

A doctoral program in pharmacy is an advanced research program that uses an in-depth understanding of theories and applications to develop practical solutions for real-world problems. The curriculum comprises coursework with a thesis written under the guidance of a supervisor and associate supervisor. Students will also learn to evaluate and design research and research projects. The research project is often performed in collaboration with industry, local health providers, and other academic disciplines beyond the university, internationally and nationally. 

KAPS Licensing Examination

To practice pharmacy in New Zealand, one must qualify for the KAPS Licensing Examination and become a registered pharmacist with the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. The KAPS exam is a pathway for international students who want to practice pharmacy in New Zealand.


The KAPS exam consists of 200 questions delivered over two-hour sessions with a 60-minute break. Candidates will be given 15 minutes to familiarise themselves with exam software and five minutes to complete a survey at the end. 

KAPS is a closed-book examination. Students cannot bring any written material to the centre. The exam comprises two papers: Paper 1 (pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, and physiology) and Paper 2 (pharmaceutics and therapeutics). Questions are available in multiple-choice format, and to qualify for the exam, one must require at least 50% in all sub-sections of the exam. 

Scholarships for Pharmacy courses in New Zealand

Scholarships play a vital role for students studying abroad because they provide financial support and help in empowering academic and career goals. Here are some of the best scholarships offered to students for pharmacy degrees.

Scholarship Name

Offered by

Award Value

The University of Auckland Postgraduate Honors/PG Diploma Scholarships

University of Auckland


Tongarewa Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington


Otago International Excellence Scholarship 

University of Otago


New Zealand International Student Grant

Victoria University of Wellington


Jobs and Careers 

Pharmacy graduates can work as pharmacists in complex hospital pharmacies or community pharmacies, as pharmacy assistants alongside technicians or in hospitals, and as pharmacy technicians with specialisation in manufacturing, quality control and clinical trials.


A pharmacist job is one of the most demanding jobs in New Zealand. They are responsible for preparing and dispensing prescribed medications and discussing the patients' conditions and treatments. They also perform specific tests and vaccinations that are required to cure illnesses. Different pharmacist career options exist, such as general practice pharmacists and prescribing pharmacists who can work in service industries and social and community services. 

Pharmacy Technicians

These people work in community and hospital pharmacies. A pharmacy technician assists with the dispensing of the medicines and operates under the supervision of a pharmacist. They are also responsible for maintaining the dispensary and preparing invoices, receipts, letters, and other forms of electronic documentation. 

In hospital dispensary departments, pharmacy technicians dispense out-patient and in-patient prescriptions, monitor ward stock cupboards, and manufacture medicines for patients' needs. 

Pharmacy Assistants

A pharmacy assistant works in the retail side of the pharmacy department. They are responsible for a wide range of work, such as advising patients on minor injuries, personal healthcare, providing nutritional and dietary requirements, etc. 

Hospital pharmacy assistants help manage the pharmacy's stock, distribute medicines to medical wards, and perform activities to ensure smooth operation. 


Here is an average pay scale of different career options in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Job Profile 

Average Salary

Pharmacy technician




Medical Representative


Clinical Researcher


Pharmaceutical researcher


Top Universities for Pharmacy Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about the best pharmacy universities in New Zealand, find details of the top-ranking Pharmacy universities per the QS University rankings by Subject 2023:

  1. University of Auckland
  2. University of Otago

Study Pharmacy in New Zealand

If you want to study a pharmacy course at a New Zealand university, arrange your free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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Pharmacy Courses in New Zealand FAQ

Why should I consider studying pharmacy in New Zealand?

A pharmacy program is an excellent decision as the pharmacy subject plays a vital role in the healthcare sector in New Zealand. The course curriculum is well structured, offering theoretical and practical aspects of pharmacy and related subjects. In addition, careers in pharmacy provide a diverse range of career options that are in high demand nowadays. 

Are scholarships available for international pharmacy students in New Zealand?

Yes, students opting for pharmacy programs in New Zealand can apply for different scholarships and financial aid that meet the educational requirements for the respective degrees. These scholarships cover tuition, lab, transportation, etc. fees. However, to apply for New Zealand scholarships, candidates must meet the required eligibility criteria for the respective grant. 

What types of pharmacy programs are available in New Zealand?

New Zealand universities offer various types of pharmacy programs. Some of them are Bachelor of pharmacy, master of clinical pharmacy, master of science in pharmacology, postgraduate certificate in health, pharmacy technician program, and New Zealand certificate in pharmacy (pharmacy technician). 

What is the cost of studying pharmacy in New Zealand for international students?

The cost of studying pharmacy depends on the degree or course type chosen by the student and the extra expenses, such as accommodation and groceries. The average cost of studying for an international student in New Zealand will range between $20,000 to $25,000 annually. 





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