History of the Faculty
Pharmacy at the University of Sydney has an established tradition of research and scholarship in the pharmaceutical sciences. The University’s involvement with the education of pharmacists began in 1899.
Among the earlier teachers, Horace Finnemore, appointed lecturer in 1927, had a strong research background. Nevertheless, research in Pharmacy essentially commenced in 1949 with the arrival from the Burroughs Wellcome Laboratories of Roland H Thorp as Professor of Pharmacology and Director of Pharmaceutical Studies, followed by Sydney E Wright in 1950. From the outset, Wright had the vision to develop active research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences and the programs he initiated were carried on by his associates well into the eighties and nineties. Wright was appointed to the first Chair in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1960 upon the introduction of the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree course. This introduction marked the beginning of pharmacy degree programs in Australia.
In the 1990s, the program underwent a number of changes, including the introduction of courses in pharmacy practice. In 1996, the Department began the transition of the three year undergraduate degree into a four year program, with the first graduation of four year graduates occurring in 2001. On 1 January 2000, the Faculty of Pharmacy was established, becoming the first such Faculty in Australia.
Demand for undergraduate places in the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree has always been high, with almost 400 prospective students in 2000 listing Pharmacy as their first preference on pre-enrolment documentation. Of those expressing a preference for pharmacy, almost two-thirds were recent school leavers. Of the non-recent school leavers, a significant number already held an undergraduate degree. Similarly, with over 100 postgraduates, Pharmacy has the largest postgraduate program in Australia.
Pharmacy has many collaborative research projects with other faculties of the University, with teaching hospitals, with research institutes, with the pharmaceutical industry, and with the profession. Research in Pharmacy covers a broad spectrum of pharmaceutical and clinical sciences ranging from the design, synthesis, testing and mechanism of action of drugs, through studies on methods of drug delivery and on the fate of drugs in humans and animals, to research on the clinical and sociological aspects of pharmacy.
Today, degrees, diplomas, and certificates offered by the Faculty of Pharmacy included the Bachelor of Pharmacy, Master of Pharmacy, Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice, Master of Philosophy (Pharmacy) and Doctor of Philosophy.