Morven Forsyth - MPharm Pharmacy

Morven Forsyth
A successfully graduating Robert Gordon University (RGU) student from Perth is well on her way to becoming a qualified pharmacist in Inverness and completing her journey round Scotland having enjoyed placement opportunities in both Aberdeen and Glasgow throughout her degree.

Morven Forsyth, who left Perth High School after sixth year, always knew that she was destined for higher education and opted for RGU having weighed up her options, a choice she’s now grateful for.

“I really wanted to do something that was related to healthcare and helping people as I have always been quite fascinated with the human body. Medicine wasn’t for me due to the length and intensity of the course, but I enjoyed biology and chemistry at school and so pharmacy seemed like an obvious choice.

“I wanted to stay in Scotland and Robert Gordon University is one of only two courses that offer an MPharm. RGU was more friendly, open, and chill compared to others.”

Like most of the students graduating at this year’s University’s summer ceremonies, Morven had to endure the pandemic midway through her course.

“Carrying out online lectures and tutorials due to Covid is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

“I don’t believe anybody enjoyed the online aspect, but I always did say there was no alternative, so you needed to put in extra effort to get what you wanted out of the course at the time. You get out what you put in.

“It wasn’t a fun time for anyone, but I am immensely grateful that I lived with three other students, and we kept each other going in the hard times. I am proud of myself and all my fellow students that we saw the other side of the pandemic.”

RGU’s MPharm degree is part of Pharmacy and Pharmacology discipline that was named 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK to obtain a career after 15 months in Pharmacy and Pharmacology (Guardian University Guide 2023). The course includes both theory and practical work through a student-centred approach to produce effective practitioners.

“With hindsight I really enjoyed the course and RGU. I maybe wasn’t saying that when coursework and exams piled up, plus I did basically one-and-a-half years of university sitting at my desk behind a computer, but didn’t we all?

“RGU does have lectures on the content you would need but also provides skills e.g., dispensing medicines, checking prescriptions, consultation skills, communication skills, and resource skills that will all be the difference for climbing the career ladder compared to others.

“They also showed ways and techniques to help in the future when we will be continuing to have to research, look things up etc. They taught me how to learn on the job in a healthcare field that will forever be evolving and improving.

Placements were a lot of fun and allowed learning from lectures and tutorials to be put into context in a real-world setting. My first was in a Glasgow neonatal unit and an experience I’m not sure I will get again, and I am so grateful that I got to see that side of pharmacy that I wouldn’t see at uni’.

“One specific highlight was carrying out my 4th year project in the paediatric hospital in Aberdeen. I was looking to improve a nationally used system which would hopefully improve patient safety and outcomes.

“RGU has not only provided me with the knowledge base to start my career as a pharmacist but has also given me the vocational skills I need to carry out the job and I think that is what is different to other universities.”

Having now successfully come through placements, a pandemic and everything in between, Morven’s now looking onwards to her future in pharmacy.

“I am over the moon and surprised with my degree.

“4th year was very difficult, and it was nice to see that all the long hours in the library paid off. University is not a walk in the park, especially the pharmacy course but the support from staff and students means the world and help is never far away.

“I am away to move to Inverness to complete my Foundation year pharmacy training before becoming a qualified pharmacist. This is going to be a mixed programme in community, hospital and primary care pharmacy which I am happy about as I really have no idea where I want to work once I’m qualified.

“I’m just really looking forward to getting into the workplace to help further my skills and confidence.”

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