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Exploring a problem-based learning approach in pharmaceutics.

McKenzie, Barbara; Brown, Alyson


Barbara McKenzie

Alyson Brown


Objective. The basis of this study was to explore the impact of the initiation of a Problem-Base Learning (PBL) approach within a second-year pharmaceutics degree on a Master of Pharmacy programme, introduced as a way of improving deep learning and to foster independent learning. Design. A semi-structured interview was used to seek feedback from the students, and feedback from staff was secured though a focus group. A thematic approach was used for the analysis, once data saturation had been reached. Exam pass-rate statistics were also analysed. Assessment. Five parent themes were identified from the student interviews: Module structure, Promoting lifelong learning, Integration and future practice, Outcomes and Student experience. The third year exam pass rate improved by 12% in the year following the introduction of PBL in second year. Conclusions. Various recommendations were proposed to further improve the module, based on the findings of this study. These include improving feedback and support through tutorials, reducing the volume of directed study, as well as highlighting the relevance of pharmaceutics to the pharmacy degree. A long-term review would be needed to assess the full implications of PBL teaching within this course.


MCKENZIE, B. and BROWN, A. 2017. Exploring a problem-based learning approach in pharmaceutics. Pharmacy [online], 5(3), article number 53. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 13, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 20, 2017
Publication Date Sep 30, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 31, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2017
Journal Pharmacy
Electronic ISSN 2226-4787
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 3
Article Number 53
Keywords Problem based learning; Deep learning; Pharmacy; Pharmaceutics
Public URL


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