Objective: Using learning outcomes for undergraduate pharmacy education in Great Britain, this study explored the extent to which final-year students perceived their education had prepared them for various aspects of practice. Fifteen learning outcomes were evaluated, encompassing competencies necessary for both the performance of pharmacists' tasks and for a professional approach to those tasks. Methods: Final-year students studying at 14 British pharmacy schools completed a questionnaire evaluating perceptions of the extent to which their course had met learning outcomes defined by the profession's regulatory body 'for and of pharmacy graduates'. Learning outcomes were divided into two groups: those related to preparedness for competence in the performance of pharmacist-role tasks (Group 1 learning outcomes) and those related to how tasks are approached (Group 2 learning outcomes). Univariate analysis explored associations between contextual/demographic variables and learning outcomes; multivariate analysis was used to determine whether the pharmacy school attended independently predicted learning outcomes once ethnicity and gender had been controlled for. Key findings: A response rate of 67.8% was achieved. Respondents were more likely to have felt prepared for broad areas than for specific competencies (Group 1 learning outcomes). Marginally fewer felt prepared for a professional approach to tasks (Group 2 learning outcomes). Females and respondents from minority ethnic groups were significantly more likely to have felt prepared for many outcomes; significant variation between pharmacy school attended and outcomes were also found. After controlling for student characteristics, multivariate analysis demonstrated that the pharmacy school attended predicted variation in 11 out of 15 learning outcomes. Conclusions: In the main, students perceived that the learning outcomes of curricula had been met. However, differences between school attended and students' perceptions suggest that either some schools are providing insufficient opportunities for their students to develop skills or that students at some schools have unrealistic expectations of the skills they will need. © 2009 The Authors.
- Curriculum evaluation
- Learning outcomes