Medicinal chemistry and the Bachelor of Pharmacy curriculum: Assessment of student’s perspectives, needs and barriers
Purpose: To identify students’ perspectives, needs and barriers faced when studying medicinal chemistry (MC).
Methods: A validated questionnaire was designed to explore pharmacy students understanding of MC courses and their learning outcomes as it relates to the pharmacy degree, as well as identify the barriers leading to their under-performance in examinations. All fourth year MC students were asked to answer the questionnaire. Data was entered into SPSS and analyzed.
Results: One hundred and forty-nine students (97 female and 52 males) in the age range of 20 - 23years old completed the questionnaire. A majority of the students (66 %) agreed that MC is an important topic, while 52.7 % indicated that it meets the objectives stated. Just over a quarter of the students (26.2 %) chose to pursue a career or a postgraduate study related to MC. Students who perceived MC as a ‘dry’ topic (40.3%) with course objectives/learning outcomes being unclear had negative perceptions regarding MC being an important topic for the pharmacy profession.
Conclusion: Although pharmacy students believe that MC is an important topic for the pharmacy profession, many feel that the current courses provided do not meet its main objective. Despite all barriers revealed in this study regarding students studying MC, a good number of students look forward to pursuing a career/ postgraduate study related to MC.
Keywords: Medicinal chemistry, Pharmacy education, Undergraduate education, Educational barriers