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Anna Robinson | University of Sunderland

Pharmacy Mpharm

  • Name: Anna Robinson
  • Age: 21
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Newcastle
  • Ambitions: To begin my career in Hospital Pharmacy, specialising in cardiology, with a view to teaching Pharmacy at a University.

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September 14th, 2014

Pre-Reg applications and interviews

So the scary time in a pharmacy student’s career is approaching for me… I’ve already completed my hospital pre-reg applications, and I have been lucky enough to be offered 4 interviews. Fingers crossed they go okay and I manage to secure a job at the end!

I decided to do a written blog about hospital pre-reg applications. They’re all done online, via a website called ‘PharmaLife’ which you can google and look into more if you wish. As a student there were numerous talks throughout my third year at Uni, all about Careers and what to expect when applying for a pre-reg position somewhere. There was one talk in particular about hospital pharmacy, so I’d strongly encourage any student who is interested in hospital to attend, because they go into a lot of detail about how Pharmlife works and when the deadlines are for applying.

There are two deadlines – the first of which is basically an ‘enrollment’ deadline, where you need to create an account and assign an academic reference to your application (around June time); then the second deadline is later in the summer (end of August) where you need to have completed the whole application form. The application form is quite big- with sections for your background, education, grades for past exams, CV and work experience, then some long answer questions.

The long answer questions were definitely where I spent the majority of my time; they are ‘scenario’ or ‘example’ based questions, such as ‘Tell us about a time when you demonstrated organisational skills and working as part of a team to achieve a common goal’. Personally, I found them quite tricky when it came to evidencing my chosen scenario within the word limit (you only get 1000 characters)! But I am positive that having plenty of work experience (over many different backgrounds) helped me to come up with appropriate examples for each question.

There is a final question specific to hospital pharmacy and why you wish to pursue a career there. You can apply to a maximum of 4 hospital Trusts (from anywhere in England) so it makes good sense to tailor the final answer with specifics to each individual hospital; for instance, something that intrigues you that you’ve heard or read about, for a specific hospital or Trust. Definitely do your research beforehand!!

Once the application form is submitted (deadline at the end of August) the hospitals can access it from September 1st, then if they like what you’ve written, they can invite you to attend for an interview. Personally, that’s the nerve-wracking part! The interviews can encompass different areas of pharmacy, usually with 3-4 interviewers asking you questions about clinical pharmacy, current issues in the pharmacy/healthcare world, and gauging whether they’d like you as a pre-registration student at their hospital. Some hospitals also ask candidates to do presentations or complete numeracy/literacy assessments, so bear this in mind – but you’ll be told about this when you’re applying or researching the programmes at different Trusts.

Fingers crossed my interviews go okay, and I am lucky enough to secure a pre-registration role.


September 14th, 2014

Final farewell…!!

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I can’t believe my time as a Lives Online blogger for University of Sunderland has come to an end…

I’ve loved every minute of being a blogger, and I’ve gained so much from the experience. I can’t thank everyone who was involved in Lives Online, enough; all of your encouragement and support was brilliant. I’m so blessed to have been involved in a project as unique and fantastic as Lives Online. I’m so grateful – thank you!

Best of luck to all of the new bloggers for 2014-15… you’re all going to do a brilliant job. And watch this space for the new Pharmacy bloggers, Isaac and Stanislava. Best of luck guys, I can’t wait to watch what you’re getting up to and how you’re enjoying your Lives Online experience!

September 14th, 2014

Great North Run

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This weekend on Tyneside was a fabulous weekend for athletics – the Great City Games were on Saturday and the Great North Run was on Sunday. Here’s a little video of when I went to cheer on the runners in the Great North Run.

September 11th, 2014

Day Trip to Tynemouth

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Tynemouth is a beautiful costal market town in the North East and is renowned for it’s stunning beaches. It’s so easy to get to for students studying at Sunderland Uni… Either hop on the metro or drive there in about 30 minutes. And it’s well worth a visit! The beaches are beautiful, but the town centre and high streets have some lovely cafés and restaurants too. I had a lovely day out, and weather was perfect for a costal stroll!

September 11th, 2014

Great North City Games

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This weekend was a fantastic time for sport on Tyneside… It all kicked off with the Great North City Games on Saturday, featuring many brilliant athletes from all over the world, racing on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides. The many events included men’s and women’s 100m sprints, 400m, 1 mile road races and 110m hurdles. I even managed to get photos with some of my favourite athletes, from Team GB and Team USA. It was a fantastic day and really kick started the weekend! Next up on Sunday was the Great North Run, featuring Mo Farah!

August 31st, 2014

Hospital Pre Reg Applications

In order to practice as a pharmacist within the UK, you need to complete a Pre-registration year, which is basically where you work full time but are still classed as a student, having to sit an exam at the end of the year (which you must pass!)


After doing a lot of experience work and placements across many sectors of pharmacy (comprising of community, mental health, palliative care and hospital), I’ve decided to apply to do my pre-registration year in a hospital. It’s super challenging and competitive to get a place in a hospital pre-reg programme, and part of the challenge comes with the pre-reg applications.

It’s all done online now, where you complete sections for a CV, sections with multiple questions about experience, and individual profiles for each hospital you choose to apply to. I’ve done all of my application now and have submitted it… so now the wait begins to see if I’m successful for an interview from any of the 4 hospitals I applied to. The overall process is very quick in the turn around because the deadline for applications is 31/08/2014 and the hospitals get access to them on 01/09/2014… then if they want to invite you for interview they get back in touch quickly, before any other hospital does! It’s a scary time and I’m quite apprehensive for it, but at the same time I’m excited with the prospect of potentially getting an interview or being successful and getting a pre-registration offer from somewhere!

I plan on doing a video blog about the application process very soon, so keep posted!

August 31st, 2014

Dressage Competition

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So here’s a video from my most recent dressage competition. I had a fantastic ride and am so proud of my pony… We scored a new personal best for that Test, so thankfully all of the hard work is paying off!

August 14th, 2014

Wylam Country Fayre

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Here’s a little video of when I visited the Wylam Fayre this summer.

I’d never been to the Fayre before (it’s an annual event) but I had a lovely day out with friends & family and would definitely attend again. It was a small fayre, nothing like the size of Corbridge that I went to a few weeks earlier, but there was a lovely, friendly atmosphere with many local crafts, produce and events on offer.

My video also features some traditional dancing & music from Northumberland. It was great fun to witness and I’ll definitely go again next year… oh, and the crepes that I had were extremely yummy, I just had to include them in my video too(!)

August 14th, 2014

Jason Cook Comedy Gig

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So here’s my video all about seeing Jason Cook’s most recent comedy gig called ‘Broken’.

Jason Cook is very well known in the North East and all over England for his role in acting and co-writing the hit BBC comedy “Hebburn”, which is based here in the North East.

Jason put on a fantastic gig in Newcastle to prepare for his upcoming show “Broken”, which he is doing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer! I was very lucky to be able to go & see him; he’s a brilliant comedian and it was a hilarious show, where he shared experiences so far from his life. I’ve seen Jason do comedy gigs a few times now, and each time has been better and better; hopefully we’ll all be seeing more of him very very soon.

Thank you, Jason… you’re an absolute star! (Oh, and thanks for the ‘selfie’!)


August 14th, 2014

Penshaw Monument Walk

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Here are some snapshots from my walk to Penshaw Monument – it’s a perfect walk, that’s so close to Sunderland; easy to get to & ideal to visit with Uni friends. If you come to Sunderland Uni to study, I really recommend you go!!