Pharmacy initially started as a programme at the Diploma level under the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) in 1996. The Diploma of Pharmacy programme can be considered as a niche area as UiTM is the only institution in Malaysia that offers such programme.
The Faculty of Pharmacy, UiTM itself was established on 1st August 2001. The first batch of 29 students for the four year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) programme was accepted for the May-November 2002 academic session. The faculty began to offer Master’s and Doctorate courses by research in 2003. In July 2005, 5As of January 2006, the first intake of Pre-Pharmacy students began their studies at the Shah Alam campus. As of January 2006, the total number of students pursuing the diploma, degree and postgraduate courses stands at 543.
Even though the Faculty of Pharmacy is relatively young, UiTM’s management has already set a standard that programmes offered by the Faculty should achieve world status by 2006. The staff of the Faculty have taken up the challenge by coming up with the 2006-2015 strategic plan. The plan encompasses the core businesses of the Faculty, namely teaching and learning, research and, providing consultancy and social services. It consists of five strategic initiatives namely, global studentship, creative research, ethics and governance, university-industry linkages and new/future knowledge.
To produce global students, the Faculty has come up with a comprehensive syllabus which has been approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. The syllabus of Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) programme is also supported by the Pharmacy Board of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. Recognition of the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree was obtained from the Public Services Department in November 2005, in time for the graduation of the first cohort of students in June 2006.
The Diploma of Pharmacy programme can be considered as a niche area as UiTM is the only institution in Malaysia that offers such a programme. The programme is also unique as the industrial attachment component consists of an 11-month continuous and full-time training at major public hospitals throughout the country. The Programme also boasts a 100 percent market uptake rate of its graduates. In fact, although the programme has been recognized by the Public Services Department since 1999, the majority of diploma holders prefer to work with the private sector where the demand remains significantly higher, and remuneration appears to be much more lucrative.
The Faculty received, in early 2004, the ISO 9001:2000 certification for quality in teaching and learning of both the diploma and degree programmes from Lloyd’s Register of London. This makes the Faculty the only institution offering pharmacy-based programmes in this country that has international recognition.