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Pharmacy MPharm Pre-registration Year

All international students from outside the European Economic Area, graduating with an MPharm from a UK university, must apply for a visa in order to work in the UK i.e. undertake their pre-registration training. There are a couple of different options for this:

  1. From 2016, most overseas students will be expected to apply for a Tier 2 visa and will therefore only be able to undertake a pre-registration place with an employer registered as a Tier 2 sponsor and which pays the minimum salary to meet the Tier 2 requirements. These placements are open to all MPharm students (British, EU and overseas) and so competition for these placements will be very high. For more information about eligibility for a Tier 2 visa, please see the Home Office website at

(April 2017 update)
In the ‘Codes of practice’ for most jobs, there are two pay thresholds. The lower pay threshold is for ‘new entrants’ the other pay threshold is for ‘experienced’ workers. Further details are available here.

NB From April 2017, the Government plans to extend the requirement to provide a criminal record certificate to the following applicants:

  • Tier 2 (General) entry clearance applicants coming to work in the education, health and social care sectors
  • Partners of the main applicants as above
  • Partners applying overseas to join an existing Tier 2 (General) migrant working in one of these sectors.

Further details are available here.

Additional information specifically for international students is available on the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland website here.

  1. If you are a national of one of the following countries you may be eligible to apply for a 2-yr work visa under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme. 
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea

The scheme is also available to holder of British Overseas Territories passports and British Nationals (Overseas).

You cannot switch into this immigration category from within the UK.  Instead, you need to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance.

  • If you are from the Republic of Korea, you need a certificate of sponsorship in order to apply.  You obtain this by contacting the Consular Services Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • If you are from Taiwan, you need to register your interest with the National Youth Commission.  Registration is usually only open for a short period each year.  If the National Youth Commission accepts your registration, they will send you a certificate of sponsorship and details of how to apply for your visa.
  • If you hold a Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) passport, you need to apply to the Labour Department for a certificate of sponsorship.
  • The Home Office website has full details about how to register if you are from the Republic of Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong.

If you are from one of the other eligible countries or you have a British National passport, you are not required to register your interest and can just apply using your passport as evidence that you are sponsored. Places are, however, limited in number and your application will be refused if all the places for a year have already been taken. There is no limit for British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas).

You can find further information on the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, including requirements, on the UKVI website here.

Non-EEA students who join the MPharm programme and hope to carry out pre-registration training in the UK must be aware that Tier 2 visa opportunities will inevitably be limited and cannot be guaranteed by the QUB School of Pharmacy.