Retail Pharmacy Assistant

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Retail Pharmacy Assistant

Retail Pharmacy Assistant

Retail Pharmacy Assistant

Course Code: 5M4468

QQI Level 5

Course Details

Award Title QQI Level Status
Community Health Services 5 Open - Apply Now

Course Outline

This one-year course will equip learners with the relevant knowledge and experience to work as a pharmacy counter assistant or pursue a pharmacy technician qualification in the future. From dispensing over-the-counter medications, helping clients choose medical aids and appliances to demonstrating and selling products.

This course will also focus on a range of health related subjects relevant to employment as a Pharmacy Assistant. Work Experience is within a retail pharmacy where, as a Pharmacy Assistant, you can work as part of a team of health professionals in order to help customers achieve the best possible health outcome.

The emphasis will be on providing learners with specialist knowledge on over-the-counter medicines, beauty products, nutrition, customer services and retail selling.


GCC Student Services Fee of €175 applies to all learners.
€200 Government Levy Fee applies to all learners except:

  • Those in receipt of Back to Education Allowance.
  • Medical Card Holders (valid at time of Registration).
  • Those in receipt of a SUSI Grant.
  • Those on a VTOS scheme.

An exam free of €50 for QQI Level 5 and €80 for QQI Level 6 applies to all learners except

  • Those in receipt of Back to Education Allowance.
  • Medical Card Holders (valid at time of Registration).

Non EU Students are subject to an International Fee.

We advise non-EU citizens living outside Ireland to contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service on to ensure the course you are considering applying for is eligible for a student visa. Non-EU citizens living in Ireland are welcome to apply and require a PPS number (Personal Public Service Number). Non-EU citizens are required to pay a tuition fee set by the Irish government which is currently €3653. Some exemptions apply, for further information, please contact .

Work Experience

Work experience takes place one day per week throughout the academic year in relevant work environments.

Special Features

Regular speakers in the customer service, recruitment and general administration vocational areas give invaluable knowledge about the skills essential in this area and secure employment. Computer Software used during training includes Microsoft Applications, Payroll and accounting packages.

Entry Requirements

QQI Level 4, minimum of 17 years of age at time of registration, Leaving Certificate/Leaving Certificate Applied, Equivalent qualifications from other countries, relevant life experiences, relevant work experiences and mature students.

Please Note

Galway Community College reserves the right to make changes to any course, to limit the number of places available or to withdraw a course. No part of this information shall be deemed to form a contract between the college and a student or a third party.

Course Modules

Aim of the Programme Module This programme module aims to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to understand the business practices and ethics within the Beauty Therapy Industry and to develop positive, professional working relationships.
This programme module aims to provide the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to independently apply concepts and principals of biology in a laboratory and in the field in a managed environment.
This programme module aims to facilitate the learner to develop the academic, vocational & personal language, literacy and/or numeracy skills related to Communications. It will assist the learner in understanding the use of modern information and communications technology integrated with the role played by communications and relevant legislation in human interaction.
The aim of this module is to equip the learner with the understanding of the value of the customer service discipline as well as knowledge and skills to provide effective customer service within a work, social or voluntary environment, operating independently or as part of a team.
Topics covered include components of a balanced diet and sports specific nutrition.
The aim of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence required to carry out reception related tasks and operations as a front line representative in a range of organisations 8. Objectives of the Programme Module To explore with the learner professional skills required by a receptionist
The aim of the Programme Module To equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence in retail selling in order to apply best practice to the sales process.

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to promote and maintain safety and health in a work environment.

This programme module aims to provide a Learner with the personal knowledge, skills and capacity to participate in a suitable work placement under supervision for a limited time. It will also facilitate the learner to develop an understanding of the world of work and employment, Including the rights and responsibilities of both employer and employee.

Progression Routes

Graduates may pursue pharmacy work, or work as sales assistants in health stores etc. This course is aimed at those interested in working in a community pharmacy or for those wishing to progress to a year two (part-time) Pharmacy Technician course.

Once you gain employment in a pharmacy, you can apply to study for the IPU Pharmacy Technician Course certified by the Irish Pharmacy Union.

Students may also progress to participating Higher Education Institutions: (HEIs) through the QQI Higher Education Links Scheme to (for example) DCU, UCD, Maynooth University (incl. Kilkenny Campus), DIT, Dundalk IT, University of Limerick, Blanchardstown IT, Athlone IT, UCC, NUIG, Carlow IT, Carlow College, Marino Institute of Education, Dun Laoghaire IADT, St. Angela’s College Sligo, University of Limerick, Tralee IT, Letterkenny IT, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, or on the Carlow IT Pharmacy Technician courses or to health or arts courses in UCD, Maynooth University, DIT or UCC.

Career Opportunities

Graduates can look forward to interesting, rewarding and challenging careers with a wide range of employment options in:

  • Pharmacies
  • Health Stores
  • Department Stores – Cosmetic Sales
  • Beauty or Healthcare
  • Sales Representatives
  • Reception in Healthcare Field

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