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Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 29;

Competence-Based Pharmacy Education in the University of Helsinki

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jeffrey Atkinson
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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In order to meet the expectations to act as an expert in the health care profession, it is of utmost importance that pharmacy education creates knowledge and skills needed in today’s working life. Thus, the planning of the curriculum should be based on relevant and up-to-date learning outcomes. In the University of Helsinki, a university wide curriculum reform called ‘the Big Wheel’ was launched in 2015. After the reform, the basic degrees of the university are two-cycle (Bachelor–Master) and competence-based, where the learning outcomes form a solid basis for the curriculum goals and implementation. In the Faculty of Pharmacy, this curriculum reform was conducted in two phases during 2012–2016. The construction of the curriculum was based on the most relevant learning outcomes concerning working life via high quality first (Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy) and second (Master of Science in Pharmacy) cycle degree programs. The reform was kicked off by interviewing all the relevant stakeholders: students, teachers, and pharmacists/experts in all the working life sectors of pharmacy. Based on these interviews, the intended learning outcomes of the Pharmacy degree programs were defined including both subject/contents-related and generic skills. The curriculum design was based on the principles of constructive alignment and new structures and methods were applied in order to foster the implementation of the learning outcomes. During the process, it became evident that a competence-based curriculum can be created only in close co-operation with the stakeholders, including teachers and students. Well-structured and facilitated co-operation amongst the teachers enabled the development of many new and innovative teaching practices. The European Union funded PHAR-QA project provided, at the same time, a highly relevant framework to compare the curriculum development in Helsinki against Europe-wide definitions of competences and learning outcomes in pharmacy education. View Full-Text
Keywords: curriculum; learning outcomes; competency; stakeholders; generic skills curriculum; learning outcomes; competency; stakeholders; generic skills

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Katajavuori, N.; Salminen, O.; Vuorensola, K.; Huhtala, H.; Vuorela, P.; Hirvonen, J. Competence-Based Pharmacy Education in the University of Helsinki. Pharmacy 2017, 5, 29.

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