About the School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy at Kampala International University (KIU) was established to train pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacologists to meet the growing demand for these cadres in the country. It is based at the University’s Western Campus (KIU-WC) located in Ishaka, Bushenyi, along Mbarara-Kasese road.

Currently, the School runs two undergraduate programmes (Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology), one diploma programme (Diploma in Pharmacy) and, in liaison with the Directorate of Postgraduate Training and Research, runs Master’s and PhD programmes in Pharmacology. At the moment, we are in advanced stages of introducing two new postgraduate programmes namely: Master of Pharmacy in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology and Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Analysis and Quality Control. 

These two new programmes have already been reviewed and passed by the Education Committee of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda, and are pending final approval by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). Nevertheless, we expect to start admitting students on these programmes in the next intake, if everything goes as planned. 

The School is divided into five (5) main departments, namely: (1) Pharmacology and Toxicology, (2) Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, (3) Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, (4) Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Analysis, and (5) Pharmacognosy and Natural Products. All the programmes we offer have a strong rural community orientation, aided by the fact that our campus is also rural-based; this is intended to enable our students to appreciate the needs of people in rural communities, them being the clear majority in Uganda and East Africa at large, so that, during the learning process, the students can develop an appropriate attitude towards the need to address these challenges for a better Uganda and the rest of Africa. The training approaches being implemented are designed to encourage active learning; to ensure that the graduates become life-long and innovative learners. In addition to the curative aspects of health services delivery, emphasis is also laid on disease prevention and promotion of good health through innovative research approaches.

The Bachelor of Pharmacy program;

The Bachelor of Pharmacy program at KIU is a professional program which runs for four and a half years on a full time basis. It is offered in the School of Pharmacy at KIU-WC. The program is accredited by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) under the Ministry of Education and Sports, and is recognized by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) which is the governing professional body for pharmacists in the country, the Pharmacy Board under the Ministry of Health which registers and disciplines pharmacists in Uganda, and the National Internship Committee for health professionals which coordinates all mandatory internships countrywide under the ministries of health and public service.

Admission requirements;

Students who qualify to study the Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) at KIU will have studied and passed Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Mathematics at the Advanced Level (A’ Level) with at least two principal passes and one subsidiary pass. A’ Level leavers with a single principal pass and a subsidiary, are required to first complete a three-year diploma programme in a health related field (pharmacy, clinical medicine, nursing, medical radiography, dental science, etc.), from a recognized institution before they may be considered for admission to the BPharm programme. 

KIU being an international University receives students of various nationalities who come with different educational backgrounds. Such students are admitted only after their grades have been authenticated and then equated to the Ugandan system by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB). 

Foundational courses

Upon entry, all fresh students in health sciences are required to study and pass a series of 12 foundational (basic level) courses offered in the first semester. These courses are cross-cutting and multi-professional in nature; hence, they constitute what has come to be known as the multi-professional programme (MPP). This programme ensures that all students, irrespective of their backgrounds, are on the same footing as they enroll for the BPharm a semester later. As expected, students who fail any of the foundational courses are not allowed to formally register for the BPharm programme.

List of MPP courses

Applied Biology

Applied Chemistry

Applied Mathematics

Applied Physics

Behavioral Sciences


Communication & Counseling Skills

Computer Applications


Principles of Community Health and Epidemiology

Principles of Ethics and Integrity

Research Methodology

Biomedical courses

On successful completion of the foundational courses in the MPP, students are formally admitted onto the BPharm programme. The process is automatic and students need not apply for it after the MPP; students are merely sent to their respective faculties based on the original admission. Needless to say, qualifying students who wish to change their programmes to BPharm may also be allowed at this stage as long as they passed their foundational courses. The BPharm starts with biomedical courses which take about 2-3 semesters and gradually give way to the pharmaceutical sciences such as pharmacology, pharmacy practice, and pharmaceutics.

Biomedicals I

Basic Immunology

Basic Microbiology: Bacteriology, Virology, and Mycology

First Aid and Nursing Process

Gross Human Anatomy

Human Anatomy: Histology and Embryology

Medical Biochemistry: Structure and Function of Biomolecules

Medical Physiology: Cell, Blood and Body Fluids, Renal, Cardiovascular and Respiratory

Biomedicals II

Applied Immunology

Basic Pharmacology

Mathematical Applications in Pharmacy

Medical Biochemistry: Molecular Biology and Metabolism

Medical Physiology: Endocrine, Reproductive, Digestive, and Nervous Systems

Pharmaceutics I

Pharmacy Practice I

Biomedicals III

Applied Microbiology

Basic Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

Medical Parasitology

Pharmaceutics II

Pharmacognosy I

Pharmacy Management & Pharmacoeconomics

Systemic Pharmacology

Pharmaceutical sciences

Towards the end of the biomedicals, the curriculum becomes increasingly more focused on the basic pharmaceutical sciences. In the later semesters, students are introduced to the applied pharmaceutical sciences. There is an on-campus teaching hospital (KIU-TH) in which clinical pharmacy training and clinical clerkships are conducted. In addition, we have a highly rigorous industrial training program which is coordinated through our collaborations with local pharmaceutical industries. Students undertake these industrial placements during the recess for a period of at least 10 weeks.

Pharmaceutical sciences I

Chemotherapy and Therapeutics

Organic Chemistry


Pharmaceutical Microbiology

Pharmacognosy II

Pharmacy Practice II

Pharmaceutical sciences II



Introduction to Pharmaceutical Care & Clinical Lab Data

Pharmaceutical Chemistry I

Pharmaceutics III

Toxicology and Forensic Pharmacy 

Pharmaceutical sciences III

Management of Infectious Diseases

Pharmaceutical Chemistry II

Pharmacy Industrial Field Work

Principles of Pharmaceutical Analysis

Research Proposal Development

Pharmaceutical sciences IV

Agro-Veterinary Pharmacy

Assessment of Quality of Biological Products

Forensic Pharmacy, Ethics and Law

Management of Non-Infectious Diseases I

Medicines and Supply Chain Management

Pharmacy Clinical Clerkship I

Pharmaceutical sciences V

Management of Non-Infectious Diseases II

Pharmaceutics IV

Pharmacognosy III

Pharmacy Clinical Clerkship II

Research Implementation and Report Writing

Modes of teaching and assessment 

All the courses offered on the BPharm programmes are delivered using diverse teaching modes such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, and practicals. The core teaching faculty consists of some of the most experienced pharmacists who are all members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU), and some sit on its Council or its subcommittees. Our assessment modalities are divided into continuous assessment consisting of course work, presentations, practicals, written tests, and a summative exam at the end of the semester. Quality assurance is guaranteed through a centralized examinations management system, team teaching, “conveyor belt” marking and engagement of distinguished external examiners to conduct viva voce and evaluate our teaching and assessment processes.


Mr Ivan Ibanda, Laboratory Technologist (Right) in the School of Pharmacy discussing with the Pharmacist for Rene Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Dr Okiror Le Marine Adakun (Centre), as a Rene technician looks on. The Rene team had visited the School of Pharmacy in a bid to bolsterour industrial training collaboration and to advise on instrumentation for the pharmaceutics laboratory.  


Our pharmacy labs are some of the most equipped in the country. Above is one of the high tech equipment in the pharmaceutics laboratory used in the manufacture of capsule drug formulations. This is one of the labs which the students pursuing masters in pharmaceutics & pharmaceutical technology and pharmaceutical analysis & quality control will be using for their experiments and research projects. 


Bachelor of Pharmacy Students pose for a photo with Dr Robert Tamukong (Back Row, Centre, in white shirt and black jacket) after a guest lecture on “The Role of Inter-professional Collaboration in Patient Care” which took place at KIU Western Campus in one of the School’s lecture halls. Dr Tamukong is a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota in the USA and a Visiting Professor at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) who pioneered the Master of Pharmacy in Clinical Pharmacy in Uganda. He had been invited by the Dean School of Pharmacy, Dr Jonans Tusiimire (standing next to Prof Tamukong, in blue shirt and black jacket) after consultation with Management.


Upon completion of the programme, the students are required to sit a pre-internship examination offered by Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) Council. This is a requirement for all prospective members of PSU. Those who pass the exam are admitted by the National Internship Committee for a year of internship mainly in government and private-not-for-profit hospitals, but some students choose to spend part of their internship in pharmaceutical industries or/and in one or more departments of the National Drug Authority (NDA), which is Uganda’s drug regulatory body. After successful completion of the internship, the students are admitted to a pre-registration exam and those who are successful, are then registered as pharmacists, certified to practice in Uganda.


It is worth noting that our past students have fared quite well in previous Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) Council examinations at pre-internship level which assesses student competence at the end of the BPharm. For instance, in both 2017 and 2018, our University was ranked over all second-best based on pass rate and recently, in February 2019, all the top four students in pre-internship exams were from KIU, besides the University being ranked best overall. In addition, our current and past students have won several innovation awards at national and regional levels. A recent scenario, also, is that of the Joint Medical Store (JMS) Innovations Challenge Awards won by Erisa Higenyi and two other medical students all from KIU, who emerged the overall best three among other universities.


Top Brains: The top four students in the national pharmacy pre-internship examinations of March 2019 by PSU pose for a photo with members of PSU Council at Pharmacy House in Kyambogo, Kampala. The best students, who were all from KIU, are: Jim Kusiima (extreme left), Maria Nakibuule (third left), Haulat Kiiza (centre) and Charles Lukyamuzi (second right). The PSU Council was represented by the Secretary of PSU (Dr Samuel Opio, third right), Examinations Committee Chair (Dr Francis Otim, extreme right), and Dr Bosco Okello (Member Education, Ethics and Examination committees).

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L-R: John Kimbowa (KIUPSA President), Dr Jonans Tusiimire (Dean School of Pharmacy),  Ariyo Sam, Higenyi Erisa, Byamukama Bearing, and Ntaate Henry [Innovation Challenge Overall Winners] and Dr Samuel Opio the Director O’Sam Heights (also Secretary Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda) who was Guest of Honour at the UPSA/O’Sam Heights Pharmaceutical Innovation Challenge during the dinner and awards ceremony at Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala. 

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L-R: Dr Jonans Tusiimire (Dean School of Pharmacy), John Kimbowa (KIUPSA President), Ms. Maria Nakibuule (3rd place winner from KIU), next is joint winner from Makerere University, and Dr Samuel Opio the Director O’Sam Heights (also Secretary Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda) who was Guest of Honour at the UPSA/O’Sam Heights Pharmaceutical Innovation Challenge.


The Dean (centre) and Staff of KIU School of Pharmacy posing with an award from the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) in recognition of the School’s excellent training of pharmacy students in the country. [L-R: Mr. Joseph Oloro, Mr. Claude Kirimuhuzya(HoD Pharmacology Dept), Mr. Joseph Ezeonwumelu, Dr. Jonans Tusiimire (Dean), Mr. Nicholas Taremwa, Mr. Peter Mworozi, and Mr. Ambrose Akunne).


Two students from KIU School of Pharmacy, Daniel Muwanguzi (extreme left) and Ahmed Usama (extreme right), participated in the regional UN Hult Prize Innovation Challenge which took place in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018. Their innovation, the HDA App – comprising of a health facility and pharmaceutical product authentication systems, had emerged as the top innovation during Hult Prize competitions at national level before participating in the final competitions for Eastern and Southern Africa that took place in Nairobi in March 2018.

For more information, contact:

Office:  Second Floor, Pharmacy Block, KIU Western Campus

Phone: +256774521094 (Dean) or +256700833055 (Administrator)

Email: [email protected]

Post office: Dean, School of Pharmacy, KIU Western Campus, P.O. Box 71, Ishaka-Bushenyi

Facebook: KIU School of Pharmacy 

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