Duncan-Hewitt and Austin (2005) argue that pharmacist education has shifted from apprenticeship into higher education. This shift created “a gap between education theory and education practice”. Therefore, the role education theory plays in educational practices should be examined.


Analyze the PharmD programme at QU through the lens of a theory-informed CoPF comprising of six elements: enablers, challenges, curriculum, teaching strategies, assessment and outputs.


Using a a case study methodology, the CoPF was used to examine the PharmD programme at QU. Data from Interviews and focus groups with programme stakeholders and programme documents were thematically analyzed using NVIVO software.


The CoPF has proved useful in identifying, systematically, the elements of design needed for a fully integrated PharmD programme. Key CoPF elements existed in the PharmD at QU, whilst others were missing. For example, practitioners have not been involved in designing the programme, as anticipated in the Enablers, and they lack understanding of education theory, identified in the Challenges. This has led to the lack of collaboration in curriculum, teaching and assessment between faculty and preceptors. This has subsequently limited one of the outputs of CoP, which is the integration between theory, practice and research.


Some elements were identified as significant to have in place for an effective PharmD programme which aligns with CoP. Specifically the collaboration between practitioners and faculty in the design phase, in education process comprising curriculum, teaching and assesment in order to reach the ultimate output of integration between theory, practice and research.


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Duncan-Hewitt, W & Austin, Z. 2005. Pharmacy Schools as Expert Communities of Practice? A Proposal to Radically Restructure Pharmacy Education to Optimize Learning. Am J Pharm Educ American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 69(3):54.

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. 2001. Legitimate peripheral participation in communities of practice. Supporting lifelong learning: Perspective on learning, 1:111–126.

Yin, R.K. 1994. Case study research: design and methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


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