A rewarding career path

MSU alumnus Amirul Ashraf Hussain provides insight on what it takes to become a pharmacist

08 Sep 2020 / 11:37 H.

PHARMACISTS are on the frontlines, meeting the need for therapeutic treatment of various health problems.

Working in tandem with doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the public alike, they ensure safe pharmacological practices. Such responsibility requires years of education to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to work in this field.

Management and Science University (MSU) Class of 2009 alumnus Amirul Ashraf Hussain, who currently works at a Boots pharmacy located in Selsey, England, said: “Here, I am responsible for a good many transactions including medical/healthcare advice, training, and serving NHS (National Health Service) contracts for essential, advanced, and locally commissioned services. I also make sure the pharmacy is operating to the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council) standards.”

Amirul’s enthusiasm and dedication led to his team winning the Best Healthcare Team of the Year 2019 for the southern region of the United Kingdom. He also previously won the Boots Company Quarterly Stars for Best Pharmacist (Customer Service) of the South-East Region in 2018.

“Once Covid-19 passes I will go on to postgraduate studies in Advanced Practitioner and complete my Independent Prescribing Qualification, with which I will be able to prescribe medications to patients and assess their diagnosis at the pharmaceutical level,” he said.

Becoming a pharmacist was something that Amirul had decided upon at a career fair just before he sat for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, which is equivalent to the UK’s General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary (O) Level. Despite his average results in the SPM examination, he knew he could do better, and was determined to go ahead with his pharmaceutical career plan.

When the MSU School of Pharmacy (SPH) offered him a place in the Diploma in Pharmacy programme, Amirul took the opportunity to pursue his chosen career path.

“It was my first time away from home in Kuching, Sarawak when I went up to MSU in 2006, but I held on to my dream of owning a business one day. On campus in Shah Alam, there was a feeling of togetherness among MSUrians, which made me realise that SPH was the right school for me,” he said.

Five years on, Amirul began his higher studies in the UK, and graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a Second Class Upper. Upon completion of his pre-registration training, he had multiple job offers on the table but chose Boots; and he eventually became Lead Pharmacist at the seaside town of Selsey in West Sussex, England.

“Pharmacy gives you excellent career prospects all over the world, with many specialities to choose from. If you’re in high school and thinking about it, my advice would be to go ahead and do it.

“It really is a rewarding career, not only financially, but also in being able to make an impact upon community health. It is not easy, it can be stressful – for which I play golf now to de-stress – but your pursuit will be worth it.”

As a top university in Malaysia, MSU prioritises student development to enhance graduate employability. With 98.7% of its graduates successfully securing employment within six months of their graduation, leading to MSU’s ranking by the Ministry of Education (MoE) as Malaysia’s #1 for graduate employability.

Blending technical vocational education and training (TVET) with traditional academic curricula, MSU enhances competencies with industry internship, community and creative entrepreneurship, as well as global exposure; empowering MSU graduates with the well-roundedness desired and sought after by employers.

Extensive collaborations with institutions in over 40 countries worldwide provide comprehensive mobility opportunities for all MSU students, enhancing their graduate employability through global exposure by studies and internships abroad.

In all, as an applied, enterprise, holistic and international university, MSU offers foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and flexible programmes through an entry system that facilitates admission of students from all walks of life.

Besides the pharmacy programme, other programmes offered under MSU’s School of Pharmacy include Pharmaceutical Technology and Traditional Chinese Medicine. For more information on programmes, call 03-5521 6868, email, or visit

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