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Published on:September 2019
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 2019; 53(4):620-628
Original Article | doi:10.5530/ijper.53.4.123

Misuse of Competencies in Pharmacy Curriculum: The Spain Case Study

Authors and affiliation (s):

Ines Nunes-da-Cunha1, Fernando Fernandez-Llimos2,*

1Doctoral Programme in Pharmacy, Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja, Calle del Prof. Clavera, Granada, SPAIN.

2Department of Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisboa, Avda. Prof. Gama Pinto, Lisbon, PORTUGAL.


Background: Pharmacy curriculum must prepare students with the necessary competencies to respond to society health-related needs. Aim: This study aims to analyze the allocation of competencies that pharmacists should acquire during their education in the courses constituting pharmacy curricula in Spain. Methods: All mandatory undergraduate pharmacy courses from all Spanish universities were analyzed in accordance with the official Spanish competency framework. Information about courses and competencies assigned was extracted from the syllabi available at the websites of all colleges of pharmacy existing in Spain (2016/2017). Elective courses, courses that correspond to the internship period or final dissertation activities and courses that did not present an online syllabus were excluded from the analysis. The allocation of the 15 general competencies and 67 specific competencies defined in the official Spanish competency framework was investigated. Results: The 22 Spanish universities offering pharmacy degrees teach 1261 courses, of which 942 are mandatory courses. Syllabi of 881 courses were available on the internet and were analyzed. A total of 560 could be objectively associated with the following areas of knowledge: 23.8% with chemistry, 6.8% with physics and mathematics, 16.4% with biology, 13.0% with pharmaceutical technology, 29.6% with medicine and pharmacology, 10.2% with legislation and social pharmacy and 0.2% with internships (not taught during the internship period). Competency allocation patterns are very different across universities. Conclusion: The results show that Spanish colleges of pharmacy do not appropriately use the official Spanish competency framework. Competencies and courses are mismatched in pairing basic sciences to practice competencies.

Key words: Competencies, Competency framework, Curriculum, Pharmacy colleges, Spain.



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The Official Journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI)
(Registered under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 No. 122 of 1966-1967, Lucknow)

Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (IJPER) [ISSN-0019-5464] is the official journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) and is being published since 1967.


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