Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

National Pharmacy Internship Programme (NPIP)

The NPIP programme is a one-year structured workplace-based learning programme. Pharmacy interns are supported through a one-to-one relationship with their tutor pharmacist, and a series of online modules. In addition, they participate in a week-long programme at RCSI where they are supported in developing skills essential to being a successful pharmacist, such as communication and counselling skills.

The primary aim of the NPIP is to ensure that graduates have are appropriately qualified to practice as a pharmacist and to ensure optimum standards of care for patients. 

Upon completion of the NPIP programme interns are required to undertake the Professional Registration Exam (PRE) in RCSI. Success in the PRE entitles you to apply for registration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland as a pharmacist, and also provides the award of a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm). 

Both the NPIP programme and the PRE are operated by RCSI on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

NPIP programme structure 

The workplace-based practice placement consists of 12 months of supervised practice either taken as:

  • one 12-month block in either a hospital or community practice environment (clinical)
  • two 6-month blocks, with a minimum of six months spent in a clinical establishment. The second six months can be spent in a variety of settings such as the pharmaceutical industry, academic setting, or regulatory environment.

This practice-based learning enables the interns to apply their knowledge and develop professional skills in a supportive, supervised environment. The educational programme delivered alongside this practice placement is designed to support learning in the training establishment and includes an orientation module to help pharmacy interns adjust to their new environment. Learning involves a case-based approach which reflects how information would be accessed, presented and used in reality. 

Content can be accessed via a range of mobile devices in our virtual learning environment. 

Application process

The programme is only open to applicants who are graduates of the BSc (Pharmacy) from RCSI and Trinity College Dublin, or the Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) from University College Cork.

Graduates eligible to apply will be contacted by RCSI staff prior to the commencement of the application process annually. Further details on the application process are available from the programme coordinator by emailing: 

Note: Students undertaking a split placement must complete two NPIP 2 forms, one for each placement.

Please note that you will require the following document to complete your online application to register

Copy of final transcript 

  • PDF or jpeg version is most compatible
  • If your final transcript is not yet available an official letter or email of your final Pass result will suffice
Curriculum Vitae
  • PDF version is most compatible.
  • The same CV as you uploaded to CAASP will suffice.
Passport(and translation)
  • PDF or jpeg version is most compatible.
  • Ensure that the full view of the information pages are visible.
  • If your passport is in any language other than English you will need to obtain an official translation which will also need to be uploaded.
If applicable, marriage certificate (and translation)
  • PDF or jpeg version is most compatible.
  • This is only required if you are applying under your married name which differs from your birth certificate.

Key dates: National Pharmacy Internship Programme 2018-2019


The NPIP will cease to be delivered once the integrated MPharm programme has become fully operational (expected last intake for the NPIP is 2019).

The NPIP is not listed as part of the Statutory Instrument from the Department for Education and Skills which details higher educational programmes that are eligible for maintenance grants (SI 187/2012). Registered students of the NPIP are therefore ineligible to receive a maintenance grant. 

Tutor pharmacists

The delivery of the NPIP programme is not possible without the support of practicing pharmacists who are associated faculty and known as tutors.

Tutors supervise pharmacy interns over the course of their internship year and support them in the development of the required skills, using the Core Competency Framework and a structured appraisal system.

Registered pharmacists who are at least three years qualified with a minimum of one year of experience in their current practice area and who meet the other PSI criteria are eligible to become tutor pharmacists upon completion of the Tutor Training and Accreditation Programme (TTAP). The TTAP is designed to provide tutor pharmacists with the requisite skills and knowledge to effectively train, mentor, coach and assess their intern and meets the requirements of the PSI (Education and Training) Rules 2008.

Ongoing advice and support for tutors is available from the NPIP team. New tutors are always welcome, and training events are held annually.

For further information on the NPIP programme, please email: