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photograph Transfer of School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health to Newcastle

Professor David Burn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medical Sciences, shares the latest updates on the transfer of the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health to Newcastle. 

On the 1st August we will welcome those staff transferring from Durham University’s School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health.  I am sure you will join me in giving them a very warm Newcastle welcome.  

This transfer was approved back in July 2016 and we have worked extremely hard over the last 12 months to ensure that the transition, which involves moving staff, students, and their equipment  into Newcastle is as seamless as possible – my thanks to everyone who has been involved.  I would particularly like to thank Jane Calvert (Project lead) and Katharine Paterson (Change Manager) for their massive contributions and their unswerving attention to detail.  

This transfer puts us in a great position as one of the few universities in the Russell Group able to offer programmes and research in medicine, dentistry, biomedical sciences, psychology and pharmacy, with synergies across all three of our faculties.

Formal approval has been given for the creation of a new School of Pharmacy and the first students will join us this September. We want pharmacy to flourish as a discipline and to build the student base, whilst facilitating inter-disciplinary research and teaching. Professor Andrew Husband has been appointed as the new Head of School.   He is nationally recognised as the Chair of the General Pharmaceutical Council Accreditation Team and the Board of Assessors, which oversee the statutory accreditation of MPharm degrees throughout the UK and the development and implementation of the national Registration Assessment for pharmacists. 

The School of Pharmacy will be based in the King George VI building. You will have noticed the activity around the King George VI Building which is being revamped to host some impressive new facilities, including two large teaching labs. These will be ready for the opening of the School of Pharmacy in August when we will receive a new intake of Pharmacy students, as well as over 150 students transferring here to complete their MPharm degrees

The redevelopment will restore the original features of the building and maintain its history whilst creating a contrast with modern fixtures and fittings within the laboratories, many of which are of industry-standard. This will facilitate strong links with the School of Chemistry as well as within the Faculty of Medical Sciences. We’re sharing pictures of these exciting developments on our Pharmacy at Newcastle University Facebook page.

Whilst Pharmacy has required the setting up of a new School and the refurbishment of a building, there are other significant aspects to the transfer which will bring new synergies and opportunities for Newcastle University.  The MBBS programme, where students undertake their first two years of training at Durham before transferring to our third year MBBS to complete their studies, will cease at the end of 2017-18.  

The current cohort will be taught out at Stockton over the course of the next year and transfer here as normal in 2018-19, with the students who would normally have applied to Durham as new intake in 2017-18 being taken on here, thereby increasing our MBBS student intake. Some teaching staff will transfer to us this August but staff teaching out, whilst becoming our employees, will physically transfer here in a year’s time.

The Institute of Health and Society, the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, the Institute of Neuroscience, the Newcastle Translational Research Facilities, the Institute of Cellular Medicine and the Northern Institute for Cancer Research will all welcome research staff, some of whom are part of the Regional Design Service (RDS) and Clinical Trials Unit (CTU); the latter two will also maintain a base in the south of the region at the James Cook University Hospital.  I would like to thank Andrew Owens, Director of Education, Research and Innovation at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and an academic at Newcastle University for his help in making the move of the RDS and CTU to the James Cook site possible. We are also welcoming over 20 PhD students to the University to complete their doctoral programmes.

My vision for the Faculty is to deliver a step change in the relevance and standing of the Faculty regionally, nationally and internationally through excellence in, and integration of, research, teaching and engagement. I am confident that our new colleagues will strengthen us as a faculty and also as a University providing new and exciting opportunities for research and teaching. There are huge synergies and benefits to be gained from working across schools and disciplines which I would encourage everyone to consider.

Professor David Burn, PVC Medical Sciences


published on: 10th July 2017


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