Pharmacists with foreign education add important expertise to Swedish pharmacy


Eight out of ten participants in the Complementary Programme for Pharmacists with a Foreign Degree are established on the labor market three years after completing their studies, a report from UKÄ shows. Of these, 93 percent work in a pharmaceutical profession – and the positive statistics seem set to continue.

Pharmacists with foreign education at Uppsala University's Complementary Programme
Pharmacists with foreign education at Uppsala University's Complementary Programme

Students who complete the Complementary Programme for Pharmacists with a Foreign Degree have very good chances on the labor market, shows a report from the Swedish Higher Education Authority, UKÄ. Three years after completing their studies, 79 percent are established on the labor market. Of these, 93 percent work in a profession with a direct connection to their education.

“These are gratifying results. We know that a majority of our students receive job offers even before they finish their education, and the UKÄ report shows that both the Complementary Programme and its content is relevant. It is also positive that our alumni establish themselves in both private and public sector, thus providing important skills to Swedish pharmacy,” says Parvaneh Aghazari, Lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy and National Coordinator for the Complementary Programme for Pharmacists trained outside the EU/EEA.

In autumn 2022, Uppsala University expanded its Complementary Programme with a third semester: Swedish for academic studies for pharmacists with a foreign degree. This term is developed in collaboration with the Department of Scandinavian Languages, guaranteeing high-quality teaching in the Swedish language and providing the students even better tools to communicate with future colleagues, healthcare staff and patients.

Parvaneh Aghazari, National Coordinator
Parvaneh Aghazari, National Coordinator

“With improved skills in the Swedish language, our students have better possibilities to participate in both academic contexts and future professional life. We have decided to give the language semester first in their education, and the premiere was characterised by good results and positive students. What significance this semester will have for their continued study performances remains to be seen. We will therefore follow up on the results after they finish their education in order to draw safer conclusions and adjust the content,” says Parvaneh Aghazari.

Students of pharmacy in general have a lot to look forward to at their graduation day. According to a new report by Saco (Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations), low competition for pharmaceutical jobs is expected to prevail until at least 2028. A similar prediction is given by the Swedish Public Employment Service, that in an overview of 15 professions worth investing in during 2023–2026 suggests a career as a pharmacist or prescriptionist.

“Sweden is heading into a recession, thus unemployment is also expected to increase, but at the same time there is a great demand for, above all, educated labour. If you are not sure about your future, you should really apply to different educations to get the chance to start studying. And don't forget to choose with both heart and brain,” advises labor market analyst Kerstin Eriksson.


  • The complementary programme for pharmacists with a foreign degree is a full-time education consisting of two or three semesters (70 or 100 higher education credits).
  • The longer education will include an introductory semester in the Swedish language with an emphasis on pharmacy in a Swedish context for participants who need it.
  • At registration, applicants will assess their language skills in the Swedish language. Applicants who state that they have sufficient language skills have to take a language test.



Parvaneh AghazariParvaneh Aghazari, National Coordinator
Department of Pharmacy

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt a o

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Last modified: 2024-04-04