Australian Migration Pathways KAPS Exam VS M.Pharm | Academically

KAPS Exam VS M.Pharm in Australia- A Detailed Analysis of Australian Migration Pathways

Feb 16, 2024 4 min read
KAPS Exam VS M.Pharm in Australia

Key Takeaways

  • The KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) Exam is a registration exam for foreign pharmacists wishing to register in Australia. 
  • Anyone who has done B. Pharm in a recognised institute is eligible for pursuing an M.Pharm in Australia. 
  • KAPS and M.Pharm are common ways to register as a pharmacist in Australia. 
  • KAPS is considered an easier, cheaper, faster and more sought-after way to get pharmacy registration in Australia. 

There are two most common pathways through which a pharmacist (one who has completed their B.Pharm or pharmacy graduation) can become a registered pharmacist in Australia. The first one is pursuing an M.Pharm in Australia, and the second one is clearing the KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) exam. While most people don't know about the second pathway, most find themselves perplexed as to which pathway is better. 

In short, we highlight that KAPS is the best pathway for pharmacists seeking quick registration and who wish to avoid further studies. On the contrary, for pharmacists who wish to upskill and pursue higher studies before registration, M.Pharm in Australia is the wiser choice.

In this blog, we'll draw a detailed comparison between these two pathways- KAPS and M.Pharm in Australia. Read the blog till the very end to find answers to all your questions. 

Difference Between KAPS and MPharm in Australia

Without wasting any time, let's dive into the most essential points of difference between KAPS and M.Pharm in Australia. 


KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) Exam

The KAPS exam is mandatory for pharmacists who wish to migrate, settle and practise in Australia. The primary purpose of the KAPS Exam is to test the knowledge and skills of overseas-trained pharmacists, ensuring they meet the Australian standards for pharmacy practice. 

M.Pharm (Master of Pharmacy) in Australia

M.Pharm programs in Australia are postgraduate degrees designed to provide advanced education and training in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice. The purpose is to offer a comprehensive academic and practical experience, often including research components, to individuals seeking an advanced qualification in pharmacy. The final goal may or may not be to get registered as a pharmacist in Australia. 

2. Cost Involved


The cost involved in taking the KAPS Exam includes just the registration fees. The overall cost is generally lower compared to pursuing a full-time academic program. This can range between 5-8 Lakh INR, including the exam, registration and other costs. 

M.Pharm in Australia

Pursuing an M.Pharm in Australia involves tuition fees, living expenses, and potentially additional costs for study materials, accommodation, and other miscellaneous expenses. International students, in particular, should consider the overall cost of living in Australia. The cost of studying only can go up to 50 Lakh INR, not to mention other expenses which make it an expensive affair. 

3. Future Prospects


Successful completion of the KAPS Exam allows individuals to proceed to a supervised internship, followed by applying for registration as a pharmacist in Australia. The future prospects include practising as a registered pharmacist in the country, which include setting up your own practice, working with huge pharmaceutical companies, working as a locum pharmacist, etc. 

M.Pharm in Australia

Graduates of M.Pharm programs have the potential for diverse career paths. They may work in various roles within the pharmaceutical industry, research, academia, or community and hospital pharmacy. The M.Pharm degree can open doors to leadership positions and specialised roles within the field.

4. Difficulty


The difficulty of the KAPS Exam is moderate, with the highlights being Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and a required passing score of only 50%. Even if you have been out of touch with studies for a long time, continuous practice for 2-4 months can help you clear the exam from your home country. 

M.Pharm in Australia

Pursuing an M.Pharm involves academic rigour, including coursework, exams, and possibly research projects. The difficulty level may vary based on the individual's background, academic preparation, and the specific requirements of the program.

5. Time Involved


The duration of preparation for the KAPS Exam depends on individual study pace. However, with the correct guidance and a dedicated approach, a person can attempt and clear the KAPS exam and even begin working as an intern in less than a year. Within the next year, the person may even be eligible to get a permanent registration and even residency. 

M.Pharm in Australia

M.Pharm programs typically have a fixed duration, often spanning two years for full-time study. Part-time options may be available, extending the duration. Overall, it takes at least two years for a pharmacist before they can start practising. 



M.Pharm (Australia)


5-8 Lakh INR

Up to 50 Lakh INR

Career Prospects

Direct Registration

Registration After a Few Months/Years


Easy to Moderate

Lengthy and Strenous

Time Involved

Approx 1 Year

2+ Years


Registration and Job in Australia as a Pharmacist

Higher Studies + Registration in the Future

Important Revelations/Conclusions

To make the comparison easier for you, here are a few crucial revelations about KAPS and M.Pharm in Australia, which you must consider before making the choice. 

  1. The goal of both the KAPS exam and M.Pharm in Australia is to become a registered pharmacist in Australia, and so is the end result. 
  2. KAPS allows pharmacists an easy and quick pathway for registration, while M. Pharm is time-consuming and high on effort. 
  3. The cost involved in taking and clearing the KAPS exam is much less than that involved in pursuing an M.Pharm in Australia. Thus, M.Pharm is a pocket-friendly option. 
  4. Even if you complete your M.Pharm, you'll have to clear KAPS to become a registered pharmacist in Australia. 
  5. M.Pharm itself is around 2 years long, and even after completing it, you might have to pursue an internship in order to get registration. On the contrary, clearing the KAPS along with 1 year of internship can allow to practice pharmacy in Australia. 

To conclude, we can say that for pharmacists searching for higher academic value and appreciation, M.Pharm must be the choice, but for pharmacists aspiring for direct registration, KAPS is the best option. 

About the KAPS Exam

The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences is an examination for overseas-trained pharmacists seeking to practice in Australia. The KAPS Exam assesses the knowledge and skills of overseas-trained pharmacists to ensure that they meet the necessary standards for practising pharmacy in Australia. It evaluates their proficiency in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice.
It is administered by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC), which works in collaboration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. The exam typically covers a range of topics, including pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacy practice, and clinical pharmacy. The content is designed to align with the Australian pharmacy practice standards.

The KAPS Exam consists of written and practical components, testing both theoretical knowledge and practical application. The format includes multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) stations.

Steps in Taking the KAPS Exam

Explained in detail below are the steps involved in taking the KAPS exam-

Eligibility Assessment

Before registering for the KAPS Exam, candidates typically undergo an eligibility assessment by the Australian Pharmacy Council. This process ensures that their qualifications and experience meet the required standards. This involves submitting the necessary documentation, including proof of qualifications, identity, and payment of the exam fees.


After registering for the KAPS exam, you can choose the date for taking the exam from the list of upcoming exam dates released by the Australian Pharmacy Council. Candidates are encouraged to engage in thorough preparation for the exam. This may involve self-study, attending preparatory courses, and practising with sample questions or past papers.

You can take the KAPS exam in your nearest testing centre, in your home country only. To clear the exam, you need to answer 50% of the questions correctly. There are two papers held in the same day, both with 100 MCQs each. 

English Proficiency Test

To be eligible to work in and migrate to Australia, you need to clear an English proficiency test, be it IELTS, PTE or OET. You need to provide proof of clearance with the minimum marks required by APC and AHPRA to move forward with registration as a pharmacist in Australia. 

Provisional Registration and Internship

After offering proof of clearing the KAPS exam and the English proficiency test and furnishing all the documents required, you can get a provisional registration with the AHPRA. This allows you to start practising as a pharmacist in Australia. It is after working as an intern for several hours that you can apply for complete registration and become a registered pharmacist in Australia. 

How to do MPharm in Australia?

Any individual who has completed their B.Pharm in a university/institute recognised by Australian authorities can pursue an M.Pharm in Australia. Here are the steps involved in doing M.Pharm in Australia- 

Research and Choose a Program

Research Australian universities that offer M.Pharm programs. Consider factors such as program reputation, faculty, facilities, and location. Look into the details of each M.Pharm program, including the curriculum, duration, and any specialisations offered.

Check and Fulfil Eligibility Requirements

Ensure you meet the educational prerequisites. Typically, you need a recognised bachelor's degree in pharmacy or an equivalent qualification. Verify the English language proficiency requirements. Most universities accept standardised English language test scores like IELTS or TOEFL.

Prepare Application Documents

Keep all of the following documents ready with you-

  • Transcripts: Obtain official transcripts from your previous educational institutions.
  • Resume/CV: Prepare a detailed resume or curriculum vitae outlining your academic and professional background.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Some programs may require letters of recommendation. Ask professors or employers who know you well to provide these.
  • Statement of Purpose: Write a compelling statement of purpose explaining your motivation, goals, and why you're interested in the M.Pharm program.
  • English Language Test Scores: If required, provide valid English language test scores.

Apply for Admission

Follow the application process outlined by the university. This usually involves an online application form and submission of supporting documents. Pay the application fee as required by the university.

Learn About Scholarships and Financial Aid:

Explore scholarship opportunities or financial aid options available for international students. Some universities and external organisations offer scholarships based on academic merit or other criteria.

Receive Admission Offer

Wait for the university to review your application. Once accepted, you will receive an admission offer. Confirm your acceptance of the offer. If you are an international student, apply for a student visa through the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

Post that, you can arrive in Australia, get the orientation and start practising your M.Pharm in Australia. 

Parting Thoughts

We hope our detailed comparison will help you decide which course of action suits your requirements and aspirations. Whether you wish to clear the KAPS exam, or get admission into an M.Pharm program in Australia with a scholarship, Academically can be your guiding light. Through our KAPS preparation course, we have helped several students clear the KAPS exam within a few months of easy preparation. 

Know more about our KAPS Course Here to initiate your journey to success!

Sheenu Sharma
Sheenu Sharma
about the author

Sheenu Sharma is a seasoned writer with several years of experience curating content in the EdTech and healthcare sectors. She believes in delivering information and facts to the readers by crafting compelling stories. Through the platform of Academically, she aims to help global healthcare professionals in their career aspirations and dreams!