What to Choose After B.Pharm KAPS VS PharmD | Academically Australia

KAPS VS PharmD- What to Choose After B.Pharm?

Mar 07, 2024 4 min read
What to Choose After B.Pharm KAPS VS PharmD

Key Takeaways

  • The KAPS exam is conducted by the Australian Pharmacy Council to offer registration to global pharmacists. 
  • PharmD is the doctoral degree program in India, which is 6 years long (after 10+2) and 4 years long (after B.Pharm). 
  • While the KAPS helps pharmacists begin practice in Australia, PharmD is an additional qualification that has to be pursued in India. 

While completing your B.Pharm might feel like a significant milestone in your life, it is actually the beginning of your professional life. There is a lot yet to be achieved, which will finally result in an extravagant career for you as a pharmacist. There are generally two options in front of pharmacists after completing their B.Pharm- to start a practice or to pursue higher studies like PharmD or M.Pharm. But what if we tell you there is another outstanding option that will help you make your career within 1-2 years of completing your B.Pharm?

We are talking about the KAPS exam. The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the entrance and registration exam for global pharmacists who want to migrate, settle, and practice in Australia. Sounds lucrative, but is it achievable? Of course! 

In this blog, we will discuss the future of recent B.Pharm graduates and help them identify the career path they must choose now. We will differentiate between KAPS and PharmD so that you can decide what to choose after completing your B.Pharm. 

About the KAPS Exam

The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the registration exam for global pharmacists who wish to migrate, practice and settle in Australia. The exam is a gateway and the most important step of the Australia migration process for pharmacists. 

The KAPS exam consists of 2 papers, each with 150 MCQ-type questions. The minimum scoring requirement is 50%, and you have to answer 80 questions in each paper correctly to clear it. There is no negative marking for this exam, which makes it an easy-to-clear exam. 

This exam is open for all pharmacy graduates who have their transcripts and registration in their home country. The best part is that you don't require any special experience to be able to take this exam. 

Pharmacists can take the KAPS exam in their nearest testing centre within their home country. Once cleared, this exam allows global pharmacists to get a job along with a work/PR visa in Australia. 

Features of the KAPS Exam

Given below are the features of the KAPS exam that make it a lucrative choice for global pharmacists seeking career advancement. 

Offers Instant PR/Work Visa

After clearing the KAPS exam, you get provision registration by the Australian Pharmacy Council, which allows you to work in Australia. Post that, you must pursue a 1-year long internship at a reputed Australian healthcare facility or pharmacy. On completing the internship, you get complete registration, after which you can apply for a visa. Given you have the necessary documentation, you can get a work or even a PR visa in Australia. 

Allows Practice in Australia

As mentioned above, you can start working as a pharmacist in Australia right after you get your provisional registration. Later, you get complete registration, and thus, you can set up unrestricted practice in Australia. 

Cost Below 5 Lakhs

Taking and clearing the KAPS exam involves a cost of less than 5 Lakh INR. This involves the skills assessment fee, the cost of taking the KAPS exam and the English proficiency test, along with the visa charges. 

Preparation Time 3-5 Months

Given the features of the KAPS exam like MCQ-based questions, no negative marking and 50% passing marks, the KAPS exam is not that hard. With the right guidance and support, you can clear the exam in around 3-5 months. 

Opportunity to Work in Amazing Facilities

The best part about taking the KAPS exam is that it allows you to become a pharmacist in Australia and work in outstanding healthcare setups there. Therefore, it is an outstanding option for pharmacists willing to migrate to a foreign land in search of better jobs and opportunities. 

About PharmD

PharmD is the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program in India, which can be completed after 10+2 (in the science stream) or B.Pharm. It is generally a 4-6 year long degree, which involves an internship practice in the final year. Several colleges and universities in India offer this course, and applicants must clear the entrance exam and interview to get admission. 

Some features of PharmD include the following-

Course Duration 4-6 Years

The PharmD course in India has a duration of 6 years if taken up right after 10+2. However, the course shortens up to 4 years if applied after completing a B.Pharm degree. After completion of the course, you have to complete one year of internship before beginning a full-time role. 

Cost Involved

PharmD is a prestigious and lengthy course, and the cost of pursuing it generally ranges between 10-20 Lakh INR. However, if you seek admission to private institutes, the cost may be even higher. 

Work Prospects in India Only

After completing your PharmD, there is no guarantee that you can set up practice in any part of the world. You can do a job in India only, and to get registered in any other country, you will still have to take their registration exams like KAPS for Australia, PEBC for Canada, DHA for Dubai, etc. 

Points of Differences

While you might have understood the difference between PharmD and KAPS till now, here are a few points of difference between the two that will help you make a clear decision. 

  • PharmD helps pharmacists enhance their skills and add value to their education, while KAPS helps pharmacy graduates start working in an established healthcare facility. 
  • Pursuing a PharmD means staying in India and studying further, while clearing KAPS means moving to Australia and setting up practice there. 
  • PharmD takes six additional years of studying, after which you can get a job, while KAPS allows you to get a job and start working instantly. 
  • The cost involved in clearing KAPS is covered within 5 Lakh INR, while the cost involved in pursuing PharmD ranges from 10 to 20 Lakh INR. 
  • You can pursue PharmD after completing your 10+2 in the medical stream, but to take the KAPS exam, you need to complete your Bachelor's degree. 

Parting Thoughts

Therefore, it can be concluded that PharmD is a better choice for pharmacy students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree and add substance to their academics. However, for pharmacists looking to advance their careers by setting up practice instantly, KAPS is the choice for you. 

KAPS allows pharmacists the prospect of beginning their internship in Australia, while PharmD demands a study of 4 years in India before allowing pharmacists to begin their internship. Therefore, the choice is yours- do you prefer a quick and easy career establishment, or are you willing to study for a few years more before starting your practice?


Q- Which is better, PharmD or KAPS?

Ans- PharmD is better for pharmacists seeking a doctoral degree, while KAPS is better for pharmacists who want to start working in Australia instantly.

Q- Can I take KAPS after doing PharmD in India?

Ans- Yes, you can take the KAPS exam after doing a BPharm, MPharm and/or PharmD degree.

Q- What happens if I pass the KAPS exam?

Ans- After passing the KAPS exam, you have to do 1-year of internship in Australia, after which you can become a registered pharmacist in Australia.

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!