Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies

The Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies (CPWS) undertakes commissioned research on the workforce, the labour market, and on organisational change and development within the pharmacy profession.

Our work is designed to influence policy and practice and to inform the wider debate on employment, professional work in pharmacy, education and training, and workforce effectiveness.

The Centre was established in January 2004 and is part of the Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Group in the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at The University of Manchester.

Pharmacists and professional research staff work side by side to develop and undertake commissioned research, and provide evidence-based consultancy and workforce intelligence.

Our research findings appear in academic journals, but we also publish accessible reports, blogs, and newsletters for policy makers, pharmacy employers and professionals, and anyone interested in work, employment, and pharmacy labour market issues.

On this page:

  1. Our research
  2. Our services
  3. Meet the team
  4. Postgraduate research
  5. Contact us

Our research

Our research focuses on the pharmacy labour market in its widest sense, and includes applied research on a range of pharmacist, pharmacy technician and support staff employment issues.

Latest projects

Find out more about the studies we’re currently working on:

Key projects by theme

You can explore our main research themes and the key projects within them. The themes are by no means exclusive and some projects will appear under more than one.

If you require more information about a particular project, please contact the named principal investigator (PI).

Pre-registration education and training
Pharmacy practice
  • NHSE evaluation of IP community pharmacy pathfinders
  • Realist evaluation of collaborative practice in primary care: the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service for urgent, low acuity conditions as an exemplar of general practice, community pharmacy and patients working together


Our research findings are available through the following journals, reports and bulletins:

Our services

We provide information for three main groups: employers, education providers and policy makers.

We can help you by:

  • undertaking commissioned research;
  • providing a data analysis service;
  • providing a bespoke research service;
  • developing research measurement tools for use in-house;
  • networking organisations or people interested in the pharmacy workforce.

If you would like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch.

Information for policy makers

With workforce planning and attention to skill mix and changing roles key to delivering appropriate health care, data on workforce supply and demand can help support decision-making by policy-makers at national and local levels.

Knowing what the workforce thinks about regulatory issues, about supervision and about service developments can help inform policy development.

Information for employers

As an employer you may want to know whether there are workforce shortages in your area and why.

You may want to understand what attracts pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to particular jobs and places, and whether your workforce is satisfied with their work.

Knowing what the key drivers are for keeping experienced men and women in the workforce may help with your recruitment and retention initiatives.

Information for education providers

If you work in a school of pharmacy, our research about what attracts students to study pharmacy could help with undergraduate recruitment strategies.

We can help you understand what students want out of their pre-registration training and information about where they go straight after their early training could help inform decisions about placements.

Information about graduates’ career choices and early destinations on leaving university, and information about attrition, may be useful to schools of pharmacy as part of their quality assurance procedures; knowing about uptake of and preferences for learning and training may be highly informative for providers of continuing or post foundation education or technician trainers.

Meet the team

The Director of CPWS is Professor Ellen Schafheutle, a pharmacist and health services researcher with more than 25 years’ research experience in pharmacy.

A number of research and technical support staff work in the Centre, along with several PhD students.

Their research experience has been gained in different organisational settings. They are pharmacists and social scientists, and they have a wide range of research skills covering qualitative and quantitative methodologies.



Postgraduate research

If you are interested in workforce research and pursuing postgraduate training to PhD, MPhil or master’s level, please get in touch.

The Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice group aims to provide specialised and generic training in research, opening up a number of different careers paths for those who successfully complete their post graduate degree.

From within the group, and the University more widely, you are provided with high quality research facilities, scope for undertaking multidisciplinary and multi-method research, extensive networks and interactions with a range of health professionals and research sites, leading edge research expertise, and good quality mentoring and career development support.

More than 40 PhD students have successfully undertaken their studies in the pharmacy practice group and many former members have secured academic or senior research appointments in Universities in the UK and abroad.

Explore our list of current and completed PhD/MPhil/MRes projects undertaken by students in the Centre.


Project titles

Ongoing PhDs/MPhils/MRes
  • Implementation of integrated primary care for patients with Type 2 Diabetes – Wenjuan Chen – PhD start January 2023
  • Access to and regulation of antibiotics in Jordan – Al-Qudah, Raja’A – PhD start January 2021
  • The impact of provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists on people living with diabetes – Fatima Abdulhakeem Ikolaba – PhD start September 2018
  • Working across boundaries: new models of integration and collaboration across the pharmacy workforce in Greater Manchester – Natasha Burns – PhD start September 2018
Completed PhDs/MPhil/MRes

Contact us

If you have a question about working or studying with us, please get in touch.

Professor Ellen Schafheutle, Director of CPWS

Email: ellen.schafheutle@manchester.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 7493