PHAMF-CT Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

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  • One-year certificate
  • September entry date
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg 
  • International applicants please visit Academic Program, Dates and Fees for a listing of programs for international students, current availability and online application instructions

This program provides the skills you need to gain employment in the production of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and related products. These products include over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vaccines, analgesics, antibiotics, and other drugs for life-threatening diseases. 

The program consists of two streams:

  • Solid Dosage
    You learn the theory and practice of formulating and manufacturing tablets and capsules. What are the raw materials used? How are these products formulated and manufactured? How can we produce a good quality product? You will explore these questions and more by manufacturing small batches in the College's state-of-the-art solid dosage production laboratory.
  • Biopharmaceutical Processing
    You gain hands-on experience in microbial fermentation such as set-up, inoculation, sampling, harvesting techniques, filtration, and column chromatographic purification techniques strategies for manufacturing of Recombinant Biotechnology drug products. Cleanroom gowning, sanitization and GMP compliance will be emphasized. You will run small-scale batches in our state-of-the-art bioprocessing lab.

After applying to but prior to starting the program, you will be invited to attend a program overview information session.

Admission Requirements

If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling.

However, if you apply within 6 weeks of the program start date, admission requirements are due within 5 days of applying.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English 
      • Grade 12 Math 
      • Grade 12 Biology, Chemistry or Physics
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Have you successfully completed the equivalent of three years of full-time secondary (high school) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction? To view a list of ELR exempt countries click here.
      • If yes, you appear to meet English language requirements. Submit your transcripts for verification purposes.
      • If no, you are required to submit proof of meeting an English language requirements option.  If you choose to complete an English language assessment, review this program's approved assessments and required levels.
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but did not complete three years of high school, submit your transcripts for review.

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Grade 12 Courses
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English
      • Grade 12 Math
      • Grade 12 Biology, Chemistry or Physics
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirement 2

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada))
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
CanTEST (Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
RRC Institutional or Official CanTEST accepted EXCEPT for the Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) program. The MLS program requires the Official CanTEST (the RRC Institutional CanTEST will not be accepted).
IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)

Who Should Enrol?

You must have a strong science background, be detail oriented, and enjoy working in a manufacturing setting.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Notre Dame Campus Aug 31, 2020 Apply now

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1

Students may apply for financial assistance through the Manitoba Student Aid program. For general information on applying please call 204-945-6321 or 1-800-204-1685, or visit their website at, which also includes an online application. For detailed information, please visit one of the RRC Student Service Centres or call 204-632-2327. Applicants requiring financial assistance should complete their student loan applications well in advance of the class start date.

Red River College is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check for additional contact information.
CHEM-1029Intro Chemistry
More Information

This is an introductory course designed to refresh students’ basic chemistry and introduce them to the concepts and principles used later in the program. Starting with fundamental concepts such as the structure of atom bonding and nomenclature of simple molecules, the contents quickly move to more complex topics such stoichiometry, chemical equilibrium, properties of solutions, acids, bases and buffers. The practical component of this course ensures that students are comfortable in performing simple laboratory operations such as weight and volume measurements, solution preparation, and handling of laboratory samples.

COMM-1010Technical Communication 2
More Information

This course develops communication skills necessary to function effectively in a scientific workplace.

COMM-1027Technical Communications 1
More Information

This course develops writing skills necessary to function effectively in a scientific workplace.

MATH-1090Fundamentals of Technical Mathematics
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This course teaches students the applied mathematics required in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Topics include scientific notation, exponential numbers, metric system, conversions between measured units, significant figures, percentage, ratios, proportions, liquid/solid measurements, dilutions, concentrations, basic algebra, and problem solving. Emphasis is on the metric system, in keeping with the standards in pharmaceutical manufacturing in Canada.

PHAR-1024Applied Biopharmaceutical 1
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This course emphasizes the theoretical and practical aspects of microbial fermentation. Participants will get hands-on experience setting up and monitoring biofermentors, as well as conducting practical experiments that include the effects of nutrient components on cell density, mixing, aeration, analysis in microbial system, aseptic techniques, and microscopy. Other topics relating to biofermentation such as basic microbiology, documentation, and environmental controls will be explained via PowerPoint presentations followed by group discussions. Approximately 60% of the time is spent in the laboratory and 40% is in the classroom.

PHAR-1025Intro to Liquid & Semi-Solid Dosage Form
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This course focuses on the concept of dosage form and its ramifications. Students will learn about different dosage forms, their classification, routes of administration, therapeutic applications, and general pharmacological aspects. In addition, they will learn about formulations and manufacturing processes with an emphasis on liquid and semisolid forms. Pertinent properties of liquid and semisolid systems such as viscosity, osmolarity, surface tension, transition point, etc. along with relevant chemical aspects such as polarity, pH, and partition coefficients will also be discussed.

PHAR-1026Workplace Safety in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
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This course provides students with the basic knowledge required to work safely in a variety of science/technology-based workplaces such as laboratories or chemical manufacturing plants. The course will offer an introduction to potential health and safety hazards that may be encountered in such workplaces with emphasis on harm prevention and safe laboratory practices. Legislation related to chemical/biological work, such as the WHMIS system, is also covered.

PHAR-1232Pharmaceutics, Quality, Compliance
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This course delivers, through classroom lectures, the principles and application of good manufacturing practices in a pharmaceutical manufacturing environment. Major compliance areas such as good documentation, the importance of records, training, and good sanitation and hygiene practices will be emphasized. Students will be able to describe important aspects of premise design, construction, and maintenance and the impact that equipment can have in the prevention of product contamination and maintaining the quality of the product throughout the manufacturing cycle. The use of audit is described. The general organization of a pharmaceutical company including the types of products they produce is described. An overview of the relationship between regulatory agencies, inspection and pharmaceutical companies is explained. The difference between innovator drugs and generics and an explanation of a patent is included.

PHAR-1234Solid Dosage Production 1 (granulation)
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This course introduces the students to the fundamentals of “Compressed Tablet” manufacturing process.  The theory part covers a range of topics including preformulation and formulation studies, dispensing, milling, mixing and different methods of granulation.  Students will also learn different in-line/in-process control procedures.  The practical part of this course will provide an opportunity for the students to simulate staging a batch, perform dispensing and milling and mix the powder to specified homogeneity levels.  They then move on to use different methods to prepare granules of desired characteristics using high and low shear mechanisms and dry the granules to predefined moisture content.  Alongside, the students will prepare all batch records, SOPs and other required documentation and practice equipment set-up/cleaning/maintenance and troubleshooting.

PHAR-2003Chemistry Drug Compound & Form
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In this course, students apply their knowledge of chemistry learned in the first semester to investigate and understand the chemical nature of common excipients used in dosage form formulations. The relationship between molecular structures and relevant properties of different excipients will be explored and related to the functions of the individual component. The course is designed as a number of interactive sessions where students share information on assigned excipients or drug molecules and discuss their chemistries.

PHAR-2020Solid Dosage Production 2
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The focus of this course is tableting and coating. In the tableting part, the theory of compression is discussed in detail along with the practical aspects of equipment set up and operation, formulation factors affecting tableting, and understanding and troubleshooting tablet defects. Students also learn about a number of on-line tests used to monitor the compression process and evaluate the quality of the product. Students will manufacture batches of tablets using both direct compression and the granulation routes. In the coating part, an elaborate discussion of tablet coating is taken up. Students will learn about the coating process, different coating polymers, and how to troubleshoot formulation and process related coating defects. Students will use their tablet core batches to practice tablet coating, equipment set up and operation, and process monitoring. The last few sessions of this course are dedicated to the encapsulation process where students learn about capsules as a dosage form and the operational principles of the capsule manufacturing process.

PHAR-2024Applied Biopharmaceutical 2
More Information

Applied Biopharmaceutical 2 is designed to provide students with the basics of downstream processing in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Emphasis is placed on the purification fundamentals of recombinant protein therapeutics, protein chemistry, column chromatography, and various filtration techniques. Pharmaceutical cleanroom behavior and practice will be discussed.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes

When you have successfully completed this program, you will:

  1. Understand different dosage forms and their action.
  2. Understand the overall operations involved in solid dose production, bacterial fermentation, and protein purification techniques.
  3. Operate common equipment involved in pharmaceutical production.
  4. Apply acquired knowledge and skills to troubleshoot processing problems.
  5. Effectively work with and complete controlled documentation such as batch records, standard operating procedures (SOPs), etc.
  6. Assist in a variety of quality control procedures including environmental sampling, validation of equipment, and on-line checks.
  7. Maintain cleanliness of the production areas by execution of sanitization programs. 
  8. Demonstrate personal hygiene and safety, working within the stringent areas of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
  9. Demonstrate a high level of professionalism, ethical judgment, and organizational skills.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit

Other Information

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing program is taught in state-of-the art laboratory facilities.


To view photos of the learning environment for this program, see Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities.


Red River College works closely with Manitoba pharmaceutical companies and the Life Science Association of Manitoba (LSAM).

Graduate Employment Report

Red River College surveys its graduates on an annual basis to collect data related to the graduates’ employment status, salary, occupation and skill use. In addition, graduates are asked to indicate their level of satisfaction regarding the education they received at Red River College.

Visit for graduate satisfaction and employment reports.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, you must successfully complete the academic terms.

Employment Potential

Graduates are employed as production technicians with Manitoba's regulated pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.

Contact Information

For general information about this program or how to apply, contact Enrolment Services at 204-632-2327.

For detailed program information, contact:

Said Hassan
Philip Cheng
Curtis Aab
Program Coordinator


How to Apply

For information on how to apply to this program, follow the link below.

Student Evaluation of Program

Every year Red River College surveys students, in all full-time programs, to learn more about their college experience. The questionnaire includes questions about students’ experiences with College programs, facilities, and services offered.

Visit for student evaluation of program reports.

College Support Services

Red River College is committed to student success and provides valuable support services to assist in helping students make the most of their time at RRC.

Visit for more information.

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Red River College endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.