PgCert Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

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Entry requirements

See below for full details

This course is for you if you want to study a course accredited by the GPhC which has been designed to enhance your practice as a pharmacist and the delivery of care to your patients.

Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), approved by Health Education West Midlands
Enhances your practice as a pharmacist and the delivery of care to your patients by enabling you to manage fully patients' medication as an independent prescriber
Research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions (REF, 2014)
Top 10 in the UK (Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Complete University Guide, 2017)

Mode of delivery: Part time, approximately 2 evening sessions and 11 on-campus study days.

Duration: 6 months

Start date: October

Intake: Up to 24 students

Entry requirements:

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation.
  • You must have worked in their chosen area of clinical practice for a minimum of one year. 
  • You must be a registered pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
  • You must have a minimum of 2 years post-registration experience within a patient-facing role.
  • You must currently be employed in a patient-facing role.
  • You must have a confirmed Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) in place, who will take responsibility for supporting and supervising experiential learning for a period of 12 days (90 hours).  GP trainers can act as DMPs for community pharmacists. For this clinically enhanced course a further 25 hours of in-practice learning in a suitable clinical environment must also be undertaken.

  • You must have written approval from your employer supporting your study.

  • A relevant clinical diploma (or equivalent) is desirable. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor. 

How to apply:

  • Apply here.
  • As part of the application, please complete and submit this form.
  • The application deadline is 31 August 2018. If you are applying close to the deadline, please ensure you have all supporting documentation ready for the application. If the deadline has passed, we may still be able to consider you, so please contact us. 

Study days: 

Study day 1
Study day 2
13/11/2018 Tuesday
Study day 3
Study day 4
05/12/2018 Wednesday Study day 5
06/12/2018 Thursday Study day 6
15/01/2019 Tuesday Study day 7
16/01/2019 Wednesday Study day 8
19/02/2019 Tuesday Study day 9
20/02/2019 Wednesday Study day 10
21/02/2019 Thursday Study day 11

For 2018 entry:

  • All students: £3,300 

If you are a West Midlands pharmacist you are able to apply to Health Education England (HEE) for possible funding for this course, as the course fully meets the their curriculum requirements.

This course comprises of one Level 7, 60-credit module that has been developed in accordance with the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) requirements, and is approved by Health Education England.

This generic course has been designed to expand students’ existing knowledge and develop prescribing skills to support effective clinical care of patients in a patient-facing prescribing role. This course is suitable for all clinical specialties.

The aim of this course is to enable students to:

  • Understand the role and responsibilities of an independent prescriber
  • Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively
  • Use diagnostic aids relevant to the conditions for which the pharmacist intends to prescribe, including monitoring response to therapy
  • Develop effective communication skills and relationships with  patients, carers, other prescribers and members of the healthcare team
  • Describe the pathophysiology of the condition being treated, and recognise the signs and symptoms of illness
  • Take an accurate medical history and carry out relevant clinical assessments
  • Utilise knowledge and skills in a critical and systematic manner.

 When achieved, students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate presenting complaints of patients, and
  • Respond to varied clinical situations, multiple pathologies or complex medical needs, guided by consultation and diagnostic methods designed to establish reliable identification of clinical presentations and therapeutic options.

The contents of this blended learning course are directed by the GPhC guidance titled: "Pharmacist independent prescribing programme - learning outcomes and indicative content". The course follows the consultation process, leading to appropriate prescribing and related patient monitoring.

Learning and teaching methods include:

  • Face-to-face and hands-on learning and teaching
  • Directed and student-managed learning
  • Experiential learning.

The course includes the development of:

  • A portfolio of in-practice learning, including reflective evidence of competence for prescribing
  • Clinical Management Plans
  • Clinical case presentation. 

Methods of assessment include:

  • OSCEs (x5)
  • Portfolios of experiential learning, including Clinical Management Plans
  • An oral presentation based on a written case relevant to the student’s area of competency
  • Written exam (2 hours).

Study dates for October 2018 intake: 

Students will need to attend all 11 study days as listed below, they must also be available for all assessment days (dates TBC) and attend one of the welcome evenings along with their DMP.*

Welcome Evenings:

  • Wednesday 3 October 2018
  • Wednesday 10 October 2018 (DMPs only) 
  • Thursday 11 October 2018. 

Study days:

  • Tuesday 16 October 2018
  • Wednesday 17 October 2018
  • Tuesday 13 November 2018
  • Wednesday 14 November 2018
  • Wednesday 5 December 2018
  • Thursday 6 December 2018
  • Tuesday 15 January 2019
  • Wednesday 16 January 2019
  • Tuesday 19 February 2019
  • Wednesday 20 February 2019
  • Thursday 21 February 2019. 


February and March 2019, exact dates TBC. 

*Please note that all dates are subject to change and/or alteration. 

Facilities and resources that you will benefit from include:

  • An established Virtual Learning Environment for teaching and course-organisation materials and communications, such as lecture notes, presentations and videos.
  • Modern lecture theatres and classrooms, equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and technology.
  • Hard-copy and electronic access to publications, journals and large scientific databases, such as the BMJ and BMJ Best Practice.
  • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.

Successful candidates will qualify to apply for an annotation on the GPhC register as an Independent Prescriber. This enhances your practice as a pharmacist and the delivery of care to your patients by enabling you to manage fully patients’ medication as an independent prescriber.

This course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Successful candidates will qualify to apply for an annotation on the GPhC register as an Independent Prescriber (however please note that successful completion of this course is not a guarantee of annotation or of future employment as a pharmacist independent prescriber). Find out more about the GPhC’s accreditation reports and the timescales for future accreditations.

In addition, this course is approved by Health Education England.

  • Dr David Terry is the Programme Director. David has over 30 years experience in the NHS and across all main sectors. He is an award winning researcher into advanced clinical roles of pharmacists.
  • Dr Kay M.G. Wood is the Deputy Programme Director and a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy.
  • Dr Chi Huynh, Clinical Lecturer, is the Programme Portfolio Lead.
  • Professor Raj Gupta is the Programme Clinical Director. He is also Head of Specialist Clinical Teaching Academy / Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Discover more in the following ways: 

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