Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing PgCert

Study the Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) at Aston University, Birmingham to enhance your practice as a clinician and delivery of care to your patients while gaining a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) accredited qualification. 

Course type

Part-time / distance learning

Course format

No placements


9 months 

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline

The Clinically Enhanced Prescribing PgCert has been designed to enhance your practice as a clinician and delivery of care to your patients, and is suitable for all clinical specialties.

Taught predominantly online and the in-practice learning environment, this accredited qualification will enable you to evaluate and challenge prescribing practice with reference to evidence based practice, equality and diversity and clinical governance, and develop clinically enhanced skills relevant to your specialist area. 

The aims of the programme are to enable you to:

  • Develop the knowledge, skills and clinical confidence to prepare students to become safe independent prescribers, working effectively within a health care team.
  • Develop clinical enhanced skills relevant to specialist area i.e. acute or emergency medicine, mental health, paediatrics. 

When achieved, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate person-centred care. 
  • Demonstrate professionalism as a prescriber. 
  • Demonstrate professional knowledge and skills commensurate with being an independent prescriber.
  • Demonstrate clinical and professional collaboration with patients and other health care workers.
  • Understand, apply and assess clinical skills and knowledge appropriate for a prescriber working within a clinical specialty to support the clinical management of patients.
  • Utilise clinical and professional collaboration with patients and other health care workers.

More detail of module content covered in the 45-credit core practice certificate, and 15-credit standalone modules can be found on the individual course pages.

Key information and fees

This 60-credit, level 7 Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing PgCert is made up of one core 45-credit prescribing practice certificate, and one 15-credit standalone module. 

The core practice certificate you study is dependent on professional registration and regulatory body membership, and the standalone module, for which there are three options, can be selected based on your area of speciality and interest. Both elements can be completed independently, but both must be completed in order to obtain the full PgCert qualification.

Core Practice Certificate

Standalone module options

  • Clinically Enhanced Prescribing in Acute and Emergency Medicine – 15-credit standalone module (3 months) (optional)

  • Clinically Enhanced Prescribing in Mental Health Medicine** – 15-credit standalone module (3 months)  (optional) 
  • Clinically Enhanced Prescribing in Paediatric Medicine** – 15-credit standalone module (3 months) (optional) 

We also offer a 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy – Prescribing Practice for students who have obtained 60 credits of a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy from another HEI provider.  Further details of this can be found in the entry requirements section of this page.

*Pending NMC Approval

**Due for Commencement 2022/23

Start date: October 2021 and March 2022

Intake: Up to 50 students 

Mode of delivery

  • Part-time, delivered mainly via online distance learning, with nine mandatory attendance days on campus at Aston (9-5pm) over 9 months. In addition, hours in the in practice learning environment (90hrs – Pharmacists, 78 hrs – Nurses) requirement with student’s Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) for the core prescribing module. 
  • 25 hours in-practice learning requirement with student’s clinical supervisor for optional modules. 


The application deadline for October 2022 entry is 27 August 2022. To apply for this course, you will need to register for an application pack. We will then send you an email with more details on how you can provide information and evidence of how you meet the entry requirements, your Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP), line manager, and Non-Medical Prescribing lead (if applicable). 

Please note applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. If you do not accept your offer promptly and we have reached our intake cap you application will be deferred to the next intake. Demand for this programme is currently very high and we advise applying early.

Fees (2022/23): To be confirmed


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

Key Dates

Face-to-face days: will take place between October and June and March to November. Please note the focus of these days are clinical skills and students will be required to participate in examination skills practice. Please note these days may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

Students will need to attend all face-to-face engagement, as per the requirement of the core and optional modules. Self-directed work is provided online via the University Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and progression will be monitored by the programme team. 

Assessment dates: will take place between February/March and July/August.  Continuous assessment and in-practice assessment throughout programme duration. 

This course is part of the Aston Pharmacy School which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.

UK postgraduate loans are now open

If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2021, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs.

UK postgraduate loans are now open


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

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 and experience.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. If you hold an alternative qualification, you may wish to enquire with our admissions team prior to application whether or not your qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications, this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the programme director.

All applicants must have the following:


  • Be a registered pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) employed in a patient-facing role, and be of good standing with your regulatory body.
  • Must have written approval from your employer/line manager and Non-Medical Prescribing lead (if applicable) supporting your study.


  • A minimum of two years (pharmacist), or one year (nurse) post-registration experience, with the appropriate patient-orientated experience, practising in a hospital, communit,y or primary care setting following your pre-registration year.
  • Have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological, and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to your intended area of prescribing practice.
  • Can demonstrate that you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own CPD.
  • Can identify an area of clinical practice in which to develop your prescribing skills.


  • A Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise the in-practice learning element. Applicant’s DPP must be a registered healthcare professional in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights, who is suitably experienced and qualified to carry out this supervisory role, and who has demonstrated CPD or revalidation relevant to this role. Although an applicant may be supervised by more than one person, only one prescriber must be the DPP. The DPP is the person who will certify that successful prescribing students are competent to practice as independent prescribers. Please see further information below on DPP pre-requisites when considering who to approach to supervise your in-practice learning. Information for potential DPPs is also supplied below.   
  • A suitably qualified clinical supervisor to complete 25 hours of in-practice learning and a clinical framework. This will need to confirmed by the commencement of the programme and is applicants responsibility to organise. 


  • A relevant postgraduate clinical diploma (or equivalent) is desirable (pharmacists only). 

PgDip in Clinical Pharmacy - Prescribing Practice

We now offer a new route for students who have obtained 60 credits of a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy from another HEI provider. Only those who can provide evidence of completion within the last 5 years will be admitted to the PgDip Clinical Pharmacy – Prescribing Practice route (transcripts will be required for admission processes).  Recognition of prior learning will be awarded for 60 credits at the discretion of the programme director and students will undertake the PgCert in Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing along with all other students. The additional entry requirements for Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing will also need to be met. Entry requirements for each individual student will be stated in their offer letter. Please speak to Gagandeep Degun - before applying for this route on your application.

Professional accreditation

The Pharmacist Independent Prescribing Practice Certificate at Aston University is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

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

The prescribing programmes expect demonstration of Fitness for Professional Practise, accountability and acting in a professional manner. The programmes are covered by the University Fitness for Practice policy and any concerns raised by DPPs, students or practice environments will be managed via the robust University procedure and may result in referral to the GPhC/NMC for investigation. 



Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) at Aston

At Aston we are keen to promote to use of Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPP) and encourage those from non-medical professions to act in the role for our students. Regulatory changes in 2019 meant that experienced non-medical prescribers of any professional background can become responsible for a trainee prescriber's period of in practice learning in a similar way to Designated Medical Practitioners (DMP).

For Aston trainee prescribing students, the DPP role can be carried out by a registered independent prescriber or medical practitioner who is able to meet the criteria and who is able to demonstrate competence in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) DPP competency framework. 

Please see the Pharmacist Independent Prescribing Practice Certificate course page for further details, pre-requisites and self-assessment criteria.


Clinical Supervisor Role 

Students will be required to organise a clinical supervisor to complete 25 hours of supervised practice and a clinical framework as part of the optional module requirements. Students will be required to confirm these details prior to commencing the module. This can be a consultant, registrar or experienced advanced clinical practitioner (ACP), however they should have experience in teaching and supervision and working within the specialist area. Please see the Clinically Enhanced Prescribing in Acute and Emergency Medicine standalone module page for further details. 

Learning, teaching and assessment

The contents of this blended learning programme is directed by GPhC/NMC guidance. The course follows the consultation process, leading to appropriate prescribing and related patient monitoring. All modules take a blended learning approach with a combination of interactive teaching over nine face-to-face days, directed learning activities online via the university VLE and in-practice learning under the supervision of an approved DPP/Clinical Supervisor. 

Learning and teaching methods
  • Face-to-face days at Aston on campus focusing on hands-on clinical skills 
  • Online learning components via the university VLE, allowing flexibility for distance learning.  
  • Online interactive components, discussion boards and workbooks for peer online learning. 
  • In-practice learning and the completion of reflective portfolio’s. 
  • Support from your own dedicated personal academic tutor for academic and personal development. 
  • Students have to self-direct their learning in order to develop in their specialist area.
Assessment methods

Assessment methods vary for each core and optional module and include:

  • Reflective portfolios of in-practice learning 
  • OSCE and OSCE plus
  • Case Presentations
  • Skills based clinical framework 
  • Reflective written assignments
  • Written pharmacology and numeric examination
  • Formative assessment, peer assessment, clinical skills demonstration

Please see individual modules for further details. 

Course staff
  • Dr David Terry is the Director of the Academic Practice Unit. 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.
  • Ramandeep Sandhu, Teaching Fellow in Pharmacy.
  • Gagandeep Degun is the Module Coordinator and Teaching Fellow in Pharmacy.
  • Dr Chi Huynh, Clinical Lecturer, is the Programme Portfolio Lead and PAT lead.
  • Jaimie Micks, Teacher Practitioner at UHCW NHS Foundation Trust is DPP lead.
  • Professor Raj Gupta is the Programme Medical Director. He is also Head of Specialist Clinical Teaching Academy / Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

As a student at Aston University, you will have access to a range of specialist pharmacy facilities recently refitted as part of £3m upgrade. Facilities include:

  • Teaching and research laboratories
  • Mock 'ward' area
  • Medication supply laboratories
  • Medicines management suite
  • Clinical examination suites
  • Video recording technology
  • Computer-aided learning and patient simulations
  • An established Virtual Learning Environment for teaching and course-organisation materials and communications, such as lecture notes, presentations and videos.
  • Hard-copy and electronic access to publications, journals and large scientific databases. 


Future career prospects

Successful candidates will enhance their confidence, skills and practice as an autonomous clinician. Enabling full management of patients’ assessment, medication and condition as a clinically enhanced independent prescriber. 

The programme will:

  • enhance your career opportunities
  • enable you to become a holistically focused practitioner
  • empower you to focus on person centred care provision.

You may also wish to consider the PgCert in Advanced Health Assessment at Aston to further advance your clinical expertise. In addition, you have opportunity to progress to the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice, delivered at Aston by the Academic Practice Unit. 

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