Clinical Pharmacy Service Development

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MSc Clinical Pharmacy Service Development

The MSc Clinical Pharmacy Service Development course (CPSD) has been designed for pharmacists to develop their clinical expertise, develop their role within a multi-disciplinary team, and their pharmacy services, for the benefit of their patients and organisation.

The course aims to enhance knowledge, competence and confidence to design, deliver and evaluate effective person-centred clinical pharmacy services. 

Upon joining CPSD, you will be welcomed into a course learning community with support from peers, mentors, academics, practice-based staff, external specialists, and your personal tutor. The combination of clinical placement visits, interactive case-based seminars, research roundtable discussions and peer to peer learning opportunities, encourages you to build confidence and competence in advanced skills such as: clinical reasoning and decision making, critical thinking, analytical skills as well as leadership and research skills.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

12 months

The CPSD course is delivered face to face on campus and in clinical settings. The main themes are:

  • Clinical Pharmacy
  • Professional Development and Education
  • Public Health
  • Leadership and Service Design
  • Research

These themes run across 5 modules with a central theme of Global Citizenship, to help graduates develop as global citizens and to positively impact patient care, pharmacy services, practice, and policy.

Within the clinical pharmacy theme, you will benefit from expert clinical pharmacist input with real patient cases and will build your knowledge and skill of care planning, prioritisation and clinical reasoning to justify and defend your care plans. You will explore the use of clinical guidelines across a variety of clinical areas, interpret and act upon laboratory and monitoring data and address the care needs of diverse patients with a person-centred approach to delivering clinical services.

Within the professional development theme, you will learn about adult learning theories and practical techniques to develop the expertise needed to design and deliver education and training programmes, to upskill yourself, your pharmacy team, and colleagues within a multidisciplinary team.

In the public health and leadership themes, you will consider aspects of local and global health, health inequalities and service-related aspects of being a clinical pharmacy practitioner. You will cover the skills needed to implement, and systematically evaluate clinical pharmacy services and the leadership, management and organisational aspects of service design, innovation and delivery. Within the research theme, you will develop practical experience of designing a research project and disseminating research findings.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

The course will facilitate your learning through a variety of teaching and learning experiences including: patient case-based learning (on campus and on placements), portfolio development through self-reflective practice, peer to peer learning and sharing clinical practice experience, research roundtable discussions, the use of simulation-based learning within our dedicated Pharmacy Simulation Centre and Clinical Skills Centre, expert panel discussions, live debates, team-based learning, and clinical placement visits.

The course is delivered over 3 days a week to allow sufficient time for self-directed study and consolidation of learning as you transition into postgraduate study. 

Activity Summary

  • Seminars - 8-12 students per group for 2 hours up to 5 times per week, timetabled over 3 days
  • Tutorials - 8-12 students per group for 2 hours per week
  • Project Supervision - One on one and small group supervision for 2 hours per week

How long is a Clinical Pharmacy Service Development course?

The Clinical Pharmacy Service Development MSc can be successfully completed in 12 months, with the option to carry out the final part of the MSc research project in home country as part of the ‘study away’ arrangements on the course.

Independent Study

To help you transition into postgraduate study as an independent learner, the course includes a ‘Resilient Learner Series’ of bespoke study material and seminars. The RLS includes support for academic writing, building resilience, workload planning, developing self-reflective practice, library skills and networking skills which are delivered within the CPSD course and tailored to the needs of each cohort. 


You will be assessed through a variety of modes: written essays, oral defence, portfolio and research report. Each of the 4 modules has one unit of assessment to ensure the assessment load is manageable, with the 5th research module having a research report and viva element of assessment

Typically students are assessed in each year:

  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 dissertation
  • 1 portfolio
  • 2 oral assessments


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

Staff Delivering on This Course

The CPSD course is delivered by General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registered pharmacists, clinical specialists, and experienced academic staff, to create a vibrant and stimulating curriculum. You will benefit from expertise from the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and from the award-winning Business School of The Year (2020), Aberdeen Business School, which holds an AACSB accreditation achieved by only the top 5% of institutions globally. The course aims to be inclusive, nurturing, and relevant to student’s own areas of practice. The course ethos is very much student-centred and developed in partnership with our students.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.



You will be provided with short periods of practice experience focused on the delivery of clinical pharmacy services  to patients in a range of practice settings. These periods are a compulsory component of the course and will be arranged by the University and are unpaid. Experienced clinicians provide supervision and additional teaching in a clinical setting during these periods of experience enabling you to put theory into context.

Job Prospects

As the course is designed for qualified pharmacists, our graduates usually return to their area of practice or home country, equipped with the expertise and confidence to design and enhance innovative pharmacy services, to take up senior clinical roles or leadership roles within Health Ministries or Government education institutions and others go on to undertake further study such a PhD or the Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP) to practice as a pharmacist in the UK.  


What is needed to study MSc Clinical Pharmacy Service Development?

Specific Entry Requirements

  • Applicants should hold a UK undergraduate degree, or overseas equivalent,  in Pharmacy at honours  2:2 level combined with two years post-registration experience.
  • Applicants can be considered in consultation with the course leader , when presenting an integrated master's degree in Pharmacy (MPharm).

Criminal Records/Background Checks

In addition to the above requirements, all applicants will be required to provide a formal record of any criminal convictions prior to starting the course. A criminal records or background check will be required from any country in which the applicant has lived for 6 months or more since the age of 16 years. All students starting the course will also be required to complete a Protection of Vulnerable Groups check prior to commencing the placement component of the course.

Health Screening

Prior to commencing the course, students will be made aware of current health and immunisation requirements.

International Students

Students who are required to present evidence of English ability may seek an English language waiver. To be eligible they are required to meet, and evidence, the following criteria:

(i) Must have obtained their Pharmacy Undergraduate degree at master's (MPharm) level from a UK University.


(ii) Must have obtained their Pharmacy Undergraduate degree at BSc (Hons) level from an international University equivalent to a UK BSc (Hons) degree recognised by UK NARIC (ECCTIS). In addition they  must also be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and have worked in the UK in a relevant professional field.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Academic Year 2022-2023

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £8,700

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £8,700

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £8,700

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £17,040

Academic Year 2021-2022

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £8,450

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £8,450

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £8,450

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £16,540

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

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