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Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

Practice Certificate
Practice Certificate Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

This Practice Certificate in Pharmacist Independent Prescribing will prepare you to achieve the relevant learning outcomes required by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to be eligible to apply for annotation as a Pharmacist Independent Prescriber.

The module is structured around GPhC Standards and the Competency Framework for all Prescribers. These support Pharmacist Prescribers to deliver safe and effective care. The skills and knowledge you will gain will enable you to make a difference to patients’ lives and play an important role in the future of pharmacist independent prescribing.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date

January or September

Course Length

10 months + 1 week 'virtual residential'

Teaching covers the learning outcomes required by the General Pharmaceutical Council. The subject matter is delivered at Master’s Level (SCQF Level 11) and covers therapeutics, pharmaceutical care planning, clinical skills, consultation skills and public health.

Therapeutic Topics

  • Cardiovascular (hypertension, heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, dyslipidaemia)
  • Endocrinology (thyroid dysfunction, diabetes mellitus)
  • Respiratory (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Musculoskeletal (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, pain)
  • Gastrointestinal (peptic ulcer disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Neurology (Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s)
  • Oncology (general aspects, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer)
  • Psychiatry (affective disorders, anxiety and sleep, schizophrenia)


The module comprises three elements: online learning, a ‘virtual residential period’ of teaching and training and a period of learning in practice.

The module is delivered entirely by distance-learning using a range of web-based learning materials. There is a mandatory one week ‘virtual residential’ period when you will study elements of the module which are more effectively taught and assessed face-to-face such as communication and history-taking, consultation skills and the development and synthesis of treatment plans for individual patients. During the virtual residential week there are also highly relevant presentations from a number of external experts.

The virtual residential week for the January intake is at the end of April/ beginning of May; the September intake has its virtual residential week in January.



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

Learning Methods

Presentation of module materials is based on the principles of adult learning theory which stress the importance of involving the learner at all stages of the learning process. This is fully compatible with the philosophy of continuing professional development (CPD), encouraging you to:

  • reflect and define your own learning needs
  • plan to meet these needs
  • implement this learning plan
  • evaluate the outcomes of your learning

The module is in mandatory part of the diploma stage of our PgDip | MSc Advanced Pharmacy Practice course.

Activity Summary

  • Lectures - up to 84 students per group, 15 hours in residential week
  • Seminars - up to 84 students per group, 8 hours in residential week
  • Tutorial - up to 28 students per group, 8 hours in residential week
  • Practical class or workshop - up to 28 students per group, 6 hours in residential week
  • Independent Study - varies but approximately 180 hours over duration of module
  • Placement / Work Based Learning - minimum of 80 hours (COVID-19 adjustment) learning in practice, throughout the module

How long is a Pharmacist Independent Prescribing course?

The Pharmacist Independent Prescribing course at RGU can be completed in 10 months + a 1 week 'virtual residential'. This is to include independent study, lectures, seminars and placement / work based learning.

Staff Delivering on This Course

Staff are practised pharmacist academics and practitioners with active links to national bodies including the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Faculty.  External experts also contribute to the one week residential period where we cover aspects of the module which are better delivered face-to-face (currently online).

The Module Coordinator is your central point for information and support. You will be supported by university staff including e-tutors and practising clinical pharmacy practitioners, who review learning materials, provide real-life case scenarios and participate in the marking of some practice-related assessments. E-tutors facilitate discussion and learning within the module and bring a unique practice-related perspective to learning. We also have PIP tutors who are pharmacist prescribers working in a range of settings who bring their expertise to the course including the residential period.

Independent Study

There are a number of assignments and preparatory tasks that must be completed prior to and after the virtual residential week. You must also complete at least 80 hours (COVID-19 adjustment) learning in practice. Workloads and other commitments will vary making it impossible to specify the actual number of hours per week.


Typically students are assessed each year:

  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 portfolio of evidence from the period of learning practice
  • 1 set exercise
  • 1 practical skills assessment


Clinical pharmacy practitioners who review learning materials aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


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’ll undertake a minimum period of 80 hours (COVID-19 adjustment) learning in practice, during which you will be supervised by a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP), who will be a medical or non-medical independent prescriber: note that you must identify this person yourself.  You will focus on the therapeutic area(s)/ patient group(s) you hope to prescribe for and a training plan for this period will be agreed between you and your DPP. You’ll submit a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate achievement of the relevant learning outcomes and the required hours in practice.

Job Prospects

As a Pharmacist Prescriber you can make a great contribution to healthcare provision in primary and secondary care, in community pharmacy, and in other settings throughout the UK.  The role is professionally challenging and very rewarding.  You will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, involved in prescribing decisions and governance and optimising outcomes by the provision of person-centred pharmaceutical care.


What is needed for Practice Certificate Pharmacist Independent Prescribing?

All candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Pharmacist registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  • Demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own Continuing Professional Development.
  • Have a Designated Prescribing Practitioner who has agreed to supervise the period of learning in practice.
  • Have at least two years appropriate patient orientated experience practising in a hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year.
  • Have identified an area of clinical practice and need in which to develop their prescribing skills.
  • Have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice.
  • Demonstrate how they will develop their own networks for support, reflection and learning, including prescribers from other professions. 

The Designated Prescribing Practitioner

As part of the course, the pharmacist’s period of learning in practice must be supervised by a Designated Prescribing Practitioner who may be a medical or a non-medical independent prescriber.

Further information on this role in relation to our course and our requirements:

Our Application Process

As part of our application process you must demonstrate that you have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in the area in which you wish to prescribe, which is suitable to act as a foundation for your training.  You will be asked to provide information about, and reflect on, your experience, education and training and to provide information about your proposed prescribing service. 


This Pharmacist Independent Prescribing course has the following tuition fees:

For Academic Year 2021/2022

  • All Students - £2,200 for the full course

For Academic Year 2020/2021

  • All Students - £2,200 for the full course

Additional Costs

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

Student Funding

Pharmacists working in Scotland may be eligible for funding from

Scholarships and Financial Awards

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees, you may 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 the team and we'll do our best to help.

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