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Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

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The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing is a 30-credit professional development course, delivered at level 7. It is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and leads to a professional award that permits recipients to apply to the Registrar to have their entry on the register annotated as an Independent Prescriber.

This module will equip the individual pharmacist with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the GPhC learning outcomes and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to practice safely and effectively as a prescriber.

100% of our graduates are in work or further study fifteen months after graduating (2018/19 Graduate Outcomes Survey).

Who the module is aimed at 

Students undertaking this module will already be employed as pharmacists. It is aimed at experienced practitioners in primary, intermediate or secondary care. Individuals will have identified an area of clinical practice in which they wish to prescribe & have up-to-date clinical knowledge evidenced by relevant courses, post-graduate qualifications and/or experiential learning.

Entry onto the course and the course standards, syllabus and delivery are outlined by the GPhC in the document ‘Standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers’ (the Standards), last updated in January 2019.

This module is not available to pharmacists based outside the UK.

Benefits of taking the module to the individual, the organisation and the patient

Completion of the module will provide role development of the individual extending practice to effective prescribing. The programme will advance clinical practice and enhance career opportunities.

The organisation will benefit from the increased flexibility of a pharmacist workforce with advanced practitioner skills (independent non-medical prescribing).

Other benefits are improved access to medicines and patient care without compromising safety and increased patient choice in accessing medication.

What you learn 

  • You will learn the generic principles of prescribing and selected physical assessment skills and apply this knowledge to clinical practice, demonstrating safe and effective prescribing in your chosen area practice.
  • The course does not aim to teach therapeutics as entrants to the course are required to have knowledge of therapeutics related to their chosen area of prescribing practice. However, the course does include the clinical management of some therapeutic areas relevant to practitioners learning experience within the general population.
  • Learning specific to the practitioners chosen area of prescribing practice is progressed through structured independent learning, experiential learning and through the support of their mentor(s) during learning in practice.
  • Learning consequently focuses on the wider skills and principles required of a prescribing pharmacist and their application within a prescribing context, to establish patient centred, holistic, bio-psychosocial approaches to health.

General areas covered 

  • Roles and responsibilities of independent prescriber, working within own area of competence whilst being aware of when to refer on.
  • Clinical skills including history taking, consultation and physical assessment using relevant diagnostic aids, including an understanding of the pathophysiology of disease and the ability to recognise signs and symptoms, monitor response to treatment and review working diagnoses and ultimately develop a treatment plan.
  • Effective communication both with patients and carers and within the health care team, demonstrating good record keeping skills.
  • Case-based scenarios are employed within the teaching allow students to address real-life challenges within prescribing practice and support each other during the course. The range of case-based scenarios ensure that the principles of equality and diversity amongst our patient population are considered, whilst also ensuring that they are inclusive of participant backgrounds.

Skills gained for the workplace, technical skills or academic skills

  • Advanced clinical assessment / examination skills
  • The principles of safe and effective prescribing
  • Critical analysis and synthesis
  • Reflective practice skills

Unique or interesting features

Opportunities to link with students undertaking the non-medical prescribing course for nurses, physiotherapists, and podiatrists, for peer support and interprofessional learning.

Professional recognition

This module is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Assessment information

The assessment tasks for this module are:

EXAM: A three-hour written exam drawing on content from across the curriculum.  The exam includes a numeracy section.

OSCE: A physical assessment skill and a consultation station.

PORTFOLIO: A critically reflective assignment on one patient case from practice supported by evidence to confirm achievement of the learning outcomes, including examples of prescription writing.

Satisfactory completion of a period of 90 hours practice learning and assessment of competence by a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) through a completed practice assessment document.

Satisfactory completion of a recorded case-based discussion (CBD) undertaken in practice, by a DPP.

How to apply

All applicants: please complete the PIP Application Form

Fees and Funding for 2023/24

Indicative price for stand-alone module

Home student: £1,655

EU / International students: £2,735- this is part-time study and therefore cannot provide sponsorship for Tier 4.

How to apply

To apply for either a  self-funded or Workforce Development / Workforce Transformation Funding  WDF/WTF funded place, please complete and return the application form below 4 weeks prior to the course start date:

PIP application form V60 (PDF, 1.4MB)

DPP handbook 23/24 (PDF, 493.6KB)

* Pharmacy Integration Programme:  

  1. Please clearly indicate in your email to admissions which category of funding you are applying for [Category 1 or Category 2] please refer to table 1 below.
  2. There are 33 student places for this route for eligible applicants across the 23/24 academic year: [18 places for Category 1, and 15 places for Category 2].
  3. Places via this route will be ‘ring fenced’ until 4 weeks prior to the respective course start dates, after which places will be released to remaining applicants from other routes. [For September 23 and January 24 applications must be received by: 25th August, and 22nd December respectively.
  4. Applicants are eligible to apply from any region.
  5. Pharmacy Integration Programme learners should be aware that information may be shared with third parties, this will form part of the formal enrolment contract.


Table 1: Categories of learners and associated eligibility criteria



Eligible pharmacists

Category 1: Pharmacists enrolled on the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) and meeting the course provider and regulator criteria to enrol on Independent Prescriber training


Pharmacists in PCN ARRS role enrolled on PCPEP

 Pharmacists who meet the eligibility criteria should apply for authorisation via the CPPE website, PCPEP independent prescribing section. Authorisation is provided to the learner and personalised with the chosen University and date so an application can be made.






Category 2: Pharmacists working to support the delivery of primary care services and meeting the course provider and regulator criteria to enrol on Independent Prescriber training

- Community pharmacists

Locum pharmacists working in community pharmacy to support delivery of NHS clinical services will be eligible

Eligible Pharmacists may be working part-time solely in community pharmacy or across other sectors in a portfolio career.

Pharmacists working in community pharmacy will not require a defined prescribing role/access to a prescribing budget to be eligible. This is to support workforce transformation, and capability to support potential future NHS clinical services in the community pharmacy sector.


- Pharmacists working to provide primary care services (e.g working in primary care/CCG/general practice) who are not employed in ARRS role


- Pharmacists working to provide primary care NHS services e.g. working in primary care / CCG/general practice), who are not employed in an Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) role

- Pharmacists working in the Health

and Justice system

- With written support from the employer


For information about  Workforce Development / Workforce Transformation funding WDF/WTF funded place, please refer to this link.  Please note that you need to complete the PIP Application form above not the application form within the link.

Further information and Workforce Development Funding / CPD Funding online application form

  • Entry requirements

    • Applicants will be registered with the General pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and will be working as a practising pharmacist.
    • Entrants must have at least two years appropriate patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their preregistration year.
    • Entrants must have identified an area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice.

    The above must be evidenced in your application form

    The module is not available to pharmacists outside of the UK.

    With regard to the application form for self-funding/self-employed students the Designated Medical Practitioner can sign to confirm that an applicant meets the entry requirements and as the non-medical prescribing lead. For students completing their 90 hours of clinical observation in an area that is not their usual place of work the checklist in the application form should be completed with regard to the clinical area they will be in Practice.

  • Attendance

    Delivery Method:

    Blended Learning this module will involve a limited number of face-to-face study days supported by online distance learning activities

    View our statement on notional study hours »

    Provisional timetable

    The provisional course and assessment dates are subject to change. Attendance is anticipated to be on campus for study day 4, the rest of the study days will be online via zoom. All dates are mandatory attendance on zoom (9am - 4pm) unless otherwise indicated. Final exams are held on campus.

    Study Day

    Sept 23

    Jan 24










    4 (Physical Assessment)












    8 (Mock OSCE)




    Exam (Task 1)



    OSCE Exam (Task 2)



    Assignment/PAD (Task 3)








    View our statement on timetable changes »

  • Assessment


    Module assessment is made up of one or more assessment tasks. The assessment task(s) for this module are:

    Written exam, OSCE and Assignment

    • Practical Examination
    • Written Report

    Successful completion of this module will earn you 30 level 7 credits

Further details

For further information please contact the module leader Helen Kundu - or contact the student experience team:

Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?