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Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists

The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists has been validated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and provides pharmacists with the qualification required to practice as independent prescribers.


The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists is available as a stand-alone 45 credit course or it can be taken as an option in the diploma year of the MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, which is open to pharmacists from all sectors of the profession. Existing MSc/Diploma students are required to apply separately for the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing.

Course programme

Designed by expert pharmacists and clinicians, the course takes a practice-based approach to learning and assessment, and benefits from the continued input of experienced academics and practitioners from the fields of pharmacy, medicine and nursing.

Reasons to study The Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists at DMU:

  • Validated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and provides pharmacists with the qualification required to practice as independent prescribers
  • Industry standard teaching facilities and extensive use of our virtual learning environment enhance your learning experience
  • Our reputation of more than 104 years’ pharmacy teaching ensures we produce graduates of the highest calibre
  • Designed and delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of expert academics, experienced pharmacists, clinicians and healthcare professionals, with a practice-based approach to learning and assessment
  • Benefit from the continued input of experienced practitioners from the fields of pharmacy, medicine and nursing; encouraging inter-disciplinary working and ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice


Study days 2018/19

Students will be divided into two groups, one group predominantly studying on Tuesdays, and one group predominantly studying on Thursdays.

September 2018 Intake

  • Induction Day: 4th September or 6th September
  • Study Day 1:  11th September or 13th September
  • Study Day 2: 18th September or 20th September
  • Study Day 3: 25th September or 27th September
  • Study Day 4: 30th October or 1st November
  • Study Day 5: 20th November or 22nd November
  • Study Day 6: 29th November only
  • Assessment Day: 13th December only

January 2019 Intake

  • Induction Day: 8th January or 10th January
  • Study Day 1:  15th January or 17th January
  • Study Day 2: 22nd January or 24th January
  • Study Day 3: 28th January or 31st January
  • Study Day 4: 5th March or 7th March
  • Study Day 5: 12th March only
  • Study Day 6: 26th March or 28th March
  • Assessment Day: 30th April only

Please note that all study days are compulsory and that indicated dates may be subject to change.

More courses like this:

Clinical Pharmacy

Advanced Practice in Urgent Primary Care



  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

Course code: B23091

Assessed at Level 7

Duration: 6 months with the opportunity to submit all work within 4 months as a 'fast-track' option

Attendance for the full Independent Prescribing programme: 8 days at De Montfort University plus 90 hours in practice

Start date: September or January

Application deadline: For the September 2018 intake, all application documents must be received by 5.00pm on 1st June 2018.

For the January 2019 intake, all application documents must be received by 18th November 2018

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:
Home part time - £2000 for 45 credits, £700 for 15 credits

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.



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Not available to international students.

Entry criteria

        Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing

      (45 credits)

  • Be a registered pharmacist with the GPhC or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
  • Have at least two years appropriate patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year.
  • Applicants need to identify an area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to that area of prescribing practice.
  • Be able to demonstrate reflective practice on performance and the ability to take responsibility for continuing professional development.



  • The applicant must have identified a designated medical practitioner (DMP) who has training and experience appropriate to their role. This may be demonstrated by adherence to the Department of Health Guidance (2001). The DMP must have agreed to provide supervision, support and shadowing opportunities for the student, and be familiar with the GPhC's requirements and learning outcomes for the programme.
  • Support from the applicants employer for learning in practice and study leave

All applications will be screened and suitable applicants invited to an interview selection process, using video calling where possible.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Academic expertise


Course modules

Sessions include a broad range of topics including; psychology of prescribing , legal and ethical issues, evidence-based medicine and clinical and communication skills.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Evaluate and apply an evidence-based practice and patient partnership approach to prescribing decision making, including public health and clinical governance concerns.
  • Create and use individualised treatment and monitoring plans for patients within your area of competence.
  • Prescribe safely, ethically, legally, cost effectively and within a team, communicating effectively with patients, carers, other prescribers and other healthcare professionals
  • Perform patient examinations in order to diagnose and monitor the conditions within your area of competence.
  • Reflect upon prescribing practice and use this to develop audits and continue your professional development, recording this appropriately.
  • Use common diagnostic aids, e.g. stethoscope

Teaching and assessment

You choose which therapeutic area you would like to prescribe in, in line with your practice - and you undertake appropriate professional development to demonstrate competency within this area of practice. 

Students are taught in small cohorts and learning sets, which facilitate an informal teaching approach, in which discussion and debate amongst the group is encouraged. Our virtual learning environment provides a point of resource and communication between students and academics.

Course content focuses on understanding the psychology of prescribing, law, ethics, budgetary considerations, clinical reasoning, taking a patient partnership approach to healthcare management, communication and consultation skills, underpinned by self-directed and facilitated learning of therapeutics relevant to students individual area of practice.

Practice-based assessment includes: a portfolio and reflective log of clinical experience, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) assessment, and a written assessment.

Students are encouraged to become reflective, self-aware practitioners. Our teaching and assessment methods help students understand their own competency to assist with future professional development as non-medical prescribers.

The course is delivered over a period of 8 taught days, and competencies in the chosen clinical area are covered by 90 hours in clinical practice under the guidance of their designated medical practitioner.

The course is delivered over 6 months, however, for students with sufficient time and resources, the opportunity exists to undertake all learning and submit all summative work within 4 months.

Academic expertise

The course is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of staff and external experts, including pharmacists, nurses and doctors. 

Over 100 years of pharmacy teaching and expertise at our institution ensures that our graduates are of the highest calibre.

Facilities and features

How to apply

Students can apply directly to study this postgraduate taught course at DMU by using our online applications portal using the programme code B23091. They will also need to complete the course specific application form below.

NHS employees may also be eligible for LBR funding.

If you would like further information or an informal discussion about the prescribing course, please contact:

Module Leader

Tim Harrison 
T: 0116 250 6470

IP Application Form 2018-19

Learning in practice

The course requires you to identify a medical practitioner (known as a Designated Medical Practitioner or DMP) who will act as your mentor and allow you to observe prescribing in their practice.  Students spend 90 hours working in practice; this is in addition to the study days at DMU. For further information regarding the requirements of a DMP, please refer to the documents referenced above, and if you have any further questions, please contact the module leader directly, using the contact details above. 

Useful sources of information

GPhC website detailing entry requirements for Independent Prescribing

GPhC website listing providers of the Independent Prescribing programme

Information for prospective DMPs 2017

Application information

Part of the application process requires you to identify why there is a need to prescribe in your area, how you will use your qualification in practice and how this will benefit patient care. You choose which therapeutic area you would like to prescribe in, in line with your practice. You are expected to have a good working knowledge of your area of clinical competence when you apply for the course.  

Please note that you must complete a DMU application form (if you have not studied with us before) in addition to a course specific application form, which is available on the website. Supporting evidence from your employer and DMP will also be required.

Suitable candidates will be interviewed as part of the selection process for this course. 

Opportunities and careers



As part of the university's commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. We offer an Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships.

Gunn and Carter Fellowship £3000 per annum. 


To support research in the Leicester School of Pharmacy.


Graduate careers

Upon successful completion of this course you will be awarded a Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing, which will allow you to apply to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) for your register entry to be annotated to that of a prescriber. You will then be able to work as a pharmacist independent prescriber.


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