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Clinical Pharmacy modules

The course philosophy is to provide a variety of learning activities and approaches to complement your continuing professional development (CPD) and continually improve the quality of care delivered to patients. Our course enables flexibility and choice to meet your learning requirements.

Please see below for a list of the modules we currently offer. We offer modular and structured pathways:

Modular Pathway – students study their choice of modules from the list below,

Structured Pathway – students study Fundamentals of Clinical Practice, Medicines Optimisation in Practice, Applied Therapeutics 1 and Applied Therapeutics 2 modules in the Certificate year and their choice of modules in the Diploma year. 

Please note: each module runs twice in an academic year.

Module calendar

  1. January/February - May

    • Fundamentals of Clinical Practice
    • Medicines Optimisation in Practice
    • Applied Therapeutics 1
    • Applied Therapeutics 3
    • Clinical Pharmacists in Primary Care
    • Clinical Pharmacists in Secondary Care
    • Professional Decision Making and Ethics
    • Public Health
    • Quality Improvement
    • Deprescribing in Mental Health
    • Polypharmacy in Clinical Practice
    • Concepts in Research
    • Independent Prescribing (Jan start)
  2. May - September

    • Applied Therapeutics 1
    • Applied Therapeutics 2
    • Clinical Pharmacists in Primary Care
    • Clinical Pharmacists in Secondary Care
    • Public Health
    • Quality Improvement
    • Implementation of a Quality Improvement Service
    • Deprescribing in Mental Health
    • Polypharmacy in Clinical Practice
    • Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Stewardship
    • Fundamentals of Leadership and Change Management
  3. September/October - January

    • Fundamentals of Clinical Practice
    • Medicines Optimisation in Practice
    • Applied Therapeutics 2
    • Applied Therapeutics 3
    • Professional Decision Making and Ethics
    • Implementation of a Quality Improvement Service
    • Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Stewardship
    • Fundamentals of Leadership and Change Management
    • Concepts in Research
    • Independent Prescribing (Sept start)

Course modules

  • Fundamentals of Clinical Practice (15 credits) - This module enables students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of therapeutics in the areas of diagnostic testing and monitoring of disease processes and drug therapies.  The learning materials will equip students with an understanding of the tests required for the diagnosis and monitoring of common conditions, therapeutic drug handling in special circumstances, for example pregnancy, and the management of adverse drug reactions and drug interactions. This module also aims to enable students to develop self-evaluation and reflective skills, so that they can reflect on their development as a pharmacist.

  • Medicines Optimisation in Practice (15 credits) - This is a negotiated learning module with generic work-based learning outcomes. It is intended that the learning from this module can be personalised to make it relevant for pharmacists working in any sector. The core learning focuses on the medicines optimisation agenda, and the evaluation of medicines optimisation principles in the provision of chronic disease management. The module also covers other basic practice principles including communication skills, multi-disciplinary working, clinical governance and audit and safeguarding.

  • Applied Therapeutics 1 (15 credits) - This module enables students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of pharmaceutical care in the clinical areas of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Topics covered include: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, respiratory infections, atrial fibrillation, acute coronary syndrome, hypertension, cerebral vascular attack, transient ischaemic attack, cardiac failure, diabetes type I and type II and incident reporting. The module also enables students to develop critical analysis, medicines optimisation, reflective and presentation skills.

  • Applied Therapeutics 2 (15 credits) - This module enables students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of pharmaceutical care in the clinical areas of psychiatry, palliative care and gastrointestinal conditions. Topic covered include: depression, anxiety, insomnia, schizophrenia, palliative care, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ischaemic bowel disease. This module also aims to enable students to develop critical analysis, medicines optimisation and reflective skills.

  • Applied Therapeutics 3 (15 credits) - This module enables students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of pharmaceutical care in the clinical areas of musculoskeletal disease, neurology and other miscellaneous conditions. Topic covered include: epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, falls, rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, gout, tuberculosis and thyroid disorders. This module also aims to enable students to develop critical analysis, medicines optimisation and reflective skills.

  • Clinical Pharmacists in Primary Care (15 Credits) - This module aims to introduce pharmacists to the skills, knowledge and resources required to develop an autonomous patient-facing clinical role within the primary care setting. Pharmacists will become familiar with the monitoring parameters and quality criteria used in primary care. Pharmacists will self-assess their own skills and experience and consider how they can apply their knowledge and skills to best benefit the quality of care provided by the practice. 
     
  • Clinical Pharmacists in Secondary Care (15 Credits) - This module aims to introduce pharmacists to the skills, knowledge and resources required to develop autonomous patient-facing clinical roles within the secondary care setting. Pharmacists will become familiar with the guidelines, recommendations, evidence sources and management principles used in a range of conditions, including: the management of nausea and vomiting, nil by mouth patients, constipation, wound care, drug misuse, pain, infections, antibiotic therapy, enteral and parenteral feeding and patients undergoing surgery. Pharmacists will develop their clinical knowledge by using medicines optimisation and reflective skills particularly in their role as a practitioner within a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to best benefit the quality of care provided to the patient and members of the multidisciplinary team.

  • Professional Decision Making and Ethics (15 credits) - This module enables students to build on the clinical, problem solving and communication skills developed in the Practice Foundations module.  Learning can be tailored to meet the individual needs of pharmacists working in different areas of pharmacy practice. Topics covered include ethics and decision -making processes, plus the balancing of clinical agendas with the patient’s agenda.

  • Public Health (15 Credits) - Increasingly pharmacists are being expected to contribute to disease prevention and public health interventions. This module aims to equip pharmacists with the knowledge necessary to adapt to this changing role. Topics covered will include: epidemiology of disease, the social determinants of health and the social context of healthcare practice, approaches to health promotion, health psychology.

  • Quality Improvement (15 credits) - This module, based on the quality improvement agenda, is designed to develop students' understanding of theoretical and professional aspects of clinical pharmacy practice and services.  Students will develop a critical appreciation of how pharmaceutical services are managed taking account of national and local healthcare structure, policy and priorities. Students will appreciate the blurring of boundaries that may occur when decisions relating to clinical practice overlap with management and organisational priorities. Students will be encouraged to explore the natural tensions that exist between clinical decision-making and the reality of providing pharmaceutical services within a quality and cost-conscious health economy. Students will develop their skills of critically analysing and devising improvements to services.

  • Implementation of a Quality Improvement Service* (15 credits) - The purpose of this module is to enable students to develop and improve their skills and knowledge related to development and implementation of quality improvement projects, with particular emphasis on embedding sustainable change ideas. Students will use knowledge of improvement principles to identify quality and safety issues, including measurement of clinical safety and quality indicators in relation to the delivery of practice-based healthcare services. Students will be encouraged to develop skills to effectively lead and manage improvement projects for sustainable outcomes and to be able to communicate project aims and benefits to a wider audience. Through the deployment of analytical and reflective skills students will appreciate and develop approaches to navigate the tension between quality improvement objectives and organisational strategic objectives.

  • Deprescribing in Mental Health (15 credits) - This module will enable students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of effective therapeutic care in the area of deprescribing in mental health, to identify appropriate and inappropriate prescribing and to reflect upon their learning and role as a member of the multidisciplinary team. Topics includes: barriers to deprescribing, approaches to deprescribing and ensuring safe management, shared decision making and working with the multidisciplinary team.

  • Polypharmacy in Clinical Practice (15 credits) - This module aims to enable students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of pharmaceutical care in the clinical area of polypharmacy and to reflect upon their learning. The learning materials will support students to become equipped with the tools, knowledge and understanding required to identify appropriate and inappropriate polypharmacy. This includes: principles of managing polypharmacy, managing polypharmacy within different body systems and approaching structured medicines review in clinical settings.

  • Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Stewardship (15 credits) - This module aims to enable students to develop the necessary understanding and skills to facilitate the delivery of antimicrobial stewardship in their clinical area, identify inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing, change practice to reduce antimicrobial resistance, and to reflect upon their learning. Topics covered include: principles of managing antimicrobial resistance, managing antibiotic prescribing within different local and national frameworks, and approaching structured medicines review in clinical settings.

  • Fundamentals of Leadership and Change Management (15 credits)- Whist it is well known that different situations prompt different leadership approaches, many leaders tend to use their preferred leadership style regardless of the appropriateness of the approach. Moreover, leaders are often under real or perceived pressures to act quickly and decisively, forcing changes to happen in ways or on timescales that the system is ill-equipped to handle. Making matters worse, previous experiences tend to create both positive and negative biases that disallow objective assessments of current issues, let alone support a ‘curious learner’ mindset that is often needed to ask what are the details unique to every situation in order to find the best options to progress. A broad understanding of the various types of leadership approaches is a foundational start to the ability to decide which one, or which set, should be used given the scope, scale and quality of an issue. The theoretical knowledge of leadership approaches, however, is not enough in order to help ensure any desired outcome materialises. The individuals involved in change, as well as the overall system needing change, are simultaneously resistant and open to changes, so understanding the theoretical and practical aspects of change management are an essential addition to that of the broad leadership foundations that facilitate successful change.

  • Concepts in Research** (15 credits)- Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods, including: setting a research question, research design, validity, reliability, research ethics, participant sampling, analysis, presenting results, critical appraisal and evaluation of research papers.

  • Independent Prescribing (45 credits) - Prepares pharmacists to become independent prescribers as recognised by the GPhC. Please see the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing course page for further information on the Independent Prescribing module.

*Students who wish to study the Implementation of a Quality Improvement Service module need to have successfully completed the Quality Improvement module or evidence that they have prior knowledge and experience of quality improvement processes.

**Students who wish to study the Masters Year need to have successfully completed the Concepts in Research module.