Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists PG Cert

About the course

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 second year of the PG Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy. It is suitable for pharmacists working in hospital, community, primary care, prisons or private sector, but is open to pharmacists from all sectors of the profession.

  • Validated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and provides pharmacists with the qualification required to practice as independent prescribers
  • Industry standard teaching facilities, specialist clinical skills suites 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
  • Our dedicated virtual learning environment helps to develop a community of learning, providing resources and support to develop life-long skills
  • With an emphasis on practice- based learning, you will benefit from inter-professional learning alongside pharmacists with different clinical experiences and other allied health professionals
  • Undertake 90 hours in clinical practice under the guidance of a designated medical practitioner

A conversion course for pharmacists already qualified as supplementary prescribers, wishing to upgrade to independent prescribing, is also available.

Quotes from past students:
“Sessions were informative and engaging, with plenty of time for discussion”
“Approachable and friendly tutors who are consistently positive and supportive”

Key facts

Duration: One year part-time October 2014 11 taught days at the university (Thursdays) plus 90 hours in clinical practice

Attendance: The course runs for seven months between October and April; delivered over a period of 11 taught days and 90 hours in practice.

Location: De Montfort University

Start date: October 2014

Entry and admission criteria

  • Registration as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, or their predecessor for at least two years
  • At least two years’ patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year in the clinical area in which the applicant intends to prescribe
  • Identify an area of clinical practice in which to develop your prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to your intended area of prescribing practice
  • Demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own continuing professional development
  • Support from your employer in your future prescribing role, learning in practice hours and study leave for the course
  • If you are not supported by your employer, then a statement from your local PCT or GP commissioner stating that there is a local need for a pharmacist prescriber in your chosen area of competence, and you will be provided with a prescribing budget if successful in completing the course
  • Support from a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) who will mentor you during your 90 hours of learning in practice. This DMP meets the GPhC criteria for a DMP

Academic Entry Criteria
You should have a degree in pharmacy, such as BSc (Pharm), BPharm or MPharm. Applications are welcomed from pharmacists with degrees from other countries who are practising as a registered pharmacist in the UK.

Requirements of the course are stipulated by the GPhC; further details can be found at:|

Teaching and assessment

The small cohort size lends itself to 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.

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

The course is delivered over a period of 11 taught days and ccompetencies in the chosen clinical area are covered by 90 hours in clinical practice under the guidance of their designated medical practitioner. The five credit conversion course requires attendance at 16 hours of workshops and seminars on campus, and 15 hours in clinical practice.

Course modules

The course is a single 45 credit module, 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 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

Academic expertise

The course is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of staff and external experts, including pharmacists, nurses and doctors. The module leader is a practising independent pharmacist prescriber. Industry standard teaching facilities and specialist clinical skills rooms enhance teaching and learning.

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

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.

Fees and funding

Fees below are for 2013 / 2014

Full-time N/A
Part Time
5 credits
45 credits

How to apply

UKPASS is the postgraduate equivalent of UCAS and gives you a simple and efficient way to apply online. It allows you to search for a course and guides you through the application process. Using UKPASS you can apply for up to ten courses for free.

You can create your application in your own time, so you can consider, research and complete each section at your own speed. You can track your applications as they progress, and can also receive and reply to offers online. Apply online with UKPASS|

You will need to attach qualification transcripts, references and evidence of English language (if you are an overseas student) with your UKPass application. If these documents are not attached to your original application, this will delay the process of your application.

International students can also apply directly to DMU using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Admissions Team
De Montfort University
Edith Murphy Building
Leicester, LE1 9BH

Online enquiry form|

T: +44 (0)116 250 6070

What our students say

Sessions were informative and engaging, with plenty of time for discussion.

Approachable and friendly tutors who are consistently positive and supportive.

Feedback from students 2011-12

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