Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists

This course is designed for pharmacists working in a variety of areas, including in community pharmacies, hospitals, general practice, prisons or the private sector. Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), successful completion of this course will enable pharmacists to apply for an annotation on the GPhC register as an independent prescriber.

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This course will help you to learn about the many facets of prescribing, including clinical skills, clinical reasoning, consultation skills, communication skills, the psychology of prescribing and the legal and ethical considerations when prescribing. 

The course is usually delivered over six months. However, for students with sufficient time and resources, the opportunity exists to undertake all learning and assessment within four months. There is also the option of carrying out the course over 12 months, for students who would prefer this. Please note that these timeframes refer to the period of studying: marking and quality assurance processes associated with assessment will be in addition to these time-frames.

During the course, you will undertake a mix of self-directed learning, structured online learning, and learning in practice. This includes attendance at eight compulsory study days during which you will be taught in small groups. Our small group teaching encourages important discussion and debate amongst fellow pharmacists and lecturers, allowing for valuable reflection on the future of prescribing practice and promoting self-awareness and critical thinking as a non-medical prescriber. 

You will also undertake the equivalent of at least 12 days (or 90 hours) of practice-based experience, under the supervision of your Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP), working towards competencies in a chosen area of practice. 

To reinforce your learning, we also support self-directed learning through our easy-to-use online learning platforms. This format allows you to study at a time convenient to you, and encourages communication with fellow pharmacists and lecturers.

Key features

  • Designed and delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of expert academics, experienced multi-sector pharmacists, clinicians and healthcare professionals, with a practice-based approach to learning and assessment.
  • Excellent and responsive student support.
  • Benefit from the 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.
  • Enjoy a collegiate approach to teaching which promotes a safe, engaging and interactive environment and promotes good relationships between the academic team and students.
  • The course design accommodates pharmacists from all sectors and provides tools to help expand your competency following qualification.
  • Our industry standard teaching facilities, including purpose-built clinical skills areas, allow you to practice in a safe environment as well as simulation-based education.
  • Use our virtual learning environments to enhance your learning experience and promote peer support.

Study days and Intakes 2023/2024

Academic expertise

The course is delivered by experienced, friendly and supportive pharmacists with an array of expertise and is supported by medical practitioners in teaching clinical skills. 


More courses like this:

Clinical Pharmacy MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert

Advanced Clinical Practice MSc

Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (V300) Level 7




DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

Course code: B23087

Assessed at Level 7

Duration: 6 months with the opportunity to submit all work within 4 months as a 'fast-track' option. There is also the option of carrying out the course over a 12-month period of time.

Attendance for the full Independent Prescribing programme: There are 8 study days for the course, plus 90 hours of learning in practice

Start date:  January 2024, April 2024, September 2024

Application deadline:

April 2024 – 5pm on 29 March 2024

Each intake has limited capacity and may close before the stated deadline.

All completed applications will be reviewed on a first come first served basis.

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 

The fees for January 2024 and April 2024 entry is £2,150 for 45 credits

The fees for September 2024/25 entry is £2,225 for 45 credits


PLEASE NOTE: This course can only accept international students who are residing in the UK on a Tier 2 visa, and who are employed in the UK by an NHS Trust or a healthcare organisation that provides NHS services.

Course code: B23087

Assessed at Level 7

Duration: 6 months with the opportunity to submit all work within 4 months as a 'fast-track' option. There is also the option of carrying out the course over a 12-month period of time

Attendance for the full Independent Prescribing programme: 8 study days for the course, plus 90 hours of learning in practice

Start date:  January 2024, April 2024, September 2024

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 

The fee for 2024/25 entry is £2,225 for 45 credits.

Entry criteria

  • Applicants need to be registered as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or, in Northern Ireland, with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
  • Applicants should be in good standing with the GPhC and/or PSNI and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered.
  • Applicants should hold a third-class honours (3rd) or above in Pharmacy or equivalent degree qualification.
  • Applicants must have relevant experience in a UK pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber to act as the foundation of their prescribing practice whilst training.
  • Applicants should undertake their learning in practice in the UK or Northern Ireland.
  • For the purposes of developing their independent prescribing practice applicants must identify an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their learning.
  • Applicants must have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice. The applicant’s designated prescribing practitioner must be a registered healthcare professional in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights, who is suitably experienced and qualified to carry out this supervisory role, and who has demonstrated CPD or revalidation relevant to this role.
  • The DPP must have training and experience appropriate to their role and meet the requirements listed on the application form and the DPP Competency Framework published by Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
  • The DPP 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.
  • If the DPP is a non-medical prescriber, it is recommended that 20 hours of learning in practice is undertaken with a medic and planning for this will need to be demonstrated during the application process.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions document for answers to common questions.

Structure and assessment


Course modules & Learning outcomes

Teaching and assessment

Study dates


Course modules

Prescribing is complex and multifaceted and as such, our teaching focuses on the wider skills and knowledge required of a pharmacist prescriber. 

Topics covered through structured and self-directed learning include:

  • Clinical reasoning and complex decision making
  • Communication and consultation skills
  • Clinical skills including NEWS2 assessment, cardiovascular, abdominal and respiratory examinations
  • Influences on prescribing
  • Psychology of prescribing
  • Legal and ethical aspects of prescribing
  • Understanding clinical risk 
  • Using evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal
  • Interprofessional education, including an interprofessional education event.

Course learning outcomes:  

1) Critically evaluate a person-centred and partnership approach to care, through self-awareness of own values and beliefs, and understanding of legal and ethical responsibilities, in order to support individuals to make risk assessed and autonomous informed decisions. 

2) Demonstrate a critical understanding of, and reflection on, the prescribing role within a multi-disciplinary team, to ensure accountability and acknowledging influences on prescribing practice, including raising concerns or reporting of inappropriate or unsafe practice. 

3) Apply evidence-based decision making to all prescribing decisions through a systematic understanding and critical awareness of pharmacology, therapeutics, public health and health promotion, to manage the risks and benefits of holistic patient management. 

4) Ensure safe prescribing practice, and improved patient outcomes, through systematic understanding and utilisation of emerging systems, technologies and practice, and application of the principles of effective monitoring and ongoing management underpinned by appropriate governance processes and documentation that aligns with relevant legislation. 

5) Apply effective history-taking, consultation, diagnostic and clinical skills to critically evaluate complex information to optimise patient care, recognising the limits of own practice and appropriate referral and support processes. 

6) Demonstrate appropriate skills to uncover information from individuals who are guarded about, or unaware of their health needs, with critical reflection on their own role, and those of others, with regards to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. 

7) Demonstrate all of learning outcomes within the current GPhC Standards for the Education and Training of Pharmacist Independent Prescribers.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Teaching and assessment

All pharmacists will have chosen their own personal area of practice in which to develop their prescribing competency. This course does not teach therapeutics for individual scopes of practice, but instead facilitates structured independent learning for our students’ therapeutic areas of practice. The course encourages learning that will help pharmacists develop prescribing-related competencies and tools to expand therapeutic areas of practice post-qualification.


There are three summative assessments for the course;  

1) Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) – This will involve three stations, with patient actors, assessing pharmacist’s clinical and consultation skills.

2) Structured Case Report - This report is an academic piece of work with a number of components. It is linked to the pharmacist’s individual scope of practice and enables consideration of a patient’s whole care pathway.

3) Prescribing Portfolio – Pharmacists will develop a portfolio in which to log experiences, reflect on learning in practice hours and demonstrate GPhC learning outcomes and prescribing competencies.

Study days and Intakes - 2023/2024

There are usually three intakes during the academic year; in September and in January and in April .

Students on all cohorts are required to participate in 8 mandatory study days, which all run from 9am to 6pm. We anticipate these will be delivered in a ‘blended’ manner, with some study days delivered online/virtually and some study days delivered at the University. This is subject to change.

View the provisional dates for the September 2023, January 2024 and April 2024 intake

Facilities and features

How to apply

Applicants who are new to studying at De Montfort University, or recently graduated, will need to complete the standard postgraduate application form, in addition to Supplementary Information Form, which request information specific to this programme of study. Both forms must be completed in full and submitted for your application to be considered.

Students who are currently studying a postgraduate programme at De Montfort University need only complete the Supplementary Information Form, which requests information specific to this programme of study.

Please note the following information:

  • The Supplementary Information Form asks for details of your DPP and applications will not be accepted if a DPP has not yet been identified.
  • As registrants with the GPhC or PSNI, students do not need to provide evidence of English language proficiency
  • Students who are on a Skilled Worker or ‘Tier 2’ visa, working for the NHS, or an organisation delivering NHS services, will pay the same fees as home students.
  • Applications for places available on the course are managed on order of completed applications received. Incomplete applications will be returned to the student and will be considered only once fully complete.

Please carefully read the front page of the application form(s) and guidance notes throughout. Once you have carefully completed the form(s), please email your application and all supporting documents to

Admissions Deadlines:

Applications for the September 2023 and January 2024 intake are now closed.

April 2024 – 5pm on 29 March 2024

Each intake has limited capacity and may close before the stated deadline.

We have limited HEE funded places remaining for PCPEP Pharmacists and the NHS Managed Sector for the January 2024 intake. We advise that you check with the module team before submitting your application.”

What happens after I submit my application?

The module team will contact you with the outcome of your application. If the entry criteria have been met, suitable candidates will be invited to a telephone/video interview at a mutually convenient time. 

We look forward to receiving your application. 

If you would like further information about the course, please e-mail the module team on If you would prefer an informal telephone discussion, please request this in your email, and include some times and dates when you will be available. Please include your full name and contact telephone number (please provide direct line numbers and not switchboard numbers). A member of the team will arrange a time to call you.


Useful resources

Designated Prescribing Practitioner Handbook

Frequently asked questions

We will be holding regular monthly webinars to allow applicants, potential applicants, those who have been offered places, and DPPs, to ask questions about the course. View webinar dates and book.

Opportunities and careers

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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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