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.

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To apply for this course all applicants, including existing DMU Clinical Pharmacy Diploma students, should complete an application form. If you are an internal applicant (an existing student at DMU), please complete the Internal Applicants form. If you are an external applicant, please complete the External Applicants form. Once you have carefully completed the form, please email your application and all supporting documents to applicants should also obtain a supporting statement from an employer/referee, as detailed on the Appendix 1 Supporting Statement form – please kindly ask your referee to email this

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 Advance Clinical Practice MSc or the diploma year of the MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, which is open to pharmacists from all sectors of the profession working in patient facing roles. Existing MSc/Diploma students are required to also apply separately for the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing. This postgraduate (Level 7) programme is designed to prepare pharmacists registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to register as Independent Prescribers on completion of the programme. 

The course is delivered over 6 months, however, for students with sufficient time and resources, the opportunity exists to undertake all learning and assessment within 4 months. There is an expectation of 450 hours of learning to be completed during the course which will take place over a variety of platforms:

1)     Face to Face Study Days

There are eight compulsory study days at the University, the dates for which are listed below. We are proud of our small-group teaching on study days, which encourage pharmacists to engage in discussion with each other and with lecturers to debate important topics. This allows for valuable reflection on future prescribing practice and promotes self-awareness as a non-medical prescriber. 

2)     Self-Directed Study

Our easy-to-use online learning platform provides the resources required to undertake self-directed learning, at a time which is convenient to you. It also encourages communication with fellow pharmacists and lecturers, for example, through discussion boards. 

3)     Learning in Practice

Pharmacists will undertake a minimum of 90 hours of ‘learning in practice’ during which they will shadow a range of clinicians, including their Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP), for example, when they are conducting consultations. Learning in practice shadowing, overseen by the DPP and related to the pharmacist’s future prescribing role, will help to develop the required skills, knowledge and competencies required of a non-medical prescriber.

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.

  • 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.

  • A collegiate approach to teaching which promotes a safe, engaging and interactive environment and promotes good relationships between the academic team and students.

  • A course design which accommodates pharmacists from all sectors and provides life-long tools to help expand your competency  following qualification.

  • Industry standard teaching facilities, including purpose-built clinical skills areas, allowing you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment as well as simulation-based education.

  • Extensive use of our virtual learning environment to enhance your learning experience and promote peer support through virtual discussion boards.

  • Our reputation of more than 104 years’ pharmacy teaching ensures we produce graduates of the highest calibre.


Study days 2020/21

Students will be divided into two groups, Group 1 and Group 2; the study days are listed below. The induction day and study days run from 9am to 6pm. Please note that all study days are compulsory and that indicated dates are provisional and may be subject to change.

Due to the high demand for this programme, you will be notified which intake you have been assigned to following the completion of the interview process. Please note that places and group preferences are allocated in order of received applications and that there are a restricted number of places. As such, the course may become full before the application deadlines indicated.

September 2020 Group 1

  • Induction Day: 10th September
  • Study Day 1:  17th September
  • Study Day 2: 1st October
  • Study Day 3: 8th October
  • Study Day 4: 12th November
  • Study Day 5: 19th November
  • Study Day 6: 3rd December
  • Assessment Day: 10th December

September 2020 Group 2

  • Induction Day: 11th September
  • Study Day 1:  18th September
  • Study Day 2: 2nd October
  • Study Day 3: 9th October
  • Study Day 4: 10th November
  • Study Day 5: 19th November
  • Study Day 6: 4th December
  • Assessment Day: 10th December

January 2021 Group 1

  • Induction Day: 7th January
  • Study Day 1:  14th January
  • Study Day 2: 28th January
  • Study Day 3: 4th February
  • Study Day 4: 11th March
  • Study Day 5: 23rd March
  • Study Day 6: 15th April
  • Assessment Day: 22nd April

January 2021 Group 2

  • Induction Day: 8th January
  • Study Day 1:  15th January
  • Study Day 2: 29th January
  • Study Day 3: 5th February
  • Study Day 4: 9th March
  • Study Day 5: 23rd March
  • Study Day 6: 16th April
  • Assessment Day: 22nd April


More courses like this:

Clinical Pharmacy MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert

Advanced Clinical Practice MSc

Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (V300) Level 7




  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

Course code: B23077

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 of learning in practice

Start date: September 2020 and January 2021 (20/21 entry)

Application deadline:

The deadline for the September 2020 intake is 31st July 2020 at 5pm or when the intake is full; whichever comes first.

The deadline for the January 2021 intake is 27st November 2020 at 5pm or when the intake is full; whichever comes first.

All applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis.

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:
Home part time - £2,000 for 45 credits

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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 and experience 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.
  • Support from the applicant’s employer for learning in practice and study leave
  • The applicant must have identified a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who can either be a medic or a non-medical prescriber. 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, there is an expectation of 20 hours of learning in practice to be undertaken with a medic and planning for this will need to be demonstrated during the application process

All fully completed 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

Prescribing is complex and multifaceted and as such, our teaching focuses on the wider skills and knowledge required of a pharmacist prescriber. Some of the learning topics covered during study days and in self-directed study are: 

  • 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 
  • Clinical reasoning and decision making
  • Using evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal
  • Prescribing in a team and inter-professional education (including a half-day event with colleagues from the School of Nursing)

The course learning outcomes are follows:

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.

The GPhC learning outcomes are listed in the Standards for the Education and Training of Pharmacist Independent Prescribers published in January 2019.


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.

Academic expertise

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

To apply for this course all applicants, including existing DMU Clinical Pharmacy Diploma students, should complete an application form. If you are an internal applicant (an existing student at DMU), please complete the Internal Applicants form. If you are an external applicant, please complete the External Applicants form.

Please carefully read the front page of the application form and guidance notes throughout. Once you have carefully completed the form, please email your application and all supporting documents to All applicants should also obtain a supporting statement from an employer/referee, as detailed on the Appendix 1 Supporting Statement form – please kindly ask your referee to email this

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 or for an informal discussion, please feel free to contact:

Module Leader

Zeenat Hassam
T: 0116 257 7129

Trisha Patel 
T: 0116 366 4517

Opportunities and careers


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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