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Course content

Our Independent Prescribing short course will enable healthcare professionals to take on the role of an independent prescriber in their area of practice.

Pharmacists and nurses are taught together to facilitate multidisciplinary learning and working. A large proportion of the learning will be delivered online, providing a flexible approach to learning by allowing students the benefit of studying this in their own time.

This 30-credit course is available for study at level 7 (master's level). The course runs over four months and normally has two intakes each year. The next intake is in 2018.

The course includes eight days of compulsory university-attended sessions (nine for nurses/midwives) and 18 days of self-directed learning, which will be delivered through e-learning and self-directed study.

In addition, you must undertake 12 days of supervised practice with your designated medical practitioner, which amounts to 78 hours for nurses/midwives or 90 hours for pharmacists.

Please note that successful completion of an accredited course is not a guarantee of annotation or of future employment as a pharmacist independent prescriber.

You can view accreditation reports and timescales for future accreditation on the General Pharmaceutical Council website . You can confirm our accreditation with the Nursing and Midwifery Council on their website .

Please check online for course dates. If there are no dates for your preferred cohort, please contact us to enquire. Attendance at all teaching and assessment days is mandatory, so it is important to confirm that you are able to attend them all before you apply.

Please check online for details of fees, which may be subject to change and apply only to the dates given.


The course aims to use your current experiences of practice and encourage the development and application of new knowledge and skills to practice.

We aim to:

  • enable you to successfully meet the standards set out by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), allowing you to apply for registration to practice as an independent prescriber;
  • produce competent non-medical prescribers who can provide safe, effective and evidence-based prescribing to address the needs of patients in practice;
  • enable pharmacists and nurses to develop the skills, knowledge and attributes required for safe and effective prescribing practice;
  • help you develop a systematic, evidence-based and reflective approach to independent prescribing practice;
  • identify your own learning needs, develop as a critically reflective practitioner and advance your own learning to sustain continuing professional development, and work at the forefront of your profession.

Additional course information

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do I need an NMP lead signature on my application form?

Not if you are self-funding. If you are being financially supported HENW, then yes.

What does a level 7 course mean and are the credits transferable?

Level 7 study is master's level, which means that you must have an undergraduate degree to undertake this course. The course offers 30 credits, which may be transferrable to other courses. We would advise that you check with the other courses in the first instance.

Can I pay the course fees in instalments?

No, due to university regulations, it is not possible to pay fees in instalments for this course. All fees must be paid prior to commencing the course.

Teaching and learning

A range of teaching methods are used to develop the knowledge and understanding, practical skills, intellectual skills and personal qualities required to become a competent prescriber.

Learning is divided into two units, which will be delivered online as weekly content designed to complement the university-based study sessions.

The online material can be studied in your own time, and will involve directed reading, online discussion and learning activities. As such, you need to be self-motivated to learn in your own time. You must also have a fairly good level of IT skills, as the learning requires you to navigate Blackboard and an electronic portfolio.

The eight university-based study days are designed to enhance student learning by providing the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to learning including group activities, teaching OSCEs, and practical skill sessions.

A minimum of 12 days' learning in practice under the supervision of a designated medical practitioner should be carried out during the four-month course. During this time, students are required to complete a reflective practice portfolio to document and reflect on their learning.

Please note that this is an accelerated course that covers a large amount of learning in a very short space of time. You will need to engage fully with the course, as you will need to complete 26 days of learning and 12 days of supervised practice in this timescale.

Only you can decide whether this approach works for you, but you must be prepared to commit fully for the duration of the course.

2018 teaching dates

  • 6-7 March 2018
  • 8 March 2018 (mandatory for nurses/midwives, optional for pharmacists)
  • 4-5 April 2018
  • 23-24 April 2018
  • 5-6 June 2018

Coursework and assessment

We use the following assessment methods:

  • two and a quarter-hour multiple choice question (MCQ) and short answer examination;
  • six-station Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE);
  • patient case study (3,000 words);
  • reflective practice portfolio linked to development of competence in practice.

Course unit details

The course will cover:

  • assessment, consultation skills and history taking;
  • legal and professional issues relating to independent prescribing;
  • decision making and evidence based prescribing;
  • psychological and ethical issues applied to prescribing;
  • pharmacology and drug actions;
  • leadership, accountability and clinical governance.

Much of the curriculum has been determined by the NMC and the GPhC.

The learning material is divided into two units, each running for seven weeks.

Visit the Independent Prescribing (Short Course) (PGCredit) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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