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Course content

Course overview

  • Learn how to assess and manage emergency department patients with minor injuries and illnesses and recommend or prescribe appropriate medicines if you are a registered pharmacist.
  • Study at a university ranked 6th in the UK and 16th in the world for pharmacy and pharmacology (QS World University Rankings 2018).
  • The Independent Prescribing unit is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
  • Completing this course will contribute to your annual continuing professional development as part of the requirements for registration with the GPhC.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PGCert (part-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £4,800

For students with support from the Pharmacy Department, tuition fees will be paid in full for this course by Health Education North West. This is as part of a funding initiative to develop the role of pharmacists in the emergency department and in urgent care.

There is also some additional funding available for acute trusts to backfill for student time for undertaking the PGCert.


Alumni bursary

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an alumni bursary of a 10% reduction towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught master's programmes in 2019.

The bursary is available to students or alumni who:

  • have graduated since 2013;
  • hold a first class or 2:1 honours degree;
  • have home or overseas fee status;
  • are applying for full- or part-time study;
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support.

The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students and alumni who meet the alumni bursary criteria.

Entry requirements

English language

We ask for English language proof from applicants from countries that are not majority English-speaking countries.

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS level 7.0 overall with level 7.0 in reading and writing
  • TOEFL (Internet-based test) 100.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

This course comprises the Independent Prescribing and Advanced Clinical Skills short courses. You will need to apply for both courses by following the instructions on each page. The deadline for applications is 1 December 2018.

How your application is considered

You will have to meet the requirements for both the Advanced Clinical Skills and Independent Prescribing courses to be successfully considered for this PGCert.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Only students registered with either the General Pharmaceutical Council or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are eligible for this course.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

As part of the Independent Prescribing course application process you will have to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This is included in the course fees.

Portfolio requirements

This e-portfolio provides a framework through which to record and demonstrate your progress and achievements in practice with your designated medical practitioner (DMP) while studying on the Independent Prescribing course.

You will use the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) publication `A single competency framework for all prescribers' as a framework for this and your learning in practice should be focused to demonstrate that you have met the competencies outlined within this framework.

As part of this portfolio we ask you to submit one in-depth case study (3,000 words in total) and a variety of smaller reflections that demonstrate your ability to critically reflect on your own practice.

You will also need to submit an anonymised prescription and case note entry to accompany your case study.


This course aims to produce graduates who:

  • are able to independently evaluate and assess patients with minor injuries and illnesses and, if necessary, independently recommend and/or prescribe appropriate medicines for their treatment;
  • have the skills, knowledge and attributes required for safe and effective prescribing practice to successfully meet the standards set out by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), enabling students to apply for registration to practice as independent prescribers;
  • have enhanced knowledge and skills in the evaluation and application of knowledge of best evidence-based practice to implement appropriate assessment and care for the emergency patient.

Teaching and learning

We use a blended format where learning is supported through online teaching materials delivered through Manchester's virtual learning environment (VLE).

Flipped classroom strategies will allow theory and knowledge-based learning to be delivered online in weekly segments, and face-to-face learning will be utilised for skills and problem-based learning.

These sessions will also support the delivery of medical examination, consultation and Advanced Clinical Skills course components.

The structured online programme will support these contact days and allow you to learn at a time that is convenient to you, providing flexibility around your work commitments.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods for each unit.

Independent Prescribing

  • Reflective practice e-portfolio
  • Observed structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Examination, including drug calculations
  • Patient case presentation
  • Sign off by DMP to confirm satisfactory completion of 12 days of supervised practice.

Advanced Clinical Skills

  • Reflective practice e-portfolio
  • Observed structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Patient case presentation
  • Sign off by ED consultant to confirm satisfactory completion of 15 days of practice-based learning.

Course unit details

See the Independent Prescribing and Advanced Clinical Skills pages for more information on the content of this course.

CPD opportunities

Taking this course will contribute to your annual continuing professional development as part of the requirements for registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Career opportunities

Completing this course offers career progression for experienced hospital pharmacists to manage patients in the emergency department, in addition to working as a member of the multidisciplinary team in this department.

Accrediting organisations

The Independent Prescribing course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).  

Visit the PGCert Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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