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Course content

This course is for you if you want to study a course accredited by the GPhC which has been designed to enhance your practice as a pharmacist and the delivery of care to your patients.

Course outline

This course comprises of one Level 7, 60-credit module that has been developed in accordance with the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) requirements, and is approved by Health Education England.

This generic course has been designed to expand students’ existing knowledge and develop prescribing skills to support effective clinical care of patients in a patient-facing prescribing role. This course is suitable for all clinical specialties.

The aim of this course is to enable students to:

  • Understand the role and responsibilities of an independent prescriber.
  • Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively
  • Use diagnostic aids relevant to the conditions for which the pharmacist intends to prescribe, including monitoring response to therapy
  • Develop effective communication skills and relationships with patients, carers, other prescribers and members of the healthcare team
  • Describe the pathophysiology of the condition being treated, and recognise the signs and symptoms of illness
  • Take an accurate medical history and carry out relevant clinical assessments
  • Utilise knowledge and skills in a critical and systematic manner.

 When achieved, students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate presenting complaints of patients, and
  • Respond to varied clinical situations, multiple pathologies or complex medical needs, guided by consultation and diagnostic methods designed to establish reliable identification of clinical presentations and therapeutic options.

This is a clinical course involving advanced health assessment of patients. You must be prepared to physically examine patients, models and fellow students.

Learning, teaching & assessment

The contents of this blended learning course are directed by the GPhC guidance titled: "Pharmacist independent prescribing programme - learning outcomes and indicative content". The course follows the consultation process, leading to appropriate prescribing and related patient monitoring.

Learning and teaching methods include:

  • Face-to-face and hands-on learning and teaching
  • Directed and student-managed learning
  • Experiential learning.

The course includes the development of:

  • A portfolio of in-practice learning, including reflective evidence of competence for prescribing
  • Clinical Management Plans
  • Clinical case presentation. 

Methods of assessment include:

  • OSCEs 
  • Portfolios of experiential learning, including Clinical Management Plans
  • An oral presentation based on a written case relevant to the student’s area of competency
  • Written exam (2 hours).

Study dates for October 2018 intake:  

Students will need to attend all 11 study days as listed below, they must also be available for all assessment days (dates TBC) and attend one of the welcome evenings along with their DMP.*

Welcome Evenings: 

  • Wednesday 3 October 2018
  • Wednesday 10 October 2018 (DMPs only) 
  • Thursday 11 October 2018. 

Study days: 

  • Tuesday 16 October 2018
  • Wednesday 17 October 2018
  • Tuesday 13 November 2018
  • Wednesday 14 November 2018
  • Wednesday 5 December 2018
  • Thursday 6 December 2018
  • Tuesday 15 January 2019
  • Wednesday 16 January 2019
  • Tuesday 19 February 2019
  • Wednesday 20 February 2019
  • Thursday 21 February 2019. 


February and March 2019, exact dates TBC

*Please note that all dates are subject to change and/or alteration. 2019 entry details are currently being confirmed, please check back at a later date.


Facilities and resources that you will benefit from include:

  • New (Summer 2018) clinical training facilities including a new 'ward' area.
  • An established Virtual Learning Environment for teaching and course-organisation materials and communications, such as lecture notes, presentations and videos.
  • Modern lecture theatres and classrooms, equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and technology.
  • Hard-copy and electronic access to publications, journals and large scientific databases. 
  • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.

Your future career opportunities

Successful candidates will qualify to apply for an annotation on the GPhC register as an Independent Prescriber. This enhances your practice as a pharmacist and the delivery of care to your patients by enabling you to manage fully patients’ medication as an independent prescriber.

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Successful candidates will qualify to apply for an annotation on the GPhC register as an Independent Prescriber (however please note that successful completion of this course is not a guarantee of annotation or of future employment as a pharmacist independent prescriber). Find out more about the GPhC’s accreditation reports and the timescales for future accreditations.

In addition, this course is approved by Health Education England.

Visit the Pharmacist Independent Prescribing - PGCert page on the Aston University website for more details!




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