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Prescribing Studies (MSc)

Course Description


In the fast-changing world of therapeutics, prescribing and health care provision, prescribers, or those providing prescribing advice, may feel under-equipped to meet Department of Health demands and the challenges that have emerged from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). A key development for pharmacists has been the advent of independent pharmacist prescribers, new roles in medicines optimisation and supporting the management of long term conditions. Pharmacists are continually being asked to broaden their role and contribution within primary healthcare. In addition, the requirements for pharmacists to demonstrate their commitment to continual professional development is as strong as ever and is reflected in the recent General Pharmaceutical Council’s announcements regarding the assurance of the continual fitness to practice of pharmacists. Other healthcare professionals have similar requirements in relation to CPD and revalidation.

Choice and flexibility are key features of the Prescribing Studies programme. Healthcare professionals may choose different pathways to reach the awards of Certificate, Diploma and Masters to meet their own specific professional development needs and to advance their professional practice e.g. by undertaking the Independent Prescribing Preparatory Course for Pharmacists. Flexibility is also provided by our CPD Plus+ and CPD Plus+ Open Learn modules which are available as 5, 10, 15 and 30 credit modules.

Why choose a Prescribing Studies Course?

The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning, part of the School of Pharmacy at Keele University, has a reputation for providing stimulating education programmes for general practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and other members of the health care team. We offer a multidisciplinary approach that ensures our courses encompass a broad range of skills and are responsive to the changing health care environment. We are closely in touch, through our advisors, with NHS development and service needs in primary care. We are recognised nationally as a centre of excellence in the areas of prescribing and audit. For example, the Keele Centre for Medicines Optimisation is based within the School of Pharmacy, and has 20 years of experience of providing tailored, cost-effective, prescribing support and medicines management solutions to the NHS to allow the optimisation of medicines use.

The distance learning format of the courses enables busy health professionals to study where and when it is most convenient to them

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/prescribingstudies/

Course Aims

The overall aim of the Prescribing Studies programme is to offer the opportunity for prescribers (medical and non-medical) and those providing prescribing advice to enhance their knowledge base, skills and understanding of practical therapeutics and prescribing within the context of the larger health care team. The overall programme aims to enable participants to achieve the following learning outcomes:

- Describe and appraise the practical considerations that are relevant to the prescriber in primary care

- Apply clinical and behavioural knowledge and skills to the prescribing process

- Describe the principles underlying rational prescribing

- Apply the principles underlying rational prescribing to specific patient groups

- Describe the therapy of common medical conditions

- Apply evidence-based prescribing to the treatment of common medical conditions

In addition, the student will develop valuable practical skills including written and oral communication, and the ability to design audit projects, collect, analyse and interpret data. The programme will also encourage you to develop the self-discipline of private study, self-directed learning and critical reflection through the use of a reflective portfolio that you can continue beyond your formal study period with Keele in your own Continuing Professional Development.

Teaching & Assessment

Assessment for the Certificate/ Diploma and MSc is entirely by coursework. This may include short problem solving cases, audit or project work. Common to all the courses is the requirement to complete a Reflective Portfolio.

The assessment methods used aim to encourage you to take an active part in your own education and to apply your knowledge to practical situations in the workplace.

Additional Costs

For all programmes you will need regular access to a computer, email and the internet. However apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for our postgraduate programmes, with the exception of those listed below.

DPharm and Independent prescribing course
There will be additional travel and accommodation costs (if required) to attend the face to face study days or meet with your supervisor (DPharm only) on these programmes.

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

Visit the Prescribing Studies (MSc) page on the Keele University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

All the Prescribing Studies courses are open to: Medical and non-medical prescribers in primary care; Pharmacists who are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, (or other equivalent regulatory body for pharmacists outside of the UK) as practising, and who regularly work in primary care providing prescribing advice; Other health care professionals with an interest in therapeutics and prescribing may be admitted on their perceived and potential competence to complete the course

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