Advanced Pharmacy Practice MSc/PGDip

Advanced Pharmacy Practice MSc/PGDip

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    3 Years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    March 2021

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This clinical master's (MSc) programme in Advanced Pharmacy Practice, informed by the latest NHS developments in primary and secondary care, aims to equip you with the relevant skills to meet the challenges of current and emerging practice roles across all healthcare sectors.

The first year of the course provides up-to-date information on clinical pharmacy, evidence-based medicine and public health roles. In Year 2, the course provides a large degree of flexibility with options to suit your interests, including modules on Integrated Care, Acute and Emergency Care, Mental Health, Leadership and Management as well as qualification as an Independent Prescriber.

The course delivery is through a blend of different learning styles including face-to-face instructional delivery practice-based activities and a large element of distance learning. Our face-to-face tuition is delivered by practitioners who are experts in their field as well as academic staff who will deliver specialist training.

Options include:

  • 2 years PGDip (with independent prescribing)
  • 2 years PGDip (without independent prescribing)
  • 3 years MSc (with independent prescribing)
  • 3 years MSc (without independent prescribing)

Independent Prescribing Course Indicative Timetable - download here


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Entry Requirements

Have a Pharmacy degree and be currently registered as a Pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council
Be working in, or able to access a practice environment that will enable you to meet and achieve the course learning outcomes
A minimum level of English language proficiency equal to IELTS 7.0 or equivalent
On enrolment, you will be encouraged to identify a work based mentor, who will support and guide your development throughout the course

If you are taking the Independent Prescribing module you must:

Meet all of the above criteria, plus:

  • Be able to satisfy the Course Leader that you have sufficient expertise and competence in the chosen area of prescribing
  • Have a minimum of two years post registration experience
  • Be able to identify and nominate a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP)

Informal enquiries are welcomed. Your application will be considered on its merits and in the light of the nature and scope of the programme. You may be invited for an informal discussion before being offered a place.

Please download the Non-Medical Prescribing Screening form (.docx) 55.9kb. You will be instructed by the course team when to complete this form, it is not required at the point of application.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Clinical Pharmacy 1
  • Evidence Based Medicine
  • Public Health


Year 2

60 credits from the following options:

  • Clinical Pharmacy 2 (20 credits)
  • Integrated Care (20 credits)
  • Acute and Emergency Care (20 credits)
  • Mental Health (20 credits)
  • Leadership and Management (20 credits)
  • Independent Prescribing (40 credits)
  • Research Methods (40 credits)


Year 3

Independent Project (20 credits) &
Independent Prescribing (40 credits)


Research Project (60 credits)

Further Information


Clinical Pharmacy 1 – You will enhance your clinical pharmacy skills in a range of therapeutic areas to provide safe and effective patient care using the best current evidence. You will apply the principles of medicines optimisation in the acute and chronic management of patients to arrive at shared therapeutic decisions for a range of therapeutic areas. You will also apply the principles of pharmaceutical care where impaired or altered drug handling requires greater monitoring.

Evidence Based Medicine – You will be equipped with the understanding and skill to apply evidence based medicine to improve the care given to patients, and also to respond critically to evidence based approaches. Tools for measuring effectiveness of medicines will be evaluated and applied to practice situations.

Public Health – You will equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to promote, protect and improve the health of the population. You will be able to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the core disciplines of public health including epidemiology, health policy and social and behavioural sciences to the practice of pharmacy and to tackle public health problems.

Clinical Pharmacy 2 – You will get the opportunity to explore, in depth, the management of patients which fall into the three specialised clinical areas of Neurology, Oncology and Antimicrobials.

Integrated Care – You will be introduced to the concepts of integrated care and build upon this knowledge to enable you to better meet all of the patients’ health and social care needs at one time, in one place.

Acute and Emergency Care – The aim of this module is to equip you as pharmacists with current and relevant knowledge in acute and emergency medicine so that you can contribute further in delivering timely patient care.

Mental Health – You will acquire current and relevant knowledge to undertake an enhanced role in patients with mental health disorders.

Leadership & Management - This module aims to introduce pharmacists to core knowledge and skills associated with taking on roles that involve managing people and moving into positions where demonstration of leadership qualities will be required.

Independent Prescribing - The module prepares pharmacists to practise as Independent Prescribers according to standards as stipulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Research Methods – You will develop your understanding of the research process and be prepared to undertake research in pharmacy practice by introducing you to the necessary processes and skills. You will explore the framework and process of designing and conducting a quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research.

Independent Project – Your opportunity to demonstrate your research competence by conducting an individual piece of original pharmacy practice research, and conveying the results in an academic format.

Research Project – You will design and conduct an independent research project and demonstrate your ability to communicate your findings to lay and academic audiences.


The MSc (by Research) is very similar to a PhD, but with a research project designed to take 12 months. It is not intended as a first step towards a PhD, but rather as an alternative to a PhD. There are no associated lectures, classes or written examinations. Find out more at our Faculty research website :

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

Please download the Non-Medical Prescribing Screening form (.docx) 55.9kb. You will be instructed by the course team when to complete this form, it is not required at the point of application.


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: N/A
Part-time: TBC

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Professional Accreditation

The Independent prescribing element of the MSc programme is subject to accreditation by the General Pharmaceutical Council. On successful completion of the module, students will be awarded a ‘Practice certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists’.

Successful students will then be eligible to annotation on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) register to act as independent prescribers.

Learning Environment and Assessment

The course will be delivered through blended learning using a variety of methods and platforms supplemented with face-to-face delivery on campus. Where face-to-face sessions are scheduled, active learning strategies will be used wherever possible. Generally, each module will be supported by a minimum of one day face-to-face masterclass, with the exception of the research project module and the independent prescribing module.

Face-to-face sessions will provide opportunity to discuss with experts in each field on how patient care is maximised through real life examples seen within practice utilising a case-based approach. As preparation for the face-to-face contact students will prepare for the study day through a study pack; this will be made available on Blackboard, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. The study pack will contain various activities aligned to the assessment.

Assessment methods are predominantly linked to working practice and how learning has been applied into everyday practice. A range of assessment methods will be used, including, case studies, portfolio and Observed Structured Clinical Examinations.

Course team:


Completion of the programme will allow hospital-based staff to be in a position to progress to higher AfC banding. For community practitioners, the qualification equips them to potentially move in to a more practice-based/GP-patient facing role.

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