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Independent and Supplementary Prescribing

2024-25 (also available for 2023-24)

Start date

16 September 2024

6 January 2025


9 months, part-time

Credits: 30 Masters level credits

Code: HMH2022

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

This short course is aimed at eligible NMC or HCPC registrants to become Independent and Supplementary Prescribers or Supplementary Prescribers as set out by the relevant regulatory body. It offers you the opportunity to develop the competencies required to become an independent and supplementary prescriber.

The content of this course meets the requirements of both the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2018) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC, 2019) prescribing standards.

This outline syllabus identifies the principal areas of knowledge, understanding and abilities required to underpin the practice of prescribing: * Consultation, clinical decision-making and therapy, including monitoring and referral * Physical examination, assessment and history taking including medication history and reconciliation * Modification and cessation of medication in response to clinical indices * Influences on, and psychology of, prescribing * Prescribing in a team context * Communication with service users and/or carers regarding medicines compliance, concordance and/or adherence * Clinical pharmacology, including the effects of co-morbidity, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacotherapeutics, adverse drug reactions, interactions and adverse incidents * Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing * The legal context relevant to supplementary and independent prescribing, including controlled drugs, mixing of medicines, off-label prescribing of medicines and the prescribing of unlicensed medicines * Independent and supplementary prescribing mechanisms and the supply/administration of medicines * Policy and ethical aspects of Prescribing * Professional accountability and responsibility relating to independent and supplementary prescribing * Prescribing in the public health context including antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention/control * Clinical Management Plans

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars and work-based learning. Your studies will be supported by the University's virtual learning environment.

Assessment will include a pharmacology examination, an in-class numeracy test, submission of a case study and a practice portfolio of learning.

You must be able to personally use and read a standard BNF/BNFc document and may not use the assistance of a 3rd party to read and understand the paper in the numeracy test or pharmacology examination.

For your portfolio you will need to be able to provide an electronic copy of your signed statements. This will be best achieved by the use of scanner so students should have access to such hardware to undertake this course. Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks. You will be told during the course when feedback on your final examination performance will be available.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this short course are clearly identified in the NMC (2018) and HCPC (2019) prescribing standards. Further regulatory body guidance is incorporated into the course application form and processes to reflect pre-course requirements.

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • Hold current registration with either the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
  • Have a practice supervisor and practice assessor who meets eligibility criteria for supervising non medical prescribing students and who has agreed to provide the required term of supervised practice.
  • Have an Honours degree or provide evidence via the Accreditation of Prior and Learning (APL) process of your ability to study at Honours level.
  • Provide evidence of an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check which has been deemed suitable by the organisation for your impending prescribing role. The DBS must have been undertaken within the last three years for NMC and HCPC registrants. The DBS check must be in place prior to starting the programme and so it is advised that you apply for your DBS before you make your University application.

If you are registered with the NMC you must also:

  • Be a registered first level nurse, midwife and/or specialist community public health nurse.
  • Have at least one years’ experience as a practising nurse, midwife or specialist community public health nurse. The year immediately preceding application, you must have practiced in the clinical field in which you intend to prescribe. Part time workers must have practiced for a sufficient period to be deemed competent by their employer.


You will spend a total of 90 hours in supervised practice, which will be facilitated by your practice supervisor and assessed by your practice assessor.

Student support

AAt the University of Huddersfield, you will find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you will soon discover that you are never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Hub: a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances, extension requests, course progression, suspension and welfare support, organising appointments with academic staff and signposting to other support networks.

Academic Skills Development Team: support students to develop their academic skills and build their confidence in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with academic skills including essay writing, being critical, reflective writing, numeracy, research skills, presentations and group work skills; as well as personal development for example time management.

Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Brightspace Learning System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing and using modules, and with the PebblePad platform, which is used by students when they go out on placements.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Cancellation of a course you have applied for

Although we always try and run all of the course we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will contact you to discuss other suitable courses with us we can transfer your application to. If we notify you that the course you have applied to has been withdrawn or combined, and you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. You should read these carefully before you enrol. Please note that this information is subject to change and you are advised to check our website regularly for any changes before you enrol at the University. A person who is not party to this agreement shall not have any rights under or in connection with it. Only you and the University shall have any right to enforce or rely on the agreement.

Equal opportunities

The University of Huddersfield is an equal opportunities institution. We aim to create conditions where staff and students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, age, race, caste, class, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, family responsibility, trade union activity, political or religious belief, or age. Please visit our website to see our Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Data protection

The University holds personal data on all enquirers, applicants and enrolled students. All such data is kept and processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Legislation. The University’s Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notices are available on the University website.

Students’ Union membership

Under the 1994 Education Act, students at all UK universities have the right to join, or not to join, the Students’ Union. There is no membership fee. If you choose not to join you have the right not to be disadvantaged; however, you are not entitled to vote, take part in elections, or hold any office. The following arrangements apply in order that non-Union members are not disadvantaged: Non-members are welcome to take part in the activities of Affiliated Clubs and Societies on payment of the appropriate subscription. However, they may not vote or hold office in the society or club. Union members may be offered a discounted subscription. Non-members are free to use Union facilities on the same basis as members. Welfare, catering and shops are available to non-members as well as members. Union members may be offered a discounted price.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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