Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists

2021-22 (also available for 2022-23)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

20 September 2021

17 January 2022


6 months

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

This short course is aimed at pharmacists. It offers you the opportunity to develop the competencies required to become an independent prescriber.

Course detail


This module provides pharmacists with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the learning outcomes and to practice safely and effectively as an independent prescriber. Successful completion of the module will provide the student with a practice certificate in independent prescribing.

This outline syllabus identifies the principle areas of knowledge, understanding and abilities required to underpin the practice of prescribing:

  • Understand the responsibility the role of the independent prescriber entails, knowing when and how to refer / consult / seek guidance from another member of the healthcare team. * Apply clinical assessment skills to: 1. Inform a working diagnosis 2. Formulate a treatment plan for the prescribing of one or more medicines, if appropriate 3. Carry out a checking process to ensure patient safety 4. Monitor response to therapy 5. Review the working differential diagnosis and modify treatment or refer 6. Consult / seek guidance as appropriate. * Describe the pathophysiology of the condition being treated and recognise the signs and symptoms of illness, take an accurate history and carry out a relevant clinical assessment where necessary. Demonstrate a shared approach to decision making by assessing patients’ needs for medicines, taking account of their wishes and values and those of their carers when making prescribing decisions.
  • Identify and assess sources of information, advice and decision support and demonstrate how they will be used in patient care taking into account evidence based practice and national/local guidelines where they exist.
  • Recognise, evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice at individual, local and national levels. *Prescribe, safely, appropriately and cost effectively.
  • Develop an effective relationship and communication with patients, carers, other prescribers and members of the health care team * Use common diagnostic aids e.g. stethoscope, sphygmomanometer * Able to use diagnostic aids relevant to the condition(s) for which the pharmacist intends to prescribe, including monitoring response to therapy * Work within a prescribing partnership * Maintain accurate, effective and timely records and ensure that other prescribers and health care staff are appropriately informed * Demonstrate an understanding of the public health issues related to medicines use Demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing * Work within clinical governance frameworks that include audit of prescribing practice and personal development * Participate regularly in CPD and maintain a record of CPD activity.

Entry requirements

These are determined by professional requirements. The course is offered part-time to pharmacists registered with the GPhC or PSNI who have at least two years patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year. They must have identified and area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills and have an up to date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of practice. In addition, all applicants must be able to identify a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) who has agreed to provide the supervised practice.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.


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

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll 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'll soon discover that you're 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.

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.

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.

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