Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing

Duration Part time 10 months
  • Healthcare and Medicine
LocationExeter (St Luke‘s)
Start date January 2019


Prescribing is an important intervention in clinical care that needs to be safe and effective for patients. In addition, decisions around medication-related care should strive to be patient-centred, evidence-based and cost-effective.

Acquiring independent prescriber status enhances a pharmacist’s ability to become an autonomous practitioner and thus contribute to shaping their career path.

Successful completion of this module awards you the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing and enables you to annotate your General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registration to reflect this professional prescribing status.

General Pharmaceutical Council accreditation

Please note that the Medical School is currently working towards GPhC accreditation of this course. Running this course in January 2019 is conditional on securing this accreditation in 2018.

Programme structure

Our Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing is a 10 month part-time 45 Credit programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7.

The course has been designed to develop your skills for independent learning, clinical assessment and team-working.

E-learning material is structured into 3 Units:

• Prescribing Governance
• Clinical skills for Prescribing
• Prescribing Partnerships

In addition, students have access to extensive online clinical education resources and University library facilities

Contact days include sessions that will ensure you:

• Apply the legal and ethical principles of prescribing
• Discuss problem-based patient cases and scenarios
• Use your medication expertise to make informed shared prescribing decisions
• Practice communication skills and clinical examinations
• Develop your diagnostic and clinical reasoning skills
• Develop strategies for using national and local resources

Please note that a 100% attendance is expected for the contact days.

Multi-modal Assessment

• Assessment are multi-modal and reflect the responsibility of the Practice Certification
• Assessments include submission of a portfolio of practice, short answer tests and direct observation of clinical skills.
• In addition, there is a requirement for you to research an area of clinical interest and this is assessed in written format

Supervised practice

You are required to organise 12 days (90 hours) in supervised practice in a UK healthcare setting with a designated medical practitioner (DMP). We will work with you and your DMP to ensure you maximise your learning on this placement

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

 Teaching and learning methods on this Independent prescribing course include:

• Extensive e-learning resources
• Interactive discussion sessions around real-life scenarios
• Practical communication skills session
• Clinical examination training in specialist facilities
• Opportunities to reflect on your Supervised practice
• Academic tutor group sessions

Teaching is backed up with comprehensive online support, support from your individual tutor and support from your peer group


You will already be a registered pharmacist in employment in a UK healthcare setting. Acquiring this qualification and Independent prescriber status will enable you to seek extended roles in clinical practice as an autonomous prescribing practitioner. In addition, the ability to tailor some of the assessments to an area of practice will enable you to further your clinical interests.

All University of Exeter students have access to Career Zone, which gives access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.


This programme is delivered at our St Luke’s Campus, which is home to the University of Exeter Medical School.

The St Luke's campus is a short walk from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and offers a range of research facilities and equipment. Students will be able to access resources used by our Institute of Health Research.

Entry requirements

• We require applicants to be registered with the UK General Pharmaceutical Council or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.
• You should have at least two years of patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following your pre-registration year.
• You must have the agreement of a named designated medical practitioner (DMP) who is willing to supervise your training.
• Please download the Application Pack and complete the form before applying online.

Your designated medical practitioner (DMP):

• The DMP must be a registered medical practitioners with at least 3 years’ experience in prescribing and have responsibility for a group of patients/clients in the field of practice that you intend to prescribe. The medical practitioner must work in either a GP practice, secondary or tertiary care, have experience or training in teaching and /or supervision in practice and the support of his/her employer to undertake the role of a DMP.

• You must have arrangements in place to undertake 90 hours of learning in practice supervised by your DMP.

• DMP commitments and responsibilities are outlined in the Tripartite agreement.


Applicants will be invited to undertake an interview as part of the application process. This will be an informal process and will take the form of an individual meeting/telephone conversation with one of our academics.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

For 2018/19, fees will be charged pro rata per 15-credit module for UK/EU students. Fees are subject to an annual increment each academic year.

Health Education England funding

There may be HEE funding for this programme for pharmacists working on particular work streams.

These are:-

• Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice
• Urgent care
• Care homes

If you think you may qualify for HEE funding, you will need to confirm you are employed within one of the above work streams using the online application form.

To apply directly to the University for Acceptance onto the course; click the Apply now link below which will take you to the application form.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.

Contact us

Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500
WebEnquire online

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The programme is supported by NHS England and Health Education England through the Pharmacy Integration Fund.