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PGCert Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Our blended learning PGCert in Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine enables registered pharmacists to independently evaluate and assess patients who present to the emergency department or urgent care setting.

You will also build the knowledge and skills needed to independently recommend and/or prescribe appropriate medicines for emergency treatment.

Pharmacists will be able to manage emergency department / urgent care patients in addition to working as part of a multidisciplinary emergency team upon completion of the course.

The course consists of either:


  • For students who have completed an independent prescribing qualification at FHEQ Level 7 at another institution; One 30-credit short course in Advanced Clinical Skills and one 15-credit unit from either PHAR63031 Mental Health or PHAR63041 Paediatrics.
  • Independent Prescribing is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).


This course aims to produce graduates who:

  • are able to evaluate and assess acutely ill patients and, if necessary, independently recommend and/or prescribe appropriate medicines for their treatment whilst working as part of a multidisciplinary team;
  • have the skills, knowledge and attributes required for safe and effective prescribing practice to successfully meet the standards set out by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), enabling students to apply for registration to practice as independent prescribers;
  • have enhanced knowledge and skills in the evaluation and application of knowledge of best evidence-based practice to implement appropriate assessment and care for the emergency patient.

Special features

Flexible learning

Our blended learning approach means you can fit online learning around face-to-face sessions and your other commitments.

Excellent facilities

Take advantage of Manchester's modern pharmacy teaching and learning facilities.


The University and programme teams have put arrangements in place to ensure that teaching and assessment are undertaken remotely as far as possible and that campus facilities meet government recommendations for Covid-19 safety.

Additional course information

The need for this course has been identified through national pilot work, where the impact of pharmacists in emergency departments working as independent prescribers with advanced clinical skills was assessed.

This assessment showed that hospital pharmacists with these additional skills of independent prescribing and advanced clinical assessment could manage up to 35.7% of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED).

The role for pharmacists working in the ED or urgent care is an exciting opportunity to work in a new field of practice.

Teaching and learning

A range of teaching methods are used to develop the required knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Learning is delivered online as pre-/post-workshop tasks to complement face-to-face and online workshops.

The online material can be studied in your own time, and will involve directed reading and directed activities during supervised practice. You must be self-motivated to learn in your own time and have a good level of IT skills to navigate Blackboard.

A minimum of 113 hours learning in practice under the supervision of an Emergency Medicine Mentor (EMM) must be completed during the six-month course. [No break] During this time, you will complete a reflective practice portfolio to document and reflect on your learning, and to evidence your achievement of the learning outcomes.

April 2021 cohort teaching dates

After the online induction, there will be four study days on campus and four online study days. Attendance at all study days is mandatory and you will not be permitted to attempt the assessments without complete attendance.

Online induction: 1 April 2021, 6-8pm

Face-to-face study days (9am-5pm):

  • 15 April 2021
  • 13 May 2021
  • 10 June 2021
  • 8 July 2021

Online study days (9am-5pm with four workshops separated by 30-minute breaks):

  • 29 April 2021
  • 27 May 2021
  • 24 June 2021
  • 22 July 2021

The OSCE will be on 5 August and the deadline for submission of the reflective practice portfolio will be midday on 21 October 2021. Case presentation assessments will be between shortly after the OSCE and scheduled early in the course.

Coursework and assessment

We will assess your progress through:

  • reflective practice portfolio;
  • an OSCE;
  • a case presentation;
  • sign-off by your emergency medicine mentor (EMM) confirming satisfactory completion of 15 days of practice-based learning and achievement of the learning outcomes.

Course unit details

With one remaining cohort of the Advanced Clinical Skills course, there are two routes to the PGCert in Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (ASTEM).

Route 1: This pathway is for pharmacists who completed the Independent Prescribing course at The University of Manchester and who have not used these credits towards another award, eg, PGDip/MSc Clinical Pharmacy. You use these credits towards the PGCert ASTEM and complete the Advanced Clinical Skills short course to make up the remaining credit.

Route 2: If you have already completed an independent prescribing qualification at FHEQ level 7 at another university, you may be able to transfer a maximum of 15 credits to the award of PGCert ASTEM. You must study the Advanced Clinical Skills short course and a further 15-credit unit:

Please note that there is no route to PGCert ASTEM for pharmacists with an FHEQ level 6 independent prescribing qualification, although it is possible to study Advanced Clinical Skills as a standalone course. Independent prescribing is a pre-requisite for the Advanced Clinical Skills course so there is no route to PGCert ASTEM without an existing independent prescribing qualification.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Advanced Clinical Assessment PHAR60231 15 Mandatory
Advanced Clinical Assessment PHAR60232 15 Mandatory
Emergency Medicine PHAR60241 15 Mandatory
Emergency Medicine PHAR60242 15 Mandatory


You will complete study days in our Flexible Skills Suite, which is both simulated space and teaching area.

Government guidance around social distancing and face-to-face teaching means that the Advanced Clinical Assessment unit workshops will be delivered on campus and the Emergency Medicine unit workshops will be delivered online.

The University of Manchester also offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies. We have reviewed the reading list to ensure that all directed materials are available online.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

Taking this course will contribute to your annual continuing professional development as part of the requirements for registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).