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PG Credit Advanced Clinical Skills (Short Course) / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

The role of pharmacists in the emergency department offers an exciting opportunity to work in a new field of practice. Pharmacists are also extending their scope of practice in urgent and acute medicine areas in primary and secondary care.

Our six-month Advanced Clinical Skills short course enables trainee pharmacy practitioners to independently evaluate, assess and recommend or prescribe medicines for patients who present to emergency departments.

This will allow junior and senior medical staff to attend to more urgent medical patients in a clinical setting and aims to decrease waiting times for patients with minor injuries. Research has shown that hospital pharmacists with additional skills in independent prescribing and advanced clinical assessment could manage up to 35.7% of patients presenting to emergency departments.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to manage emergency and urgent patients in addition to working as part of a multidisciplinary emergency, acute medicine and urgent care team.

Our course confers 30 postgraduate (Level 7) credits upon completion. Pharmacists who have successfully completed The University of Manchester Independent Prescribing (IP) course may be eligible for the PGCert in Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (ASTEM) award. Pharmacists with a level 7 IP qualification from another university may be able to top-up to ASTEM on completion of a further Mental Health or Paediatrics uni. If your IP qualification is at level 6, there is no option to top-up to the PGCert because you will not have relevant credits at the appropriate level. If you don't have an IP qualification, you are not eligible to study the Advanced Clinical Skills course.


This course aims to:

  • provide you with the skills to independently evaluate and assess patients who present to urgent and emergency care settings in primary and secondary care;
  • enable you to independently recommend and/or prescribe appropriate medicines for this group of patients;
  • enhance your knowledge and skills in the evaluation and application of best evidence-based practice to appropriately assess and care for patients with unscheduled presentations.

Special features

Develop in-demand skills

This course was launched in response to a national pilot that identified clear demand for pharmacists with specific skills in emergency medicine.

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

There are two core units:

Advanced Clinical Assessment (mandatory) - 15 credits

This unit aims to develop 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, acute medicine and urgent care patient.

You will acquire the understanding and skills required to undertake and order a range of common practical assessment skills and diagnostic tests used in urgent and emergency care settings. Your skills in interpreting results of commonly used diagnostic tests will also be developed.

Emergency Medicine (mandatory) - 15 credits

The unit introduces you to the underpinning knowledge and understanding of the assessment and the management of patients who are requiring urgent care and who are at risk of becoming acutely unwell.

Through supervised practice in the clinical environment, this unit will build on existing knowledge of the use of a structured and systematic approach in the assessment of the urgent care patient, identifying the need for physiological and holistic care.You can develop competencies in a specific patient group and provide person-centred care for patients in urgent and emergency care who you are likely to manage within the scope of your practice.

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

Our course will contribute to your annual revalidation commitment as part of the requirements for registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).