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MSc Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Pharmacy Public Health Services: Cancer Awareness, Detection and Screening Services

Unit code PHAR62281
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Pharmacy
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit aims to give the learner an understanding of cancer as a disease and the benefits of early detection of cancer.  The learner will develop the skills to effectively assess patients with potential signs and symptoms of common cancers, and refer to appropriate sources of assessment and advice if needed.  The learner should also become aware of national and local disease patterns and cancer awareness campaigns, and understand the elements of an effective cancer awareness campaign. 

It builds upon the learning about consultation and communication skills delivered in the core unit Introduction to pharmacy public health services to empower the learner to reflect on the additional challenges that will arise with the frightening and sensitive nature of this particular health area.



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Introduction to Pharmacy Public Health Services PHAR62221 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


  • Acquire and develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the signs and symptoms of common cancers.
  • Develop an awareness of national and local policies relating to the detection and screening of cancer.
  • Develop a personal system for identifying patients presenting potential signs and symptoms of cancer.
  • Acquire and develop the skills and attributes necessary to run a local cancer awareness campaign.
  • Acquire an awareness of local referral patterns and further resources for patients with actual or suspected cancer. 
  • Identify their own learning needs, develop themselves as critically reflective practitioners and advance their own learning to sustain continuing professional development, and work at the forefront of their profession.
  • Develop an awareness of cancer survivorship including the long term after effects of cancer and support available for cancer survivors

Teaching and learning methods

All learning and teaching processes for this programme will be delivered through e-learning resources based around Blackboard version 9.


Knowledge and understanding

Downloadable PDF of CPPE e- learning programme - Cancer in community pharmacies, raising public awareness

Downloadable PDF of CPPE public health workshop – Cancer awareness and screening

CPPE e-learning assessment on Cancer

Downloadable PDFs of relevant sections of CPPE learning programmes on Women’s Health, Men’s Health, CPPE guides on stress and anxiety, Dealing with difficult Discussions

Online discussion forums

Webinars (web-based presentations, lectures, workshops and seminars) using Webex® technology)

Use of various websites (including public health, government and pharmacy related sites, videos and podcasts, RPS website)

Self-directed learning


Intellectual skills

Group work

Self-directed learning

Design of a cancer awareness campaign

Design of an audit tool

Reflective log


Practical skills

Patient consultations

Designing and running a cancer awareness campaign

Auditing a cancer awareness campaign

Reflective log


Transferable skills and personal qualities

Reflective practice

Presentation skills

Audit skills

Communication skills



Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate an advanced knowledge and detailed understanding of:

  • Common cancers and the benefits of early detection
  • National cancer policies and local strategy development to improve cancer detection and awareness.
  • Risk factors for common cancers and the prevalence of these risk factors in the local population.
  • Evidence-based approaches to reduce risk factors for cancer.
  • The signs and symptoms of common cancer and the potential for effective intervention by community pharmacists.
  • The local arrangements for funding and commissioning cancer awareness campaign.
  • The evidence-based approaches of assessing the effectiveness of community pharmacist interventions, programmes and services to increase early detection of cancer.
  • Clinical governance principles required to enable high-quality interventions by community pharmacists 

Intellectual skills

Critically analyse, evaluate and where appropriate formulate an informed opinion about:

  • Local cancer disease patterns and data particularly concentrating on prevention, screening and early diagnosis used to formulate recommendations for action, policy decisions and service commissioning, delivery and provision.
  • National cancer policies and strategy for prevention, screening and early diagnosis including how to appropriately apply these at regional and local level.
  • The effectiveness of community-based cancer awareness campaigns and services through the integration of theory and evidence-based practice.

Practical skills

·         Analyse qualitative and quantitative data to determine their strength and validity.

·         Safely and competently carry out a range of patient-based interventions and communication skills appropriate to cancer screening and detection, including consultation skills need to enable identification of potential warning signs and symptoms of cancer.

·         Develop a portfolio of reference sources to enable signposting of patients.

·         Develop pharmacy protocols and training procedures to ensure counter staff have an awareness of when to refer patients with warning signs of cancer.

·         Design an evidence-based cancer awareness campaign.

·         Design and conduct an audit of a community pharmacy-based cancer related health promotion campaign.

·         Demonstrate effective management, leadership, communication and facilitation skills required for the delivery of high quality community pharmacy cancer awareness services.

·         Engage in critically reflective practice as a process of continuous personal development.

·         Develop an understanding of the psychological issues which cause patients to delay seeking advice about worrying symptoms or diagnosis until the disease has progressed  

Transferable skills and personal qualities

·         Recognise the value of a structured approach to patient history taking and apply this as part of a complete consultation.

·         Present complex data in a form that can be easily understood by the general public.

Develop effective inter-professional team working by identifying and engaging with local networks and by recognising complementary roles and activities.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Report 25%
Set exercise 25%

Feedback methods

Feedback on assignments will be given within the University's 15 working day feedback policy

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Clair Dobson Unit coordinator

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