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MSc Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Extended Skills: Communication and Consultation

Unit code PHAR65400
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Pharmacy
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit furthers the skills and expertise of pharmacists in consulting with different patients, fostering underpinning principles in communicating with varying patient groups. The learning extends to how pharmacists conduct and document consultations and develops a skill set in decision making, and techniques such as negotiation and motivational interviewing. Learners are introduced to consultation models and the theory underpinning effective consultation and patient-centred care. Skills are developed in consulting with special patient groups including those with dementia, mental health problems, learning difficulty and with children and adolescents. Decision-making skills are developed and are applied in the context of the learner’s professional practice.  



Equip pharmacists with skills in advanced communication and consultation skills, enhancing the practice of the learner in terms of consultation, history taking and documentation, clinical decision making and patient-centred care.


Teaching and learning methods

The learning is split into four core areas:

  • Essential communication skills – 2 weeks focus on general communication skills; introducing learners to the theory underpinning good communication, and considering patient-centred communication. Learners will develop the key skills needed to demonstrate to ensure they deliver patient centred consultations.
  • Advanced communication skills – 4 weeks are spent ensuring learners’ baseline competency in essential communication skills and then advancing this skill-set by focussing on communication skills in the following patient groups; learning disability, dementia, mental health, children and adolescents.
  • Consultation behaviours  – 2 weeks are spent focussing on the technicalities and behaviours required by the consultations undertaken in practice. Drawing on learning about communication skills learners will apply this to; history taking, medicines reconciliation and OTC consultations.
  • Ethics and legislation – 3 weeks are dedicated to the external influences on consultations which impact on how consultations are conducted with patients, thinking about confidentiality, data protection and safeguarding.

This unit is delivered online using Blackboard 10. All learning material is presented in three 4- week folders to help students manage their time. Each week contains four main elements; background reflective tasks, learning in the form of e-lectures, embedded videos or webinar, further reading and finally a task to consolidate learning (e.g. completion of coursework, a CPPE package or participation in an action learning set group discussion).


Knowledge and understanding

Key: italic codes denote mapping against the RPS Foundation Practice Framework, bold codes denote mapping against the RPS Advanced Practice Framework.Demonstrate the ability to understand the principles governing patient care in the NHS (autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, capacity and consent)

[2.2,4.1,4.2,4.3]   [1.1,1.2,3.1,3.2,3,3,4.1,4.8,4.9]

Understand the laws and guidance around capacity and consent and what to do if there is uncertainty

[1.1,2.1,4.1,4.2]   [1.2,3.2,4.3]

Demonstrate how to effectively safety net interventions

[1.1,1.7,1.8,3.5]   [1.2,2.1] 

Demonstrate an understanding of the Caldicott guidelines and define the principles of patient confidentiality and data security

[1.1,2.1,4.1,4.2]   [1.2,3.2,4.3]

Practise skills in advanced consultations in the following patient groups:

  • Patients with dementia
  • Children and adolescents
  • Patients with learning difficulties and disability
  • Patients with mental health

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Demonstrate an understanding of some of the theories regarding consultation skills and patient centred care

[1.1,2.1,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.6,4.3,4.7,5.1,5.2,6.1]

Intellectual skills

Key: italic codes denote mapping against the RPS Foundation Practice Framework, bold codes denote mapping against the RPS Advanced Practice Framework.

Demonstrate knowledge of the format of the classical history and an appreciation of the importance of each of the elements



Demonstrate knowledge of the child protection and safeguarding of patients

[1.1,2.1,4.1,4.2]    [1.2,3.2,4.3]

Understand and apply clinical decision making in routine practice

[3.1,3.2,3.3]   [1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4]

Practical skills

Key: italic codes denote mapping against the RPS Foundation Practice Framework, bold codes denote mapping against the RPS Advanced Practice Framework.

Demonstrate skills in negotiation, coaching, mentoring and patient-centred consultations

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Employ motivational interviewing in consultations

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Demonstrate the ability to apply history taking skills in difficult groups, for example paediatrics, mental health and patients with learning difficulties

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Undertake detailed and accurate medicines reconciliation

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Demonstrate the ability to record accurately the history taken

[1.1,2.1,2.3,2.4,3.1,4.2]    [1.2,2.1,2.2]

Demonstrate the ability to utilise the Summary Care Record (SCR) as part of the Medicines Reconciliation process

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Demonstrate the basic ability in eliciting and interpreting information

[1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4,1.5,1.6,1.7,1.8,,3.2,3.3,3.4,3.5,3.6]    [1.1,1.2,1.3,2.1,3.4,6.1]

Maintain accurate, effective and timely records to ensure other prescribers and healthcare staff are appropriately informed

[1.1,2.1,2.3,2.4,3.1,4.2]   [1.2,2.1,2.2]

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Key: italic codes denote mapping against the RPS Foundation Practice Framework, bold codes denote mapping against the RPS Advanced Practice Framework.

Learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development and in a wider context throughout their career including identifying competency against a professional competency framework

[2.1,2.2]    [5.4]

Develop reflective practice and learning through reflection

[2.1,3.5,3.6]    [1.3,1.4,4.3,4.5,4.8,5.4,6.1]

Develop advanced communication and relationship building skills to consult appropriately with patients and their carers

[1.1,1.6,2.1,2.2,2.3,2.5,3.4]    [1.1,1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.3,5.1,5.2]

Evaluate their own academic and personal progression in line with a recognised professional competency framework

[2.1]   [3.6] 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Assessment task


How and when feedback is provided

Weighting within unit (if relevant)


Completion of the CPPE eAssessment for Consultation Skills for Pharmacy Practice

Uploaded certificate

Grade provided 15 days after submission via Grademark.

0% Pass / Fail

4 x CPD records (consultations with special patient groups)


Uploaded pdfs of records

Grade provided 15 days after submission via Grademark.

0% Pass / Fail

Consultation skills written report

1000 words



Performance descriptors provided 15 days after submission via Grademark. This will be supplemented with individualised feedback within Blackboard.



Feedback methods

Feedback will be disseminated via Blackboard.

Recommended reading

Calgary Cambridge guide to the medical interview

CPPE Dealing with difficult discussions elearning package

James S, McManus A. How to communicate effectively in patients' medical notes. Clinical Pharmacist, 2013; 5: 82

GPhC. In practice: Guidance on consent. 2017, GPhC, London. NHS Information Governance Toolkit: Cladicott principles.

CPPE Dealing consulting with children and young people elearning package

CPPE Dealing consulting with people with dementia elearning package.

CPPE Dealing consulting with people with mental health problems elearning package.

CPPE Dealing consulting with people with physical disabilities elearning package.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 14
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 134

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