MSc Clinical Pharmacy

Year of entry: 2022

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Degree awarded
Master of Science
MSc 3 years PT, PGDip 2 years PT
Entry requirements

We require an honours degree in pharmacy (minimum Lower Second or equivalent).

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

100 places (including 40 for the blended route)

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Develop clinical, leadership and research skills while working as a pharmacist with our part-time distance and blended learning options.
  • Study at a university ranked 5th in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology (QS Rankings 2021).
  • Our course is mapped to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's post-registration foundation framework.
  • Open up a new career, upskill or get more involved in research upon completion of this course.
  • Front-line healthcare workers are supported with additional flexibility to align busy schedules with part-time study on our online programme.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our upcoming open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (part-time distance learning)
    UK students (per annum): £3,300 in year 1 and 2, £4,400 in year 3
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £7,500 in year 1 and 2, £10,000 in year 3
  • PGDip (part-time distance learning)
    UK students (per annum): £3,300
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £7,500
  • Modular (part-time distance learning)
    UK students (per annum): £1300 per 15 credits
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £2,900 per 15 credit module

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Home (UK) fees are offered to applicants whose fees are being funded by NHS, even if the fee assessment confirms that you are an international applicant. 

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are fixed for international students, for the course duration at the year of entry).

For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees .

Always contact the department via if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).


For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
(+44) 0161 543 4699
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an honours degree in pharmacy (minimum Lower Second or equivalent).

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof from applicants from countries that are not majority English-speaking countries (a list of majority English-speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

  • IELTS: 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing;
  • TOEFL: 90 iBT (with at least 21 in writing and speaking).

See further information about requirements for your country .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Relevant work experience

You must be employed in a patient-facing capacity while taking the course. You need to be practising pharmacy in an environment where you are routinely able to apply your clinical skills through direct patient care.

Professional entry qualification

You must be registered as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council or the equivalent regulatory authority in your home country.

Other entry requirements

As this is an online course, you must have access to a computer with fast and reliable internet connection. You must also have the ability to:

  • navigate Blackboard learning management system to locate teaching and learning materials and to access and submit assessments (with initial basic training);
  • work efficiently with Word and PowerPoint;
  • use the internet to search websites;
  • navigate e-learning programmes;
  • download PDF learning materials;
  • use video and audio equipment to undertake some assessments.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

Your application form must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • two references on letterhead paper or sent from work emails. We do not contact referees directly so please inform them yourself;
  • copies of official degree certificates (with translations if not in English) if you have already graduated;
  • copies of official university transcripts (with translations if not in English).

How your application is considered

If more than 100 applications are received each year (or more than 40 for the blended route), you will be asked to submit a 500-word summary of your pharmacy experience to date, reasons for wishing to undertake the course and how your future career path will be enhanced by undertaking the course.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

See the HEOPS standards of medical fitness to train guidance (PDF, 95KB) for more information.


Applications for deferred entry (one year maximum) are accepted provided the applicant meets both the academic and non-academic requirements at the point of entry. 

Course details

Course description

Our MSc/PGDip Clinical Pharmacy course and offers a mix of clinical, applied practice, public health and research units, giving you the knowledge and skills to be an excellent clinical pharmacist.

You will also cover applied practice topics including health economics, public health, pharmacy practice research, training others and organisational influences on healthcare.

If you want to undertake research, you will be supported by one of our leading academic researchers to undertake a small-scale clinical research project to complete the MSc award.

Following four compulsory units in Year 1, you can choose from 11 units in Year 2 to tailor the course to your own interests. There are two learning routes described below to suit pharmacists in all patient-facing roles and with differing work demands.

Online distance learning

This is a completely online route and allows you to study from home at times convenient to you, which is ideal for international students, shift workers and those based outside the Manchester area. Interactive online learning supplemented by webinars will enhance your skills in optimising drug therapy and clinical problem-solving. This route is open to pharmacists in any patient-facing role.

Blended learning

This route consists of six campus-based study days per year and interactive online learning that will enhance your clinical knowledge, teaching you to optimise drug therapy and develop your problem-solving skills.

You need to be in a patient-facing role and will need both a suitable work environment and work-based tutor. Study days in Manchester are mandatory.

This route is generally aimed at Band 6 and 7 pharmacists who are seeking to develop within the NHS.

Both routes are open to qualified pharmacists who would like to develop their clinical skills and enhance their practice.


This course aims to help you develop:

  • advanced knowledge and understanding of the management of a range of acute and chronic conditions;
  • skills in medicines optimisation and the ability to communicate with a range of healthcare professionals to promote the appropriate use of medicines;
  • skills in the critical evaluation of a range of health services literature.

Special features

Apply your knowledge to work

The content of this course has been written by clinical experts with a focus on workplace application.

Varied unit options

This course can be tailored to meet the needs of your own career goals through a range of optional course units in the second year and choice of research dissertation in the final year. We offer a selection of 11 learning units, including unique options such as paediatrics, mental health, surgery medicines management and public health.

Develop research skills

You will have the opportunity to conduct master's-level research within a university ranked number 1 for research power in pharmacy within the UK in the national Research Excellence Framework (UoA3 REF 2014).

Teaching and learning

The course uses a range of teaching and learning approaches, including:

  • the Blackboard learning management system
  • e-lectures, podcasts and webinars
  • online discussion forums and wikis
  • e-journals.

Blended or online learning?

We offer both blended and online distance learning study options to suit your own location and circumstances.

All students will benefit from:

  • shared learning content online, including evening webinars;
  • content mapped against the RPS post-registration Foundation Pharmacist curriculum;
  • access to materials to pursue RPS recognition;
  • access to academic staff and clinical teachers.

Blended learning students will benefit from:

  • study days on campus in Manchester;
  • a workplace tutor and workplace-based learning.

Distance learning students will benefit from:

  • study webinars and e-workshops;
  • an academic advisor.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessments that allow you to demonstrate your clinical knowledge and skills in medicines optimisation and critical analysis.

We use a variety of formative and summative assessments including online quizzes and exams, participation in online discussion boards, patient case studies and care plans, oral case presentations, professional development and clinical portfolios and research protocol.

For an award in Clinical Pharmacy, you will need to achieve an overall mark of 50% in each course unit to progress.

Course content for year 1

You will study four core units to build your clinical, problem-solving and critical appraisal skills.

  • Foundations of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Medicines Optimisation and Therapeutics 1
  • Medicines Optimisation and Therapeutics 2
  • Evidence Based Practice

Course content for year 2

You will choose four optional units from the following:

  • Education and Training
  • Health Economics
  • Leadership and Management
  • Medicines Management
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Pharmacy Public Health
  • Practical Statistics for Population Health
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Specialist Medicines Optimisation and Therapeutics
  • Surgery

Course content for year 3

A choice of research dissertation is offered, based upon your research aspirations and opportunities in your workplace.

Course unit details

This course can be tailored to meet the needs of your own career goals through a range of optional course units in the second year and choice of research dissertation in the final year.

The course consists of four compulsory course units in Year 1, four optional course units from a choice of 11 in Year 2, and a research project in Year 3.

You can mix and match units in year 2 to graduate with a degree that suits your career ambitions:

  • PGCert/PGDip Clinical Pharmacy: Four compulsory Year 1 course units plus any four optional year 2 course units.
  • PGDip Clinical Pharmacy with Independent Prescribing: Four compulsory Year 1 course units plus any two optional year 2 course units and the 30-credit level 7 Independent Prescribing course.

To progress into research through the MSc year (Year 3), take any of the above pathways but you must choose Research Methods as an optional unit.

You can choose to undertake the Independent Prescribing course in either Semester 1 or Semester 2 of Year 2. If you wish to study for your Independent Prescribing qualification as part of this course, you must meet the entrance requirements and be successful in your application for a place before you can undertake these units. See the Independent Prescribing page for more information.

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
Medicines Optimisation & Therapeutics 1 PHAR60411 15 Mandatory
Research Methods PHAR60512 15 Mandatory
Pharmacy Research Dissertation PHAR62230 60 Mandatory
Foundations of Clinical Pharmacy PHAR63001 15 Mandatory
Evidence Based Practice PHAR63002 15 Mandatory
Medicines Optimisation and Therapeutics 2 PHAR63012 15 Mandatory
Education and Training PHAR60431 15 Optional
Introduction to Pharmacy Public Health Services PHAR62221 15 Optional
Weight Management and Health Coaching PHAR62222 15 Optional
Pharmacy Public Health Services: Sexual and Reproductive Health Services PHAR62231 15 Optional
Pharmacy Public Health Services: Substance Use and Misuse Services PHAR62242 15 Optional
Surgery PHAR62252 15 Optional
Leadership and Management PHAR62261 15 Optional
Pharmacy Public Health Services: Cancer Awareness, Detection and Screening Services PHAR62281 15 Optional
Specialist Medicines Optimisation and Therapeutics PHAR63021 15 Optional
Mental Health PHAR63031 15 Optional
Paediatrics PHAR63041 15 Optional
Medicines Management PHAR65000 15 Optional
Economic Evaluation in Healthcare POPH60092 15 Optional
Practical Statistics for Population Health POPH60982 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Epidemiology POPH60991 15 Optional
Qualitative Research Methods POPH63121 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 22 course units


The course is delivered online, which means you do not need to study in Manchester. However, our staff make full use of a range of facilities to deliver high quality learning experiences to online learners.

If you choose the blended learning route, you will attend study days in a dedicated training room at the University and have access to the varied resources and facilities on campus.

Disability support

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

CPD opportunities

You may take any Clinical Pharmacy unit (except the research dissertation unit) as a stand-alone CPD unit. 

These are delivered in the same method used on the full course. After completing two CPD units you will be invited to apply for a postgraduate qualification (Certificate, Diploma or Masters). If you apply for a postgraduate qualification after completion of CPD units you must complete the relevant core units. 

If you take a stand-alone CPD unit you must re-apply if you want to undertake a postgraduate qualification within three years of starting your first CPD unit. You then have up to five years to complete the qualification.


Career opportunities

This postgraduate qualification will allow you to develop your chosen career path within the pharmacy profession by providing advanced clinical knowledge, problem-solving skills and a critical awareness of the role of pharmacy services within the wider healthcare system.

Optional specialist units allow you to directly align your learning with your career aspirations.

The course develops pharmacists into individuals who can improve patient care by demonstrating leadership and enhanced clinical skills, who are sought-after by employers.

Research is actively promoted and further study to PhD level is possible for successful candidates.

Associated organisations

Our course has strong links with the teaching hospitals in and around Manchester.

Many specialist and expert pharmacists contribute to the teaching to create a truly contemporary and progressive course.