Independent Prescribing (Short Course) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our Independent Prescribing course enables pharmacists and NMC registrants to take on the role of an independent prescriber in their area of practice.

Pharmacists, nurses and midwives are taught together to facilitate multidisciplinary learning and working. The course runs over four months and usually has two intakes each year (September and March). A large proportion of the learning will be delivered online, providing a flexible approach to learning by allowing you to study at times convenient to you.

The blended delivery approach includes a series of mandatory workshops. Check the course details section for details of study days and confirm that you will be able to attend them all before you apply. If there are no dates for your preferred cohort after this time, please email

You must also undertake 90 hours of learning in practice with your Designated Prescribing Practitioner or Practice Assessor/Practice Supervisor. Please see Appendix A/B of the nomination pack (PDF, 996KB) for details of roles and responsibilities.

Successful completion of an accredited course is not a guarantee of annotation or of future employment as an independent prescriber.

You can view accreditation reports on the General Pharmaceutical Council website and the Nursing & Midwifery Council website, although in this accreditation year, these may not be the current versions.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our I ntegrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.


The course aims to build on your experiences and encourage the development and application of new knowledge and skills in practice. We aim to:

  • enable you to successfully meet the standards set out by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)/Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), allowing you to request annotation as an independent prescriber;
  • produce competent prescribers who can provide safe, effective and evidence-based prescribing to address the needs of patients in practice;
  • enable pharmacists, nurses and midwives to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for safe and effective prescribing practice; 
  • help you to develop a systematic, evidence-based and reflective approach to prescribing practice;
  • support you to identify your own learning needs, develop as a critically reflective practitioner and advance your own learning to sustain continuing professional development, and work at the forefront of your profession.

Special features

Pharmacists can undertake the Independent Prescribing course as part of the PGDip/MSc Clinical Pharmacy .

NMC registrants may be able to use Independent Prescribing credits towards a larger award such as the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice .

Additional course information

Please refer to the nomination pack for additional information.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching methods to help you develop the knowledge and understanding, practical skills, intellectual skills and personal qualities required to become a competent prescriber.  

Our blended approach to learning and assessment involves self-directed learning via the Blackboard virtual learning environment, a series of mandatory campus-based study days and supervised practice. 

Online materials can be studied in your own time, and will involve directed reading, online discussion and directed activities during supervised practice. As such, you must be self-motivated to learn in your own time and have a good level of IT skills to navigate Blackboard and the electronic portfolio.  

Pre-workshop tasks help you to prepare for the study days, which are interactive and focus on practical skills or topics that benefit from discussion with peers from a broad range of backgrounds. 

You must spend a minimum of 90 hours learning in practice under the supervision of a Designated Prescribing Practitioner or Practice Assessor/Practice Supervisor during the four-month course. During this time, you will complete a reflective practice portfolio to document and reflect on your learning, and to evidence your development of the prescribing competencies.  

This is an accelerated course that covers a large amount of learning in a very short space of time. You will need to engage fully with the course and commit to 15 hours of self-directed study and 7.5 of learning in practice each week of the course.

September 2023 cohort delivery (provisional)

There are six mandatory study days that run from 9am to 5pm on campus: 

  • 27 and 28 September 2023

  • 18 and 19 October 2023

  • 16 November 2023

  • 14 December 2023

March 2024 cohort delivery (provisional)

There are six mandatory study days that run from 9 am to 5 pm on campus:

  • 13 and 14 March 2024
  • 3 and 4 April 2024
  • 1 May 2024
  • 5 June 2024

Coursework and assessment

We have four assessments, which are all completed at the end of the course:

September 2023 cohort (provisional)

  • OSCE: 17 January 2024 on campus
  • Exam: 17t January 2024 on campus
  • Case presentation: week commencing 22 January 2024 online (day/time scheduled once the cohort has started)
  • Portfolio deadline: midday on 31 January 2024

March 2023 cohort (provisional)

  • OSCE: 3 July 2024 on campus
  • Exam: 4 July 2024 on campus
  • Case presentation: week commencing 8 July 2024 online (day/time scheduled once the cohort has started)
  • Portfolio deadline: midday on 16 July 2024

Course unit details

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
Independent Prescribing PHAR61001 30 Mandatory
Independent Prescribing PHAR61002 30 Mandatory
Independent Prescribing PHAR61001 30 Optional
Independent Prescribing PHAR61002 30 Optional

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants are available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS).

We encourage any student with a disability or long-term condition that might affect their ability to study or undertake assessments to register with DASS as soon as they have registered for the course.