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Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Suitable for pharmacists working in any sector

Course Title
Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Course Type
PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc in Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Mode of Study
Part Time

Contact Details
Contact details: 01782 734768/ 01782 733570/ 01782 734207

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Subject Area

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Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Practice

MSc in Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Individual Module in Clinical Pharmacy Practice CPD Plus+

  • In the fast changing world of pharmacy and healthcare provision, standing still is not an option, but you may, understandably, feel under-equipped to meet the new challenges. Our distance learning programme in Clinical Pharmacy Practice has been developed to meet the needs of pharmacists working in any patient-facing sector of practice, including hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy and in a GP practice. The choice of modules includes clinical modules and professional modules such as Leadership and Change, and the Independent Prescribing Preparatory Course for Pharmacists. These modules have been developed, to provide you with a wider view of healthcare and equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to develop and extend your clinical and professional role as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team. The Programme is designed to allow you choice and flexibility in your progression to Certificate, Diploma and Masters Awards, to meet your specific professional development needs and advance your professional practice. The programme links to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s  Advanced Pharmacy Framework, to enable you to meet the relevant competencies and provide evidence for your continued professional development.

    The Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning (CPD4ALL) has a reputation for providing stimulating courses to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. We offer a flexible, multidisciplinary approach that ensures our courses encompass a broad range of skills and are responsive to the changing healthcare environment. We are closely in touch, through our advisors and networks, with NHS development and service needs. We are recognised nationally as a centre of excellence for postgraduate education delivered by distance learning. Our programmes are highly acclaimed by students, employers, purchasers and external course assessors for their structure, content and end value in relation to service, professional and career development. We are happy to put you in touch with our former students for their independent view.

  • Keele’s Postgraduate Clinical Pharmacy Practice Programme aims to:

    • Build on your existing knowledge of disease states, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics to enable you to apply this in a clinical setting.
    • Equip you to assess drug therapy for effectiveness, safety, compatibility, patient acceptability and cost, and use this information to make effective, evidence based interventions and optimise prescribing.
    • Encourage you to develop an understanding of the principles of pharmaceutical care and problem solving approach to clinical practice.
    • Provide you with a wider view of healthcare and equip you with sufficient knowledge and skills to be able to develop and extend your professional role.
    • Increase your confidence in your ability to contribute to patient care as part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team.
    • Provide you with a structured learning programme that will help you apply your knowledge and skills in daily practice.
    • Encourage you to develop a reflective approach to your clinical pharmacy practice.
    • Encourage you to develop the self-discipline of private study and self-directed learning that will be continued beyond Keele’s Programme in your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as an independent learner.

    In addition, you will develop valuable practical skills including written and oral communication, and the ability to design a project, collect, analyse and interpret data.

  • To gain admission to the Certificate and Diploma courses, and their stand-alone short courses, you must be a pharmacist registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), or equivalent for pharmacists working overseas, and be practising either full-time or part-time in a patient-facing role. We recommend that applicants should normally, have worked in a patient-facing pharmacy setting for 6-12 months prior to commencing the Course so that they have gained some experience of working in this sector. Applicants who wish to study on our fixed pathway programme and who work in the hospital sector must be working at a hospital that can provide a Clinical Co-ordinator to support you in the workplace. It is also essential that you have the support of your workplace to access patient data, where necessary for course learning activities and assessment.

    The fixed pathway of this programme is not available to those who are not resident and working in the UK. However the CPD Plus pathway to obtain a Clinical Pharmacy Practice award is available to International pharmacists practising in either primary or secondary care.

    Normally, only applicants with the minimum of a second class degree classification (or equivalent for applicants from outside the UK) in Pharmacy will be accepted onto the programme without interview. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The University reserves the right to interview prospective students and take up academic references. The final decision in any case rests with the University. Candidates are also admitted on the basis of perceived and potential competence to complete the programme.

    Progression each year is dependent on your satisfactory performance in the previous year. For the MSc year, you may be able to gain direct entry if you have an ‘equivalent’ postgraduate diploma from another UK University.

    The fixed pathway programme commences each January.  The flexible pathway can be commenced at the start of each calendar month throughout the year.

    If you wish to study the Independent Prescribing module as part of our Clinical Pharmacy Practice Diploma/MSc programme then additional entry requirements apply.  Please see the Independent Prescribing Course pages for further information on these requirements.

    English language proficiency requirement

    If English is not your first language, you must either:

    Hold a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction. This must have been obtained in the two year period prior to starting the course.


    Pass the Academic IELTS – an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-tests is required

    Please note that IELTS exam must be no more than two years old at the start of the course for which you have applied.

  • The Clinical Pharmacy Practice programme can be completed via the following flexible pathways to accumulate academic credits at Masters level:

    • CPD Plus– This is a flexible pathway that allows you to choose the modules that you study for the Certificate and Diploma awards. You can choose to study the modules as 10, 15 or 30 credit modules to meet your needs.
    • Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy Practice – This is a fixed pathway where you register for 9 months and you’ll complete 6, 10 credit modules of your choice.
    • Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Practice – This is a fixed pathway where you register for 21 months and in the first year you will complete the 6 modules as described for the Certificate and an additional 6 modules of your choice in Year 2.  
    • Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Practice (Independent Prescribing) – You may choose to study the Independent Prescribing Course (60 credits) in year 2.  Please see the Independent Prescribing Course pages for further information.
    • Professional MSc – The professional MSc year can be undertaken once you have gained 120 academic credits from the diploma course. It consists of three compulsory modules: Introduction to Research Methods (15 credits), Research in Practice (15 credits) and the Researching Professional Practice Project (30 credits).

    The modules that are currently available for both the fixed and CPD Plus pathways are shown below with an indication of the sector of practice to which they relate:

  • The Clinical Pharmacy Practice Programme is designed principally for distance learning. We provide mainly online distance learning materials so that you can study where and when it is most convenient for you. Our methods of delivery allow us to revise and update the course quickly to meet your changing needs as a pharmacist.

    The Clinical Pharmacy Practice Programme is fully supported by a team of experienced, friendly and approachable academic, administrative and technical staff based at Keele. The Programme is also supported by our network of experienced, practising hospital and primary care pharmacists who fulfil the roles of clinical co-ordinators and tutors. You’re not on your own! And, don’t forget the network of other pharmacists on the course whom you can contact. You will require the equivalent of 1-2 days (approximately 10-15 hours) each week to complete your course. Remember that the online nature of our course materials and the fact that a good proportion of the assessed work focuses on your daily practice, means that you can integrate study and work.

    Assessment is entirely by coursework for the Certificate, Diploma and MSc courses. A variety of assessment methods are used.

    All of the modules contain Practice Based Assignments that will assess your knowledge, problem solving skills, and data interpretation skills in relation to application of knowledge to practice, patient care and medicines management. Case Presentations assess your ability to critically appraise the literature and relate published theory to everyday practice.

    An Audit Project, Practice Based Assignments, Quality Improvement Project, Project Protocol development and the Researching Professional Practice Report assess ‘thinking’ and practical skills, and your ability to plan, conduct and report on an investigation. They also assess your ability to critically appraise the literature and relate published theory to everyday practice.

    Your Reflective Portfolio also assesses your ability to relate theory to practice, and self-evaluation of, and reflection on, your own performance and CPD needs.

    The nature of the assessments develops your written and oral communication skills.  Practical skills and key life/transferable skills are assessed within the methods described above.

    Each method of assessment is supported by clear criteria for marking; these are explained in the relevant Course Handbook. The minimum pass mark is 50%.

    The summative assessment is supported by a variety of formative assessment activities that include on-line discussions, formative feedback on elements of the reflective portfolio, contributions to study days and feedback on draft proposals.

  • For all programmes you will need regular access to a computer, email and the internet. However apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for our postgraduate programmes.