PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc in Community Pharmacy
Mode of Study
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Faculty of Health
The Community Pharmacy programme offers community pharmacists the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in therapeutics and offers a wide range of learning to enable pharmacists to feel more confident to develop and deliver high quality services. It is delivered online at a distance and there are no compulsory study days.
Medicines Management has been at the top of our agenda since its inception in the early 1990s. Now it is at the top of the national pharmacy agenda.
We are continually updating the programme to meet the changing requirements of the health service and individual practitioners. We are happy to put you in touch with some of our former students for their independent view. It is highly acclaimed by students, employers, purchasers and external course assessors for its structure, content and end value in relation to service, professional and career development.
In the fast changing world of Pharmacy and health care provision, standing still is not an option, but you may, understandably, feel under-equipped to meet the new challenges. Let Keele help you meet the challenges set by the Government’s plan for the profession, Pharmacy in England. Our distance learning programme in Community Pharmacy for community and primary care pharmacists aims to provide you with a wider view of health care, and equip you with sufficient knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to develop and extend your clinical and professional role as part of a multidisciplinary health care team.
The Community Pharmacy 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.
Take a look at what one of our Community Pharmacy Diploma students thought about the programme here.
Keele’s Pg Community Pharmacy Programme aims to:
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.
Applicants must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), or equivalent for pharmacists working overseas, and be practising either full-time or part-time within community practice or primary care. It is also essential that you have the support of your workplace to access patient data where necessary for course learning activities and assessment.
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.
The flexible nature of our programme allows you to register to start your studies at any point throughout the year to suite you.
English language proficiency requirement
If English is not your first language, you must either:
Hold a degree from a school where English was the language of instruction
Take the IELTS (average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in all categories)
Please note that IETLS exams must be no more than two years old at the start of the course for which you have applied.
At Keele we offer a number of flexible options for you to achieve a postgraduate award that is relevant to you if you are working in Community Pharmacy practice. All courses are delivered by distance learning. Some options also include the Independent Prescribing Preparatory Course.
Course for Pharmacists
1. Open Learn Pathway to Certificate, Diploma and MSc Awards
You would choose this pathway to study for the following awards:
Professional MSc course – includes the Diploma in Community Pharmacy (Open Learn) plus 3 modules: Research Methods, Advanced Practice Development, Independent Study Project
This is a flexible pathway that allows you to choose the modules that you study for the Certificate and Diploma awards using options from the CPD Plus+ and CPD Plus+ Open Learn portfolio.
Community Pharmacists can choose from the options shown below. Further information about the content of each module can be found on the Postgraduate Modules pages.
The 5 credit CPD Plus+ options are particularly relevant if you are involved in providing a prescribing advice service to a GP practice. The 3 modules for the MSc are compulsory.
Postgraduate Course and Module Options – Community Pharmacy Programme
Open Learn Pathway (all courses and modules are available to study as stand-alone).
CPD Plus+ 5-credit courses:
CPD Plus+ Open Learn Modules
*Available as 5, 10, 15 and 30-credit options
CPD Plus+ 15-credit courses:
CPD Plus+ Open Learn Modules
*Available as 30-credit options (depending on the topic chosen)
CPD Plus+ Open Learn modules allow you to negotiate the learning outcomes of the module with your Keele tutor, within the requirements that are necessary for a 5, 10, 15 or 30-credit module.
For example, you may wish to focus your studies for the Open Learn Certificate Award on developing your clinical knowledge and skills in relation to medicines management beyond that of the 15 credit CPD Plus+ fixed content module. In this case, you may choose to do so by negotiating a 30-credit Open Learn version of the module with your tutor as part of the overall 60 credits that you require for the Certificate in Community Pharmacy (Open Learn).
2. Pathway to Diploma and MSc awards that includes Independent Prescribing
You would choose this pathway to study for the following awards:
This is a flexible pathway that allows you to incorporate the Independent Prescribing Preparatory Course for Pharmacists within the Community Pharmacy Diploma and MSc academic awards. You can achieve this by first completing the Certificate course described above to gain the Diploma in Community Pharmacy (Independent Prescribing).
The 3 modules leading to the MSc are compulsory.
Our flexible approach to study offers you the following options:
1. Apply for a named award route
Register for a full academic year for the postgraduate Certificate award (60 credits)
Register for 2 academic years for the Postgraduate Diploma award (120 credits)
2. Apply on a module-by-module basis, under CPD Plus+ and CPD Plus+ Open Learn. Further information on the modules available can be found on our Postgraduate Module pages.
If you register in this way, Keele will keep a record of your achievements and inform you of your award options as you progress through your studies. If you have any questions on the pathways, or need other information, please contact us:
Amanda Salt: 01782 733570
Sharon Warren: 01782 734207
The Community Pharmacy 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 Community Pharmacy 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 community and primary care 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.
A Project Assignment, Project Protocol Development and the Independent Study Project 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 Handbooks. The minimum pass mark is 50%. The summative assessment is supported by a variety of formative assessment activities that include online discussions and formative feedback on elements of the reflective portfolio.
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, with the exception of those listed below.
Masters, Certificate in Research and Evaluation, Community Pharmacy Certificate and the DPharm
You may find it beneficial to purchase a headset to participate in webinars, however this is not essential if your computer has a built in microphone and speakers.
DPharm and Independent prescribing course
There will be additional travel and accommodation costs (if required) to attend the face to face study days or meet with your supervisor (DPharm only) on these programmes.