Clinical Pharmacy MSc - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This course will provide the additional postgraduate qualification you need to move up to a clinical role that is rated as Band 7 or above. Such roles may include ‘specialist clinical pharmacist’ (Band 7) and ‘senior clinical pharmacist’ (Band 8a).

During the course you will cover principles of clinical pharmacy and a range of therapeutic areas. These include cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, endocrine, dermatology, infections, dermatology, CNS, oncology and palliative care. The Masters project allows you to research an area of particular personal interest and relevance to your practice.

We welcome applications from registered pharmacists working within hospital, primary care and community settings.

This course is run on a mainly distance-learning basis, to allow people working full-time to balance their studies with other commitments. In addition to distance-learning, you will also attend four study days a year on-campus at the University of Sunderland.

Sunderland has an excellent reputation for pharmacy. Our Department is ranked #6 in the UK according to The Guardian University Guide 2013, and our academic team produce ‘world-leading’ research, according to the latest Research Assessment Exercise.

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Diploma Level 1

  • Clinical Pharmacy 1 (30 Credits)

Background concepts to clinical pharmacy

  • Clinical Pharmacy 2 (30 Credits)

Cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal therapeutics

Diploma Level 2

  • Clinical Pharmacy 3 (30 Credits)

CNS, endocrine and infection

  • Clinical Pharmacy 4 (30 Credits)

Oncology, rheumatology and dermatology

Masters Stage

  • Research Methods (30 Credits)
  • Research Project (30 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, group work, directed reading, research, tutorials and online tutor support.

Our academic team deliver lectures and tutorials, with regular support from senior NHS Information Management and Technology (IM&T) staff from local and national health care organisations.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

Diploma Module Study Days (September to May) are taught Wednesdays, repeated on Saturdays, from 10am – 5pm allowing a choice of attendance to suit personal needs. The Masters project has a single study day in September after which you will work on your project in your own time, with supervision from a tutor.

Information about course regulations and documentation can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which boasts multi-disciplinary laboratories and cutting-edge equipment thanks to multi-million pound investments.

Facilities for Pharmaceutics

We have pharmaceutical-related equipment for wet granulation, spray drying, capsule filling, tablet making, mixing inhalation, film coating and freeze drying.

As well as standard pharmacopoeial test methods, such as dissolution testing, friability and disintegration, we also offer highly sophisticated test methods. These include rheometry, thermal analysis (differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy), tests for powder flow, laser diffraction, photon correlation spectroscopy, image analysis and laser confocal microscopy.

Facilities for Medicinal Chemistry

Our state-of-the-art spectroscopic facility allows us to confirm the structures of new molecules that could be potential pharmaceutical products and to investigate the structures of potential medicinal substances that have been isolated from plants.

We are equipped with Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectroscopy (LCNMR/MS) platforms; this is an exceptional facility for a university. We also have low and high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and elemental analysis equipment.

Our facilities allow you to gain hands-on experience of a wide range of analytical techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy and infra-red spectroscopy, which are of great importance in determining both ionic/metal content of pharmaceuticals and simple chemical structures.

You will also gain experience of revolutionary protein and DNA separation techniques, as well as Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography for separating unknown chemical mixtures.

Facilities for Pharmacology

Our highly technical apparatus will give you first-hand experience of the principles of drug action and the effects of drugs on pharmacological and cellular models. As a result, you gain a better understanding of the effects of drugs on specific receptors located throughout the human body and related physiological effects.

Simulation technology

You’ll have the opportunity to apply your training in a realistic setting with our two advanced simulation technology ‘SimMan’ models.

Each of our £57,000 SimMan mannequins has blood pressure, a pulse and other realistic physiological behaviour. The models can be pre-programmed with various medical scenarios, so you can demonstrate your pharmacological expertise in a realistic yet safe setting. Our academic team is also actively working with the SimMan manufacturers to develop new pharmacy simulations.

Pharmacy Practice

One of the most important skills of pharmacists is to communicate their expertise in a manner that the public can understand and accept.

The University has invested in a purpose-built model pharmacy complete with consultation suite. This allows you to develop skills in helping patients take the correct medicine in the right way, with optional video recording of your interaction with patients for the purposes of analysis and improvement.

In addition, we can accurately simulate hospital-based scenarios in a fully equipped ward environment where medical, nursing and pharmacy students can share learning.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical science, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your studies include:

  • Embase, which is a complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
  • PsycINF, which includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
  • PubMed, which contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
  • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
  • Web of Science, which covers a broad range of science areas

Learning Environment

Sunderland Pharmacy School has a rich heritage in scientific studies and our degree courses are extremely well respected in the industry. We are fully plugged into relevant medical and pharmaceutical industry bodies, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people. Our vibrant learning environment helps ensure a steady stream of well-trained pharmacists whose most important concern is patient-centred pharmaceutical care.


Sciences Complex, City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

We usually require:

  • Registration and employment as a Pharmacist in the UK for study at Sunderland
  • At least a second class honours degree in pharmacy
  • Your degree should be recognised by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

If you have already covered one or more of the topics covered by the course, and would like to apply for accreditation of prior learning (APL), please contact the course leader.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

Tuition fees for part-time postgraduate students are £225 per 10 Credits.

Please note that part-time courses are not available to International students. If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

Postgraduate qualifications in clinical pharmacy will help you take on additional responsibility. We encourage you to plan your future contributions to your employer and how your career will progress.

On completing this course you will be equipped with the advanced skills and knowledge specifically needed for promotion in roles such as:

  • Specialist clinical pharmacist
  • Pharmacist with a special interest
  • Senior clinical pharmacist

A promotion to a higher band of pay can quickly ensure a good return on your investment in the course. Within the NHS, salaries for specialist clinical pharmacist are rated as Band 7 (up to around £40,000).

A Masters in Clinical Pharmacy can also lead to teaching opportunities, research roles or further study.


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

The University has a large number of part-time students at postgraduate level and we offer a lot of support and flexibility. Many part-time students are also supported by their employers, who see postgraduate studies at the University of Sunderland as a good investment in a better qualified workforce.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

"Studying at Sunderland has set me up for a lifelong career."

Sinead McHugh Pharmacy

Sinead McHugh - Graduate

Working at South Tyneside District Hospital

"Studying at Sunderland has set me up for a lifelong career. The programme was geared towards life in the workplace, with the right balance of expert tuition, knowledge and experience.

"The staff and lecturers were all really friendly and approachable which helped me settle in immediately and get the most out of my studies.

"The facilities at Sunderland are first class. The University even has its own mock pharmacy where we could train for life in the real world and build our confidence, learning skills that could be seamlessly transferred to the workplace.

"It is clear that the programmes at Sunderland are designed with career prospects in mind and my time at the University of Sunderland also led to me making contact with my current employer, South Tyneside District Hospital.

"The great thing I found about life at Sunderland is there are so many different people from all sorts of cultures studying here, which certainly broadened my horizons.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Sunderland and it really did exceed my expectations. I have made many lifelong friends and also my programme led me to get a job that I love doing, with a career path stretching ahead of me."

"University life teaches you independence and you definitely mature as a person being away from home."

Paul Tasker Pharmacy graduate

Paul Tasker - Graduate

Pharmacist, Sunderland Royal Hospital

"After looking around at the courses on offer I chose Sunderland as the pharmacy qualification has an excellent reputation among employers.

"I visited the university during one of their open days and was impressed by what I saw. The campus looked so modern and the new facilities were really impressive.

"After graduating I did a placement at a hospital in Airedale before doing my pre-medical training at Hull Royal Infirmary. I quickly got the chance to return to Sunderland when a job came up at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

"My career has come full circle as we take visiting students at the hospital from the university. It reminds me of how much of my studies I actually put into practice every day at work.

"I think university life teaches you independence and you definitely mature as a person when you study away from home."

"My training at Sunderland provided me with a wide range of skills."

Mark Burdon - Graduate

Mark Burdon - Graduate

"Since graduating from the University of Sunderland in 1999 with a degree in Pharmacy, my career as a pharmacist has developed in a number of ways.

"My training at Sunderland provided me with a wide range of skills and I am proud to continue my association with the University."

Apply for this course

To apply for this course, download the Course application form (.pdf). Information on how to complete the form and where to send it can be found on the form.

Contact Sunderland

For more information, contact the Programme Leader:

Paul Franklin
Tel: 0191 515 2528

For more general information, contact:

Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 2758

The details

Course Name Clinical Pharmacy
UCAS Code CID138
Classification MSc
Course Mode Part-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 1 - 3 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 15 September 2014
UK/EU Fee £225 per 10 credits
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry Requirements

Honours degree in pharmacy from an institution recognised as registered by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GhPC). Registration and employment as a Pharmacist in the UK for study at Sunderland.

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Monday 15 September 2014 Apply now