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 study sessions held throughout the year. 

Sunderland has an excellent reputation for pharmacy. Our Department is ranked No.6 in the UK according to The Guardian University Guide 2013, and our academic team produce ‘world-leading’ research, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014).

Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

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 expert speakers based in local and national NHS organisations.

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

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

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

Simulation technology

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.


Fleming Building

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

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Tuition fees for part-time postgraduate students are £300 per 10 Credits. Each year of the course requires 60 Credits to complete.

Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

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-registration 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


"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

You can apply online using the link below.

    Next open day

  • Date: Thursday 26th May 2016
  • Time: 1:30pm-7:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: The Gateway at City Campus

Contact Sunderland

For more information, contact:

The Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 2758

Programme Starts  
Monday 17th October 2016 Apply now

The details

Course Name Clinical Pharmacy
Classification MSc
Course Mode Part-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 3 years for the full MSc, 2 years for the postgraduate diploma, 1 year for the postgraduate certificate
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 17 October 2016
UK/EU Fee £300 per 10 Credits
Intl Fee £See entry requirements page

Entry requirements

See entry requirements page

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