Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists University Certificate of Postgraduate Study

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Gain the ability to prescribe autonomously for any condition within your clinical competence. Provide patients with improved access to medicines. Open up new career opportunities for yourself.

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This course leads to the GPhC’s ‘Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing’, a required qualification for becoming an independent prescriber.

You will study at the University of Sunderland for one day a week for nine weeks, with associated independent study. You will cover topics such as: ‘Prescribing in a Team Context’; ‘Applied Therapeutics’; ‘Prescribing in the Public Health Context’; and ‘Legal, Policy, Professional and Ethical Aspects’.

Once you have qualified, you will be able to take on new challenges and opportunities that are unavailable to non-prescribers. The course is therefore transformative in terms of your on-going professional development. More information is available from the General Pharmaceutical Council.


Why us?

  • You will also undertake at least 90 hours of supervised practice with a designated medical practitioner who is familiar with the GPhC’s required learning outcomes
  • By becoming a pharmacist independent prescriber you will be able to prescribe autonomously for any condition within your clinical competence

Course structure

The content of this course reflects the General Pharmaceutical Council's syllabus for independent prescribing for pharmacists.

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars, practical skills development sessions, presentations, self-directed learning and mentored practice. You will study at the University of Sunderland for one day a week for nine weeks, with associated independent study. There is also at least 90 hours of supervised practice with a designated medical practitioner.

Assessment is based on a series of OSCEs (Objectively Structured Clinical Examinations), multiple choice questions, assessed presentations and a written portfolio of evidence.  

Topics on this course include:

  • Consultation, Decision-making, Assessment and Review
  • Influences on and Psychology of Prescribing
  • Prescribing in a Team Context
  • Applied Therapeutics
  • Evidence-based Practice and Clinical Governance
  • Legal, Policy, Professional and Ethical Aspects
  • Prescribing in the Public Health Context
  • 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.

  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, 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. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format.

    Library Services - general
  • Map and directions


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.

The University has a purpose-built model pharmacy complete with consultation suite and optional video recording of your interaction with patients. In addition, we can accurately simulate hospital-based scenarios in a fully equipped ward environment.

Entry requirements

We require applicants to be registered with the UK General Pharmaceutical Council or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.

You should have at least two years of patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following your pre-registration year.

Fees and finance

The fee for this course is £1,350.

This information was correct at the time of publication.

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