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Clinical Pharmacy Practice - Advanced

The MSc in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice, is designed to help pharmacists to acquire and demonstrate the advanced-level competencies defined in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Advanced Pharmacy Framework, through a rigorous programme of study that provides students with the knowledge and skills required to:

•Review and incorporate current evidence into practice
•Work effectively in a multidisciplinary clinical environment
•Make decisions in complex clinical situations
•Communicate effectively with patients who have common long-term medical conditions
•Undertake clinical and practice-based research

This programme, introduced in 2016/2017, has replaced our previous postgraduate courses in clinical and community pharmacy. It is completed by Distance Learning, without attending on-campus. It is therefore open to both UK and International pharmacists.
•Open to pharmacists from all employment sectors
•Distance learning
•Independent Prescribing option for GB pharmacists
•Management and leadership development option (MSc)
•Optional on-campus and local hospital teaching for International students (MSc)

Alternative exit points are available including PgDip and PgCert. Please visit the relevant course websites for more information.

Why Queen's?
Top ranking: the School of Pharmacy at Queen's is acknowledged as a leading centre for Pharmacy teaching and research in the UK, consistently featuring at or near the top of league tables for the subject.

International links: the School has strong international links as well as a great community spirit.

Entry requirements

This course is designed to meet the postgraduate education needs of pharmacists working in patient-facing roles, although applications are welcome from pharmacists working in any employment sector.

The programme is open to local, national and international applicants.

Applicants must have a pharmacy degree (minimum Bachelors) from a university recognised by Queen’s University Belfast and be registered as a pharmacist with an appropriate regulatory organisation.

The University requires evidence that international candidates are competent in the use of the English language.

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme


Part-time only. MSc: 3 yrs. PgDip: 2 yrs. PgCert: 1 yr.

Normally, the part-time Masters programme is completed between three and five years.

•Credit may be awarded for previous relevant postgraduate qualifications, which can reduce the duration to two years.

•When necessary, students can exit with a PG Certificate or PG Diploma qualification in less than three years.

•This programme is not available for full-time study.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
This programme in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice enhances the opportunities for pharmacists to progress their career to advanced practitioner level. Pharmacists in the UK have the option to undertake Independent Prescriber training in the first year.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Mr Brian McCaw
Distance Learning Centre
School of Pharmacy
T: +44 (0)28 9097 2004

Subjects taught

Year 1
Core modules:
•Medicines Optimisation (10 Credits)
•Effective Communication & Consultation Skills (10 Credits)
•Management of Long-term Conditions (20 Credits)
•PLUS Two from the 10 Credit options listed below

Year 2
Core modules:
•Research Methods (10 Credits)
•Data Analysis (10 Credits)
•Further Study of Long-term Conditions (20 Credits)
•PLUS Two from the 10 Credit options listed below.

10 Credit Options:
1.Adverse drug reactions and interactions
2.Managnig Drug Treatment
3.Evidence-based medicine
4.Health promotion
5.Infection and antimicrobial stewardship
6.Medicines governance
7.Prescribing audit and analysis

As an alternative to the above, students in Great Britain can complete Independent Prescriber (IP) training in the second year of the PG Diploma/MSc. The IP option includes a 5-day residential in Belfast (travel and accommodation costs are in addition to the course fee).


Year 3
Option 1: Practice-based research project (60 credits)

Option 2: Practice-based research project (30 credits) plus Advanced Practice* (30 credits)

Option 3: Practice-based research project (30 credits) plus Clinical Practice** (30 credits)

*Advanced Practice includes development of management and leadership skills and is linked to the RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework.

**Clinical Practice option includes a 2-week residential programme at the Regional Medicines Optimisation Centre and NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland. An additional fee is payable for this module (International students only).

Independent prescribing option
The Independent Prescribing option is open to pharmacists in Great Britain and is delivered in second year of the PG Diploma/MSc in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice.

The programme is delivered via a combination of e-learning and work-based learning and includes 12 days in-practice training with a Designated Medical Practitioner, the purpose of which is to enable the student to develop and practice clinical examination skills relevant to the condition(s) for which they intend to prescribe. The pharmacist may complete their in-practice training at any point during the course.

Students are required to attend a 5-day residential in Belfast, which will include workshops, clinical skills training and assessment. The residential will be held in the second Semester (dates to be confirmed). Students are required to pay their own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

Applying to join
Independent Prescribing applicants must have been practicing for at least two years and should be employed in either primary or secondary care.

GB students who have been offered a place on the 2017/2018 Independent Prescribing option should submit the following forms together in a single email to

1.Eligibity form - To demonstrate your eligibility to undertake this programme of study

2.Sponsoring organisation agreement - Your employer must sign the agreement guaranteeing their support. Alternatively, if you are a contractor or locum pharmacist you must sign this form yourself.

3.Designatated medical practitioner agreement - You must identify a suitable mentor and both you and the mentor must sign the agreement.


Learning and Teaching
The programme is delivered by the School’s Distance Learning Centre and is completed by distance learning.

Students complete compulsory core modules that include medicines optimisation, interpersonal skills, research methods and data analysis, and can select from a range of optional modules that are relevant to their current work or that will help them to achieve their employment aspirations.

Students can complete their studies by distance/online learning without having to attend on-campus. Alternatively, students in Great Britian may undertake Independent Prescriber training as an option in their second year, which includes a one-week residential in Belfast. International students may select a final year option that includes clinical pharmacy experience in local NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland.

Assessment method

Assessment & Feedback
Assessment includes coursework assignments, online tests and a written examination in each of the first and second years. In addition, competency assessments, practice portfolios and Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are included in the Independent Prescribing option and a dissertation in the MSc stage.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught

In general, there are no closing dates for the majority of courses (those with closing dates will be highlighted in the Course Finder). However we advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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