Pharmacy Practice - With Independent Prescribing - 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 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

Advanced Practice Development option (MSc)

Optional on-campus and local hospital teaching for International students (MSc)

Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice highlights
Over 3000 students in more than 25 countries have completed a postgraduate distance learning degree in the School of Pharmacy.

World Class Facilities
•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.

Student Experience
•The School has strong international links as well as a great community spirit.

Entry requirements

Entrance 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 Bachelor degree) 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 applicants are competent in the use of English language.

International Students
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements
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

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

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 degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
•Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
•Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


3 years part-time.

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.

Further enquiries

Dr Brian McCaw 
Distance Learning Centre Manager
School of Pharmacy

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.

1. Adverse drug reactions and interactions
2. Managing 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 UK 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).

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.

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

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.

Application date

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year 2020

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