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Pharmacy - Clinical

MSc Clinical Pharmacy is a two-year, part-time distance learning course specially designed for pharmacists working in hospital and community pharmacies, who want to enhance their clinical pharmacy knowledge and practice skills. Much of the learning is case-based so scientific and professional elements are integrated. The course is designed to maximise contact between student and tutor while allowing distance learning via the internet and through teleconferences/webinars with experienced medical and pharmacy practitioners.

Unique Aspects of the Course
Our distance learning format allows you to remain in full-time employment throughout the course.

Entry requirements

Primary degree (NQF level 8) in pharmacy from an approved school of pharmacy.

Detailed Entry Requirements
- candidates must hold a primary pharmacy degree from a School of Pharmacy that is approved by the Programme Committee;

- they must be registered with the professional accreditation authority in the country in which they are practising;

- ideally candidates should have practical experience in their area of qualifications of at least two years post-registration;

- all candidates will be required to have full access to computer and internet facilities and to be computer literate;

- candidates must be employed by an agreed hospital or community pharmacy and must have a letter of consent/support from the hospital of employment/from their employer/supporting GP (where relevant) before registration;

- in some exceptional circumstances candidates, by virtue of their training and experience may, at the discretion of the Programme Director and the Head of School, be deemed suitable for entry to the degree.

Entry Requirements (Pathway II)
In addition to the above:

The Programme Management Committee may permit graduates holding a Postgraduate Certificate (equivalent to Level 9 award) in Clinical Pharmacy or a Postgraduate Diploma (equivalent to Level 9 award) in Clinical Pharmacy from an appropriately accredited School of Pharmacy to enter a one year programme. To be considered for entry to this programme, candidates must have completed their Clinical Pharmacy Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma no later than five years prior to the date of registration for this programme.

Note: English Language Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English are required to sit either an IELTS or TOEFL test.
The minimum English Language Requirements for Postgraduate Degree Programmes are:

College of Medicine and Health: minimum IELTS 6.5

With no individual section lower than 6.5 for all programmes.

Further information on English Language Requirements can be found at

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


2 years part-time by Distance Learning.

Delivered entirely by distance learning. Apart from the final year exams, students are not required to attend the university.

The taught modules incorporate a combination of printed module workbooks, teleconferences, web-based seminars and online assessments. Students communicate with the module co-ordinators and each other through regular teleconferences and via the Internet (using Blackboard, UCC’s learning management system).

Course materials are circulated under a strict timetable and all module assignments must be returned within set deadlines.

Average 10 to 15 hours a week on teleconference/webinar preparation and participation, general reading, case studies, assignments and examination study and half a day each week on clinical placement.

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
If you are interested in becoming a leader in clinical pharmacy services, our course will provide you with the skills you need. These include presentation skills, report writing, critical appraisal of drug therapies and rational drug use, pharmacoeconomic evaluation, research project management and medication safety management.

Further enquiries

Dr. Teresa M. Barbosa
Course Coordinator MSc in Clinical Pharmacy
School of Pharmacy
Cavanagh Pharmacy Building
University College Cork
Tel: +353-(0)21-4901792
Fax: + 353-(0)21-4901656

Dr. Laura Sahm
Course Director
T: +353-(0)21-4901688

Dr. Suzanne McCarthy
Course Director
T: +353 (0)21 490 1714

Subjects taught

Pathway 1 of the course consists of: a compulsory introductory webinar at the start of year 1; 60 credits of taught modules (part 1); 30 credits of a research project (part 2).

Part 1
60 credits:
PF6001 Biostatistics/Critical Appraisal (5 credits)
PF6005 Pharmacoeconomics (5 credits)
PF6006 Pharmacotherapy II (15 credits)
PF6007 Pharmacotherapy III (10 credits)
PF6009 Pharmacotherapy I (15 credits)
PF6010 Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Rational Use of Drugs (10 credits)

In Part 1, you must take a minimum of 30 credits in the first academic year. You cannot proceed to year 2 of the course unless you have passed year 1.

Part 2
30 credits:
PF6008 Research Project Clinical Pharmacy (30 credits)

The research project is carried out in the workplace under the supervision of an academic supervisor and your workplace tutor. You are expected to develop an understanding of the planning, execution and reporting of a research project. You will also develop problem-solving, project management and presentation skills.

After completion of the taught modules (60 credits), students can opt not to complete the course and be conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy.

Pathway II (one year course)
Students take 45 credits as follows:
PF6001 Biostatistics/Critical Appraisal (5 credits)
PF6007 Pharmacotherapy III (10 credits)
PF6008 Dissertation (30 credits)


Who Teaches This Course
Our academic staff include pharmacists, medical doctors, health economists, pharmacologists and biostatisticians. MSc in Clinical Pharmacy contributing practitioners. Contributors are identified in each module and contact can be made directly or through the course co-ordinator.

Possible Option Exit Awards:
Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy (NFQ Level 9, Minor award)
Students unable to complete the full Master's programme may register for the Master's and, on completion of 30 credits (taught modules), may opt to exit the programme and be eligible for the Level 9 award of Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy. A student who subsequently applies to the Master's Degree in Clinical Pharmacy must do so within 5 years from the date of successful completion of the Certificate examinations.

Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy (NFQ Level 9, Major award)
Students successfully completing 60 credits (taught modules) may opt not to proceed to the Research Project and Dissertation (PF6008) and may opt to be conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy. A student who subsequently applies to continue to the Master's Degree in Clinical Pharmacy must do so within 5 years from the date of successful completion of the Diploma examinations.

Masters in Clinical Pharmacy (NFQ Level 9, Major award)

Upon completion of the taught modules (60 credits) students will undertake PF6008 Research Project and Dissertation in Clinical Pharmacy (30 credits).

Individual Modules - CPD
As part of UCC's commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), healthcare professionals may take a one-off module from the list available in this course and be provided with a relevant transcript of marks.

Assessment method

This course is assessed using a mixture of continuous assessment (assignments, exercises, multiple choice question exams and clinical case presentations) and written exams.

Continuous assessment work is submitted regularly and discussed at compulsory teleconferences.

Written examinations take place in UCC at the end of both years. For some modules, there is a clinical case presentation along with the exam at the end of the academic year.

Students in year 2 of the course will complete their research project.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

Closing Date 30th June 2017.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018 Irish/EU €3,850 per year

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: September 2017

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