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Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice

This flexible, part-time clinical MSc for pharmacists uses a practice-orientated approach to support your progress towards advanced and consultant roles.

Flexible work-based learning

Our flexible MSc course has been designed to equip pharmacists in patient-facing roles with the skills they need to become advanced practitioners.

Our MSc in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice has been developed to link closely to both the pharmacy and the multi-disciplinary frameworks which define Advanced Practice. We work with organisations including Health Education England (HEE) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to make sure our units match the requirements of professional bodies, regulators and employers.

Available intake points depend on the route you wish to take through the programme:

  • If you intend to commence with the Independent Prescribing unit, the next intake is March 2023.
  • If you plan to follow the Primary Care stream, the next intake is April 2023
  • If you are already an Independent Prescriber and wish to commence the Advanced Clinical Assessment unit, the next intake is September 2023
  • You can also transfer from the Secondary Care diploma programme to the MSc, please contact your Programme Lead for information about taking this route.

Course features

  • Choice of units reflecting your areas of professional interest
  • Study at your own pace with minimal time away from work
  • Excellent support and learner networks with a user-friendly virtual learning environment
  • Increased professional expertise and status with enhanced career prospects
  • Support in meeting requirements of the General Pharmaceutical Council, and professional development in line with Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Health Education England frameworks

We are in the process of applying for recognition by the HEE Centre for Advancing Practice as an accredited provider of Advanced Clinical Practice training. If you would like more details about this, please contact Advanced Practice Lead, Sarah Jones by emailing

Course details

Our flexible course allows you to study at your own pace with minimal time away from work.

This MSc award requires the completion of a total of 180 academic credits (CATS credit type) typically over three years of part-time study (60 credits per year) although it is possible to spread your total period of study over a longer time.

Scheme of study

The Independent Prescribing (IP) unit and the Advanced Clinical Assessment (ACA) unit are both compulsory elements of this course, usually taken in the second or third year of study (with the IP unit being taken first).

In most cases, the remaining course content is divided into 11 or 12-week units of study each leading to the award of 15 CATS credits.

Examples of Specialist/Advanced units that can be taken include:

  • Research Methods
  • Quality Improvement
  • Pharmaceutical Public Health

Education in Healthcare and Leadership units are planned for delivery in 2023/24. You can also include units covering therapeutic topics which fit with your areas of practice. You can review all available units through the University's Programme and Unit Catalogue.

Please note that the catalogue doesn't provide information on when individual units will be running. If you would like to find out more about taking a specific combination of units to achieve your award, please arrange to speak to the Advanced Practice Lead, Sarah Jones by emailing

As an alternative to a taught third year of study, students who have already completed the IP and ACA units earlier in the course have the option to complete a year-long 60-credit unit comprising research methods training and a practice-based research or service evaluation project written up in an extended report or thesis.

Methods of study

Study on each unit is supported by a dedicated unit convener, access to online learning materials, live teaching sessions and in some cases, face-to-face study days. You can read more detailed information about the content and delivery of the Independent Prescribing unit and Advanced Clinical Assessment units on their individual pages.

Transfer onto the course

It is also possible to transfer to the Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice MSc at the end of the first or second year of study on our other courses.

Transfer of a limited amount of credit from other Higher Education Institutions is often possible (including an Independent Prescribing qualification gained elsewhere). It may also be possible to apply for the award of academic credit to recognise other previous learning (for example from some leadership and management training courses). Please contact us to discuss these options.

Apply now

Make sure to complete all additional forms and upload these to your application tracker as required.

A specific MSc application link will be available shortly, but if you wish to apply sooner you can apply via the Primary Care, Independent Prescribing or Advanced Clinical Assessment pages and then we will arrange a transfer on to the MSc.

Transfer of credit from other institutions is possible. Please call the Programme Office to discuss this option.

Application process

Two references will be needed. We will review all applications and contact applicants with information about interviews, which will usually be by telephone or video call.

Entry requirements

Find out what criteria you need to meet before applying.

In order to study on the MSc course you must:

  • be a graduate of a recognised university and be registered as a practising pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (or for other health professionals, be a member of an appropriate professional body)
  • ensure that you have a UK practice base to work within and access to patient notes (Community-based applicants will normally need to come to an arrangement with a local GP practice. The University can provide a letter to assist in gaining access to a GP Surgery for educational purposes.)

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.5 overall with no less than 7 in all components.

Advanced Clinical Practice in the NHS

Find out more general information about Advanced Clinical Practice roles.

Developing advanced clinical practice roles, is considered a key component of contemporary workforce planning, as described in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Health Education England Centre for Advancing Practice gives much more information about the types of roles available, and the resources available to support clinical staff aspiring to advanced practice roles.

Fees and funding

Go to our fees pages for more information on fees and how to pay them.

Please note that tuition fees do not cover travel, subsistence or accommodation at workshops. An additional charge will be made for costs incurred.

Contact us

Contact us if you have any questions about the course or your application.