Independent and Supplementary Prescribing (Certificate in Professional Studies) (PG CERTIFICATE OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES)

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Oxstalls, Gloucester

Take your career to the next level through this NMC and HCPC-accredited course.

This course aims to equip Advanced Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Therapeutic Radiographers, Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors with the skills and competencies required to be able to prescribe medication safely, appropriately and cost effectively.

By attending 15 taught days you can study this module as a stand-alone Certificate in Professional Studies (Level 7, 30 CATS). If you then choose to continue postgraduate education this module can contribute to the Master’s in Advanced Clinical Practice or Master’s in Advanced Professional Practice.

Topics covered by this module include:

  • clinical pharmacology
  • prescribing for different clientgroups
  • structured consultation and therapy decisions processes


  • Understand roles, responsibilities qualities, skills and other attributes of an independent/ supplementary prescriber
  • Understand and apply knowledge of the pharmacology of drug actions in prescribing practice, expanding on your knowledge of the impact of co-existing diseases and medications
  • Become confident in conducting a holistic consultation to inform diagnosis and prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively
  • Use all diagnostic aids relevant to the conditions for which you intend to prescribe, including modification and cessation of therapy
  • Understand and be able to apply the relevant legislation to the practice of independent and supplementary prescribing
  • Critically appraise, use sources of information/advice and decision support systems in prescribing practice and apply the principles of evidence-based practice within legislative requirements
  • Meet the expectations of professional behaviour as set out by the Professional Statutory Registering Body including standards of conduct, performance and ethics
  • Practice within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility as part of your on-going Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Get Independent and Supplementary Prescribing (Certificate in Professional Studies) course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Study style

This is a part-time course and you will study one day per week over a period of 15 taught days.

You will learn through a blended approach that includes a variety of methods, such as e-learning through the virtual learning environment (moodle), online lectures and guided home study, individual support tutorials, face to face lectures, guided reflection, library study and a minimum of 90 hours spent within a practice placement, with your clinical practice supported and mentored by healthcare professionals who are already qualified in the subject areas you wish to study. This will enable you to achieve the HCPC and NMC standards of proficiency for prescribing.

The prescribing programme is assessed using a variety of methods including written exams, online assessments, OSCEs and reflective case studies. You will also be required to create a portfolio of evidence, demonstrating your clinical competency against the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s 2016 framework of competency for non-medical prescribers.


This course has both Formative and Summative assessments that are spread out throughput the six-month study period, in order to prevent overloading the student at the end of the course. These include:

  • 3000 word reflective case study, describing one of the patients seen during practice placement
  • Pharmacology essay, explaining the mode of action of two of the students chosen drugs
  • Portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that the student has achieved all of the competencies listed in the 2016 document by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society entitled: A Competency Framework for all Prescribers
  • 2 hour pharmacology exam
  • 1 hour numeracy exam
  • An Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) undertaken with a patient during the clinical placement

Assessments are set out by the professional statutory registering bodies, and applicants can therefore visit the HCPC or NMC websites for further information if required.


Lectures take place at Oxstalls campus and run from 9.30 until 4.30 pm. The course consists of a minimum of 300 hours of study. The is broken down as follows:

  • 15 face-to-face clinical teaching/exam sessions each lasting 6.5 hours = 97.5 hours
  • A minimum of 90 hours in clinical placement with support from the designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs)
  • 112.5 hours of self-directed learning, supported by workbooks, online lecture material and e-learning exercises

The professional statutory bodies require 100% attendance for all clinical teaching activities, and the University therefore holds registers for teaching days and monitors and records all online student activity to ensure that these Professional Statutory Registering Bodies’ requirements are met.

The course runs twice yearly, with teaching dates commencing in either October or April. An induction day is held prior to the start of the course to complete registration, and run through the course requirements with the students who have successfully enrolled onto the course.

Course modules

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Entry requirements

Before applying for this course, it is essential that students must have:

  • Current professional Registration either in parts 1 of the NMC professional register or HCPC registration with legislative rights to prescribe
  • A minimum of 1 year’s post-registration experience in
  • NMC registrants must have secured two Designated Prescribing Practitioners, a Practice Assessor and a Practice Supervisor
  • HCPC registrants must have secured a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) with relevant experience and qualifications in the clinical specialist field you have chosen to study
  • A successful interview with the Academic Course Lead for the Independent and Supplementary Prescribing course


Fees - 2020/21 Academic Year
Home and EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Certificate £1440
Non-EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Certificate £1440

Please refer to the Tuition Fee and Bursary Policy for payment methods and timescales.


Progression through this award will enable practitioners to link learning to their revalidation and online portfolio of CPD, demonstrating evidence of professional development in safe prescribing practices.

Meet the Lecturer

Discover more about your course by visiting the university to speak with one of our lecturers. Learn about the modules, teaching style and the modes of assessment by speaking to our experts, and get a feel for the facilities you'll be using. Visit our Meet the Lecturer page to find out more and book your place.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Meet NMC Standards

This course is fully accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, ensuring you’ll meet NMC proficiency standards for prescribing.

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Become a safe prescriber

You will gain the knowledge and skills to become a safe non-medical prescriber and undertake the role of an Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescriber.

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Build your CPD portfolio

You’ll be able to link your learning in safe prescribing practices to your revalidation and online portfolio of continuing professional development.

School of Health and Social Care

Our School of Health and Social Care offers you access to the latest equipment, facilities and placements to bring learning to life and make you a confident practising professional. We will support you to care for yourself so you'll be more resilient and efficient when caring for others.

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