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MSc Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Key facts

  • Start date: September 2023
  • Study mode and duration: There is a maximum of five years from the point of first registration to completion of the required classes up to the award of an MSc.
  •  2nd in the UK for Pharmacology & Pharmacy (Complete University Guide 2022)

     

Study with us

  • the course has undergone an extensive review in 2022. The content and delivery have been enhanced to best address the training needs of pharmacists today and to meet the UK pharmacy professional body’s standards
  • three new modules have been developed to align to the RPS Core Advanced Curriculum domains of ‘Clinical Practice’ and ‘Research’. These have been co-produced with Strathclyde academic staff, researchers and key stakeholders
  • you will learn in a peer group environment through a hybrid learning format of face-to-face and online
  • The Independent Prescribing qualification is included as an optional element in the course
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Why this course?

This unique course enables pharmacists (registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council) to develop as advanced clinical practitioners within a peer group learning environment. The course is flexible with a choice of classes that look at specific practice and personal development needs.

Three new modules have been developed for 2023/24, specifically to meet the needs of pharmacists today:

  • Clinical Decision making (20 credits)
  • Research Fundamentals I: critical appraisal (20 credits)
  • Research Fundamentals II: research protocol development (20 credits)

These new modules have been developed to align to the RPS Core Advanced Curriculum domains of ‘Clinical Practice’ and ‘Research’. They will support pharmacists in all sectors, including Community, Hospital and General Practice.

Teaching will be delivered virtually and in person. We understand the pressures of working as a pharmacist and will ensure face-to-face teaching only happens when it is optimal for learning.

At Strathclyde our aim is for you to build a network and community to support you during and beyond your studies:

  • for the Clinical Decision Making module, you will develop a Clinical Network with peers. You will learn from experienced clinicians and members of the wider multidisciplinary team.
  • for the Research Fundamental modules, you will develop a peer-based Research Network alongside established researchers within the Pharmacoepidemiology and Health Services Research group. They can support you throughout all stages of your research project. We also have an excellent track record of supporting students to publish their research in international journals.(e.g. Slavin et al; Robertson et al; Rueben et al; Speirits et al; Bailey et al)

The Independent Prescribing (IP) qualification is included within the course as an optional 30-credit module. Practitioners who have already completed the IP qualification will receive 30 credits for prior learning and the requirements for each award will be reduced by 30 credits.

What you’ll study

This course consists of a series of optional modules. Currently, the modules available in 2023/24 will be the three new modules of: Clinical Decision Making, Research Fundamentals I: critical appraisal, and Research Fundamentals II: research protocol development.

The curriculum is being enhanced with new and adapted modules relating to Leadership, Management and Education to be introduced from September 2024.

If you successfully complete 60 credits from any combination of modules, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert). The award of a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) requires 120 credits and the MSc requires 180 credits. The MSc includes a research project.

Closeup of pharmacist's hands taking medicines from shelf

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) is recognised as one of the foremost departments of its kind in the UK. It's a leading research centre focusing on new and improved medicines and their management. In this course, you'll benefit from the advanced facilities of a state-of-the-art £36 million building.

Our postgraduate community comes from all corners of the globe. You will benefit from the support and guidance of the Institute’s Graduate School as well as from close, long-standing industrial and NHS links.

Research in SIPBS is centred on 'New Medicines, Better Medicines, Better Use of Medicines', and when completing the Research Fundamental modules you will situate within the Pharmacoepidemiology and Health Care Research group.

The teaching and research interests of the Institute cover many aspects of pharmacy and biomedical sciences. There's a particular emphasis on:

  • pharmacoepidemiology and health care research for better pharmaceutical care and medicines use
  • fundamental bioscience to develop new targets and translational opportunities
  • drug discovery to translate basic science into target validation
  • advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and industrial biotechnology
Gillian Cameron
The learning provided by the course was tailored to the needs of the service that I work in and enabled me to develop my knowledge and skills to work at a more advanced level.
Gillian Cameron
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Course content

The course has been redesigned to cover the key domains of Clinical Practice, Research, Education, Leadership and Management.

Participation with these 2023/24 modules will require enrolment in the MSc programme. However, completion of a full MSc is not necessary as you may wish to graduate with a PgCert/PgDip. You can take any combination of modules for the PgCert/PgDip, but for the MSc the Research Skills modules are compulsory.

For any further enquiries please contact Professor Marion Bennie, Course Director (marion.bennie@strath.ac.uk) or Dr Natalie Weir, Lecturer (natalie.m.weir@strath.ac.uk). 

Clinical Decision Making - 20 credits

The aim of this module is for you to develop the skills to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge in relation to Clinical Decision Making skills. You’ll learn to apply these in practice to support patient centered holistic care at a patient and service level. Within this module you will gain an understanding of:

  • decision making theories and their application in everyday practice
  • informed decision making to support patients in “grey” areas where evidence is limited or ambiguous
  • interpreting and managing competing clinical risks to support complex patients in the presence of significant uncertainty
  • critical reflection on the roles and to provide patient-centered holistic care while making clinical decisions
  • critical understanding of the consequences of high-risk decision making
Pharmacist Independent Prescribing - 30 credits

The aim of this module is to prepare you to be pharmacist independent prescribers in clinical practice within NHS Scotland. This module includes the current Pharmacist Independent Prescribing (IP) course approved by GPhC covering the following topics:  

  • Therapeutics
  • Communication with patients and colleagues
  • Prescribing and public health
  • Care planning
  • Period of learning in practice
Research Fundamentals I: critical appraisal - 20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with the key concepts, knowledge and understanding of research in health services and clinical practice. This will include literature review approaches and introduction of different types of research methodology. The ultimate goal is to enable you to identify and critically appraise literature to inform clinical practice and support decision making.

Within this module you will gain an understanding of:

  • health services and clinical practice research
  • the concepts, design and rationale of common research methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative) including research integrity, ethics, governance, consent and confidentially requirements
  • undergoing a literature search and critical appraise of the evidence base using key critical appraisal tools
  • sharing and communicating findings from the literature search and critical appraisal
  • the core components of a research protocol
Research Fundamentals II: research protocol development - 20 credits

The aim of this module is to deliver detailed knowledge and understanding of key methods used in health services research with particular focus on quantitative and qualitative methods. The ultimate goal is to enable you to design and develop a research protocol (ready for execution) for service development and clinical practice improvement.

Within this module you will gain an understanding of:

  • how to conceptualise and identify gaps in evidence-based practice after comprehensive searching and critical appraisal of the literature
  • how to formulate and develop a research question related to an area of practice building on the identified gap in the evidence
  • the design of appropriate research method(s) (quantitative, qualitative, or both) relevant to answer the research question(s)
  • the development and preparation of a research protocol to address a pre-determined research question
  • excellent writing and presentation skills required for communicating their research ideas/protocol
Research Project - 60 credits

The aim of this module is to provide experience in the design, implementation and reporting of a clinical research project. The area of practice will be chosen by you. The research project involves liaison with a research supervisor and undertaking of:

  • literature review
  • project design and approvals
  • project implementation and data collection
  • data analysis
  • manuscript and poster preparation

The curriculum is being enhanced with new and adapted modules relating to Leadership & Management to be introduced from September 2024.

Clinical Service Development – 10 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce the principles and practice of planning a clinical service development.

The class will study the following themed topics:

  • service development framework
  • communicating with the multidisciplinary team
  • stages in the formulation of a service development proposal
  • preparing written service development proposal

The curriculum is being enhanced with new and adapted modules relating to Education to be introduced from September 2024.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.

Learning & teaching

The course places a strong emphasis on student-centred learning delivered through a blended learning approach. There's a combination of e-learning materials, small group tutorials and workshops led by experienced staff, student presentations and work-based practice activities. Module material is available through online learning tools which can be accessed at any time.

The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences has a well-established relationship with NHS Scotland and a number of leading clinicians have visiting or honorary appointments. The course team combines both academic and clinical expertise to deliver modules that provide both the scientific knowledge and practical skills necessary for improving patient care.

Together we undertake collaborative research focused on the “Better Use of Medicines”. This is done through the study of real-world clinical data (pharmacoepidemiology) and the design and testing of novel healthcare intervention models in clinical practice settings (practice research).

The curriculum is being enhanced with new and adapted modules relating to Education to be introduced from September 2024.

Assessment

Assessment is through both written assignments, practical observation and submission of a manuscript (MSc students only).

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

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Entry requirements

Advanced Clinical Pharmacy
  • a degree in pharmacy from a UK university or an equivalent qualification
  • applicants must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
With Independent Prescribing Certificate option

All pharmacists must meet the following requirements:

  • current registration with GPhC &/or PSNI as a practising pharmacist
  • be in good standing with the healthcare regulator with which they are registered
  • have at least two years appropriate patient orientated experience post registration, in a relevant UK setting
  • have an identified area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice and have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in that area, within the last six months
  • demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own CPD
  • demonstrate how they will develop their own networks for support, reflection and learning, including prescribers from other professions
  • have a designated prescribing practitioner who has agreed to supervise their period of learning in practice
Accreditation of prior learning

If you have undertaken the Independent Prescribing course in Scotland in the five years before registration, this can be recognised as prior learning and the requirements for each award will be reduced by 30 credits.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Fees & funding

You can take any combination of modules for the PgCert (60 credits)/PgDip (120 credits). For the MSc (180 credits) you must complete the Research Skills class. A maximum of five years is allowed from the point of first registration to completion of the required modules up to the award of an MSc.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland

£533 per 10 credit module

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£533 per 10 credit module

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Careers

The course allows you to gain the skills and knowledge you will need to develop your clinical career. This will prepare you for senior clinical leadership appointments in variable healthcare settings. For example:

  • appointments as principal clinical pharmacist
  • clinical pharmacy lead within a managed healthcare in hospital or primary care
  • clinical pharmacist independent prescriber within a speciality with your own clinical caseload
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Apply

Start date: Sep 2023

Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice

MSc
part-time
Start date: Sep 2023