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MSc Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice

We're not accepting admissions for September 2022 start. Admissions for September 2023 start will open in January 2023.

Key facts

  • Start date: September 2023
  • Study mode and duration: A maximum of five years is allowed from the point of first registration to completion of the required classes up to the award of an MSc

Study with us

  • choose classes that address specific practice and personal development needs
  • course content has been aligned to the key domains outlined by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Research, Clinical Practice, leadership and Management
  • the Independent Prescribing qualification is included as an optional element in the course
  • study in a small peer-group learning environment through a hybrid learning of face-to-face and online
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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 small peer group learning environment. The course is flexible with a choice of classes that look at specific practice and personal development needs.

The MSc Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice is designed to produce highly skilled practitioners. You'll learn to improve patient care by driving innovation in pharmacy practice through the Scottish Government’s Vision and Action Plan: Prescription for Excellence.

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 classes.

If you successfully complete 60 credits from any combination of classes, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate. The award of a Postgraduate Diploma requires 120 credits and the MSc requires 180 credits. However, the MSc also includes a project and a class in research skills.

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. 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'll 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 and Better Use of Medicines'. 

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

  • fundamental bioscience to develop new targets and translational opportunities
  • drug discovery to translate basic science into target validation
  • advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and industrial biotechnology
  • pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacy practice research for better pharmaceutical care and medicines use
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 curriculum is being enhanced with new and adapted modules to be introduced from September 2023. We'll update this page with the confirmed content by autumn 2022.

The course is designed around three practitioner toolkits, therapeutic, health service quality improvement and research. Each toolkit contains modules designed to address a range of development needs which covers Clinical Practice, Research, Leadership and Management areas.

For any further course content enquiries please contact Professor Marion Bennie, Course Director – marion.bennie@strath.ac.uk.

Advanced Clinical Assessment & Consultation Skills – 20 credits

The aim of the module is to understand the clinical assessment process. You’ll gain experience in conducting consultations to support clinical decision making for individual patients.

The module will cover:

  • consultation skills and behaviours
  • frameworks for effective clinical assessment
  • clinical decision making skills
  • skills development through use of mannequins, expert patients/volunteers and patients in clinical practice
Advanced Therapeutics & Health Innovation – 20 credits

The aim of this module is to explore the complexity of clinical care. We'll look at the inter-relationship between co-morbidity, advancing diagnostic and treatment innovation, resource management and the wishes of individual patients.

The module will focus on these topics:

  • health technology assessment process illustrated through the Scottish Medicines Consortium approach
  • clinical science advancements in diagnostics and monitoring of disease
  • therapeutic advancements including genomics and stratified medicine
  • complex clinical care decision making in clinical specialities
Quality Improvement Methodology – 20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the principles and practice of quality improvement in healthcare. You'll gain an understanding of the specific knowledge, skills and behaviours required.

The module will look at the following topics:

  • quality and quality improvement definitions and policy within healthcare
  • quality improvement methods
  • measurement for improvement
  • team relationships in quality improvement programmes
  • practical application of a QI project practice
Pharmacist Independent Prescribing – 30 credits

The aim of this module is to prepare clinicians to be pharmacist independent prescribers in clinical practice within NHS Scotland.

This module includes the current Pharmacist Independent Prescribing (IP) course approved by GPhC. It will cover the following topics:

  • therapeutics
  • communication with patients and colleagues
  • prescribing and public health
  • care planning
  • period of learning in practice
Clinical Service Development – 10 credits

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

The module 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
Research Skills – 20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and skills in research methodology and analysis. It will enable practitioners to plan a project within clinical practice.

The module will study the following themed topics:

  • framing a clinical question for research
  • literature search construction, execution and reporting
  • quantitative & qualitative research methods and design
  • quantitative & qualitative analytical approaches
  • research & ethics considerations in clinical research
  • protocol design
Research Project – 60 credits

The aim of the module is to provide experience in the design, implementation and reporting of a clinical research project.

The module will study the following themed topics:

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

Assessment

Assessment is through both written assignments and practical observation/examinations 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 for September 2023 entry will be confirmed prior to applications opening for this programme in January 2023.

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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

We're not accepting admissions for September 2022 start. Admissions for September 2023 start will open in January 2023.

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3623

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk