Pharmacy Practice

The next step after becoming a qualified pharmacist

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course is suited to practising pharmacists registered in the UK with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) wishing to take the next step after the MPharm.

You will be directly applying your learning to professional practice and so must be working in a practice environment that will offer suitable training opportunities and the appropriate level of support.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Tailor your learning to your own professional development requirements and in some cases have the opportunity to become an Independent Prescriber (IP)
  • Be taught by pharmacy-qualified staff, including practitioners from community and hospital pharmacy
  • Have access to a wide range of learning opportunities guided by leading experts in a wide range of specialities

What opportunities might it lead to?

After completing the MPharm, this course is the next step after registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). It is designed to extend your knowledge and skills in pharmacy practice and aims to develop an informed appreciation of current and future roles within the pharmacy profession.

The duration of the course is three years, however you also have the opportunity to exit after one year with the award of a PgC or two years with the award of PgD in pharmacy practice.

Jo Lyle, MSc Social Work student

I stayed in Portsmouth after I graduated from my first degree – I had such a good experience the first time round that I could not imagine doing my Master’s anywhere else.

Jo Lyle, health sciences student

Key Facts

3 years part time. Start: January.
A Pharmacy degree (BSc, BPharm or MPharm) with a minimum classification of 2.2, registration as a practising pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council and a practice-base (i.e. paid employment at an accredited centre). English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: part time: £2,630 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: part time: £4,570 p/a*

*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5550
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Programme specification

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

The course encompasses initial clinical skills and in the first year you will focus on developing therapeutics-related skills.

Here are the units you will study in this year:

  • Developing Clinical Practice: The aim of this unit is to teach you to critically review and monitor the drug treatment of patients in order to provide competent advice on the safe and effective use of medicines in the context of individual patient care.
  • Developing the Practitioner: This unit aims to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the principles of pharmacy practice and enables you to acquire the relevant expertise to deliver safe and effective pharmaceutical care across the spectrum of general practice.

Year two

In the second year you will study more applied therapeutics skills.

Here are the units you will study in this year:

  • Clinical Therapeutics: On this unit you will learn to demonstrate a systematic and critical understanding of the clinical knowledge and skills required to work independently to deliver pharmaceutical care to patients in a variety of clinical settings.
  • Professional Practice: This unit focusses on the application of the principles of professional practice to enable you to deliver pharmaceutical care to patients in a variety of pharmacy settings.

Year three

The final year offers a choice of specialist options in conjunction with you completing your research project.

In this year you will study:

  • Research Methods and Research Project

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Clinical and Professional Aspects of Prescribing: This unit is restricted to those who have successfully completed the application process for the Independent Prescribing Programme supported by their employers and with a Designated Medical Practitioner.
  • Strategic and Professional Development: This unit aims to develop a framework for the strategic advancement of the pharmacy profession and local pharmacy practice e.g. by involvement with business planning for pharmacy developments, training and education of colleagues and/or other health care professionals, development of evidence based practice etc.

Teaching and Assessment

Due to the work-based nature of this course, you will be expected to attend short study sessions at the University, but a substantial proportion of your learning will take place at your practice-base. Your main mode of learning will be via practical activities at work such as case studies, audit, clinical interventions and therapeutic examples.

How are you assessed?

Other than practical assessments, you will complete written assignments in the form of therapeutic frameworks and reports containing a high content of critical discussion throughout the course.

Dr Helena Herrera

Tutor's view

Dr Helena Herrera
Health Sciences

This course uses a mixture of contemporary teaching methods, lectures and self-directed study to support the development of skills and knowledge necessary to practice in a pharmacy environment. You are supported by a team of expert practitioners and academics, and state-of-the-art facilities and a virtual learning environment also enrich your learning.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

Although you may not be campus based, you will still benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website, LookUP, will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.


Throughout the course, we aim to ensure you receive all the support you need – both for your studies and in the workplace. For care-based students this involves a work-based accredited tutor plus tutorial support given by a member of staff at the University. There are also tutors available to support you in developing generic study skills via online tutorials, email and telephone conferencing.

Combined Credit

This course has been developed in conjunction with four other Schools of Pharmacy – the University of London, King's College London, the University of Brighton and the University of East Anglia – enabling you to benefit from a broad range of expertise from each institution. The development of a joint syllabus also provides an opportunity for transferable credit between universities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Depending on your current work situation and setting, it can lead to many different career opportunities. As a hospital pharmacist, you will be able to apply for posts at a more advanced level.

If you successfully complete the independent prescribing unit, we will award you a Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing. This allows you to apply for annotation to your registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) as an accredited Independent Prescriber (IP).

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • prescribing support pharmacist
  • medication review pharmacist
  • prescriber
  • clinical specialist pharmacist
  • teacher/practitioner

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

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Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Information Days 2016

  • Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm

Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.

Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.

Book now

Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

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