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Pharmacy Clinical Practice (Community and Primary Care) (MSc/Diploma/Certificate)

  Staff working in a Pharmacy.

MSc - 3 years; Diploma - 2 years; Certificate – 1 year
(Part-time / Distance Learning)

This course is designed for Community Pharmacists and Primary Care Pharmacists working in the UK.

Course Aims

To provide educational support for pharmacists who wish to enhance their knowledge of therapeutics and improve their pharmaceutical care skills in order to provide patient-centred care.

Special features

  • Focus on pharmaceutical care, therapeutics, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), medicines use review and delivery of the new pharmacy services.
  • In addition to the course tutors, lectures are delivered by a wide range of specialist health professionals (e.g. Consultants, GPs, Specialist Nurses, Prescribing Advisors and Specialist Pharmacists).
  • Patients are invited to all weekend schools to allow students to apply new therapeutic knowledge into practice as well as providing the opportunity to develop consultation skills.
  • Flexible programme of distance learning, part-time study with weekend schools in Cardiff.

Course Description

This course is designed and delivered by dynamic and highly experienced pharmacists who understand the need for flexibility when trying to incorporate further study into busy and demanding lifestyles. We have developed a flexible, modular course combining weekend schools (currently four per academic year), home learning and work-based practical assignments.

The course is very much focused on the pharmacist’s personal development and the application of theory to practice in order to become a confident and effective practitioner as a member of the wider healthcare team. Importance is placed upon reflective practice, with coursework designed to encourage better understanding of individual learning styles and placing practice experience into the wider therapeutic role. Reflective skills learned on this course are designed to be applicable throughout your career.

Whilst we encourage students to continue on into the third year in order to obtain your MSc, we have recognised that career goals can change over time and therefore provide the option of exiting the course earlier if necessary. For example, if you were to leave the course after successful completion of two years (currently eight modules) you would be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma, whereas leaving the course after four successfully completed modules at the end of year one would entitle you to a Postgraduate Certificate. Individual modules can also be studied as a short course.

Year one and year two students attend the same study weekends, thus providing a useful support network. A buddy system is also in place as a peer support mechanism.

Current course structure

Comprises four module weekend schools at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (October, November, January and March), plus one assessment day in May per academic year.

2015/16 Modules: Year 1 – Postgraduate Certificate (60 Credits)

  • Public Health in Community Pharmacy
  • Management of Endocrine Disorders
  • Management of Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders
  • Management of Skin Conditions

2016/17 Modules: Year 2 – Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
(Please note that these modules are likely to be restructured)

  • Medicines Management
  • Management of Cardio-vascular conditions
  • Management of Respiratory Conditions
  • Management of Gastro-intestinal Conditions

The programme is currently assessed through coursework, practical skills assessment and a class test at the end of years 1 and 2.

Year 3: MSc (180 credits)

  • Research methods
  • Production of a research protocol
  • Dissertation

After completing the Postgraduate Diploma, students have the option of progressing onto the MSc. This one year programme provides training in research methods to enable you to design a viable research protocol. With guidance from your Supervisor you will then undertake an independent research project based upon your chosen area of pharmacy practice, which will then be written up in the form of a dissertation. We encourage our MSc students to feed back their findings to their employers, and disseminate to the wider industry through academic journal articles and / or conference presentations.

Students are recruited from all over the UK, many of which are funded by employers, whilst others are part-funded or self-funded.

For a content overview, please visit the School’s website.

Skills acquired

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of a specific therapeutic area and apply this to the care of patients with acute and chronic conditions.
  • Describe the different modules for pharmaceutical care and discuss their application to local practice and optimisation of medicines.
  • Communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals fostering good working relationships.
  • Display good consultation skills to assess, identify and resolve a patient’s pharmaceutical care needs.
  • Become a reflective practitioner able to steer your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Career prospects

Designed to develop clinical skills and improve confidence of pharmacists to help optimise patient care, and to develop future leaders within the pharmacy profession. The course is ideal for those wishing to take on education and training roles within their employer organisations.

Entry requirements

Candidates must be working in community pharmacy or primary care in the UK for a minimum of one day per week, and also registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS).

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Apply before the 31st July 2015. Earlier applications are encouraged. Late applications may be considered but not guaranteed.

Tuition fees

  • UK and EU Part-time for 2015/16
    £2,529.00 per academic year
  • International Part-time for 2015/16
    £5,808.00 per academic year

Next intake: September 2015

Feedback from previous and current students

  • “the course had a tremendous impact on my career development. It is the most important move I have made in my career. I would recommend the course to any pharmacist. I wish that I had obtained my MSc many years ago.”
  • “Loved the weekend schools, packed with interesting topics.”
  • “Excellent course! I’ve enjoyed it a lot and will recommend it to other people”
  • “Really good course, lecturers and course staff all fantastic. Excellent knowledge obtained throughout the course.”
  • “they get the experts in to talk to you who you wouldn’t meet in normal working life.”
  • “I am making an improved contribution to patient care in the locality to where I work. I feel my reputation among public, colleagues and other healthcare professionals has grown.”
  • “it’s done as a module weekend and you have two days of teaching and sharing. You mentor each other really, not just through buddying but there’s such a wide range of experience and people coming from very different types of practice. During the weekend you gain a lot from other people’s input, which you wouldn’t get from totally distance learning.”
  • I’ve been out of college for more than 20 years, now I’m confident that I know more than new graduates.”
  • “Much improved confidence when contacting GPs and recommending treatments ... much improved signposting.”
  • “I have found the course hugely beneficial to my practice and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others.”
  • “Problem solving questions and case studies extremely valuable.”
  • “Greater understanding of new pharmacy contract and its implications enhanced clinical knowledge, greater interaction with multidisciplinary team.”

    Picture of student to given quote
    "I have particularly enjoyed the weekend schools - the face to face teaching has been invaluable.  The speakers have been excellent, their enthusiasm for their subject is infectious.  Each topic is approached in a way that feels relevant to Community Pharmacy,  The course has definately influenced my day to day practice - I would recommend it to any Community Pharmacist."

Course Director

Dr Delyth James

Position:Senior Lecturer & Course Director of MSc in Pharmacy Clinical Practice (Community & Primary Care)
Dr Delyth James
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75828 Extension: 75828
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