MSc | Postgraduate Taught

Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Entry year
Entry requirements
Minimum Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
  • Overview

    The MSc in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice is designed to help pharmacists to acquire and demonstrate the advanced-level competencies defined in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Advanced Pharmacy Framework, through a rigorous programme of study that provides students with the knowledge and skills required to:

    Review and incorporate current evidence into practice

    Work effectively in a multidisciplinary clinical environment

    Make decisions in complex clinical situations

    Communicate effectively with patients who have common long-term medical conditions

    Undertake clinical and practice-based research

    This programme has replaced our previous postgraduate courses in clinical and community pharmacy. It is completed by Distance Learning, without attending on-campus. It is therefore open to both UK and International pharmacists.

    Open to pharmacists from all employment sectors

    Distance learning

    Independent Prescribing option for GB pharmacists

    Advanced Practice Development option (MSc)

    Optional on-campus and local hospital teaching for International students (MSc)

    Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice highlights

    Over 3000 students in more than 25 countries have completed a postgraduate distance learning degree in the School of Pharmacy.

    World Class Facilities

    • The School of Pharmacy at Queen's is acknowledged as a leading centre for Pharmacy teaching and research in the UK, consistently featuring at or near the top of league tables for the subject.

    Student Experience

    • The School has strong international links as well as a great community spirit.

    EU Referendum

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Year 1Core modules:

    Medicines Optimisation (10 Credits)
    Effective Communication & Consultation Skills (10 Credits)
    Management of Long-term Conditions (20 Credits)
    PLUS Two from the 10 Credit options listed below
    Year 2Core modules:

    Research Methods (10 Credits)
    Data Analysis (10 Credits)
    Further Study of Long-term Conditions (20 Credits)
    PLUS Two from the 10 Credit options listed below.

    1. Adverse drug reactions and interactions
    2. Managing Drug Treatment
    3. Evidence-based medicine
    4. Health promotion
    5. Infection and antimicrobial stewardship
    6. Medicines governance
    7. Prescribing audit and analysis

    As an alternative to the above, students in Great Britain can complete Independent Prescriber (IP) training in the second year of the PG Diploma/MSc. The IP option includes a 5-day residential in Belfast (travel and accommodation costs are in addition to the course fee).

    Year 3Option 1: Practice-based research project (60 credits)

    Option 2: Practice-based research project (30 credits) plus Advanced Practice* (30 credits)

    Option 3: Practice-based research project (30 credits) plus UK clinical Practice** (30 credits)

    *Advanced Practice includes development of management and leadership skills and is linked to the RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework.

    **Clinical Practice option includes a 2-week residential programme at the Regional Medicines Optimisation Centre and NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland. An additional fee is payable for this module (International students only).

    The Independent Prescribing option is open to pharmacists in Great Britain and is delivered in second year of the PG Diploma/MSc in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice.
    The programme is delivered via a combination of e-learning and work-based learning and includes 12 days in-practice training with a Designated Medical Practitioner, the purpose of which is to enable the student to develop and practice clinical examination skills relevant to the condition(s) for which they intend to prescribe. The pharmacist may complete their in-practice training at any point during the course.

    Independent Prescribing applicants must have been practicing for at least two years and should be employed in either primary or secondary care.

    Students are required to attend a 5-day residential in Belfast, which will include workshops, clinical skills training and assessment. The residential will be held in the second Semester (dates to be confirmed). Students are required to pay their own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

    Normally, the part-time Masters programme is completed between three and five years. Credit may be awarded for previous relevant postgraduate qualifications, which can reduce the duration to two years. When necessary, students can exit with a PG Certificate or PG Diploma qualification in less than three years. This programme is not available for full-time study.

    People teaching you

    Dr Brian McCaw
    Distance Learning Centre Manager

    School of Pharmacy

    Career Prospects

    This programme will enhance opportunities to progress your career as a pharmacist to advanced practitioner level.

    Pharmacists in Great Britain have an option to undertake non-medical prescriber training in the second year.

    International students have the option to undertake clinical experience in the UK during the MSc stage.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:


    The programme is delivered by the School’s Distance Learning Centre and is completed by distance learning.

    Students complete compulsory core modules that include medicines optimisation, interpersonal skills, research methods and data analysis, and can select from a range of optional modules that are relevant to their current work or that will help them to achieve their employment aspirations.

    Students can complete their studies by distance/online learning without having to attend on-campus. Alternatively, students in Great Britian may undertake Independent Prescriber training as an option in their second year, which includes a one-week residential in Belfast. International students may select a final year option that includes clinical pharmacy experience in local NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland.


    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    Assessment includes coursework assignments, online tests and a writtten examination in each of the first and second years. In addition, competency assessments, practice portfolios and Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are included in the Independent Prescribing option and a dissertation in the MSc stage.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    This course is designed to meet the postgraduate education needs of pharmacists working in patient-facing roles, although applications are welcome from pharmacists working in any employment sector.

    The programme is open to local, national and international applicants.

    Applicants must have a pharmacy degree (minimum Bachelor degree) from a university recognised by Queen’s University Belfast and be registered as a pharmacist with an appropriate regulatory organisation.

    The University requires evidence that international applicants are competent in the use of English language.

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) £6,390
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £6,390
    Other (non-UK) EU £6,390
    International £10,800

    Certificate (PC) Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice 

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2019-20 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice costs

    In Year 1 or 2 students in Great Britain may undertake an Independent Prescribing option, which includes a compulsory five day clinical skills residential in Belfast. Students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of approximately £500 for the residential. In Year 3 International students have the option to undertake a two week visit to the Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre in Northern Ireland at a cost of £1,000, which includes accommodation. Students are responsible for funding all travel and subsistence costs.

    How do I fund my study?

    From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

    A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

    More information on funding options and financial assistance.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
    Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2019 Entry.

    Download a prospectus

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