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MSc | Postgraduate Taught

Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice

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

    Do you want to advance your pharmacy career while continuing in employment?

    Our postgraduate distance learning programme allows you fit your studies around your work and family commitments.

    The Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice programme was developed following extensive consultation with pharmacists and their employers both within and beyond the United Kingdom. It provides a flexible study pathway that is designed to develop the therapeutic knowledge and clinical skills of pharmacists to an advanced level. The modules are designed to help pharmacists to acquire and demonstrate the advanced-level competencies defined in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Advanced Pharmacy Framework.

    The programme is an amalgamation of our previous clinical pharmacy and community pharmacy programmes and is open to pharmacists in all employment sectors.

    The MSc can be completed entirely off-campus by distance-learning and is therefore open to pharmacists both within and outside the United Kingdom.

    Alternative options are available that include study in Northern Ireland:
    1. Students in Great Britain may select the Independent Prescribing option in year 2, which includes a compulsory 5-day clinical skills residential at Queen's.
    2. PMY7069 (Introduction to UK clinical practice) is an optional module offered to international students in year 3. The module has been developed in collaboration with Northern Ireland's Regional Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre (MOIC) and includes a compulsory 2-week residential at MOIC in Antrim.

    Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice highlights

    The distance-learning format allows you to organise your studies around your work and family commitments. Also, employers support distance-learning as staff do not require regular leave to attend on-campus.

    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.

    Brexit Advice

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Study part-time by distance learning

    Year 1Students complete one of the following 30-credit modules during the first semester:

    PMY7100 Introduction to clinical pharmacy*
    PMY7101 Managing drug treatment
    PMY7102 Advancing practice in primary care

    *compulsory for non-UK and Ireland students

    Students complete one of the following 30-credit modules during the second semester:

    PMY7104 Management of long-term conditions 1 (Cardiovascular disease and diabetes)
    PMY7105 Management of long-term conditions 2 (Neurological disease and mental health)
    PMY7106 Management of long-term conditions 3 (Respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin disease)
    Year 2Students complete the following 30-credit module during the first semester:

    PMY7103 Developing evidence in practice

    Students complete one of the following 30-credit modules during the second semester:

    PMY7104 Management of long-term conditions 1 (Cardiovascular disease and diabetes)
    PMY7105 Management of long-term conditions 2 (Neurological disease and mental health)
    PMY7106 Management of long-term conditions 3 (Respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin disease)

    Independent prescribing (IP) option:

    Students in Great Britain can complete IP training in Year 2 as an alternative to the modules listed above.

    The IP option is delivered via a combination of e-learning and work-based learning and includes 12 days in-practice training with a Designated Prescribing 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.

    IP applicants must have been practicing for at least two years and should be employed in either primary or secondary care at the start of their IP studies.

    Students taking the IP option 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.
    Year 3Option 1: PMY7090 Practice-based research project (60 credits)

    Option 2: PMY7009 Service evaluation and development project (30 credits) plus PMY7068 Development as an advanced practitioner* (30 credits)

    Option 3: PMY7009 Service evaluation and development project (30 credits) plus PMY7069 Introduction to UK clinical practice** (30 credits)

    *Includes development of management and leadership skills linked to the RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework (UK students only).

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

    People teaching you

    Dr Brian McCaw
    Distance Learning Manager

    School of Pharmacy

    Career Prospects

    Professional Opportunities
    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 independent prescribing (IP) training in the second year.

    International students have the option to undertake clinical experience in the UK in Year 3.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:

    Students complete their studies by distance/online learning without having to attend on-campus.

    Students can choose from a range of modules that are relevant to their current work or that will help them to achieve their employment aspirations*.

    *PMY7100 'Introduction to clinical pharmacy' is compulsory in year 1 for students who are working outside the UK/Ireland. PMY7103 'Developing evidence' is compulsory for MSc students.

    Students can complete their studies by distance/online learning without having to attend on-campus. Alternatively, students in Great Britain may undertake Independent Prescribing training as an option in their second year, which includes a 5-day residential at Queen's. 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:

    A variety of written coursework, case study and online assessment is used. The Management of long-term conditions modules (PMY7104/7105/7106) include a written examination. We have examination venues throughout the UK and Ireland and will arrange overseas venues as required for international students.

    In addition, the Independent Prescribing option includes competency assessments, a practice portfolio and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) in the clinical skills module.

    Finally, students complete work-based projects in year 3 and submit either a dissertation (PMY7090 Research project) or paper plus poster (PMY7009 Service evaluation and development). PMY7068 (Development as an advanced practitioner) is assessed via submission of a work-based learning portfolio plus an online oral assessment.

  • 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.

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

    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.

    Students in Great Britain who wish to enrol on the Independent Prescribing option in Year 2 must:

    - be registered as a pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

    - be in good standing with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and/or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered.

    - have at least two years' appropriate patient-orientated experience in a relevant UK practice setting post registration.

    - have an identified area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice. They must also have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in that area*.

    - have a medically qualified designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice*.

    * Further guidance on the type of experience and DPP requirements will be provided when applying for this programme.

    Further information is available in the ‘PIP Information for pharmacists’ at the link below.,894791,en.pdf

    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) £6,750
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £6,750
    Other (non-UK) EU £6,750
    International £11,430

    All Tuition fees quoted are for 2020-21 and are subject to an annual inflationary uplift. The fee indicated is for the three-year programme

    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?

    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 £10,609 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.

    Download a prospectus