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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
30 (Part Time)

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

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

Our 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 Core Advanced Pharmacist Curriculum.

The MSc is open to pharmacists in all employment sectors although students must be able to undertake a project in either the primary or secondary healthcare sector in their final year.

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

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.

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.

Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice highlights

World Class Facilities

The School of Pharmacy at Queen's ranks 39th in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology teaching, and is acknowledged as a leading centre for Pharmacy teaching and research in the UK, consistently featuring at or near the top of the league tables for the subject

Student Experience

Students are supported by full-time dedicated staff in the School of Pharmacy Distance Learning Centre.

Student Testimonials

Course Structure

Study part-time by distance learning

Year 1

Students 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 students who are working outside the UK/Ireland

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, management of pain and mental health)
PMY7106 Management of long-term conditions 3 (Respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin disease)

Year 2

Students 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, management of pain 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 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 3

Option 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)

*Includes development of management and leadership skills linked to the RPS Core Advanced Pharmacist Curriculum (UK students only).

People teaching you

School of Pharmacy

Postgraduate Administrator

School of Pharmacy

Postgraduate Administrator

School of Pharmacy

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.


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • A variety of written coursework, case study and online assessment is used.

    In addition, the Independent Prescribing option in Year 2 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.




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

    Disease Management (10 credits)
    Professionalism (10 credits)
    Research Project (60 credits)

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 with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and/or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and be in good standing with the GPhC and/or PSNI.
• Have relevant patient-oriented experience in a UK pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber (guidance on how to demonstrate this will be provided following application).
• Have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise the learning in practice element. The DPP must be medically qualified (GP in primary care or Consultant/SAS [specialist, associate specialist or specialty doctor] in hospital)*.
• Have an identified an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their learning - please note that the DPP must have clinical expertise and experience in this area.
• Be able to attend 5-day clinical skills residential in Belfast in January 2025 (dates to be confirmed).

* 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.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2024 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.,894791,en.pdf

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

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/EU applicants who are registered as Pharmacists in the UK/ROI have met the PSNI / GPhC / PSI English requirements (IELTS 7.0/7.0), and therefore meet Queen’s requirements as outlined above. No additional IELTS test is required if UK/ROI registered Pharmacist. International applicants whose Pharmacy degree was taught and assessed in the medium of English are not required to satisfy further English language requirements – applicants must provide official confirmation from the awarding institution to confirm this at time of application.

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.



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.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £7,740
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £7,740
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £7,740
EU Other 3 £13,140
International £13,140

The fee indicated is for the three-year programme.

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course 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.

Students who select the Independent Prescribing option in year 2 will incur additional travel and accommodation costs associated with the compulsory 5-day residential in Belfast. Information on local budget accommodation will be provided prior to the residential.

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.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 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 £11,836 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 - please check this link regularly, even after you have submitted an application, as new scholarships may become available to you.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

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

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

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.

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