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Independent Prescribing (PgCert)

PgCert|Postgraduate Taught

Independent Prescribing

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

    The Postgraduate Certificate in Independent Prescribing is designed for pharmacists in Northern Ireland who wish to train and qualify as non-medical independent prescribers. 

The Postgraduate Certificate can be undertaken as a stand-alone course or can be combined into a larger programme of study (see Advanced Pharmacy Practice course).

    If you are employed as a pharmacist in Great Britain and wish to train as a non-medical independent prescriber, please visit our PG Cert in Prescribing for Pharmacists.

    Independent Prescribing highlights

    Professional Accreditations

    • This course is accredited by the both the Pharmacy Regulator in GB (GPhC) and the Pharmacy Regulator in NI (PSNI).

    World Class Facilities

    • The School of Pharmacy at Queen's is consistently ranked as one of the leading centres for pharmacy education and research in the UK.

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • 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

    • There are live workshops to accompany this course which help students to build a network of support which they can utilise when they begin to prescribe.
  • Course content

    Course Structure


    Course detailsThere are four taught modules, each 10 CATS points:

    PMY7070 Person-centred care & collaboration
    PMY7071 Disease management
    PMY7072 Clinical skills
    PMY7073 Professionalism

    There is an additional module of work-based learning called 'PMY7074 Learning in practice' worth 20 CATS points.

    All modules are compulsory.

    People teaching you

    Associate Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean


    Teaching Times

    Teaching is delivered via a combination of online learning, live workshops and work-based learning. A timetable of workshops related to this course is available on the NICPLD website.

    Career Prospects

    Professional Opportunities
    This PG Certificate in Independent Prescribing enhances the opportunities for pharmacists in Northern Ireland to progress their career through annotation on the pharmacy register as an independent prescriber.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:


    At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential. 

    On the Postgraduate Certificate in Independent Prescribing we do this by providing a range of learning experiences that enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies that enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners.


    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    Each module has one or more assessments associated with it. A general overview is provided below:

    Person-centred care & collaboration (10 CATS) - assessment is via a consultation skills OSCE.


Disease management (10 CATS) - assessment is via submission of a treatment plan in each clinical/ therapeutic area.

Clinical skills (10 CATS) - assessment is comprised of two elements: Direct Observation of Clinical Skills (DOCS) carried out at QUB, and a DOCS assessment carried out by the DPP.

Professionalism (10 CATS) –assessment is the submission of a written assessment.


Learning in practice (20 CATS) – assessment is the submission of a practice portfolio.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A primary degree in Pharmacy (minimum Bachelor degree) from an institution approved by the University. Additionally all students 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.
    • must have relevant experience in a pharmacy setting and be able to recognise, understand and articulate the skills and attributes required by a prescriber*
    • must identify an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their learning*
    • have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice*

    * As the Regulators (GPhC/PSNI) are currently updating these requirements, further guidance on the type of experience and DPP requirements will be provided when applying for this programme.

    Note: this programme is only open to students who are resident in Northern Ireland.

    Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 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.

    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 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)

  • Careers

    Career Prospects

    Professional Opportunities
    This PG Certificate in Independent Prescribing enhances the opportunities for pharmacists in Northern Ireland to progress their career through annotation on the pharmacy register as an independent prescriber.

    Additional Awards Gained

    There are no specific additional costs associated with this course.

    Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

    Graduate plus 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. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees


    1 EU 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 are for the academic year 2023-24, and 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

    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 £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

    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.

    Download a prospectus