General Pharmacy Practice - PCert, PDip, MSc

This programme has been designed in close collaboration with NHS partners to support the development of foundation stage pharmacists. Build your knowledge and skills in clinical pharmacy practice and medicines management. Gain the core skills required to provide holistic pharmaceutical care in the practice setting.


We work on a philosophy of student-centred workplace learning, supported by workbooks and learning sets facilitated by experienced pharmacy practitioners. You are expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and achieving the course objectives in support of your continuing professional development (CPD).

You will gain the understanding needed to conduct effective consultations with patients respecting their diverse needs and with regard to confidentiality and consent and to identify, prioritise and resolve complex pharmaceutical care issues.

Blended learning

The postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy practice is a predominantly work-based programme that develops competencies using the Foundation Pharmacy Framework (FPF), a validated competency framework accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

As a student on this programme you will be allocated:

  • An educational supervisor (practice tutor) who will help you to plan your learning in the workplace
  • An academic facilitator who offers support throughout the course.

Self-directed learning in the workplace is underpinned by study days (or learning sets) at the university co-ordinated by an academic facilitator.

About Medway School of Pharmacy

Medway School of Pharmacy is one of the few regional schools of pharmacy in the UK, a collaboration between the University of Kent and the University of Greenwich.

The impetus for the formation of the Medway School of Pharmacy came from the local community, who recognised the shortage of qualified pharmacists in all branches of the pharmacy profession in Kent.

The School is now recognised as an established school with accreditation from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Graduates are employed in health disciplines in Kent and the south-east and more broadly across the UK.

Entry requirements

Registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

In addition practitioners must have an accredited practice base from which to operate and have access to an accredited educational supervisor.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.


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Course structure

Duration: PCert: 18 months; PDip: 1 year; MSc 1 year. Maximum time allow from start to completion - 6 years

Postgraduate Certificate (PCert): There is one intake each year for the certificate level of the programme. Students begin in March of each year and attend eight learning sets over a period of 18 months. By October of the following year, if all the assessments have been passed, you can either exit with a postgraduate certificate or transfer to the postgraduate diploma.

Postgraduate Diploma (PDip): The postgraduate diploma consists of two separate modules which each run for six months, starting in March and October. Both modules are delivered via three learning sets. Most students complete the certificate and then transfer immediately to the diploma. There is flexibility in the system and you can elect to delay before transferring if necessary. You must complete within six years of the certificate start date.

Completing the practice elements of the programme leads to both an academic award and the award of a Statement of Completion of General Pharmacist Training (SCGPT) from an accredited training centre.

Master's degree (MSc): If you have successfully completed the postgraduate diploma in General Pharmacy Practice you can elect to continue to the MSc. You will complete a research project within your Trust, supported by one or two academics with expertise in practice research. You will gain expertise in research techniques relevant to your project, you will be supported to write a protocol and complete either an NHS or University Ethics application (whichever is appropriate) and to collect and analyse your data. Start dates are in September, January and April.

You will need to have the support of your Trust to carry out your project. Ideally this will include at minimum some protected time to collect data. If you are not sure of what topic you would like to research, we can help you find a suitable project relevant to your working environment.

We identify a lead academic to support you. You can expect to take six months to a year to complete your research – if NHS ethics approval is required this can be a lengthy process. You will be required to write a thesis and prepare and defend a poster suitable for submission to a conference. You will also have to write two short reflective essays about your experience of research.


Contact days will require attendance at the Medway School of Pharmacy, the University of Brighton, or locations in Sussex.


The structure of the programme empowers you to plan and develop your own learning leading to the achievement of the academic and practice awards. You will be able to develop individual learning plans for yourself based on prior knowledge and the acquisition of new skills. You will be able to present yourself for summative assessment when you, your educational supervisor and you academic tutor feel you are ready. 


Certificate Stage

  • Practitioner Development and Establishment of Professional and Clinical Practice (60 credits)

Diploma Stage

  • Module A: Developing Self, Others and your Operational Management Skills (30 credits)
  • Module B: Ensuring Patient Safety and a Quality Service (30 credits)


  • Research project


Teaching and assessment

PCert / PDip

You will be assessed through objective structured clinical examination, multiple-choice questions, assignments, a literature review, an audit, a change management project, case study presentation and a competency-based portfolio review. A range of formative workplace assessments will help you to plan their learning and assess current levels of competency against the FPF.


Research project thesis, poster, abstract and two personal reflections

Programme aims

The PCert and PDip aim to:

  • enable you to apply appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to carry out effectively the role of the general pharmacist practitioner within your pharmacy practice base and wider healthcare teams
  • enable you to carry out effective consultations with patients respecting their diverse needs and with regard to confidentiality and consent
  • enable you to identify, prioritise and resolve complex pharmaceutical care issues
  • enable you to apply knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology and  the clinical use of drugs and therapeutic guidelines to the treatment of common disease states
  • enable you to access, gather, interpret, critically evaluate and summarise medicines information
  • enable you to monitor the quality of services provided, identify, prioritise and resolve significant medicines management issues and monitor and evaluate outcomes
  • enable you to establish population health needs and apply specialist pharmaceutical knowledge to public health issues.

The MSc aims are to:

  • investigate a topic in depth
  • evaluate current practice or a new service
  • publish research and advance knowledge in pharmacy practice
  • develop skills you require for the RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework
  • inspire you and others in your workplace to carry out much needed practice research
  • support your future career and perhaps to help you explore new career paths.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the organisation and structure of the NHS
  • health policy and its impact on working practices
  • medicines management and its application to individual patient care
  • effective methods of working with patients, health and non-health professionals
  • consultation methods and their applicability to patient care
  • compliance, adherence and concordance`
  • health beliefs: theories and models
  • advantages and limitations of different methods of communication in the context of medicines management
  • ethical issues influencing prescribing decisions
  • an evidence-based approach to drug therapy decisions
  • application of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles to individual patient care
  • the use of CPD as a tool for lifelong learning.
  • a systematic approach to the delivery of care to patients with complex needs
  • a systematic approach to drug and therapy monitoring in patients with complex conditions
  • applied therapeutics
  • a systematic approach to complex queries about medicines use
  • the effective use of complex clinical data sets
  • pharmaceutical public health
  • clinical governance in the context of medicines management
  • the audit as a tool to improve the quality of patient care
  • change management as a tool to improve service provision.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • working independently, efficiently and professionally within current NHS frameworks and the RPSGB code of ethics and professional conduct, managing any conflicting priorities
  • demonstrating appropriate initiative whilst recognising personal and professional limitations
  • communicating clearly, precisely and appropriately with patients and all other healthcare professionals
  • recognising, valuing and use appropriate theories, concepts and principles from a range of disciplines
  • demonstrating the effective application of patient confidentiality and the principles of patient consent
  • retrieving and document information in a clear and structured way
  • carrying out effective consultations with patients and carers to encourage compliance
  • accepting responsibility for your own actions and for the care of patients assigned to your care
  • undertaking a structured approach to problem solving, forming an appropriate judgement even in the absence of complete data
  • reviewing, evaluating critically and synthesising sources of information and research methodologies cited in published literature to support the care of individual patients
  • accepting responsibility for your own lifelong learning and continuing professional development
  • applying effective negotiating and influencing skills in order to achieve a definite outcome
  • assessing the outcome of personal contributions to patient care
  • evaluating and discussing legal and ethical influences related to the pharmaceutical care of individuals
  • contributing to the improvement of healthcare outcomes through reflective practice and innovation.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • applying the principles of medicines management and pharmaceutical care in practice
  • interpreting prescriptions for medicines and evaluating for safety, quality, efficacy, legality and economy
  • advising patients, carers and healthcare professionals about medicines usage and health promotion
  • identifying, prioritising, analysing, evaluating and resolving pharmaceutical care issues (including social issues) related to real patients irrespective of complexity
  • performing complex pharmaceutical calculations in order to advise on safe drug administration
  • demonstrating respect for the patient irrespective of ethnic, cultural or religious background
  • carrying out the role of the clinical pharmacist effectively within the multidisciplinary healthcare team
  • carrying out a review of patients’ medication at a range of levels, document recommendations and influencing prescribers and patients appropriately to institute agreed changes
  • applying a knowledge of the pharmacology of drugs, pathophysiology of disease states and evidence-based treatment guidelines in the context of individual patients
  • selecting a range of biochemical, haematological, microbiological and near-patient tests in order to monitor efficacy and toxicity of drug therapy
  • conducting an analysis of a patient safety issue, evaluating options and drawing an appropriate conclusion
  • investigating medicines information enquiries using an appropriate research strategy, and formulating and communicating responses to queries in a timely manner
  • advising on the clinical significance of drug-drug, drug-patient and drug-disease interactions and devising a course of action to minimise risk to the patient
  • investigating medicines information enquiries using appropriate evidence and formulating a response appropriate to the needs of the enquirer
  • advising on risk management issues and ways to minimise error
  • responding to symptoms and counter prescribing medication for patients with minor ailments
  • developing the pharmaceutical service and applying change management techniques
  • conducting a clinical audit, evaluating the outcome and making recommendations for change.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • effective written and verbal communication with academic tutors, peers, practice tutors, patients, carers and the multi-disciplinary healthcare team
  • interpersonal skills: the ability to interact with patients, the public and other health and social care professionals
  • critical appraisal and summation of information from a variety of sources
  • interpretation of the significance of general, biological and medical statistics
  • the ability to make appropriate decisions based on available information, with  insight into the risks and benefits that may result from working with incomplete data
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team within professional codes of practice and conduct, with recognition of the moral and ethical issues related to medicines management issues
  • a positive attitude and constructive approach to group discussions
  • the ability to be a reflective practitioner and autonomous learner, with the ability to take responsibility for academic, professional  and personal development
  • high-level information technology skills
  • time management and organisational skills
  • high-level problem-solving skills.

Additional costs


For fee information, please email


Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, over 85% of our Allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy research* was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for output and environment.

* Joint submission with University of Greenwich.


Research areas

Chemistry and drug delivery

This group has laboratories with dedicated state-of-the-art drug delivery, nanotechnology, spectroscopy, chromatography and organic synthesis facilities. It brings together researchers in medicinal chemistry and drug design, nanotechnology and materials science, drug delivery and pharmaceutics encouraging a multidisciplinary approach to research. Research covers synthesis and biological evaluation of potential anti-cancer agents, structure-based drug design, QSAR predication of ADMET properties, controlled release, particle engineering, powder technology, pharmaceutical technology, and novel drug delivery systems, with a focus on respiratory drug delivery.

Biological sciences

This group is housed in recently refurbished laboratories with dedicated state-of-the-art molecular biological, electrophysiological, tissue culture and microscopy facilities. The research is divided into four main themes; infectious diseases and allergy; neuroscience; renal and cardiovascular physiology; and pharmacology. Examples of current work include: investigation of the use of non-pathogenic virus ‘pseudotypes’ to study pathogenic RNA, study of the properties of neuronal potassium channels and their modulation and the development of new therapies for patients that have developed acute kidney injury in collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company.

Pharmacy practice

This group conducts research in two areas: public health and medicines optimisation, with a particular focus on cardiovascular diseases and mental health. Work in public health includes studies in physical exercise, alcohol, cardiovascular screening and spirometry testing, plus pharmacovigilance. Studies in medicines optimisation include work in dementia, bipolar disorder and stroke, with an emphasis on the patient perspective.


This programme provides progression for pharmacists towards advanced practitioner status.

Completion of the practice elements of the course leads to the award of the Certificate of Completion of General Pharmacist Training from an accredited training centre.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Postgraduate students have access to all the facilities at the Medway School of Pharmacy, including clinical skills labs and a ‘simulation man’. As the School of Pharmacy is a joint venture between the two universities, students have access to facilities at Kent’s Medway and Canterbury campuses, and the University of Greenwich.

Dynamic publishing culture

Medway School of Pharmacy has a research culture and as such postgraduate students publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: International Journal of Pharmacy Practice; Nephron Physiology; Acta Physiologica; Purinergic Signalling; and European Journal of Pharmacology.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Apply now

Applications must come via the workplace Educational Programme Director in the first instance.

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Admissions enquiries

For further information about the programme please contact the postgraduate administrator via

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1634 202935



International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254


School website

Medway School of Pharmacy