General Pharmacy Practice - PCert, PDip, MSc


This programme provides general-level hospital pharmacists – registered with the GPhC and working – with the core skills required to provide holistic pharmaceutical care in the practice setting.



The programme aligns with a nationally agreed pharmacy practitioner development strategy and is the result of a unique collaboration of higher education institutions across London and the south and east of England.

The programme develops your knowledge and skills in clinical pharmacy practice and medicines management. It works on a philosophy of student-centred workplace learning, supported by workbooks and contact days facilitated by experienced pharmacy practitioners. You are expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and achieving the programme objectives. The ethos and culture of the programme is to enhance and develop self-reliance and an adult approach to learning in support of continuing professional development.

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.


For fees, please refer to the Medway School of Pharmacy website.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Pharmacy was ranked 8th in the UK for research intensity.

An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 93% of our research was judged to be of international quality, with 81% of this judged world-leading or internationally excellent. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The PCert and PDip are supported by student-learning sets, downloadable interactive computer-assisted learning and a range of resources, including the library facilities at Medway and your practice base, and the internet.

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.

The MSc General Pharmacy Practice is available through both universities to candidates who have completed their diploma. 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.

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.


For more about the structure of this course please visit the Medway School of Pharmacy website

No modules information available for this delivery.

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is by Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE), multiple-choice questions, assignments, literature review, prescribing audit, change management project, and a competency-based portfolio review.

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.


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.  

Entry requirements

Registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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.

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.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


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