Postgraduate Taught

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals

Are you a NMC or HCPC registered health professional (nurse, midwife or allied health professional)? Are you required to prescribe a wide range of medicines from the British National Formulary (BNF), including controlled drugs, ‘off-label’ and unlicensed medication? This Independent and Supplementary Prescribing module could be for you.

The module will develop the skills to become a prescriber in your particular area and gain a recordable entry on your professional register. 

It offers an on-campus or online study option and has several start dates throughout the year.

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals: More information and what you will achieve

The requirements and outcomes of the module are derived from prescribing standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The module is underpinned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society competency framework for prescribers.

You will learn about the practicalities of prescribing as well as exploring the wider issues related to prescribing practice.  You will develop your knowledge gained in the classroom into your clinical area and apply to your planned area of prescribing practice. We consider pharmacology and how this impacts the prescribing decision making in practice. There are opportunities to learn from prescribers and experts as well as working with peers to explore complex issues. 

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

This is a single module. It can be undertaken either as a stand-alone module or as one of several modules within the MSc Person-Centred Practice Framework.

On completion, you will gain 40 credits at SCQF Level 10 or 11 and can register on your professional register as a prescriber.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will participate in a range of teaching and learning experiences both at university and in your workplace. You will be taught by specialist teachers from practice. 

There are two study options available:

  • Campus-based option: A blended approach to learning is taken and students will have access to teaching and learning materials on campus and online. A variety of methods of teaching are used, including face to face lectures on QMU campus, self-directed study, directed study, online study and work-based learning
  • Online option: Students will have access to teaching and learning materials online. Drop-in sessions with programme leaders are held weekly, but there are no mandatory timetabled classes. A variety of online directed study materials are provided. Students can study flexibly combined with work-based learning. No attendance on campus is required.

In keeping with our Person-Centred Practice Framework philosophy, you are encouraged to participate actively and take responsibility for your own learning.

Throughout the module your learning will be supported by our Virtual Learning Environment and our Learning Resource Centre where you can access a wide range of on-line learning materials, books and journals.

Exams are held online within our virtual learning environment, QMU CANVAS. CANVAS uses modern web standards and as such is not supported by older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 or 7. We recommend that you use Chrome.

Teaching hours and attendance

Both approaches to this module run for 26 weeks, and both include 90 hours spent learning in practice in your own workplace.

Campus-based option: Teaching days fall mainly in the first third of the module with live teaching sessions on a Tuesday, but you will engage with QMU throughout the duration of the module.

Online option: All teaching is delivered online with flexibility around your working schedule. There are various opportunities to engage with the QMU team virtually as well as your peers on the course. 

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.

Career opportunities

You will already be working as a healthcare professional and this module will serve as part of role development and enable you to prescribe medication to patients.

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals: Entry requirements and application information

You must:

  • be a registered healthcare professional in the UK and able to register as a prescriber on completion;
  • have a minimum (permanent position) of one years post-registration experience in the area of specialty in which you will be a prescriber;
  • have evidence of degree level study - this may be evidenced through recognition of prior learning (RPL);
  • be proficient in appropriate clinical/health assessment, diagnostics/care management and the planning and evaluation of care in relation to your role and evidence at application;
  • have agreed the suitability of a prescribing qualification within your area of practice and have the support from your line manager and regional Prescribing Lead. Prior to applying, please contact your Prescribing Lead as support for your application will be required;
  • agree with your line manager that you will be supported with this module with class attendance, practice learning time and your role;
  • have identified a Designated Prescribing Practitioner, who will help you to develop safe and effective prescribing practice. For NMC registrants, you must also have identified a named Practice Supervisor. Further information is available from your organisational Prescribing Lead or the QMU Programme Lead; and
  • have professional indemnity in place and come from an area with a practice placement audit in place or be willing to complete one prior to gaining a place.

For practitioners working as self-employed/within the independent sector, please contact the Programme Leader to discuss your role and application requirements prior to applying.

Application process

This is a joint application process and applicants need to apply to their health board or their employer if applying to an independent clinic BEFORE they apply to QMU.

Applications from independent businesses, so those applicants who are not employed by NHS Scotland, are considered for entry. Please note that Independent premises are required to have in place a satisfactory practice learning audit that is completed by the module team in order to meet this essential element of the application criteria. There will be an additional charge for this audit, over and above the cost of the module, please contact Alison Wood (Programme Leader) for more information about this additional charge. 

For further information or advice on how to submit a successful application, please contact Alison Wood.

Applying to QMU for this course

See ‘Application process’ section above.

To apply to QMU for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline

  • September 2024 entry: 1st June 2024
  • January 2025 entry: 1st October 2024
  • May 2025 entry: 1st February 2025

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

For further information or advice on application contact Dr Alison Wood (Programme Leader) or contact Admissions.

Become your best you: study at QMU

Course Overview

On campus at QMU OR online
26 weeks
Start Date
September 2024
Start Date
January 2025
Start Date
May 2025
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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