Taught course

Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Keele University · School of Pharmacy

Entry requirements

To gain admission to the Certificate and Diploma courses, you must be a pharmacist registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), or equivalent for pharmacists working overseas, and be practising either full-time or part-time in a patient-facing role.

For our fixed pathway, we recommend that applicants should normally, have worked in a patient-facing pharmacy setting for 6-12 months prior to commencing the Course so that they have gained some experience of working in this sector. Applicants who wish to study on our fixed pathway programme and who work in the hospital sector must be working at a hospital that can provide a Clinical Co-ordinator to support you in the workplace. It is also essential that you have the support of your workplace to access patient data, where necessary for course learning activities and assessment. The equivalent of 100 hours of study per 10 credits will be required to complete your course.

The fixed pathway of this programme is not available to those who are not resident and working in the UK. However, the CPD Plus flexible pathway to obtain a Clinical Pharmacy Practice award is available to International pharmacists practising in either primary or secondary care.

Normally, only applicants with the minimum of a second class degree classification (or equivalent for applicants from outside the UK) in Pharmacy will be accepted onto the programme without interview. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The University reserves the right to interview prospective students and take up academic references. The final decision in any case rests with the University. Candidates are also admitted on the basis of perceived and potential competence to complete the programme.

Progression each year is dependent on your satisfactory performance in the previous year. For the MSc year, you may be able to gain direct entry if you have an ‘equivalent’ postgraduate diploma from another UK University.

The fixed pathway programme commences each January. The flexible CPD Plus pathway can be commenced each calendar month throughout the year.

The MSc commences in February each year.

If you wish to study the Independent Prescribing module as part of our Clinical Pharmacy Practice Diploma/MSc programme then additional entry requirements apply. Please see the Independent Prescribing Course pages for further information on these requirements.

Our stand-alone credit bearing short courses are open to pharmacists and other practising healthcare professionals, registered with their appropriate professional body, who are in a patient facing role, and who have studied to at least undergraduate degree level, or who have at least 5 years of experience of practising in their field.

From January 2021 CPD short-courses, without associated academic credits (CPD Short courses) can be studied by all practising healthcare professionals. (See – CPD short courses).

Months of entry


Course content

Please note, all course information including entry requirements relates to the 2022/23 academic year.

Our distance learning programme in Clinical Pharmacy Practice has been developed to meet the needs of pharmacists working in any patient-facing sector of practice, including hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy and in a GP practice. The choice of modules includes clinical and professional modules, to equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to develop and extend your clinical and professional role as part of a multidisciplinary health care team.


  • This is an online distance learning programme with online modules for you to study in your own time, when and where it suits you.
  • There are over 25 modules providing you with choice and flexibility to meet your learning and professional development needs.
  • The written assessments for each module test the application of your learning to your professional practice.
  • The Independent Prescribing Course can be studied alone or as part of the Clinical Pharmacy Practice Programme – this course requires attendance at study days.

The Programme is designed to allow you choice and flexibility in your progression to Certificate, Diploma and Masters Awards, to meet your specific professional development needs and advance your professional practice.

The Clinical Pharmacy Practice programme can be completed via the following flexible pathways to accumulate academic credits at Masters level:

  • CPD Plus– This is a flexible pathway that allows you to choose the modules that you study for the Certificate and Diploma awards.
  • Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy Practice – This is a fixed pathway where you register for 9 months and you’ll complete 6, 10 credit modules of your choice.
  • Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Practice – This is a fixed pathway where you register for 21 months and in the first year you will complete the 6 modules as described for the Certificate and an additional 6 modules of your choice in Year 2.
  • Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Practice (Independent Prescribing) – You may choose to study the Independent Prescribing Course (60 credits) in year 2. Please see the Independent Prescribing Course pages for further information.
  • Professional MSc – The professional MSc year can be undertaken once you have gained 120 academic credits from the diploma course

The majority of the modules on our CPP programme can also be studied as individual modules for those who want to advance their practice but do not want to work towards an academic award. These can be studied with or without academic credits.

Keele's Postgraduate Clinical Pharmacy Practice Programme aims to:

  • Build on your existing knowledge of disease states, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics to enable you to apply this in a clinical setting.
  • Equip you to assess drug therapy for effectiveness, safety, compatibility, patient acceptability and cost, and use this information to make effective, evidence based interventions and optimise prescribing.
  • Encourage you to develop an understanding of the principles of pharmaceutical care and problem solving approach to clinical practice.
  • Provide you with a wider view of healthcare and equip you with sufficient knowledge and skills to be able to develop and extend your professional role.
  • Increase your confidence in your ability to contribute to patient care as part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team.
  • Provide you with a structured learning programme that will help you apply your knowledge and skills in daily practice.
  • Encourage you to develop a reflective approach to your clinical pharmacy practice.
  • Encourage you to develop the self-discipline of private study and self-directed learning that will be continued beyond Keele's Programme in your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as an independent learner.

The CPP programme and modules are suitable for pharmacists in their foundation training to help you develop your clinical and professional skills and support you in advancing your practice. You will be supported by a dedicated and experienced team of academics and administrative staff throughout.

It is also suitable for those of you who are further advanced in your career to address your learning needs. The programme links to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Advanced Pharmacy Framework, to enable you to meet the relevant competencies and provide evidence for your continued professional development.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, you must either:

Hold a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction. This must have been obtained in the two year period prior to starting the course.


Pass the Academic IELTS - an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-tests is required. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.

Please note that IELTS exam (or equivalent) must be no more than two years old at the start of the course for which you have applied.

If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.

During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.

Fees and funding

For information related to fees and funding, please visit the individual course page on the Keele University website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    12 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    part time
    Minimum 24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

See course webpage for more details or contact enquiries@keele.ac.uk.

Course contact details