Taught course

Independent/Supplementary Prescribing

University of Greenwich · Medway School of Pharmacy

Entry requirements

Applicants should have: A first degree or an equivalent qualification. PLUS post-registration clinical experience (two years for pharmacists, three years for nurses and allied health professionals) PLUS registration with the appropriate professional regulatory body (General Pharmaceutical Council or Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland for pharmacists; Nursing and Midwifery Council for nurses; or Health and Care Professions Council for allied health professionals) PLUS support from a sponsoring organisation confirming service need, access to supervised practice and prescribing budget PLUS a designated medical practitioner to facilitate, supervise and support the student during the placement.

Months of entry


Course content

District nurses and health visitors have been able to prescribe from a limited formulary since 1998. In 1999, an advisory group, chaired by Dr June Crown, reviewed the prescribing, supply and administration of medicines and recommended that prescribing responsibilities be extended to other health care professionals.

The legal framework for this was included in the Health and Social Care Act 2001. In October 2003 secondary legislation was passed naming nurses and pharmacists as the first group. Legislative changes in 2005 have enabled supplementary prescribing by radiographers, podiatrists and optometrists. Further amendments to regulations have enabled nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists to qualify as independent prescribers.

The aim of this programme is to prepare health care professionals to practice as independent/supplementary prescribers, while meeting the standards set by the professional/regulatory bodies as required by the legislative framework.

The prescribing programme is offered at level 6 (45 credits) for nurses only in addition to the Master's level programme.

Nurses wishing to study at level 6 will need to demonstrate evidence they have successfully worked at level 5 previously, all other entry requirements of the programme remain the same.

The aims of the programme are:

  • To prepare pharmacists, nurses and midwives and physiotherapists to practice as independent/supplementary prescribers
  • To develop the knowledge and skills required by an allied health professional to practice as a supplementary prescriber
  • To meet the standards set by the respective professional/regulatory body as required within the legislative framework.


  • Non-Medical Prescribing in Context (15 credits)
  • Safe and Effective Prescribing (15 credits)
  • Consultation and Decision Making (15 credits)
  • Putting Prescribing into Practice (15 credits)

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
8 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
020 8331 9000
020 8331 8145