About this course
Develop your knowledge of advanced health assessment, diagnosis, and independent and supplementary prescribing.
This Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) is designed for UK registered nurses, midwives or allied health practitioners (including pharmacists), to train as non-medical prescribers. If you're working towards a specialist or advanced role within clinical practice, this PGCert will advance your clinical skills.
You’ll learn how to:
- make clinical judgements that consider research evidence, expert opinion, the legal/ethical dimensions of practice and the views of the people in your care
- demonstrate a high level of autonomy in managing risk, complexity and uncertainty in your role as a non-medical prescriber
- undertake discrete episodes of care delivery for people with differentiated and undifferentiated conditions
- demonstrate the application of assessment, diagnostic, therapeutic, problem-solving and decision-making skills within your role as a non-medical prescriber
This pathway will enable you to practice with a higher level of clinical autonomy in roles that require you to assess, diagnose and treat people.
To access this award, you must work in a suitable clinical environment and have access to appropriate medical, and experienced Advanced Clinical Practitioner mentorship.
Nurses and midwives are required to have an experienced prescriber from the practitioner’s own profession (or pharmacist or medical practitioner) to act as practice supervisor, as well as a middle or senior grade doctor to act as the practice assessor.
Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are required to have a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) who will be a medical practitioner.
Pharmacists are required to study their Prescribing module at a university which has approval to run the Prescribing for Pharmacists programme, and then bring this module into the programme via Recognition of Prior Learning.
Dr Francine O’Malley is a senior teaching fellow at the University of Southampton
Francine’s clinical career before joining the University in 2011 was working as an advanced nurse practitioner and non-medical prescriber in first contact care settings in primary care, walk in centres and a minor injuries unit.
Francine completed a PhD which was focused on antibiotic prescribing by nurses in general practice and is the lead for the NMP programme and pathway lead for the MSc ACP.
Learn more about this subject area
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
You'll need the following:
- a 2:2 degree in a relevant subject
- current professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council or Health and Care Professions Council
- a current job contract in a clinical or clinically related area
- at least 3 years’ relevant post-registration clinical experience
- a clinical supervisor and a clinical assessor who can assess your practice competency and support your learning
- references from your current employer, confirming supervisory support, role suitability and practice experience
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
Students have up to three years to complete the programme but the normal duration of study is 18-24 months. The usual pattern of study for a student requiring all three modules would be:
- History Taking and Physical Assessment – Sept Academic Year one
- Diagnostic Assessment and Decision Making – Jan Academic Year one
- Pharmacology and Prescribing - Sept Academic Year Two.
It is also possible start the first module (History Taking and Physical Assessment) in January or March of Year one, and then study Diagnostic Assessment and Decision Making in Sept of Year Two, and Pharmacology and Prescribing in March of year two – but such students must register to study the programme no later than start of year two.
Recognition of Prior Learning will also be considered but can be used for a maximum of one module only. Students who have studied two of the modules ‘stand alone’ with the University of Southampton may still register for this award provided they do so before the start of the remaining module.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2023 to 2024
Learning and assessment
The School promotes a student-centred approach that will support you to learn, and also encourage the mastery of your skills in planning and managing your learning.
Your learning will be supported by your personal academic tutor, module leaders and, where appropriate, mentor in practice.
Teaching and learning methods include:
- seminar groups
- action learning groups
- work place based learning
- facilitated clinical skills practice
- supervised and self directed study
These methods are designed to integrate theory and practice and to foster a spirit of enquiry. The programme emphasises inter-professional learning and teaching in order to encourage and promote collaborative working. Key skills are fostered via the learning and teaching activities throughout the programme.
Each module will be assessed according to the assessment guidelines within the module profile. The assessment methods are designed to help you integrate theory and practice, and to maximise your skills of critical thinking and analysis.
Assessment for the programme is by a combination of:
- coursework (in the form of written academic assignments)
- written examinations
- practical assessments
- case studies
- a non medical prescribing portfolio
The assessment methods enable you to demonstrate achievement of the programme learning outcomes as you progress through each module.
You will be required to undertake assessment of competency as part of your Pharmacology and Prescribing in Clinical Practice module. These competencies are based on those stipulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Throughout your programme you'll be supported by the team of staff who oversee the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice and its related programmes, with opportunities for small group learning.
The History Taking and Physical Assessment module includes extensive skills lab based coaching and hands on practice in small groups.
The Diagnostic Assessment and Decision Making module includes assignment/exam preparation sessions as well as group tutorials and a named module tutor to support you in the development of your written assignment.
The prescribing module is supported by a team of clinical pharmacists from UHS and the module team have also completed a prescribing programme. Their knowledge and experience will support you in achieving the assessment components of the module.
Completion of this programme will prepare you to undertake the role of non-medical prescriber, underpinned by the requisite skills in advanced health assessment, diagnosis and clinical decision making.
These skills will equip you to undertake a more autonomous role within your practice setting.
For some, this will be a key component of the required education for a current or new extended, specialist or advancing practice orientated role.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise team will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
On this course you pay for each module as you study it. There is no overall fee.
What your fees pay for
On this course you'll pay for each module as you study it.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
For further details, read our step by step guide to postgraduate taught applications.
The deadline to apply for this course is Monday 11 September 2024.
We advise applying early as applications may close before the expected deadline if places are filled.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will aim to send you a decision 6 weeks after you have submitted your application.
Unfortunately, due to number of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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