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HLTH6120 Pharmacology and Applied Clinical Science for Prescribing and Advanced Medicines Management

Module Overview

This module focuses on the pharmacology and clinical science knowledge and skills that are required for safe and effective advanced practice in medicines management. The FHEQ Level 7 Independent and Supplementary Prescribing Programme comprises of two modules of which this is one. Those who wish to register as Independent and/or supplementary prescribers will need to complete the 2nd module of the programme; the blended learning module Independent and Supplementary Prescribing: Prescribing in Practice (HLTH6108). On successful completion of the programme practitioners are eligible to register as an Independent and/or Supplementary Prescriber in accordance with current professional standards and regulations.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To enable healthcare practitioners working in advanced and autonomous clinical roles to significantly expand their knowledge of pharmacology and the related clinical sciences. This knowledge applied in the clinical domain, will enhance your ability to assess and manage patients/clients presenting with acute health problems and/or complex long term conditions. The outcomes for this module incorporate a number of the learning outcomes for both Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals and Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing (NMC 2006, HCPC 2013, AHPF 2013) (Appendix 2)

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate critically the effectiveness of drug actions and demonstrate expertise in applying this knowledge to prescribing practice and/or medicines management.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of pharmacology and related clinical sciences and apply this to your assessment and management of patients/clients
  • Appraise comprehensively sources of information, advice and decision support in medicines management and/or prescribing practice to enable synthesis of new frameworks for working.
  • Consider strategies that build, develop and maintain concordant partnerships that enhance adherence, medicines management and patient/client care, and show originality in identifying how these can be used to inform practice in your clinical area.


Summary of Indicative Syllabus/Module Content The indicative content is guided by the required content for Nurse and AHP Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (NMC 2006, HCPC 2013, AHPC 2012) Consultation, decision-making and therapy, including referral and follow up • When and how to apply models of consultation • Accurate assessment, history taking, communication and consultation with patients/clients and their parents/carers • Further development of relevant physical examination skills • Application of the principles of diagnosis and concepts of working diagnosis or best formulation in relation to a prescribing decision to ensure patient safety. • Development of a treatment/management plan and/or clinical management plan including lifestyle and public health advice. • Confirmation of diagnosis/differential diagnosis - further examination, investigation, referral for diagnosis • Prescribe, not to prescribe, alter current treatment, non-drug treatment or referral for treatment • Stopping medication prescribed by others Clinical pharmacology including the effects of co-morbidity • Pharmacology, including pharmacodynamics (how a medicine acts on a living organism), pharmacokinetics, pharmacotherapeutics • Anatomy and physiology as applied to prescribing practice • Basic principles of drugs to be prescribed, and drug handling e.g. absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, including adverse drug reactions (ADR) (including over-the counter (OTC) products, alcohol and ‘recreational’ drugs prescription-only medicines (POMs), Complementary Medicines) and interactions with other diseases. • Interactions and reactions • Patient/client compliance, concordance and drug response • Impact of physiological state on drug responses and safe prescribing practice, for example, in individuals with co-morbidities, elderly people, neonates, children and young people, pregnant or breast feeding women and inherited disorders such as thalassemia. • Ordering, interpreting and responding to laboratory investigations • Selection of drug regimen • Pharmacotherapeutics related to controlled drugs Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing • Knowledge of sources of evidence based prescribing including national and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formularies – including rationale for, adherence to and deviation from such guidance. • Critical appraisal skills • Identify and report unexpected and adverse drug reactions and near misses: analysis and learning form these Prescribing in the public health context • Public health issues and polices regarding the use of antibiotics/antimicrobials and vaccines and resistance to them • inappropriate prescribing, including over-prescribing and under-prescribing • Use of medicines in populations and in the context of health priorities • Inappropriate use of medication, including misuse, under-use and over-use

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching methods will include: • Self-directed learning • Lectures • Tutorials • Case based learning • The use of technology to enhance learning • Supervision in practice • Collaborative sharing of clinical practice and experiential learning.

Preparation for scheduled sessions16
Wider reading or practice30
Completion of assessment task4
Work based learning100
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Polypharmacy and medicines optimisation: Making it safe and sound.

Constable, S., Winstanley, T.and Walley, P. (2007). Medical Pharmacology: A Clinical Core Text for Integrated Curricula with Self Assessment (Master Medicine). 

Preston C. L. (2015). Stockley's Drug Interactions Pocket Companion. 

Rang, H.P., M., Ritter, J.M., Flower R.J., Henderson G (2016). Pharmacology. 

Outline Curriculum Framework for Education Programmes to Prepare Physiotherapists and Podiatrists as Independent/Supplementary Prescribers and to Prepare Radiographers as Supplementary Prescribers..

E-learning modules: medicines and medical devices..

Medicines Adherence: Involving Patients in decisions about prescribed medicines and supporting adherence. NICE Clinical Guideline 76.

British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (2015). British National Formulary & or BNF for Children. 

Standards for Prescribing.

Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes.NICE Guideline 5.

Neal, M. (2012). Medical Pharmacology at a Glance. 

Interventions for enhancing medication adherence. ,, Issue 2. Art. No CD000011 .

McGeown, J.G. (2007). Master medicine: Physiology. 

Adherence to Long-Term Therapies: Evidence for Action.

Medicines Optimisation (MO) Dashboard.

Standards of Proficiency for Nurse and Midwife Prescribers.



Personal Formulary


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2.5 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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