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The University of Southampton

NQCG3111 Applied Pharmacology and Medicines Management

Module Overview

This 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

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 their ability to assess and manage patients/clients presenting with acute health problems and/or complex long term conditions. Successful completion of this module should enable you to demonstrate some of the knowledge, skills and competencies required to underpin prescribing practice. Specifically in the domains of pharmaceutical knowledge; principles of drug dosage, side effects, reactions and interactions; communication and concordance; philosophy and psychology of prescribing (National Prescribing Centre [NPC] & Department of Health [DH] 2004, Department of Health 2005, NMC [NMC] 2006). The HEI Level 6 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 (HEI level 6). 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.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of pharmacology and therapeutics and critically apply knowledge to prescribing practice and/or medicines management.
  • Critically analyse, apply and evaluate sources of information, advice and decision support in medicines management and/or prescribing practice.
  • Discuss the roles and relationships of others involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines and identify effective strategies to promote best practice.
  • Consider strategies that build, develop and maintain concordant partnerships to enhance medicines management and patient/client care.


The indicative content reflects the guidance of the DH 2006 and the NMC 2006 programme content guidance. Consultation, decision-making and therapy, including referral - models of consultation - accurate assessment, history taking, communication and consultation with patients/clients and their parents/carers - concepts of working diagnosis or best formulation - development of a management plan and/or clinical management plan - confirmation of diagnosis/differential diagnosis - further examination, investigation, referral for diagnosis - prescribe, not to prescribe, non-drug treatment or referral for treatment - stopping medication prescribed by others - medicines review Clinical pharmacology, including the effects of co-morbidity - Pharmacology, including pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacotherapeutics. - Anatomy and physiology as applied to prescribing practice and community practitioner formulary. - Basic principles of drugs to be prescribed, eg. absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, including adverse drug reactions (ADR). - Interactions and reactions. - Patient/client compliance, concordance and drug response. - Impact of physiological state on drug responses and safety, for example, in elderly people, neonates, children and young people, pregnant or breast feeding women. - Pharmaco-therapeutics related to controlled drugs. Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to nurse prescribing - Rationale, adherence to and deviation from national and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formulae. - Reflective practice. - Critical appraisal skills, scrutinising data. Prescribing in the public health context - policies regarding the use of antibiotics and vaccines - inappropriate use of medication including misuse, under- and over-use - inappropriate prescribing, over- and under-prescribing

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching methods will incorporate tutorials, lectures, focused learning, use of Blackboard on- line resources, self-directed learning, experiential learning and collaborative sharing of clinical practice. For those working towards the prescribing qualification the Designated Medical Practitioner will facilitate you in achieving the practice competencies set out in the appendix and student handbook

Wider reading or practice110
Follow-up work60
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Interventions for enhancing medication adherence. ,Issue 2 .

Rang, H.P., Dale, M., Ritter, J.M. and Flower R.J. (2007). Pharmacology. 

Adherence to Long-Term Therapies: Evidence for Action.

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

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

British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (2011). British National Formulary & or BNF for Children. 

A Single Competency Framework for all Prescribers..

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

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

Baxter K (2012). Stockley's Drug Interactions Pocket Companion. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (3 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students may choose to purchase one of the recommended pharmacology texts, although copies are readily available in the University libraries

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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