General Pharmacy Practice PDip

Location: Medway

We work on a philosophy of student-centred workplace learning, supported by workbooks and learning sets facilitated by experienced pharmacy practitioners. You are expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and achieving the course objectives in support of your continuing professional development (CPD).

You will gain the understanding needed to conduct effective consultations with patients respecting their diverse needs and with regard to confidentiality and consent and to identify, prioritise and resolve complex pharmaceutical care issues.

Blended learning

The postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy practice is a predominantly work-based programme that develops competencies using the Foundation Pharmacy Framework (FPF), a validated competency framework accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. 

As a student on this programme you will be allocated:

  • An educational supervisor (practice tutor) who will help you to plan your learning in the workplace
  • An academic facilitator who offers support throughout the course. 

Self-directed learning in the workplace is underpinned by study days (or learning sets) at the university co-ordinated by an academic facilitator.


PCert: 18 months; PDip: 1 year; MSc 1 year. Maximum time allow from start to completion - 6 years

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the organisation and structure of the NHS
  • health policy and its impact on working practices
  • medicines management and its application to individual patient care
  • effective methods of working with patients, health and non-health professionals
  • consultation methods and their applicability to patient care
  • compliance, adherence and concordance`
  • health beliefs: theories and models
  • advantages and limitations of different methods of communication in the context of medicines management
  • ethical issues influencing prescribing decisions
  • an evidence-based approach to drug therapy decisions
  • application of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles to individual patient care
  • the use of CPD as a tool for lifelong learning.
  • a systematic approach to the delivery of care to patients with complex needs
  • a systematic approach to drug and therapy monitoring in patients with complex conditions
  • applied therapeutics
  • a systematic approach to complex queries about medicines use
  • the effective use of complex clinical data sets
  • pharmaceutical public health
  • clinical governance in the context of medicines management
  • the audit as a tool to improve the quality of patient care
  • change management as a tool to improve service provision.

Intellectual Skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • working independently, efficiently and professionally within current NHS frameworks and the RPSGB code of ethics and professional conduct, managing any conflicting priorities
  • demonstrating appropriate initiative whilst recognising personal and professional limitations
  • communicating clearly, precisely and appropriately with patients and all other healthcare professionals
  • recognising, valuing and use appropriate theories, concepts and principles from a range of disciplines
  • demonstrating the effective application of patient confidentiality and the principles of patient consent
  • retrieving and document information in a clear and structured way
  • carrying out effective consultations with patients and carers to encourage compliance
  • accepting responsibility for your own actions and for the care of patients assigned to your care
  • undertaking a structured approach to problem solving, forming an appropriate judgement even in the absence of complete data
  • reviewing, evaluating critically and synthesising sources of information and research methodologies cited in published literature to support the care of individual patients
  • accepting responsibility for your own lifelong learning and continuing professional development
  • applying effective negotiating and influencing skills in order to achieve a definite outcome
  • assessing the outcome of personal contributions to patient care
  • evaluating and discussing legal and ethical influences related to the pharmaceutical care of individuals
  • contributing to the improvement of healthcare outcomes through reflective practice and innovation.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • applying the principles of medicines management and pharmaceutical care in practice
  • interpreting prescriptions for medicines and evaluating for safety, quality, efficacy, legality and economy
  • advising patients, carers and healthcare professionals about medicines usage and health promotion
  • identifying, prioritising, analysing, evaluating and resolving pharmaceutical care issues (including social issues) related to real patients irrespective of complexity
  • performing complex pharmaceutical calculations in order to advise on safe drug administration
  • demonstrating respect for the patient irrespective of ethnic, cultural or religious background
  • carrying out the role of the clinical pharmacist effectively within the multidisciplinary healthcare team
  • carrying out a review of patients’ medication at a range of levels, document recommendations and influencing prescribers and patients appropriately to institute agreed changes
  • applying a knowledge of the pharmacology of drugs, pathophysiology of disease states and evidence-based treatment guidelines in the context of individual patients
  • selecting a range of biochemical, haematological, microbiological and near-patient tests in order to monitor efficacy and toxicity of drug therapy
  • conducting an analysis of a patient safety issue, evaluating options and drawing an appropriate conclusion
  • investigating medicines information enquiries using an appropriate research strategy, and formulating and communicating responses to queries in a timely manner
  • advising on the clinical significance of drug-drug, drug-patient and drug-disease interactions and devising a course of action to minimise risk to the patient
  • investigating medicines information enquiries using appropriate evidence and formulating a response appropriate to the needs of the enquirer
  • advising on risk management issues and ways to minimise error
  • responding to symptoms and counter prescribing medication for patients with minor ailments
  • developing the pharmaceutical service and applying change management techniques
  • conducting a clinical audit, evaluating the outcome and making recommendations for change.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • effective written and verbal communication with academic tutors, peers, practice tutors, patients, carers and the multi-disciplinary healthcare team
  • interpersonal skills: the ability to interact with patients, the public and other health and social care professionals
  • critical appraisal and summation of information from a variety of sources
  • interpretation of the significance of general, biological and medical statistics
  • the ability to make appropriate decisions based on available information, with  insight into the risks and benefits that may result from working with incomplete data
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team within professional codes of practice and conduct, with recognition of the moral and ethical issues related to medicines management issues
  • a positive attitude and constructive approach to group discussions
  • the ability to be a reflective practitioner and autonomous learner, with the ability to take responsibility for academic, professional  and personal development
  • high-level information technology skills
  • time management and organisational skills
  • high-level problem-solving skills.

The PCert and PDip aim to:

  • enable you to apply appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to carry out effectively the role of the general pharmacist practitioner within your pharmacy practice base and wider healthcare teams
  • enable you to carry out effective consultations with patients respecting their diverse needs and with regard to confidentiality and consent
  • enable you to identify, prioritise and resolve complex pharmaceutical care issues
  • enable you to apply knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology and  the clinical use of drugs and therapeutic guidelines to the treatment of common disease states
  • enable you to access, gather, interpret, critically evaluate and summarise medicines information
  • enable you to monitor the quality of services provided, identify, prioritise and resolve significant medicines management issues and monitor and evaluate outcomes
  • enable you to establish population health needs and apply specialist pharmaceutical knowledge to public health issues.

The MSc aims are to:

  • investigate a topic in depth
  • evaluate current practice or a new service
  • publish research and advance knowledge in pharmacy practice
  • develop skills you require for the RPS Advanced Pharmacy Framework
  • inspire you and others in your workplace to carry out much needed practice research
  • support your future career and perhaps to help you explore new career paths.
PDip Award
Part-time Study Mode
24 months Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

Registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

In addition practitioners must have an accredited practice base from which to operate and have access to an accredited educational supervisor.

Please also see our general entry requirements at:

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