MSc Clinical Pharmacy for Secondary and Tertiary Care (PgCert, PgDip)

Start date(s)

Spring 2022

Study mode

Part-time (3 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (part-time, per year): £3,100

About this course

Develop your clinical practice further on a programme that combines workplace-based learning with academic studies and is mapped to professional development frameworks.

MSc Clinical Pharmacy for Secondary and Tertiary Care (PgCert, PgDip) allows you to develop your practice as a clinical pharmacist and is mapped to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Foundation Pharmacy Framework. The programme caters for pharmacists employed in secondary or tertiary care settings and whilst it is primarily tailored for pharmacists in the early stages of their career, pharmacists at any stage of their career can apply. Highlights of this programme include:

  • Use of blended learning, which combines workplace-based learning, self-directed study and university-based study sessions. This approach allows integration of theory and practice and a degree of flexibility since students can align studying the online learning materials with their current rotations
  • Interactive and stimulating workshops designed and delivered by experienced and specialist practising pharmacists
  • Use of workplace-based learning and regular formative feedback to build on the knowledge, skills, behaviours and experiences gained during your undergraduate and pre-registration years
  • The option of completing an Independent Prescribing Pathway (accredited by the GPhC) during the second year of the programme
  • Alignment with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Foundation Pharmacy Framework
  • Benefit from over 25 years’ experience in providing clinical pharmacy training


This programme will enhance your knowledge of therapeutics, powers of communication, critical thinking and problems solving skills. By promoting an understanding of the inter-disciplinary nature of healthcare, your appreciation of the problems encountered by other healthcare professionals will grow. The programme encourages a rigorous scientific approach to clinical pharmaceutical problems and the need to develop logical arguments, to enable you to optimise medicines for patients with complex problems and multiple co-morbidities. You will be able to promote and assess clinical pharmacy services and make evidence-based recommendations to benefit both your patients and place of work.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) accredited LJMU as a Foundation School (in the first wave) in June 2015. As an accredited RPS Foundation School, LJMU works in partnership with employers to provide quality workplace education and training infrastructures, as well as training for practice-based tutors.

Clinical Pharmacy

Fees and funding


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)

Money - postgraduate funding information

  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)

This programme is not eligible for the LJMU Alumni Award


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences is a partner with the Centre for Pharmacy Innovation (CfPI). The CfPI provides excellent links with community pharmacy and secondary care, through the other partners, Lloyds Pharmacies and The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS FT. These links have helped to support the development of this programme and provide assurance regarding the relevance of the course and its content.

Pharmacists are in high demand all over the world and a career in Pharmacy is both focused and rewarding. Under the Agenda for Change, many 

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pharmacists require a postgraduate diploma to move from a Grade 6 to a Grade 7 post, with research skills also increasingly being recognised in requirements for Grade 8 posts.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme 

Your programme is made up of a number of core and option modules and a research project.

Students in classroom - Course modules
Core modules

Principles of Medicines Optimisation (PgCert, PgDip, MSc)
20 credits

This module aims to develop students’ ability to optimise medicines for individual patients (including those with multi-morbidity) by updating their knowledge of clinical therapeutics and skills in its application in real-life practice.

Medicines Optimisation in Hospitals (PgCert, PgDip, MSc)
20 credits

Developing Hospital Pharmacists’ Practice (PgCert, PgDip, MSc)
20 credits

This module aims to develop students’ clinical practice and facilitate engagement with self-directed learning to promote an ethos of life-long learning.

Quality Improvement in Healthcare (PgDip, MSc) 
20 credits

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop skills in research methods and expertise in the evaluation, delivery and development of an area of healthcare. This module also includes appropriate research methods and research skills to support students who wish to complete an MSc dissertation.

Research Project (MSc)
60 credits

This module will enable you to develop and extend your research abilities and complete a research project.

Optional modules

Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists (PgDip, MSc) 
40 credits

This module develops the personal, professional, clinical and diagnostic skills required to deliver person-centred care as a pharmacist independent prescriber. Successful completion of this module enables individuals to apply to the General Pharmaceutical Council for annotation as an Independent Prescriber.

Oncology Pharmacy Practice in Secondary Care (PgDip, MSc)
20 credits

Provides clinical knowledge and skills that are relevant to the needs of healthcare professionals working with medicines in oncology and to facilitate your professional development, including fostering development of an enquiring, open-minded attitude, tempered with scientific discipline for oncology medicine, which encourages lifelong learning.

Advanced Paediatric Pharmacy Practice in Secondary Care (PgDip, MSc)
20 credits

Provides clinical knowledge and skills that are relevant to the needs of healthcare professionals working with medicines in advanced paediatric practice and to facilitate the professional development of the student, including fostering development of an enquiring, open-minded attitude, tempered with scientific discipline for paediatric medicine, which encourages lifelong learning.

Clinical Leadership in Medicines Optimisation (PgDip, MSc)  
20 credits

This module aims to develop students' leadership skills to enable you to implement initiatives to optimise medicines for the wider population both within an organisation and between healthcare sectors.

Education and Training in Healthcare (PgDip, MSc) 
20 credits

This module aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to deliver and critique education and training sessions to healthcare professionals.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

A significant portion of learning activities will take place in your workplace as you apply your acquired knowledge and skills to the care of your patients. Students are expected to undertake approximately 8-10 hours per week of private study (which includes preparation for webinars and workshops, as well as completing assignments).

Study days and webinars

Due to the impact of Covid-19, all live (synchronous) teaching activities will be delivered online by experienced and specialist practising pharmacists. When social distancing restrictions are eased, university-based teaching sessions will resume. Webinars are held either during week day lunch times (typically 1.00pm to 2.00pm) or during week day evenings (typically 8:00pm to 9:00pm). Dates will be provided following registration on the programme. Recordings of all sessions will be made available for those unable to attend.

The provisional dates for the introductory webinar and online workshops for students starting the first year of the programme in September 2021 are:

Introductory webinar

Tuesday March 8 2022 (20:00-21:15)


  • May 4 2022
  • June 29 2022
  • September 8 2022

Details of workshops scheduled to take place during weekends will be confirmed following your enrolment on the programme; these often involve external contributors

Teaching methods

The programme’s blended learning approach features a range of online directed study activities (including recommended reading, short recorded lectures and online quizzes), webinars, face-to-face study days (in the form of seminars and workshops) and workplace-based learning. In order to develop an ethos of adult learning, didactic teaching methods are minimised and completing the pre-requisites before attending webinars and study days will enable you to get the most benefit.

Image of two people looking at computer monitor

Applied learning

Tutor support

The programme team will allocate you with a Personal Tutor who will offer 1:1 tutorials to discuss:

  • Your engagement with the programme (based on attendance at workshops, completion of online study materials, providing feedback after study days)
  • Key learning points from study days and how you will subsequently change your practice 
  • Progress with assignments and portfolio activities
  • Feedback from summative assessments

Your employer will allocate you a Practice-based Tutor (PBT) who will provide mentorship and guidance in the workplace and conduct workplace-based assessments (WBAs) to provide you with regular feedback on how to develop your practice. The requirements for workplace-based support (including PBT’s responsibilities) are described in this document. All PBTs are invited to a half-day workshop that will cover workplace-based learning and assessment, mentoring and feedback skills.

Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

The programme utilises a range of assessment methods including: written reports, reflective essays, portfolios, case presentations, written examinations and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). All assessments are moderated internally and externally, with merits and distinctions being awarded for very good and exceptional overall performance respectively. You will accumulate credits as you complete each module. The MSc research project requires the submission of a project report.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Gareth Nickless

Gareth Nickless

Programme leader

After qualifying in 2000, Gareth started work as a hospital pharmacist. He completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy and then took up a split post as Specialist Pharmacist for Gastroenterology/Teacher Practitioner at LJMU. In 2007, Gareth moved into his current post, focusing on the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy.  Recognising the need for continuing professional development, he qualified as an Independent Prescriber in 2009 and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016. Gareth’s research interests cover workplace-based learning and assessment and medicines optimisation.

I have seen former students make great strides in their careers after completing the programme with some moving into senior management or leadership roles.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The programme is delivered in the student's workplace.

University staff are based in the Faculty of Science in the City Campus. Here you’ll find state-of-the art laboratories and teaching spaces. In terms of independent study support, the Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semesters, is located just minutes away from the Faculty of Science on Tithebarn Street.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • to be a UK registered (GPhC) pharmacist working in a Secondary Care role in North West England, with an opportunity to contribute to the clinical care of patients
  • an honours degree in pharmacy or equivalent
  • a term of employment sufficient to allow completion of the registered course (1 year for PgCert and 2 years for Diploma). This does not apply to those applying to 'top-up' a Clinical Pharmacy PgDip to the MSc

If you wish to complete the optional prescribing qualification you must:

  • have at least two years of post-registration experience
  • nominate a Designated Medical Practitioner who meets the GPhC and University standards
  • have the opportunity to undertake sufficient prescribing practice to meet course requirements

Additional information

  • IELTS requirements 6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson requirements 58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
  • Students that have obtained an appropriate Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy from LJMU or another institution may be considered for direct entry to the 60-credit research project module to top up their award to a full MSc. Students applying for this route do not need to be employed in a role in England, but must be in a position that would allow them to complete a relevant research project. Individuals interested in this route should contact the course leader by emailing: to discuss their circumstances prior to submitting an application
Image of student in library with book
  • Recognition of prior learning may be accepted for direct entry onto the 2nd year of the PgDip if you have already completed a pharmacy-related PgCert at another UK university
  • You may be interviewed
  • All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalence check via NARIC

If you have any specific queries, please contact:

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

You will need to complete our online application form and submit the supporting documents listed in this section. When completing this form, please note:

  • The level of entry is ‘Postgraduate Taught’
  • Mode of study is ‘Part time (EU/Home applicants only)’
  • You should then be able to find Clinical Pharmacy for Secondary and Tertiary Care (PgCert, PgDip or MSc) when browsing courses. Please ensure that you select the correct target award and corresponding entry date
  • For Current/Previous Qualifications, you only need to include details of your pharmacy qualification and any other university qualifications that you have; details of GCSEs, A-levels or International Baccalaureate are not required
  • Your personal statement needs to reflect your suitability and aptitude for the programme. For the application to be accepted by the system, this section needs to be at least 3,000 characters long

You will need to upload the following supporting documents:

  • Supplementary application form. Please note that if your employer is paying all or a proportion of your course fees that you will need to state the purchase order number on the form
  • A copy of the purchase order if your employer is paying some or all of the course fees
  • Pharmacy degree certificate
  • Employer declaration form (signed by the Education and Training Director). Details of the responsibilities of employing organisations and practice-based tutors are described in this document
  • Practice-based tutor declaration
  • Practice-based tutor summary CV (two pages)

If English is not your first language and you have not recently completed a university level qualification in English, you will also need to upload a copy of your IELTS certificate to your completed online application form.

If you are applying for direct entry to the PgDip or MSc year of the programme, you need to provide a copy of your PgCert or PgDip award, your academic transcript (which will provide details of modules completed) and the associated module guides or proformas. This allows the team to review how closely the learning outcomes for the modules you have completed align to our programmes.

Image of Students in classroom

Please note: all documents must be attached to your application within 24 hours of submission – if you wish to attach documents after this date, you will need to email them to the Programme Administrator (contact details below).

School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
Liverpool John Moores University
Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF 
Tel: 0151 231 2248
Fax: 0151 231 2170

Application deadline

Intake: Spring 2022
Deadline: January 17 2022
Start of teaching: March 2022

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course