Supporting enhanced practice and patient centred health care through independent prescribing by Allied Health Professionals.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management (Independent and/ or Supplementary Prescribing) is a part-time, web-dependent programme, developed with the aim of preparing suitably qualified Allied Health Professionals for the extended roles of access and supply of drugs under exemption order, Patient Group Directives, Independent and Supplementary Prescribing (Physiotherapy and Podiatry) and Supplementary Prescribing (Radiography).
The programme comprises two compulsory thirty credit point modules; Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing and Prescribing in Practice; in combination leading to the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management and the professional award of Independent and/or Supplementary Prescribing (for those professions eligible). The two modules are usually taken over a one year period. The programme runs from September to December (Module 1: Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing) and January to May (Module 2: Prescribing in Practice) each year.
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About this course
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Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, and Radiographers have been able to prescribe as Supplementary Prescribers since 2005. Two joint formal consultation by the Department of Health and the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on proposals to further introduce Independent Prescribing rights to Chiropodists/Podiatrists and Physiotherapists in 2011 led to the development of The Human Medicines Regulations 2012, resulting in Independent Prescribing rights being extended to these health professions from August 2013.
Non- medical prescribing underpins achievement of the goals identified in Equality and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (Department of Health 2012) by the development of new roles and service delivery to improve patient outcome. Independent and Supplementary prescribing by Health Professionals improves patient access to services, enables early intervention reducing hospital admissions and improves discharge outcomes following hospital stay by improving the transition from acute to community care.
Independent prescribing by Physiotherapists and Podiatrists has been demonstrated to support patient-centered care by enhancing partnership working across professional and organisational boundaries, enabling the redesign of care pathways that is cost effective, maximizes benefit to the patient, enhances professional autonomy and is sustainable.
Supplementary Prescribing is used most often in chronic disease management where the initial diagnosis has been made by an Independent Prescriber and continued care is paramount (for example in the case of administration of radiotherapy, or the case of clinical research trials). Direct benefits to the patient are an improvement in patient care, better use of Allied Health Professionals and Medics time, clarification of professional responsibilities leading to improved communications, the provision of a holistic and autonomous service by non-medical professionals, greater concordance and improved understanding by patients of their pharmacological management.
This part time, web-dependent programme has been developed with the aim of preparing suitably qualified Allied Health Professionals for the extended role of Independent and/ or Supplementary Prescribing in accordance with legislative eligibility. Completion of the programme also provides the training elements required for Allied Health Professionals working under patient group directives and will qualify the applicant for the professional entry of Prescriptions Only Medicine Certification on the Health Professions Council register where eligible.
Students are required to attend and engage with ALL face to face teaching sessions and clinical placement hours associated with the programme. Students MUST demonstrate that placement activity is carried out and attendance meets requirements specified in the Prescribing Practice Portfolio (Minimum requirements: 90 hours attendance in clinical prescribing practice for Independent and / or Supplementary Prescribing).
- September 2019
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing
This module provides the necessary pharmacological knowledge within the context of the underpinning pathophysiology that will enable the healthcare professional to prescribe safely, appropriately, and effectively within a collaborative health care team. It will be offered through a blended combination of e-learning, taught components and threaded discussion with supported group work. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and a synoptic examination.
Prescribing in Practice
This module will prepare Allied Health Professionals to undertake an active role in non medical prescribing within their specified area of practice. The legislative framework and professional and ethical principles, which underpin prescribing practice, are explored.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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(i) an Honours or non-Honours degree in Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Diagnostic or Therapeutic Radiography from the University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, ’or from a recognised national awarding body or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
ii) an equivalent standard in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and
b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent);
c) provide evidence that they meet the DH entry requirements for Independent and/ or Supplementary Prescriber training
or as an alternative to (a) (i) or (a) (ii) , (b) and (c):
(d) In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a Prescribing Practice Portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for the exemption against modules within the programme.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
Learning methods employed by the Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management are:
- Participation in face to face and online didactic-style lectures, enhanced by the use of e-learning tools such as discussion boards and Camtasia
- Private study, initially guided by required reading and then extended to recommended and independent reading
- Preparation and presentation of case based assignments using a range of media
- Participation in online discussion and tutorials
- Design, execution and analysis of a range of methods of enquiry
- Exploration, acquisition and analysis of patient/ prescribing data
- Listening and note-taking
- Observation, analysis, practice and evaluation of prescribing skills within a real life environment
- Managing one’s learning as an individual and as a team member
- Articulating the relevance of learning for one’s own personal and professional development
Online lectures, where used, tend to be more didactic and participative in style than the more common use of the term ‘lecture’. Online workshops, tutorials, the use of computer assisted learning, and the value placed in the contribution of expert practitioners, lecturers and professors further reflect the principles in operation. Group and team work is, on the whole, a key feature of the learning and teaching in this programme, reflecting on finding solutions and working as agents of change for better service and patient experience.
Tutorial work and online discussions have a central place within the Medicines Management programme which is organised around case based practical role play and group work that requires progressively more independent thinking.
Teaching is underpinned by current discipline specific and pedagogic research and scholarship. This is evidenced by involvement of members of the Institute of Nursing and Health Research Institute, Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT) and Centre for Higher Education Practice in planning and delivery of modules.
Synoptic (case based) examination, multiple choice examination and numeracy skills assessment are undertaken during the designated University examination periods. Professional Portfolio submission is required at the end of module 2 on completion of clinical practice elements. A detailed examination in prescribing practice will be under- taken by the medical mentor during clinical practice and forms part of the modular portfolio requirements.
Exemptions and transferability
Those who have undertaken the Prescription Only Medicines (POM) annotation training at level 7 within the preceding three years may apply for exemption from the ‘Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing’ module via the APL system, awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, provided that they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level in respect of a Master’s award and at least 50% of the credit value of the award in respect of a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate award.
Careers & opportunities
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The Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management delivers a range of learning experiences to enable students across and between multiple disciplines to enhance their knowledge and skills, encourage critical thinking, creativity and strategic planning in Independenet and/ or Supplementary Prescribing within their professional field, thereby enhancing employability. Students applying for this programme are expected to already be following a distinct career pathwaywith the opportunity of progressing in that pathway through the extended prescibing and leadership skills attained.
Work placement / study abroad
Placement is central to the development of the safe prescriber and the educational input and support of a designated/ approved General/ Medical Practitioner is crucial to the development of the necessary competencies.
For students undertaking the full Postgraduate Certificate programme, placement is organised by the student in negotiation with the employer and Medical Practitioner, and in consultation with the University of Ulster. Clinical placement across the two modules is a minimum 90 hours. Placement is a compulsory part of this programme during which students develop their clinical skills, under the supervision of a Medical Practitioner, to be able to undertake their new role safely.
The placement setting will typically be the workplace for each student. Proposed Medical Practitioner’s will be expected to sign a declaration of eligibility (in accordance with the Department of Health’s eligibility criteria) prior to a student being accepted onto the programme. In cases where students cannot gain the skills required in their place of work, the main objective will be to seek the experiences within another suitable environment.
Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as an Independent and/or Supplementary Prescriber.
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.