2020/21 Part-time Postgraduate course
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Health Sciences
Supporting enhanced practice and patient centred health care through independent and / or supplementary prescribing by Allied Health Professionals.
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The Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management (Independent and/ or Supplementary Prescribing) is a part-time, web-dependent programme, developed with the aim of preparing you for the extended roles of access and supply of drugs under exemption order, Patient Group Directives, Independent and/ or Supplementary Prescribing according to legislative allowance
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.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
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In Northern Ireland, training for Physiotherapists, Podiatrists and Radiographers as Supplementary Prescribers in Northern Ireland commenced following adoption of legislative changes put in place in England in 2004/ 5.
In 2011 following two public consultations by the Department of Health (DH) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), legislation was approved in support of the inclusion of Physiotherapists and Podiatrists as independent prescribers on the register from August 2013. Further initiatives later the same year saw the Allied Health Professions (AHP) Medicines Project being established by NHS England to extend prescribing, supply and administration of medicines to:
• Therapeutic/ Diagnostic Radiographers and Paramedics (Independent Prescribing)
• Dietitians (Supplementary Prescribing)
• Orthoptists (Use of exemptions under Human Medicines Regulations (2012)
NHS England, in partnership with the professional Statutory and Regulatory bodies for each developed a case of need for each of these proposals based on “improving quality of care for patients in relation to safety, clinical outcomes and experience, whilst also improving efficiency of service delivery and value for money” (Outline Curriculum Framework for Education Programmes to Prepare: Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Therapeutic Radiographers, Paramedics as Independent/Supplementary Prescribers, and to Prepare: Diagnostic Radiographers, Dietitians as Supplementary Prescribers. DH 2018)
Medicines legislation for independent prescribing by Therapeutic Radiographers, supplementary prescribing by Dietitians and the use of exemptions by Orthoptists was recommended by the Commission of Human Medicines and given ministerial approval in 2016, with independent prescribing by Paramedics closely following in 2018.
Non- medical prescribing supports patient-centred care. It can enable new roles and new ways of working to improve quality of services, facilitates partnership working across professional and organisational boundaries and enables redesign of care pathways that are cost-effective and sustainable.
Non- medical prescribing skills provide you with the ability to address and/ or enhance patient’s medicines management as part of a holistic care package, without the need for the patient to return to the GP. Evidence of the direct patient benefit afforded by non-medical prescribing has been well documented.
In alignment with ongoing legislative change and with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI) the programme teaches you the independent and supplementary prescribing competencies required by the DH, HCPC and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Completion of all elements of assessment of the module ‘Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing’, if taken as a standalone module/ short course, provides the training elements required for Allied Health Professionals working under patient group directives or access, supply and administration mechanisms under exemptions order and will also qualify the applicant for the professional entry of POMS -access and supply annotation on the Health and Care Professions Council register (currently Paramedics, Podiatrists and Orthoptists). Health professionals not currently eligible for independent/ supplementary prescribing rights, but who are working under patient group directives and wish to extend their knowledge of prescribing, and/ or who may be added to the register at a future date, are eligible to apply for this module.
Completion of the two modules; ‘Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing’ and ‘Prescribing in Practice’ (in combination, the Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management) meets the requisite training for Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Therapeutic Radiographers and Paramedics as Independent/Supplementary Prescribers, and Diagnostic Radiographers and Dietitians as Supplementary Prescribers.
You are required to attend and engage with ALL face to face teaching sessions and clinical placement hours associated with the programme. You MUST demonstrate that prescribing mentorship 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).
Learning methods you will undertake in the Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management are:
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 prescribing mentor during clinical practice and forms part of the modular portfolio requirements.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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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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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.
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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To apply for this programme you MUST
a) Be registered with the HCPC in one of the relevant Allied Health Professions
b) Be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need for the individual to regularly use independent prescribing or supplementary prescribing
c) Be able to demonstrate support from their employer/sponsor* including confirmation that the entrant will have appropriate supervised practice in the clinical area in which they are expected to prescribe
d) Be able to demonstrate medicines and clinical governance arrangements are in place to support safe and effective supplementary and/or independent prescribing
e) Have an approved prescribing mentor, normally recognised by the employer/ commissioning organisation as having:
i) Experience in the relevant field of practice
ii) Training and experience in the supervision, support and assessment of trainees
iii) Has agreed to; - Provide the student with opportunities to develop competences in prescribing
- Supervise, support and assess the student during their clinical placement.
f) Have normally at least 3 years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which they will be prescribing.
g) Be working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level.
h) Be able to demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
i) In England and Wales, provide evidence of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or in Northern Ireland, an AccessNI check within the last three years or, in Scotland, be a current member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.
*If self-employed, must be able to demonstrate an identified need for prescribing and that all appropriate governance arrangements are in place
The University will consider application from those not on the HCPC register who wish to undertake the programme for academic purpose ONLY
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.
If you have undertaken the Prescription Only Medicines (POM) annotation training at level 7 within the preceding three years you may apply for exemption from the ‘Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing’ module via the APCL system, awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, provided that you register as a student 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.
Typically we require applicant for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree (usually in a relevant subject area). Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus. We consider students who have good grades in the following:
|Level 12 English Lang in HSD|
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The Postgraduate Certificate in Medicines Management delivers a range of learning experiences to enable you, across and between multiple disciplines to enhance your knowledge and skills, encourage critical thinking, creativity and strategic planning in Independent and/ or Supplementary Prescribing within your professional field, thereby enhancing employability. If applying for this programme you are expected to already be following a distinct career pathway with the opportunity of progressing in that pathway through the extended prescibing and leadership skills attained.
Placement is central to the development of the safe prescriber and the educational input and support of a designated/ approved prescribing mentor is crucial to the development of the necessary competencies.
If you are undertaking the full Postgraduate Certificate programme, placement is organised by the you in negotiation with your employer, prescribing mentor, 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 prescribing mentor, to be able to undertake your new role safely.
The placement setting will typically be the workplace for each student. Proposed prescribing mentors will be expected to sign a declaration of eligibility (in accordance with the Department of Health’s eligibility criteria) prior to you being accepted onto the programme. In cases where you 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.
Admissions contact regarding application process:
Course Director: Kerry Clarke