2020/21 Part-time Postgraduate course
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Nursing
This exciting course is aimed at registered nurses giving them the opportunity to achieve professional and academic awards.
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The Post Graduate Certificate in Non-Medical Prescribing is a one year part time programme consisting of three modules of study and 90 hours of practice learning to attain both the academic award of Post Graduate Certificate and a recorded professional award as a Nurse Independent/Supplementary Prescriber (V300). This programme is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and competencies to make a meaningful contribution to patient care in a safe and professional manner. This programme is underpinned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Competency Framework for all Prescribers (2016) as adopted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018).
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The aim of this programme is to prepare nurses and midwives to be able to incorporate safe, appropriate and cost-effective, person-centred prescribing into their practice.
This programme is available at undergraduate level (Level 6) to take account of the professional and academic background and achievement in the target population. Those studying at undergraduate level are expected to demonstrate an level of understanding consistent with the level of study being undertaken.
Within this overall aim, the course is designed to enable you as a student to:
Demonstrate understanding of the legislation regulating nurse prescribing; review the implications for your professional practice of undertaking the extended roles of prescribing and practice within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility; use diagnostic reasoning skills on the data acquired from history and health assessment to achieve appropriate diagnoses; apply knowledge of pharmacology in prescribing appropriate drugs to achieve defined health outcomes;
In addition you will be prepared to: prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively within the administrative arrangements in operation; evaluate and document the effectiveness of drug therapy; empower patients/clients and their carers and families through education for safe and effective self-management of drug therapy with recognition of their right to make their own decisions; collaborate with others in the health care team in prescribing, supplying, administering and disposing of medications; and utilize up-to-date information from a range of sources in decision-making about prescribing; demonstrate theoretical knowledge relating to all aspects of non-medical prescribing including the genesis and development of non-medical prescribing in the United Kingdom; apply existing and new knowledge of pharmaco-therapeutics, legal and ethical issues and health assessment to the practice of person-centred non-medical prescribing;
You will also develop the academic skills to assimilate, synthesize and evaluate information at an appropriate level for each student and the elected level of study; and exercise sound judgement in the decision-making processes that are central to safe non-medical prescribing practice.
This is a part time course normally delivered at Jordanstown campus, completed over one academic year (ie September until the end of May).
The programme aims to deliver a structured curriculum of teaching, learning and assessment, enabling students to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding .The learning experience encourages students to become active and motivated learners, who can seek information, question and analyse its validity and draw appropriate and logical conclusions.
Teaching, learning and assessment in the School are based on the belief that knowledge and information gained in the theoretical modules needs to be contextualised within practice. Ultimately, students are encouraged to build upon this to make connections between theoretical content and practice experiences thus facilitating an ability to suggest possible developments or enhancements in practice that in turn would lead to knowledge generation opportunities. This serves to help students understand the intimate link between theory and practice.
Teaching, learning and assessment take a variety of forms across the suite of modules as specified throughout this document. The strategies used are based on andragogical principles of adult learning such as self-direction and a capacity to draw upon experience. Teaching and learning in the programme has been informed by the Faculty Teaching & Learning Strategy that is an application of the University Teaching & Learning Strategy.
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 level 7 module provides an opportunity for students to develop and enhance the knowledge base and practice of health assessment, in order that appropriate interventions and management can occur. Students develop their assessment skills during this module. Assessment is 100% coursework.
This module is suitable for registered nurses and midwives who aim to become an independent prescriber within their specified scope of practice. It encourages students to critically appraise the legislative frameworks and the professional and ethical principles which underpin prescribing practice. Nurses and Midwives will consolidate their skills in shared decision making in the delivery of person-centred practice. This module is underpinned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Competency Framework (2016) and is a compulsory module in the NMP programme. Assessment is 100% coursework.
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 combination of blended learning, taught components and threaded discussion with supported group work. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.
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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Applicants must satisfy the University’s general entry requirements and specific requirements for the course are detailed here with further conditions of application available on pre-course information available from the HEI
i) a pre-registration degree in Nursing or Midwifery, a post-registration degree in Nursing, Midwifery or Health Studies/Sciences or an Honours or non-Honours degree in another relevant subject area from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
(ii) An equivalent standard in a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification; and provide evidence of the skills for evidence-based practice;
Applicants must also
1) Hold current registration with the NMC either as a registered nurse (level 1), a registered midwife or Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) with a minimum of one year's experience in the area in which they intend to prescribe
2) Be employed or self-employed (including NHS and non-NHS settings) as a registered nurse/midwife and also provide confirmation that the necessary governance structures are in place, in the student's employment (including clinical support, access to protected learning time and employer support where appropriate) to enable students to undertake, and be adequately supported throughout, the programme.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 and a score of at least 7 on each of the four aspects of this test.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Students who have previously completed the Health Assessment module may gain exemption from that module provided they are currently using the skills of patient assessment in practice which can be mapped to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Competency Framework for all Prescribers (2016) as adopted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018).
No exemptions can be made from the two core modules of the programme, Prescribing in Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics in Prescribing.
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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Students who enroll on this programme are normally already employed in the specialsim of their career choice. Successful attainment of this qualification places students in a strong position with the skills and knowledge to perform at a high level of practice, thus enhancing your career potential.
Students will complete a minimum of 90 hours in clinical practice and evidence how they have achieved the competencies within the the Non-medical Prescribing Practice Assessment Document (NMP PAD).
Recorded by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a non-medical prescriber (V300)
Dr Rosario Baxter
Commissioned students’ admissions contact:
Independent students’ admission contact:
'A great course, very challenging but well worth while doing for my current role and future career prospects '
'Tremendous support from the teaching team, a brilliant experience'