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Clinical Pharmacy (MSc)

A key qualification for hospital pharmacy clinical career advancement, the programme enjoys funding from the NHS and is supported by Associate Course Directors across Wales and experienced work-based tutors at accredited hospital sites.

The MSc Clinical Pharmacy is a part-time distance learning course for pharmacists, run at 22 hospital sites in Wales and England. It integrates a traditional academic course with the student’s everyday role, with the aim of developing vital skills and knowledge to apply to their work.

The course offers an exceptionally wide variety of experiential learning, with a new area every three months for the first two years of the course. This allows you to gain a broad experience of pharmacy, under the guidance of a local practitioner, trained by the University to be your tutor.

The course has been developed by practitioners, and operating at 22 hospitals in four centres – three in Wales, one in England – provides the opportunity to compare practices in these regions and learn from each other.

The course offers knowledge and expertise required by a clinical pharmacist to input optimally into patient care.

Distinctive features

  • Offered at four centres around Wales and England
  • Combines an academic course with your everyday role
  • Flexibility enables you to complete at your own pace, between three and eight years
  • Conducted mainly in your base hospital.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModePart-time - distance learning

Admissions criteria

Applicants must be a registered pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council of Great Britain or a country where there is a reciprocal agreement AND must be employed as a pharmacist in an accredited hospital.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components, or an equivalent English language qualification.

Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

The course is offered part-time over a period of between three and eight calendar years, and consists of three stages.

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

Stage 3: MSc (180 credits).

A variety of modules are available

Some of the modules are compulsory.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
FoundationPHT72140 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Therapeutics 2PHT72410 credits
Clinical Governance in Practice: AuditPHT72520 credits

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Optional Clerkship: Aseptic ServicesPHT71610 credits
FoundationPHT72140 credits
Therapeutics 1PHT72310 credits
Clerkship 1PHT72610 credits
Clerkship 2PHT72710 credits
Critical CarePHT72810 credits
Medicines InformationPHT72910 credits
Clinic ClerkshipPHT73010 credits
Research Methods in Pharmacy PracticePHT73110 credits
Research Methods in Pharmacy PracticePHT73110 credits
Primary CarePHT73210 credits
Risk ManagementPHT73310 credits
Education, Training and DevelopmentPHT73410 credits
Education, Training and DevelopmentPHT73410 credits

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Research ProjectPHT74060 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a variety of methods:

  • Completion of a self needs analysis
  • Attendance of weekend schools
  • Attendance at study days
  • Practice based work
  • Time with accredited tutor
  • Coursework: Portfolio & Assignments
  • Self-directed study.

How will I be supported?

The associate course director for your centre will be assigned as your personal tutor. They have three main roles: academic, pastoral and as an advocate. They will visit you on site to provide feedback on your performance, help in your academic studies and observe you in practice.

At your base, the hospital site tutor will co-ordinate the course and be a point of contact. The associate course director and hospital site tutor are in contact (two-way feedback) throughout the academic year.

In addition, you may contact the course director at any time if necessary.

Specific examples of support provided throughout the programme are as follows:

  • Initial induction programme for orientation and introducing the programme.
  • Student handbook (also copy sent to hospital site tutor each year).
  • Student email and access to Blackboard/Learning Central.
  • Extensive library and other learning resources including IT suites; all journals are available as e-journals and can be accessed off-site.  Special arrangements with the library have been made for distance learner students.
  • Excellent teaching facilities.
  • Close collaboration between the course and pharmacy practitioners (course director and associate course directors are practising pharmacists).


You will receive written feedback on written assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and your contributions to seminars. The opportunity to understand and use feedback constructively will also be provided through regular meetings with personal tutors at key moments every year.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through the practice-based appraisals, CPD entries, patient profiles, basic enquiries, patient management problems, case presentations, teaching portfolios, critical appraisal exercise, written papers (class tests), audit written report and poster presentation, research project, other assignments and the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).

All assessments must be attempted.  Modules must be passed at 50% or above. If you are unsuccessful on your initial submission of work, normally one further attempt would be granted by the Examining Board.

What skills will I practise and develop?

 After fully engaging in this course, you should be able to:

  • Comprehensively understand and develop a critical awareness of your role as a pharmacist, and that of the pharmacy profession, in a changing healthcare system.
  • Utilise the knowledge gained and demonstrate the skills required to contribute to the identification, evaluation, prevention or solution of medicine therapy problems in practice.
  • Systematically integrate and apply pharmaceutical, biomedical and clinical knowledge in patient care.
  • Produce and use pharmaceutical care plans for patients.
  • Develop information and interpersonal skills to aid a pharmacist to contribute optimally to patient care.
  • Identify and critically evaluate current research.
  • Utilise critical appraisal skills, evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practice to make judgements in pharmacy practice.
  • Develop, plan, execute and communicate the results of an original audit project.
  • Systematically undertake and submit a substantial original research project in pharmacy practice.
  • Further develop IT skills in preparing documents, delivering presentations, searching databases and resources and analysing data.
  • Effectively communicate to different audiences by oral and written means.
  • Work effectively as a member of a team and individually.
  • Manage resources and time effectively.
  • Recognise the importance of continuing professional development and the need to become a reflective practitioner, through engaging in the process of personal development planning.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

The course offers knowledge and expertise required by a clinical pharmacist to input optimally into patient care. It integrates a traditional academic course with your everyday role, with the aim of developing vital skills and knowledge to apply to your work.