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Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing (PgCert)

  • Duration: 8 months
  • Mode: Part time blended learning

Course options See other modes of study
Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Our programme aims to provide a sound foundation of preparation for registered nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in the UK to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required to practice as safe, effective and competent independent and supplementary prescribers.

The programme will develop your ability to critically analyse and to hone your personal reflection skills, preparing you for lifelong professional development. It will provide the foundation for you to develop your practice, to enable you to provide a high professional standard of care, and be accountable for that care.

The programme will introduce you to the general principles of pharmacology relevant to prescribing practice, the professional, legal, and ethical frameworks relevant to Independent and Supplementary prescribing, and clinical governance / quality assurance aspects of prescribing.

These elements will be underpinned by evaluation of your own performance, and application of the prescribing principles to your own area of practice. It will also enable you to be aware of current developments within independent and supplementary prescribing in the UK. You will study in a multi-disciplinary setting along with a range of individuals from other professions including pharmacists, facilitating shared learning as recommended by the NMC/ HCPC.

Distinctive features

We are a School that emphasises independent learning in a research-led environment. Here are some of the key features of why we think our Postgraduate Certificate in Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing programme will make you the best practitioner you can be:


  • Become an independent/ supplementary prescriber: You can qualify as an independent/ supplementary prescriber furthering your personal development.
  • Prescribing practice impact: help influence the quality of care delivered in clinical practice by having a direct impact on the patient’s healthcare journey by offering a more holistic level of advanced care.
  • Inter-disciplinary education: be a part of a programme that offers you the opportunity to share your learning with a breadth of professionals, in collaboration with clinical and expert practitioners/ clinicians.
  • Showcase your professional development: We offer you the opportunity to become a student representative and shape future educational provision and advise on key elements of your learning.  
  • We are linked with the Joanna Briggs Institute: You’ll learn in a School which is an accredited Joanna Briggs Centre; improving the quality and outcomes of healthcare globally. 


Where you'll study

School of Healthcare Sciences

Our courses are designed to provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to embark on a professional healthcare career.

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  • Telephone+44(0) 29 2068 7538
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements and must comply with the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)) specific requirements for prescribing. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your professional registration number (NMC or HCPC) in order for us to confirm your current registration status.
  2. A reference from your employer (signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application) to evidence that you:
    • currently work in an area relevant to the programme
    • have a minimum of one years’ full-time equivalent patient-orientated clinical experience
    • are committed to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  3. Any evidence of previous study at Masters level.
  4. A copy of your certificate or transcript which shows you have undertaken a clinical assessment/diagnostics and evaluation module, or evidence that demonstrates you have developed these skills in clinical practice, such as a testimonial from a senior practitioner.
  5. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
  6. A personal statement which addresses the following points:
    • Why have you selected this programme?
    • What interests you about this programme?
    • Any relevant experience related to the programme or module content.
    • How you plan to use the qualification in your career.
    • How you and your profession will benefit from your studies.
    • Why you feel you should be given a place on the programme.

If you are self-funding your studies (if you work outside of a health board or an NHS Trust) you must also provide two additional references that specifically comment on your clinical and academic ability to undertake the programme.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of July but may close sooner if all places are filled. 

Selection process

Once you have submitted your application you will be sent a Learning Agreement and Statement of Support form, which you are required to complete and return to confirm you meet the criteria set out by the NMC and HCPC before we can consider your application. Once received, we will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, including an assessment of suitability through the personal statement, we will make you an offer.

Additional information

You may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at level 6 or level 7 of up to 60 credits, of which only 30 credits can be at level 6. RPL is considered through mapping of learning outcomes of comparable modules. This complies with the NMC (2018) and HCPC (2019) prescribing standards.

If you intend to apply for recognition for prior learning, please supply copies of your credit transcripts with your application and provide further details in your personal statement.

Please contact the PGCert Independent Prescribing/ Supplementary Prescribing Programme Manager prior to applying to discuss RPL queries:

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student 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

A DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate is required to undertake the following modules:

  • HCT 356 Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (core)
  • HCT 357 Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (core)

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.

Course structure

The Postgraduate Certificate in Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing consists of 2 core modules (30 credits each).

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Year one

You will undertake both modules in year one.

Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing.

You will need to complete a minimum of 12 days (78 hours) of learning in practice in order to develop clinical assessment and prescribing skills, supported by a designated Practice Supervisor (PS). This is a PSRB requirement.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

In line with Cardiff University’s Digital Learning Strategy, the programme will be delivered using a blended learning approach. The programme will aim to provide a rich and engaging online experience, including a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities alongside traditional face to face teaching and learning.

We will employ a range of learning and teaching approaches, from group and individual tutorials to student led seminars, dialogue, appreciative enquiry and problem- based learning, skills workshops, self-directed study, critical discussion /debate and expert led lectures. We employ e-learning via Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) that are specifically developed for Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing programmes.

Our programme and modules will facilitate effective inter-professional learning across a wide range of professions, and the sharing of differing professional perspectives and expertise. This experience will enhance your learning and development, and enable you to widen your professional network.

We appreciate that as registered practitioners, you will enter the programme with a wide range of skills, and some of you may hold advanced practitioner roles. Your clinical and experiential experiences are highly valued and will be used to enhance the learning process in terms of independent and shared learning.

We will encourage you to take an adult approach to learning at postgraduate degree level, which involves you taking responsibility for your own learning. We aim to prepare you for professional Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing practice.

How will I be assessed?

To meet professional and statutory regulatory body requirements, you will be assessed via the following methods:

Electronic Prescribing Portfolio:

Therapeutic Framework written Assignment,

Numeracy Test: (30 minutes)

Clinical logs reflective assignment:

Structured Clinical Assessment (SCA):

Therapeutics Class test (60 minutes):

How will I be supported?

To meet professional and statutory regulatory requirements (NMC and HCPC), a number of levels of support are offered:

Personal Tutor : You will be allocated a Personal tutor at the beginning of the programme who will provide educational and pastoral support and will:

•        Maintain regular contact throughout the programme;

•        Advise on the academic standards;

•        Provide support and guidance with respect to learning;

•        Provide feedback of progress and constructive comment on any aspects of learning which will

          require further development;

•        Be available for personal advice and support.


Academic Assessor : You will be allocated an Academic Assessor from the programme team for the duration of their programme; in addition to the Personal Tutor who will provide educational and pastoral support. The programme manager is responsible for ensuring that the allocation and monitoring of academic assessors is compliant the NMC standards for supervision and assessment of students, and that academic assessors are prepared for the role, as per faculty standards.


  • academic assessors collate and confirm student achievement of proficiencies and programme outcomes in the academic environment for each part of the programme.
  • academic assessors make and record objective, evidence based decisions on conduct, proficiency and achievement, and recommendations for progression, drawing on student records and other resources.
  • academic assessors maintain current knowledge and expertise relevant for the proficiencies and programme outcomes they are assessing and confirming.
  • the nominated academic assessor works in partnership with a nominated practice assessor to evaluate and recommend the student for progression, in line with programme standards and local and national policies.
  • academic assessors have an understanding of the student’s learning and achievement in practice.


Strategy to Support Student Learning and Development as Prescribers

It is expected by the NMC/HCPC and University that regular meetings between you and your DPP should take place to enable a valid and constructive review of your progress and agreement about any further learning experiences which are required. The Practice Assessor (PA) should also meet with you to inform assessment of the your competence. Such meetings will involve direct observation of the your practice to enable a valid assessment of competence.


Meetings also need to take place between the PA and Practice Supervisor (PS) to inform the PA’s understanding of your learning and development in practice. The PA and academic assessor are also required to meet to explore the your progress with practice and academic learning to enable a constructive assessment of the your development of appropriate proficiencies and to allow the Academic Assessor to collate student outcomes from all elements of the programme.


The programme offers you the opportunity to develop and share ideas with health professionals, enabling you to learn and benefit from the experiences of others. Opportunity is given for discussion and exchange of ideas through seminars and tutorials.

We offer you the opportunity to become a student representative and shape future educational provision and advise on key elements of your learning.

All modules within the programme make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and assessment exemplars. All lectures are recorded via electronic platforms, and are available for you to view throughout your programme.

The University offers a wide range of services and activities designed to support you. These include a student counselling service, a student advisory service, day care facilities, sport and exercise facilities, as well as campus information, library and IT services.

Further information about what the University can offer you can be found in the following link:

Student life - Study - Cardiff University

Our student app also allows you to access Cardiff University services and personalised information in one place in a simple and convenient way from a smartphone via the app store. 

Features include:

  • Campus maps
  • Student library renewals, payments and available items
  • Student timetable
  • Find an available PC
  • Access to help and student support
  • Student news
  • Receive important notifications
  • Links to launch other University apps such as Outlook (for email) and Blackboard (for Learning Central).

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate drug actions and sources of evidence-based information, advice and decision support in prescribing practice.
  • Critically explore current available clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to your own area of practice.
  •    Demonstrate a critical evaluation of legal, ethical, professional and governance issues in their prescribing role.


Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the appropriate application of a critical knowledge of drug actions in prescribing practice and the effective use of evidence-based decision support tools.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding and application of legislation relevant to the practice of non-medical prescribing.
  • Demonstrate a critical and independent reflective approach to practice, analysing situations resulting in a coherent and sustained argument to enable service and practice improvement and professional development.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate approaches to the systematic and holistic assessment of patient need and the interpretation of diagnostic indicators to achieve a differential diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate a strategic approach to effective collaboration with the multidisciplinary team involved in prescribing, supplying and administration of medicines.
  • Demonstrate the critical application of effective strategies in negotiation and shared decision-making with patients and carers.
  • Demonstrate a strategic application in practice of the framework of professional accountability and clinical governance in non-medical prescribing.
  • Effectively employ appropriate communication/ education strategies to communicate and disseminate knowledge to the patient, families and client groups.


Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Engage with information systems in order to analyse and interpret data to inform prescribing practice.
  • Integrate theory with professional practice.
  • Synthesise information/ data from a variety of sources.
  • Critically appraise, synthesise and evaluate the evidence base related to Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing.
  • Take responsibility for your individual personal and professional learning and development.
  • Independent project manage and demonstrate time management skills.
  • Work independently.
  • Problem solve and reach realistic conclusions/ recommendations.
  • Communicate ideas in a clear concise manner.
  • Demonstrate digital literacy.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

This course is charged on a per-module basis. For more information please refer to our tuition fees pages.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

This course does not currently accept students from outside the UK/EU.

Additional costs

Cost of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Careers and placements

As health professionals you can utilise the expertise and skills developed on the programme to develop and provide evidence-based prescribing practice within your clinical area of practice. Our programme will enable you to diversify, expand and develop yourself personally and professionally, offering a greater level of holistic care to your patient population. It will also place you in a better position to apply for promotion with enhanced confidence and expertise.

Some of the roles our graduates and alumni from the current Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Medical Prescribing programme have gone on to obtain include:

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Paramedic
  • Associate Lecturer/Lecturer
  • Nurse Consultant
  • Research Associate
  • Affiliate as Advanced Critical Care Practitioners of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.



You will need to be employed and practising within a clinical environment within the United Kingdom to undertake this programme. You will be required to evidence clinical hours within your own clinical environment for the following modules:

  • Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing modules require 78 hours associated practice within your prescribing area (core).

Next steps


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.