Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals (Advancing Practice)

Learn to prescribe safely, effectively and competently. Develop your knowledge of the professional aspects of prescribing practice, prescribing governance, and prescribing wider contexts.

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Key facts

  • Module codeADPP013
  • Start date 1 October 2024; 5 February 2025
  • Application deadline17 September 2024; 22 January 2025
  • Duration25 weeks
  • Credit value SCQF 40
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Fees Home: £1,778; International: £4,156
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery blended


The aim of the Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals Programme is to allow healthcare practitioners to develop their knowledge of the professional aspects of prescribing practice, prescribing governance, and prescribing in the wider context to demonstrate achievement of the competencies within the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Prescribing Competency Framework to allow individuals to prescribe safely, effectively and competently.  

This CPD module is from our MSc Advancing Practice course. The module can be completed on a standalone basis as a single credit-based module.

Application procedure

All applicants who are employed by the NHS and GP practice nurses must have the approval of the prescribing lead for their health board prior to applying.

Those practicing in the private sector, e.g. aesthetics, private addictions clinics etc. must contact the module coordinators (see contact details below) to discuss their suitability for the module.

Applications will be rejected if approval of the prescribing lead/module team is not sought.

Applicants must complete two forms to apply for this module. These are:

  1. The online application form, which you can access by the "Apply now" link at the top of this page.
  2. The additional Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals (.docx), which should be completed and uploaded to the online application form.

Please ensure all sections of the application pack are completed and returned as one document. You must complete both forms to apply for this module. 

Flexible learning

This short course forms part of the MSc Advancing Practice. You can study other stand-alone continuing professional development (CPD) short courses from this degree:

If you’re interested in studying more than one module from this course, please email our Admissions team at to discuss your course of study.

Entrance requirements

  • Applicants must be a Registered Nurse (Level 1), a Registered Midwife or a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (can be NHS, self-employed or non-NHS employed registrants)
  • Applicants for V300 supplementary/ independent prescribing programmes must have been registered with the NMC for a minimum of one year prior to entry
  • Applicants who are HCPC registered Allied Health Professionals should be working in the following professional areas with:
  1. Independent prescribing rights, for example, Advanced Paramedics, Podiatrists, Physiotherapists and Therapeutic Radiographers
  2. Supplementary Prescribing rights, for example, Dieticians and Radiographers
  • Applicants are expected to be capable of safe and effective practice at a level of proficiency appropriate to the study being undertaken and intended area of prescribing practice, including:
  • Clinical and health assessment
  • Diagnostics and care management
  • Planning and evaluation of care
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate a requirement for clinical prescribing within their current role
  • Applicants are expected to have a suitably qualified Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor who will provide opportunities to develop competency in prescribing
  • Applicants with other forms of learning can be recognised through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Information for all applicants outside NHS Forth Valley

To comply with the governance policies of NHS Scotland, all applicants for a prescribing programme are required to gain permission from their incumbent Health Boards Prescribing Lead (or equivalent, if out with NHS Scotland) to apply for this module. The Prescribing Leads for the Scottish Health Boards have a duty to keep a register of prescribers and they also are instrumental in prescribers gaining access to prescribing pads. This is the case regardless of who your employer is. You must provide evidence of their approval in your application form and supply evidence in the application pack.

If you are applying from a third-party health provider (including care organisations, private physiotherapists and aesthetics practitioners):

  • You must have access to a PA (must be a prescriber of at least 3 years experience) and must have a PS whom you work with very regularly (they must be a prescriber of at least 1 year) in order to achieve your 90 hours in learning.
  • You must have support from your line manager. If you are doing this for aesthetics, you must be employed by an aesthetics clinic in order to get the support and experience you require.
  • Any clinic/care organisation must be HIS registered and must pass an audit to ensure that it is appropriate for you as a learner.

Contact your NHS Scotland Health Board Prescribing Lead

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.


On completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Assess and consult with patients and carers;
  • Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively;
  • Apply the legislation relevant to the practice of prescribing;
  • Use sources of information, advice and decision support appropriately in prescribing practice;
  • Critically evaluate the influences on prescribing practice;
  • Apply knowledge of medications in prescribing practice;
  • Demonstrate cognisance of the team work and communication networks involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines;
  • Practice within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing.

Structure and content

The programme is divided into distinct units. These are intrinsically linked by the nature of the subject material. Outlined below is the broad content of the programme. 

  • Foundations of Prescribing.
  • Practice Legislation and Clinical Governance issues.
  • Clinical Pharmacology, including the effects of Co-morbidity and polypharmacy.
  • Basic principles of pharmacology; adverse drug reactions; medicines management.
  • Prescribing and the Wider Healthcare Context.
  • Realistic Medicine Appropriate prescribing; drug licensing within the public health context.
  • Prescribing Partnerships.
  • Consultation, Assessment and decision-making; psychology of prescribing; compliance and concordance.
  • Prescribing in Practice.
  • Prescription writing; safety; handling; auditing and monitoring of medicines.

The module runs twice a year: intakes are Autumn and Spring semesters, and this is a two-semester module.

Delivery and assessment

A hybrid approach to learning is used with a mixture of face-to-face, online synchronous and online asynchronous teaching.

The programme includes the following:

  • We have four face-to-face teaching on campus days, and we would advocate that students attend at least the first two days in person; however, we appreciate that those based further afield may need to join remotely.
  • There will be 4.5 days of teaching online, plus the equivalent of 18 days of distance learning delivered through the Canvas virtual learning platform.
  • The student prescriber must also complete a minimum of 90 hours of supervised learning in practice.

The taught component of the module will cover a wide range of topics with key external speakers who are specialists in their area which will relate to prescribing. Further topics for studying during the taught component are patient assessment, consultation styles, decision-making and concordant approaches to diagnosis and planning of care, external influences on prescribing and medicines management. 

The taught component is delivered using a variety of teaching methods including lectures, discussions, seminars and self-directed group work.  


  • A two-part written exam (online) - Part 1 pharmacology-based, part 2 numeracy/drug calculations.  
  • Submission of a portfolio of evidence supporting the acquisition of competencies.
  • Assessment of examination in practice (contained with POE).

You must pass all the elements of the assessment for successful completion of the programme. 

Module coordinator

Autumn intake – Lorna Stoppard –

Spring intake – Gillian Beattie –


All modules can be linked to specific professional capability/competency frameworks within your practice area.

You are encouraged to view your participation in the MSc Advancing Practice programme as a means of supporting your professional development plans (PDP) and career progression.

This module may be completed as a single credit-based module. Alternatively, you can use it as credit towards the MSc Advancing Practice.

Modules will be offered subject to demand and need to meet a minimum class size of eight students.


The content meets the requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Health Care Professions Council.

What next?

Contact us

If you have any questions about entry requirements for our continuing professional development and short courses, contact our Admissions team.

For all other questions, please use our enquiry form.