Prescribing: Safe Effective Practice

Course Type
Postgraduate, Module

The 20 credit module is taught at M level as a multi -professional course. 

The module addresses the underpinning practical principles of prescribing practice and highlights mechanisms and pathways necessary to refine and optimise the prescribing process at patient, local practice and national levels resulting in safe, effective prescribing.

This module is designed to:

  • be paired with a companion module (Prescribing: Scientific Principles and Practice, 20 credits) as part of the Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing.  The pairing is designed to meet the requirements for an accredited programme for independent non-medical prescriber status (according to each relevant professional body, General Pharmaceutical Council, Nursing & Midwifery Council). 
  • be used as a self-standing CPD module to provide extended knowledge and understanding of the medical prescribing process (to service existing prescribers wishing to develop their knowledge base or those who do not necessarily prescribe but are involved with a medicines management process).

Candidates will extend their existing knowledge base and practical professional practice through development of appropriate diagnostic skills. You will demonstrate a critical, personalised approach to autonomous, safe and effective prescribing of high quality using appropriate problem-solving and in-process controls within individual limits of competence. This practice will show evidence of recognition and application of appropriate national or local therapeutic guidelines.

Module Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding
By the end of the module you should be able to demonstrate:

  • a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiology and it’s practical application to the conditions being treated and recognise the signs and symptoms of a range of illnesses.
  • the ability to critically appraise appropriate information sources accessed and utilised during the prescribing process.

Intellectual Skills
By the end of the module you should be able to demonstrate:

  • the appropriate independent formulation of a working diagnosis and treatment plan which culminates in an appropriate prescription supported by effective monitoring and safety checks with follow up as necessary.
  • appropriate responses to influences on prescribing including effective communication.
  • appropriate, safe, cost-effective prescribing both independently and within partnerships, with accurate, effective and timely record keeping.
  • critical application of public health, legal, ethical, professional, audit and governance frameworks in the prescribing process.

Professional/Subject Specific Skills
By the end of the module you should be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to practice within the limits of professional  competence (including appropriate referral, consultation and guidance seeking).
  • the ability to elicit an accurate patient history and conduct  relevant clinical assessment and monitoring including appropriate use of common diagnostic equipment.
  • a proactive patient-focussed approach to prescribing.

Transferable Skills
By the end of the module you should be able to demonstrate:

  • an effective approach, including communication in a prescribing context.  
  • a proactive approach to participation in CPD in order to continue to advance knowledge, skills and understanding in prescribing practice to a high level.

Module dates
Module dates to be confirmed shortly 

This is a multi-professional blended learning course which takes place over 3 months.  It comprises of 5 days attendance for course learning with a further 1 day attendance to complete course assessment. 

Attendance at the University for these dates is mandatory and will need to be repeated if missed.   Further learning is provided through online activities and independent learning. 

Method of teaching

During attendance at the University you will undertake key lectures, small group work, workshops and enquiry based learning.  

The virtual learning environment CANVAS will support directed and independent learning.  Students will use the web-based SCRIPT e-learning programme.  This comprises of 44 modules designed to improve prescribing competency and is developed in partnership with Health Education England – West Midlands and OCB media.  SCRIPT offers a range of modules including Fundamentals of Pharmacology, Dosing and Calculations and modules related to specific therapeutic areas. 

You will prepare for and reflect upon the key learning within the University and undertake the full range of portfolio activity to evidence their achievement of learning outcomes and prescribing competencies (for Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing).


  • Structured learning and reflective portfolio
  • Five station OSCE
  • One hour Extended Matching MCQ examination + short answer examination
  • Completion of 90 hours supervised learning in practice, validated and signed off by DMP 

Academics involved in the delivery of this module

  • Mrs Parbir Jagpal – Programme Director, Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing
  • Mrs Pat Hibberd – Leader Independent/Supplementary for Nurses and Midwives
  • Christine Hirsch – Deputy Programme Director
  • Professor John Marriott – Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Head of School of Pharmacy
  • Kaldeep Singh – Academic Practitioner
  • Dr Asma Yahyouche – Academic Practitioner 
  • Sarah Pontefract – (Thomas) NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow SCRIPT Editorial Lead