As part of its long term plan the NHS has been developing clinical pathways that widen the remit of pharmacists, which in turn have a major positive impact on patient care - from diagnosis to prescribing. Part of this initiative involves broadening pharmacists' skills through training to become Independent Prescribers, and Health Education England (HEE) have extended funded training offers until March 2024.
At Leicester, the School of Healthcare’s accessible Pharmacist Independent Prescribing course is designed to support the pharmacy integration programme and enables pharmacists to become confident and knowledgeable non-medical prescribers. In fact, it is considered such an important part of the modern pharmacist's role that, as of 2026, all pharmacy graduates will be independent prescribers.
This programme comprises one 30 credit module. It’s designed to provide pharmacists with the knowledge and skills to prescribe within their chosen scope of practice. Upon successful completion, you will be awarded a Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing and be eligible for annotation on the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) register as an independent prescriber.
Even though the course caters for and supports a wide variety of scopes of practice, we offer specific training on ENT examinations which provides trainees with these additional skills as a prescriber.
This programme is ideal if you have work and personal commitments. It has a flexible format and is delivered using predominantly distance learning approaches, which means it is open to registered pharmacists from across England. The course comprises five virtual, interactive facilitated teaching sessions, and two face-to-face sessions delivered over a range of dates in locations across England. The course is entirely portfolio based with no OSCE style assessments.
"The IP course at the University of Leicester was a challenging but enjoyable journey. It made me into a significantly better and more skilled pharmacist. The staff are not only your tutors, they are just an email away to help and guide you."
"The course team at the University of Leicester have extensive experience in independent prescribing within pharmacy - which is massively helpful. They understand the pressures faced and have been very supportive and responsive! Thank you for all your advice."
Scope of practice 1
"My intended scope of practice is the management of minor ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions in adults.
In my learning and practice setting within a GP practice I will have the opportunity to frequently encounter patients with ENT conditions as there is a minor ailments clinic daily which is run by prescribing nurse practitioner and is supported by practice GPs as well as my DPP (Designated Prescribing Practitioner).
I have agreed with the practice team that I will have the opportunity to participate in this clinic under the supervision of a prescriber. This will allow me to develop the knowledge and skills to take a medical history and undertake any necessary clinical examinations to make a differential diagnosis. I will make prescribing recommendations or appropriate management plans to support my diagnosis."
Scope of practice 2
"My intended scope of practice is the management of Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adults (excluding pregnancy).
In my learning and practice setting within an acute hospital I work in the trauma and orthopaedic department I will have the opportunity to frequently encounter patients who have developed either Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism. These are known complications in orthopaedic wards.
My DPP is an advanced nurse practitioner who works in both the pre and post operative areas within trauma and orthopaedics.
I will be participating in preoperative assessment which will l include the completion of the VTE assessment on admission to establish patient risk prior to surgery and I will be participating in ward rounds of post operative surgical patients alongside the surgical team and advanced practitioners. I have agreed with my DPP that I will assess patients for post operative complications this will allow me to take a medical history and undertake any necessary clinical examinations and request and interpret any tests or investigations to make a differential diagnosis of VTEs. I will create a management plan for the patient and make any appropriate prescribing decisions."