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Short courses
Nursing, Midwifery & Health Professions

Advancing from Supplementary to Independent Prescribing


Course overview

  • Limited HEENE-funded places are available for eligible applicants.
  • Standard University fee applies once all funded places have been allocated.

The drive for allied health professionals to deliver improved clinical outcomes has recently meant that physiotherapists and podiatrists have from August 2013 had their supplementary prescribing rights extended to independent prescribing. The expansion of independent prescribing by physiotherapists and podiatrists supports enhanced patient-centred care. New roles and new ways of working to improve quality of services, deliver safe, effective services focused on the patient experience have been developed across inter-professional working within health care.

This award enables existing and eligible supplementary prescribers to build upon their existing knowledge and skills of safe and effective prescribing and move towards an autonomous independent prescribing role. You must still continue to work within your own area of competence and within your scope of practice and as such be in a position to complete the care cycle in a holistic manner for clients within your care.

Before submitting your application please read the additional information in the Guide for the Advancing from Supplementary to Independent Prescribing application process.

Professional accreditation

A minimum of 15 hours in practice placement to meet the HCPC requirements for the module


Course details

What you study

This professional award enables you to evaluate the theory associated with developing independent prescribing according to the professional standards stipulated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). This includes consideration of clinical decision making, the need to practice autonomously within the legal frameworks associated with independent prescribing. You undertake three days learning which prepares you to consider how you underpin the theory through learning opportunities with your identified designated medical practitioner (DMP). Your DMP will support you in the specific practice area in which you currently prescribe and intend to prescribe in an independent capacity. You are required to spend a minimum of 15 hours in supervised practice.

How you learn

You focus on the principles and practice of prescribing and the professional accountability, responsibility and ethics required by independent prescribers. You share part of your learning with peers undertaking a non-medical prescribing module. This specifically teaches you the legal, professional and policy aspects of independent prescribing. Specific seminar work builds on your existing knowledge as a competent supplementary prescriber and enables you to consider your progression towards independent prescribing. You undertake self-directed study based upon both the indicative content and an assessment of your own learning needs in relation to prescribing.

How you are assessed

You evidence your ability to independently prescribe safely and effectively through the development of portfolio of learning in supervised practice. Practice is assessed by your DMP and you undertake a systematic and critical appraisal of the skills and informed decision-making required to advance from supplementary to autonomous independent prescribing.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The following entry requirements must be in place before you consider your application and you must fully complete your application with evidence of how you meet these requirements. Therefore you must:

  • be registered with the HCPC on either the physiotherapist or podiatrist register and currently annotated on the relevant HCPC register as a supplementary prescriber
  • currently be practising as a supplementary prescriber for the past six months prior to the start of this programme
  • be able to demonstrate support from your employer/sponsor including confirmation that you will have appropriate supervised practice in the clinical area in which you are expected to independently prescribe
  • be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need for you to regularly use independent prescribing
  • be able to demonstrate medicines and clinical governance arrangements are in place to support safe and effective supplementary and/or independent prescribing
  • be able to demonstrate how you reflect on your own performance and take responsibility for your own continuing professional development including development of networks for support, reflection and learning
  • have a satisfactory up-to date disclosure and barring service check undertaken within the last three months. This must be current for the duration of the time you are studying the module
  • demonstrate the ability to study at academic Level 7, evidenced by previous study or via the accreditation of prior and experiential learning process
  • be able to provide a statement of support from a medical practitioner that confirms a suitable level of competence to progress to independent prescribing
  • have an approved medical practitioner, normally recognised by the employer/commissioning organisation as having:
    experience in the relevant field of practice
    training and experience in the supervision, support and assessment of trainees, and agreed to:
    provide you with opportunities to develop competences in prescribing
    supervise, support and assess you during your clinical placement.

Please note – you must declare if you have previously studied a prescribing programme at another higher education institution on your application.



Career opportunities

Professional independent prescribing annotation to the HCPC register.



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants:

Limited funded places available

  • Length: 12 weeks
  • Credits: 10, Level: master's
  • Enrolment date: January

Apply online