Further Information

Programme Enquiries

Ms Roisin Kavanagh
Programme Director

Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice

The aim of the Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice (PG Dip GPP) is to equip practitioners with the core skills and competencies they require to provide pharmaceutical care in a practice setting. 

The programme works on a philosophy of student centred workplace learning.  The ethos and culture of the course is to enhance and develop self reliance and an adult approach to learning in support of continuing professional development. The curriculum also develops the foundations of specialism in practitioners as they progress towards the award of PG Dip GPP.

This novel programme is a progressive approach to practitioner development.  PG Dip GPP links to Agenda for Change and the relevant Knowledge and Skills Framework so that individuals are supported to achieve the relevant gateway competencies.

The curriculum will develop pharmacists who are able to practice at a general level, and consequently embraces clinical, technical, medicines information and patient service elements. The curriculum fundamentally contributes to the practitioner development strategy.

How is the Postgraduate Diploma delivered?

The curriculum is delivered by the Joint Programmes Board (JPB), a consortium of higher education institutions (HEIs) working in collaboration with NHS specialist pharmacy services. The Programme is based at the UCL School of Pharmacy.

Local and Institutional delivery

The majority of the clinical and practitioner based skills learning are work-based, building on the current system of mentoring and facilitation. A lead practice tutor will be nominated for the organisation who will take responsibility for coordinating practitioner development as individuals progress through the award. This mirrors and recognises current roles, but with enhanced impact as part of a more formal strategic approach to practitioner development.

The JPB is responsible for the provision of open access study days and academic support. The HEIs also monitor the accreditation of training sites and local tutors, and are responsible for learning design and quality assurance of the assessments associated with the programme. The JPB develops and maintains e-learning systems to support practitioner development throughout the learning programme. Thematic study modules and the management of personal development come under the general heading of academic support provided by the HEIs.

Length and mode

The programme is studied on a flexible part-time basis over three years. The maximum regsitration period for the programme is five years. Progress is guided through the use of personal learning plans (such as a Record of In-service Training and Assessment) agreed between the practitioners and their practice tutor.


Intake dates are September and March.

Fees for 2013-14

Module 1: £870

Modules 2, 3, 4: £290 each

APL mapping to Module 1: £100

Application form

Practitioners should register with the JPB by filling out the JPB registration form online. Further details can be found on the page. The registration form will ask for detailed information about the practitioner, including at which hospital they work, contact details, practice tutor details, who will be paying their fees and so on. Applicants should have discussed the application with the their local lead tutor before filling in the form.

Programme Structure (120 credits)

The Postgraduate Diploma is organised in four modules:

  • Module 1 (60 credits) “Foundations of General Practice” is designed to take place over an 18 month period, primarily work-based learning.  Completion of Module 1 can allow for an exit award of Postgraduate Certificate in General Pharmacy Practice.
  • Modules 2, 3 and 4 (20 credits each) are 6-month Defined Areas of Practice (DAP) Modules linked with “placements” that can be taken as a clear speciality rotation or a particular focus for a period of time.

This programme offers the practitioner an opportunity to gain experience in different specialist areas of care, covering the breadth of pharmacy practice. These practice placements require the individual to work as part of a team in order to build on the core knowledge and skills attained during the core modular components of the programme. Key attributes essential to improving the safe and effective use of medicines will focus on:

  • Critical appraisal skills
  • Developing a prescribing audit "tool kit"
  • Developing strategic thinking by applying a range of change management tools.

The placements offered by Training Centres will embrace a range of pharmacy practice settings, for example:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cardiology
  • Hepatic Diseases
  • HIV
  • Surgery
  • Paediatrics
  • Elderly Care
  • Mental Health
  • Medicines Information
  • Technical Services
  • Primary Care
  • Renal Disease

Assessment methods

The learning outcomes associated with this programme are driven by the competency agenda, and focus on providing a robust and credible outcome for practitioners and employers. In the past, assessment in pharmacy has tended to focus on the assessment of knowledge. Knowledge is necessary but not sufficient on its own to meet the requirements of a competent practitioner because appropriate application is key. The assessment programme is designed to measure a pharmacist’s performance in a variety of settings in the workplace.

The Consortium has considerable experience of using methods such as adapted OSCE style assessments, which are known to provide strong indicators of practitioner performance within practice-based programmes. The joint award also takes advantage of modern IT systems for the management and provision of remote-MCQ and novel assessment techniques.

The programme is assessed using the following:

  • MCQ exams
  • Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs)
  • Portfolio of Evidence
  • Record of In-service Training Assessment (RITA)

Final Mark

Each practitioner’s overall mark for the Postgraduate Diploma is determined by summative assessments and weightings.  Practitioners must achieve a minimum final mark of 50% in order to pass the Postgraduate Diploma. 

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the PG Dip GPP are one of the following:

  • Be a registered pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • Be a registered pharmacist within a European Union member state
  • Be a registered pharmacist within a non-European Union member state, but eligible for registration with the GPhC.

In addition, practitioners must have a practice base (accredited Training Centre) from which to operate, and have access to a practice Tutor.

Training Centres currently accredited are:

  • STEP Collaborative (6 acute Trusts + 3 PCT)
  • East Sussex Collaborative (2 acute Trusts)
  • North Central London (3 acute Trusts)
  • East Kent Collaborative (Medway School)
  • East Anglia (UEA)
  • Chelsea & Westminster Hospital               
  • Frimley Park Hospital
  • Barts and the London Trust                      
  • Mayday University Hospital           
  • Epsom & St Helier Hospitals
  • North Middlesex Hosp                  
  • St George’s Hospital
  • Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • HCA International 

Programme enquiries


Page last modified on 11 sep 13 09:06