UCL School of Pharmacy


Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

The UCL Pharmacist Independent Prescribing Course is funded by Health Education England for pharmacists working in the managed sector. We welcome applications from pharmacists from all sectors.

Successful completion of this course leads to the professional award of Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing, enabling pharmacists to apply for annotation of their name on the register as an Independent Prescriber. This course is fully accredited by the GPhC.

This Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing (CEPIP) course can be studied as a stand-alone course leading to the academic award of PG Certificate in General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing). It can also be studied as an optional module for the Foundation Stage 2 of the UCL PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice leading to the academic award of PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing). Further information about studying the CEPIP course as Foundation Stage 2 of the Diploma can be found in the guidance document below.


You can find out more about Health Education England and NHS Managed Sector Approved Suppliers here: NHS Managed Sector

About the CEPIP course

UCL School of Pharmacy has a long-established tradition of supporting and facilitating the training and development of practicing pharmacists. Independent prescribing is becoming an integrated feature of health service delivery in both primary and secondary care, allowing pharmacists and other health care professionals able to qualify as non-medical prescribers to benefit both patient care and service delivery.

We have developed this prescribing course through consultation with key stakeholders, including service providers, clinical practitioners and pharmacist independent prescribers, to meet the needs of pharmacists wishing to train as non-medical prescribers in primary or secondary care. The course is specifically designed to meet the needs of pharmacist prescribers working in medicines optimisation, GP practice, Urgent and Emergency Care and provision of NHS 111 services and care homes.

The UCL CEPIP course has been developed from the outset as an integrated clinically enhanced pharmacist independent prescribing course. ‘Clinically enhanced’ refers to the additional skills that you will acquire around history taking and physical examination as part of the UCL independent prescribing course. This element has been included to enable you to clinically assess patients using focused medical history taking and physical examination skills whilst having an awareness of additional tests and referral pathways to aid in diagnosis. The course will also enable you to safety-net patients and manage risk.

The overall aim of the CEPIP course is to enable pharmacists to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to undertake safe, appropriate and cost-effective independent prescribing in partnership with patients, carers and members of the multi-professional team.

Pharmacists will develop a critical understanding of: systematic approaches to clinical assessment, diagnosis, and making prescribing decisions within their scope of practice; the use of evidence-based information to guide prescribing decisions within a clinical governance framework; and, the legal, ethical and professional issues related to prescribing practice. Within the course they will gain practical experience in diagnostics and both mental and physical health assessment.

The course design and assessment strategy are closely aligned to ensure that pharmacists fulfil GPhC requirements to qualify as an Independent Prescriber, attain academic and professional skills to provide excellent clinical care, and continue to develop in their future career.


Key information

Programme Entry points (2022/23)
October 2022 (Course commences 3 October 2022)
March 2023 (Course commences 27 March 2023)

Mode and duration
This is a part-time course, that can be completed in 6, 9 or 12 months. The University based elements of the course take place over six months, but the supervised learning in practice can be studied up to 12 months, depending on the pharmacists individual learning needs in the workplace. 

Tuition Fee (2022/23 academic year)
£3,300 for those who are self-funding or funded by their employer

Pharmacists who work in NHS Hospital Trusts or Mental Health Trusts (the NHS managed sector) and pharmacists working in an integrated care board (ICB) are eligible for Health Education England funding. 

Application dates
For October 2022:
Applications open 30 May 2022 and close on 11 August 2022 at midday.
For March 2023:
Applications open on 5 December 2022 and close on 23 January 2023 at midday.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the course are stipulated by the GPhC. Pharmacists wishing to apply for this course must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. Be a pharmacist registered with the GPhC or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  2. Be in good standing with the GPhC and/or PSNI and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered
  3. Have at least two years’ appropriate patient-orientated experience post-registration in a relevant UK practice setting
  4. Have identified an area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice.
  5. Have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in their chosen area, which is suitable to act as the foundation of their prescribing practice training
  6. Have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice and who meets the criteria for acting as a DPP (Please see the DPP guidance for details of the eligibility criteria for DPPs).

To be accepted onto the course, the information that you are asked to provide in the application pack must demonstrate that you meet the criteria described above.

Please note that UCL regulations do not allow students to be registered on two programmes with UCL at once. A student remains registered on a programme until all their assessments have been through an exam board and the academic award has been issued.

This is relevant if you are a completing the PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice at UCL and want to study the CEPIP course as a stand-alone course once you have completed the Diploma.  Pharmacists must have been awarded the Diploma before they can apply to study the CEPIP course as a stand-alone course.

Pharmacists who submit their FS2 assessments in March will go through the Exam Board in April and be awarded the Diploma after that. This means that they cannot start the CEPIP course in April. They will need to apply for the October intake of the CEPIP course.

Pharmacists who submit their FS2 assessments in September will go through the Exam Board in October and be awarded the Diploma after that. This means that they cannot start the CEPIP course in October. They will need to apply for the following April intake of the CEPIP course.

English language requirements

Applicants must be registered pharmacists with the GPhC or PSNI and so must be able to meet the professional standards of the relevant professional body relating to communication.

International students

Applicants must be registered pharmacists with the GPhC or PSNI and have patient orientated experience in the UK. The learning in practice element of the course must be undertaken in the UK under the supervision of a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) who meets the criteria for acting as a DPP.

Computer requirements

You must have access to a computer with fast and reliable internet connection. There is a minimum level of computer skills required, including the ability to:
•    Navigate the Moodle virtual learning environment to locate teaching and learning materials and to access and submit assessments (with initial basic training)
•    Communicate by email
•    Work efficiently with Microsoft Word or similar word processing software
•    Use the internet to search websites
•    Scan and upload documents
•    Navigate the e-portfolio system
•    Participate in online conferencing (webinars).

Indemnity insurance

Pharmacists are advised to check with their employer and/or their personal insurer before they begin that they are fully covered in their role as a TIP and a future role as a qualified independent and supplementary prescriber.


The programme draws on a range of assessment methods which address knowledge, competence and performance, using the following approaches:

  • Case studies
  • Critical Reflection
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Portfolio including practice based assessments

Pharmacists must pass each element of assessment in order to pass the course.

Study dates

Please note that these study days will take place face-to-face. Attendance at the study days is compulsory.

For the course commencing in October 2022

  • Wednesday 12th October 2022
  • Wednesday 19th October 2022
  • Wednesday 2nd November 2022
  • Wednesday 9th November 2022
  • Wednesday 7th December 2022
  • Wednesday 14th December 2022
  • Wednesday 11th January 2023
  • Monday 23rd January 2023 OR Wednesday 25th January 2023
  • Monday 6th March 2023 OR Wednesday 8th March 2023

Please note that these dates may be subject to change.

For the course commencing in April 2023

  • Wednesday 26th April 2023
  • Wednesday 10th May 2023
  • Wednesday 24th May 2023
  • Wednesday 7th June 2023
  • Wednesday 21st June 2023
  • Wednesday 28th June 2023
  • Wednesday 12th July 2023
  • Monday 17th July 2023 OR Wednesday 19th July 2023
  • Monday 11th September 2023 OR Wednesday 13th September 2023


Teaching and learning

The course constitutes a range of learning activities equivalent to 600 hours study in total (as required for a 60-credit course). Students are supported through a blend of learning activities utilising a bespoke on-line learning package, face-to-face learning sessions and work-based learning (the learning in practice time). There is also a strong emphasis on student led learning and individual study. In all learning activities, the emphasis is on the student putting their learning into practice and reflecting on their development. 

Students must have identified an area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice. They are required to undertake a minimum of 90 hours learning in practice under the supervision of a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP), learning to prescribe in their chosen area of practice. A DPP is a workplace-based supervisor who supports the student in the learning in practice time. Each student must have one named DPP to support them in their learning in practice time and who takes the primary responsibility for supervision. The learning in practice time must take place in a clinical setting appropriate to the student’s chosen area of practice and must involve interaction with patients. 

Please see the

for more information about who can act as a DPP.

The course can be completed in 6, 9 or 12 months. This provides flexibility for the differing needs and differing levels of experience. The University based elements of the course take place over the first six months but the supervised learning in practice can be studied up to 9 or 12 months depending on the student’s individual learning needs. The completion date is agreed between the student, the DPP and the Course Team. 

For those who complete in 9 or 12 months, at least 30 hours of supervised learning in practice time must take place in the last 6 months of the course. 

The breakdown of overall study time is provided in Table 1 (see below). The average weekly hours are based on completing the course in 6 months. For students completing in 9 or 12 months, the weekly total will be reduced as the learning in practice time, self-directed learning and completion of portfolio and course assessments are spread out over a longer period. 

Study days take place over the first 5 months of the course. In the weeks where there are study days the amount of time spent in other aspects of the course will be reduced and vice versa. Attendance at the study days is compulsory.

Table 1 showing Overview of Student Effort
How to apply

Applications are made by completing both an online application form AND the application pack.

The online application form for the PG Cert General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing) can be accessed here. This will open for applications from 30th July 2022 Link to online application form here: Online application form

The application pack and other information can be downloaded here:

Both the online application form AND the application pack must be completed in full and submitted by the relevant application deadline.  Applications with missing/incomplete information will not be considered.

The application pack requires references and signed forms from both the employing/supporting organisation and the DPP. This will include their CV and where appropriate a copy of their Independent Prescribing certificate. Please ensure that you have provided your DPP with the DPP guidance to help them to complete their section of the application pack.

Applicants should allow plenty of time to complete this pack prior to the application deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. 

Please see the Application Guidance document for more information about the application process.

You can also watch our help video for additional guidance on the application process.


Please ensure you follow the process below to complete your application:

  • Complete the online application form when it goes live (see link above).
  • When completing the online application form, please ensure you upload the completed application pack under the 'Upload Additional information' section in as few files as possible. There is no need to e-mail the application pack to the admin team.
  • Files cannot exceed 2MB in size – larger documents will need to be split into smaller documents before uploading. Applicants are advised to complete the application pack electronically as much as possible and only upload scans of relevant signature pages where necessary to keep file sizes down. There is no limit to the number of files that can be uploaded. Valid file extensions are: JPG, PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PNG, GIF, MSG or TXT. Please note that ZIP files cannot be uploaded.

UCL Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice practitioners

Practitioners currently enrolled on the UCL Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice programme who are looking to complete the CEPIP course as the Foundation Stage Two part of their Diploma DO NOT need to complete the online application form. Their application pack and supporting evidence should be emailed to sop.cepip@ucl.ac.uk by the application deadline.


Applications are assessed against the entry criteria. Where there are areas of uncertainty applicants will be invited to attend an interview held via video conferencing software. The interview will be carried out by two members of the course team and will focus on seeking clarification of the areas of uncertainty within the application for the applicant to demonstrate that they meet the entry requirements.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application within 6-8 weeks of the application deadline.