Empowering future pharmacists - embedding prescribing in the United Kingdom pharmacy undergraduate degree

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Pharmacy education within the United Kingdom (UK) is on the cusp of a major change with the integration of pharmacist independent prescribing into the undergraduate Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree and foundation year. This presents an opportunity for schools of pharmacy to completely review and redesign the MPharm degree in order to embed prescribing. This commentary details what needs to change within the MPharm degree and how these changes can be enacted.

The learning outcomes for the new degree place greater emphasis on diagnostic and consultation skills, risk management, professional judgement, and leadership. Course content needs to be sequenced so that complexity builds throughout the programme and clinical skills are taught and practised within the context of prescribing. There will be more emphasis on higher-order cognitive skills, such as collaborative clinical decision-making, considering potential risks and benefits. Teaching will need to align with learning on placements and time needs built into the curriculum for preparation and debrief sessions following placements and simulation scenarios. The increased responsibility that comes with prescribing rights will require review of how professional identity is formed and professionalism skills are taught and assessed.

Pharmacists' expertise in medicines means that they are well-placed to be prescribers, which will help meet health service demands. Long-term funding will be required for placements in community, general practice, and hospital settings, including the provision of training and support to pharmacists mentoring students on placements. In spite of the challenges of curriculum redesign, this opportunity is wholeheartedly welcomed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Publication statusEarly online date - 25 Apr 2023


  • Pharmacist independent prescribing
  • embedding prescribing
  • clinical skills
  • prescribing skills
  • MPharm
  • pharmacy undergraduate degree
  • Master of Pharmacy degree

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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