Clinical Pharmacy Service Development MSc

1. Overview

The MSc Clinical Pharmacy Service Development course is a two year course with a focus on developing the knowledge and skills required for the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical pharmacy services.

By combining both academic, theoretical learning with a professional practice placement, the course will allow you to develop the skills appropriate for a clinical pharmacy practitioner.

Distinctive features of the course include:

  • a professional practice placement - applying knowledge and skills to a real life environment
  • a student-led approach to learning - integrated and case-based, embedded at all stages

This facilitates the acquisition of problem-solving, critical thinking and decision making skills.

Simulated scenarios in RGU’s Clinical Skills Centre and access to the Volunteer Patient Programme prepares you for the professional practice placement.

This enables you to integrate knowledge and skills learned in class, with core skills such as patient care and communication skills, providing a transition between the academic and practice environments.

2. What you will study

The MSc Clinical Pharmacy Service Development is an exciting and varied mix of academic and clinical learning.

Each module is sub-divided into a number of topics and you are encouraged throughout to use the materials to identify and address your own learning needs. There is an extensive support structure provided through workshops, seminars, tutorials and also via the online learning environment CampusMoodle. Specialist practitioner e-tutors, teacher practitioners and academic staff facilitate structured online discussions in small groups on 'real life' problem based scenarios and share knowledge, expertise and practice related experiences. In addition, you will be assigned a personal tutor for pastoral care and to assist in any general matters that relate to your studies.

PHM101 – Patient Centred Clinical Pharmacy Practice 

This module allows you to develop the knowledge and skills required for the systematic synthesis, implementation, evaluation and communication of care plans for patients and groups of patients with complex pharmaceutical care needs. This module covers pharmaceutical care planning in general and specialised areas, aiming to provide you with the ability to systematically synthesise, implement, and evaluate pharmaceutical care plans for individual patients as a core component of a clinical pharmacy service.

PHM102 – Developing Personal Practice

This module allows you to develop your personal and professional practice, covering areas such as promoting effective communication and professionalism personally and within a team. It also covers aspects of education and learning that supports the development of other members of the healthcare team in delivering Clinical Pharmacy services.

PHM103 – Implementing and Evaluating Clinical Pharmacy Service

This module allows you to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to systematically implement services and to evaluate service outcomes. It also covers aspects of service improvement that underpin approaches to patient safety

PHM104 – Organisational Aspects of Clinical Pharmacy Service Development and Implementation

This module allows you to develop the skills necessary to systematically and comprehensively analyse the provisions of clinical pharmacy services within a specific area of clinical practice. It also covers aspects of planning and development relevant to clinical pharmacy services, utilising evidence-based recommendations to develop services in order to improve health. It also explores how the principles of management and organisational infra−structure can be applied to the development and implementation of clinical pharmacy services.

PHM105 – Clinical Pharmacy Service Research Project

This module allows you to develop competence in the design, execution and reporting of a practice based research project. In this module you undertake a project to investigate relevant issues for your Professional Practice Placement site. This module provides you with practical experience of designing a practice based research project.

PHM106 – Professional Practice Placement

This module provides supervised experience of professional practice upon which to reflect analytically and self−critically on best and evidence−based healthcare practice. It equips you with the tools to develop and apply a critical understanding of evidence based practice and analysis in relation to the development, implementation and evaluation of Clinical Pharmacy Services. Integration of theory and practice is a central tenet of the course, with case-based learning enabling the student to develop safe and effective practice. The practice placement aims to provide a wide and varied clinical experience for the student across a range of specialties and departments upon which they can reflect analytically and self-critically as a mechanism to develop their practice in the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical pharmacy services.

3. How you will learn

By combining both academic, theoretical learning with a professional practice placement, the course allows you to develop the skills appropriate for a clinical pharmacy practitioner.

The teaching team within the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences are facilitators of learning who support you to build on your pre-existing graduate skills in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere within a modern purpose built building on our Garthdee Campus.

Through a facilitative approach, you are prepared for your future practice as a clinical pharmacy practitioner by developing:

  • Initiative and drive
  • A questioning attitude 
  • An adaptable problem solving approach 
  • Practical skills and theoretical knowledge required for the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical pharmacy services

Evidence based practice is central to the teaching philosophy, with an integrated, case-based approach to student learning embedded at all stages, which aims to facilitate acquisition of problem-solving, critical thinking and decision making skills. This increases the relevance and meaning of the subject matter as well as enhancing motivation and peer support networks. Ownership of the learning material is encouraged, increasing the depth of learning achieved.

You will become an independent and reflective learner, essential for life-long learning, with team working and reflection which are key to developing, implementing and evaluating clinical pharmacy services.

The course is underpinned by a variety of teaching and learning methods and there is a strong emphasis on independent and small group study. The rationale behind this strategy is to develop and foster self-reliance in analysis and problem solving, providing you with the confidence to seek practical solutions to problems set. This approach enables you to evaluate your own skills and identify your areas of strength and areas for development before commencing the professional practice placement.

The course is credit rated at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 11. At Masters Level (SCQF Level 11) it is your responsibility to elicit the most appropriate academic and practical help for personal progress. This means that teaching and learning strategies are responsive to individual needs, yet also encourage group interaction.

You learn in a modern purpose built building on our Garthdee Campus. 

Learning in the course is largely scenario or problem based and is grounded in adult reflective learning theory and adopts the principles of continuing professional development (CPD):

  • Identifying CPD needs
  • Planning to meet these needs
  • Participating in and recording CPD
  • Evaluating the outcomes of CPD

4. Entry Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University's general admission requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate courses as contained in Academic Regulation A2: Admission, including proficiency to a minimum standard in the English language.

Specific entry requirements

An undergraduate degree in pharmacy from a UK university or overseas equivalent, at a minimum of honours level and two years post-registration experience OR an integrated masters degree in pharmacy (MPharm) and professional registration or in consultation with the Course Leader.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 6.0, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Criminal Records/Background Checks

In addition to the above requirements, all applicants will be required to provide a formal record of any criminal convictions prior to starting the course. A criminal records or background check will be required from any country in which the applicant has lived for 6 months or more since the age of 16 years. All students starting the course will also be required to complete a Protection of Vulnerable Groups check prior to commencing the placement component of the course.

Health Screening

Prior to commencing the course, students will be made aware of current health and immunisation requirements.

The University's Study Skills and Access Unit provides a range of access and study support services for the University's students and for applicants without formal entrance requirements.

Further information is available at:

Study Support

Further information can be obtained by contacting the University's Postgraduate Admissions Office:

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 262209 E-mail:

* All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. A small number of courses require higher levels, but this will be stated explicitly on your offer letter.

5. Placements and Accreditations

Preparation for the professional practice placement is via simulation-based scenarios in RGU’s Clinical Skills Centre. In addition, working with Volunteer Patients from RGU’s Volunteer Patient Programme allows you to experience simulated scenarios in a realistic environment with somebody who reacts like a patient. It closely replicates the clinical situation that you experience during the professional practice placement.

The placement itself is organised into three 15-week blocks of study. Study breaks are timetabled into this and the professional practice placement is equivalent to 45 weeks of study.

The professional practice placement occurs in stage two of the course following two semesters of on-campus teaching. This ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills required for the placement and ensures you can gain maximum benefit from the professional practice placement.

Following completion of the professional practice placement you will return to the university for a further semester of on-campus teaching.

The professional practice placement provides you with the opportunity to participate in the delivery of clinical pharmacy services to patients and also to gain experience of how these clinical pharmacy services are organised and managed.

You spend time:

  • undertaking supervised ward and clinic based duties 
  • participating in and running seminars
  • undertaking a research project
  • participating and leading case-based discussions
  • participating in simulation activities in clinical skills centre
  • undertaking service improvement projects supervised by the placement provider

Experienced clinicians provide supervision and additional teaching in the clinical setting enabling theory to be put in context. University tutors also visit during the practice placement to provide support to both the student and clinical educators, and are also available as a point of contact for any queries throughout the placement.

A practice placement agreement between the placement provider and the University ensures the level of quality of the learning experience that is provided during the placement.

6. How to apply

Applications for this course follow a different process from the normal University application process.

For further information on how to apply for this course:


Terms and Conditions of Admissions

The Terms and Conditions of Admission describe to applicants holding an offer of a place to study at RGU, the principal rights, duties and obligations of both the applicant and the University prior to enrolling on a course of study.

Terms and Conditions of Admissions (PDF 142KB)

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Course Length

2 years

Mode of Attendance


Academic School
School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences
More Information:
Clinical Pharmacy Service Development - Enquiries