MSc Medicines Optimisation

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Programme structure

The programme consists of core and optional courses. The courses comprise 5 or 10 credits. Students undertaking the certificate must complete a total of 60 credits. At certificate level two 10 credit core courses must be studied. Diploma students must complete an additional 60 credits to include a further two 10 credit courses. Students who continue to MSc level must complete a research project related to their practice, write a thesis and abstract and prepare a poster presentation.

Core Courses

Medicines Management in practice (10 credits)

This course supports health care professionals to optimise medicines support for patients in their care, drawing on past experiences of medicines management and the newer ethos of medicines optimisation. It describes the advantages and disadvantages of practical strategies for supporting medicines use and encourages the student to develop their own ideas for improving patient care within their practice setting. This is a core course for both the Certificate and the Diploma.

Consultation and Communication in Practice: Patients as Partners (10 credits)

This course supports students to work more closely with patients to enhance the processes of concordance and adherence through practical techniques and an improved understanding of the role of patient support organisations on a national and local basis. This is a core course for both the Certificate and the Diploma.

Medication Review in Practice (10 credits)

This course helps prepare practitioners for undertaking systematic and holistic medication review at Levels 1-3 (as defined in the General Medical Services Contract) using the principles of pharmaceutical care planning. This is a core course for the Diploma only.

Using Evidence Effectively (10 credits)

This course sets medicines information skills in the context of medicines management by ensuring the student can accurately use search, critical appraisal and communication skills to support prescribing and monitoring decisions. In addition it equips practitioners to analyse health economic data and apply it to their practice. This is a core course for the Diploma only.

Reseach Project (60 credits)

This course enables the student to design and implement a sustained research project related to their workplace. The student will work closely with their academic and workplace supervisors to identify key research skills and tools which will be required for project development.

Optional Courses


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Link with Prescribing Programme

The Postgraduate Certificate in Prescribing can be used as one pathway into the MSc in Medicines Optimisation. Students can choose to study Prescribing either as the first or second year of their diploma programme. Students choosing this pathway only need to complete two core courses. See separate entry on the Prescribing Programme for details.

Course content

Courses may be provided in paper or electronic format. The latter allows students to use with ease the hyperlinks provided to support their learning. Course materials are linked to workplace practice through ‘Portfolio activities’ which encourage the learner to explore the subject they are studying in the context of their local working environment. ‘Learning activities’ are sections of material which invite the student to formulate their own response to the situation under study (e.g. a patient case study), but then goes on to provide an expert view of the response.

All courses are written by experts in the field of study and are revised at regular intervals.


Core courses have assessment activities relevant to the content under study but also to the practitioners working environment. They comprise reference essays or other academic writing exercises.

The therapeutic courses ask the student to find present case studies of patients in their care, exploring the choice of therapy, how it is monitored and other issues relevant to their patient.


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Last Updated 03/06/2019