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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 01/12/2022 16:17:29

Title of Module: Independent and Supplementary Prescribing L9

Code: NURS09231 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 30 ECTS: 15
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Gillian  McTaggart

Summary of Module

This module aims to prepare practitioners to be safe independent and/or supplementary prescribers within their scope of clinical competence.  The modules have been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and will lead to the annotation of an independent/supplementary prescriber* on the appropriate professional register.

The module is delivered across two academic terms and is underpinned by the RPS Competency Framework for all Prescribers (2021). Theoretical content will focus on the core areas of prescribing consultations, prescribing governance as well as the pharmacology of common drugs, which can then be contextualised to the student's own area of clinical practice. In addition, students must complete 90 hours of clinical prescribing practice within their own clinical area supervised by a  Designated Prescribing Practitioner.

Applications are welcome from first level nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrists, therapeutic radiographers, paramedics, dieticians* and diagnostic radiographers*, who are in a current clinical post where prescribing is required. Applicants must have a current professional registration with a minimum of 1-year post registration experience in the area in which they intend to prescribe. Applicants are required to demonstrate safe and effective practice in clinical/ health assessment, diagnostics/ care management & planning and evaluation of care within the intended area of prescribing practice and have appropriate supervision arrangments in place prior to application. Applicants working within the NHS must have the support of the Prescribing Lead from their employing organisations.

(* Dieticians and diagnostic radiographers will undertake the supplementary prescribing qualification only)

  • Upon successful completion of the module, students will be recorded as an Independent Prescriber and/or Supplementary Prescriber on the appropriate professional register and be able to prescribe within their scope of competence. The prescribing qualification must be recorded with the student’s professional body within 5 years completion of the Module. (Failing to do so will result in having to retake and successfully complete a module to qualify and register).

  • The above skills acquisition, contributes to the development of the UWS Graduate Attributes: Universal - critical thinking, analytical, inquiring, culturally aware, emotionally intelligent, ethically-minded, culturally aware, collaborative, research-minded and socially responsible; Work-Ready -knowledgeable, digitally literate, effective communicator, motivated, potential leader; and Successful -autonomous, incisive, creative, resilient and daring.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Undertake a systematic, holistic assessment to reach shared prescribing decisions

L2. Demonstrate safe and professional prescribing practice based on current legislation, professional frameworks and national and local guidelines

L3. Apply critical understanding of the pharmacological effect of medicines and consider options to ensure safe prescribing decisions

L4. Analyse the wider prescribing expertise related to clinical role and the multi-disciplinary team

L5. Generate safe, cost-effective prescriptions and Clinical Management Plans within the scope of clinical competence

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in relation to their current clinical role.
Identify and appraise the evidence that underpins prescribing decisions, including legislation, national and local policies and frameworks.
Understand the concept of prescribing expertise in their clinical context including: duty of care, safety netting, concordance, realistic medicine and the importance of multi-disciplinary team members in the context of prescribing

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of assessment, diagnosis and prescribing within a clinical area.
Know and understand drug actions and reactions in relation to patients across the life span. Know and understand how to prescribe in complexity
Understand how to modify prescribing decisions and recognise when it is appropriate to refer to another practitioner

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Analyse the local and national guidelines and other relevant prescribing literature.
Recognise the principles of effective decision making and problem solving in prescribing.
Evaluate and reflect on the outcomes of prescribing practice and identify needs for continuing professional development

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Utilise appropriate record systems, either electronically or hard copy, engage in appropriate prescribing decisions.
Write a prescription and clinical management plan.
Communicate verbally and through patient records with colleagues to with enhance patient outcomes.
Demonstrate accuracy in numeracy skills in medication calculations.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Understand the relevant legislation, professional and local frameworks to prescribing practice.
Understand the determining of one’s own competence in the context of prescribing
Understand how to create a partnership with service users and promote concordance with prescribed medication

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Applicants are required to have support from their employer and have appropriate supervision arrangements in place prior to application. Pre-screening for NHS-employed applicants is carried out by the Health Board Prescribing Lead and by the UWS Prescribing Lead for Independent/ Non-NHS employed applicants applicants. Applicants, managers and Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPP) complete additional UWS module documentation to confirm all requirements have been met.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module will be delivered over two academic terms using a hybrid model for teaching and learning. An experienced multi-disciplinary academic team will deliver the theoretical components using a blend of synchronous, online interactive workshops and asynchronous online learning activities using the virtual learning environment Aula. Students will be encouraged to participate in collaboration, group learning and peer support through case-based discussions and general discussion topics related to contemporary prescribing practice. Each student will be allocated an academic assessor from the module team who will provide academic support and guidance and assess the theoretical components.

Practice based learning will be within the student’s own clinical area allowing theory to be contextualised to their intended area of prescribing practice. A Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) (and nominated Practice Supervisor for NMC registrants) will support and facilitate 90 hours of supervised learning in practice and assess clinical prescribing competence.

Both the theoretical and practice-based components of the module are underpinned by the RPS (2021) Competency Framework for all prescribers, NMC Standards for Prescribing Programmes (2018) and HCPC Standards for Prescribers (2019). Comprehensive formative feedback and feedforward is provided for all assessment components to support and encourage success
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery25
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity45
Asynchronous Class Activity50
Independent Study90
Practice Based Learning90
300 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Courtenay, M., Griffiths, M. (Eds) (2022) Independent and Supplementary Prescribing: An Essential Guide. 3rd Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Davidson, D. (2020) Numeracy and Clinical Calculations for Nurses. 2nd Edition. Banbury: UK Lantern Publishing Limited

Hitchings, A., Lonsdale, D., Burrage, D. & Baker, E. (2019) The Top 100 drugs clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing. 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Elsevier

McFadden, R. (2019) Introducing Pharmacology for Nursing and Healthcare. 3rd Edition. Abingdon: Routledge.

Nuttall, D. & Rutt-Howard, J. (eds) (2020) The Textbook of Non-Medical Prescribing. 3rd Edition. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwel

Ritter, J., Flower, R., Henderson, G., Kong Loke, Y., MacEwan, D. & Rang, H. (2020) Rang and Dales Pharmacology. 9th Edition. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Web Resources:

Electronic Medicines Compendium. Available at:

Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. Available at:

National Institute for Care & Excellence. Clinical Knowledge Summaries: Drugs and Devices. Available at:

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (2019) Designated Prescribing Practitioner Competency Framework. Available at :

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (2021) A Competency Framework for all Prescribers. Available at:

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardMidwifery & Specialist Nursing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelMidwifery&Specialist Nursing L9-11
ModeratorElizabeth Rooney
External ExaminerR Sandhu
Accreditation DetailsNMC; HCPC
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
The academic elements consist of an online written numeracy and pharmacology class test, and a written case study. The practical/clinical element consists of a Clinical Portfolio of Practice assessed by the Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) which demonstrates 90 hours of learning in practice and successful achievement of all competencies within the RPS Competency Framework for all Prescribers (2021)
All 3 components of assessment must be passed to achieve an overall module pass.

Component 1:

Pharmacology class test (students must achieve a minimum of 80% for a pass award)
Numeracy class test (students must achieve 100% for a pass award) (NMC 2018).

25% weighting of the final Module mark.

Component 2:

Case Study: (3500 words)

75% weighting of the final Module mark.

A grade of 40% must be achieved in this component of assessment.
Component 3:

Work Based Learning: Clinical Portfolio

This component of assessment is graded pass-fail, with 0% weighting.

A pass grade is required to achieve an overall module pass.

(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)  check mark check mark252

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case studycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark750

Component 3
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of practical workcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark00
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

The School of Health and Life Sciences believes that education and practitioner diversity are central to achieving quality of care.

Within the module, quality of care, inclusiveness and employability are achieved by:

• Provision of a welcoming and supportive culture that promotes accessibility and equal opportunities to students and prospective students;

• Promotion of confidence and knowledge of their rights as a student and employee;

• Promotion of respect and knowledge of client diversity, their needs, rights and associated practitioner responsibilities.

The above aims, supported by staff belief in fairness and equal opportunities, guide content, teaching and learning, assessment and evaluation.

Disability disclosure is encouraged throughout recruitment, selection and throughout the duration of this module. Emphasis is placed on confidentiality of information, the benefits of disclosure and that no detriment to progress will be experienced.

Students coming on this course are already employed in the clinical area in which they will be prescribing on completion of the course. In line with the NMC criteria for admission, they will have been nominated by their employer to do the course, therefore any disability or employability issues will be managed within the student’s employment. The course team will work closely with the Enabling Support team within UWS and the student’s employer to facilitate learning and teaching.

To enable the module to be responsive to the demand for equality and diversity, procedures and processes have been subject to Equality Impact Screening and where appropriate Equality Impact Assessment. Evaluation by all key stakeholders through the life of the module is also central to meeting commitments.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.