2025/26 entry applications also open for 2024/25

CPD Masters Certificate of Professional Development: Clinical Leadership in Medicines Optimisation

Level 7 (postgraduate), 20 credits

Start dates
September, March
Course length
6 months PartTime
City campus

Course cost

Home fee:
International fee:
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
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Course aim

This Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course aims to develop your leadership skills to implement initiatives to optimise medicines for the wider population both within an organisation and between healthcare sectors.

Course content

Course under review

The final award is Continuing Professional Development for Clinical Leadership in Medicines Optimisation, 20 credits at Level 7.

You will have access to LJMU's virtual learning environment Canvas and online library resources. Programme content is regularly updated on Canvas, including contemporary reading lists and references to journal articles. You will be assigned a Personal Tutor for support and guidance throughout the programme via email or online tutorials. You can also access the Module Leader via phone contact or email.

The course uses an active blended learning approach, featuring teaching approaches (chosen to meet the stated learning objectives), including:

  • Online lectures
  • Directed reading
  • Quizzes
  • Webinars
  • Discussion boards
  • Work-based examples

Course topics

  • Medicines safety in the NHS
  • NHS England patient safety alerts
  • Risk management
  • Local and national drivers relating to medicines use – e.g. CQUINs, CQC inspections, NHSLA, RPS Hospital Pharmacy standards
  • Funding of drugs in NHS
    - Tariff vs PBR exclusion
    - Horizon scanning
    - Specialist funding streams for medicines – e.g. Cancer drug fund
  • Cost improvement programmes
  • Medicines management at organisational level
  • Introducing new drugs into Trust/clinical areas
  • Formulary management
  • Shared care guidance
  • Leadership frameworks (NHS and RPS)
  • Models of leadership
  • Differences between leadership and management
  • Systems leadership
  • Managing change

Teaching and learning

The study mode is part-time distance learning using LJMUs virtual learning environment Canvas and lasts for 6 months. There are two peer learning group tutorials (typically containing three or four students) and one individual tutorial all are delivered online. You will be allocated a Personal Tutor by the university, who will offer ongoing support.

Acquisition of knowledge and skills is achieved mainly through directed student-centred and work-based learning. The course is designed to give a degree of flexibility in student choice. The learning outcomes are achieved through open learning with you selecting the most appropriate resource material as applicable to your area of practice around the world. References and guidance for resources will be available on Canvas and you are supported to identify relevant documents as applicable to your practice.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

  • Alternative qualifications considered

    Students entering the programme must be a registered Pharmacist with the relevant professional body in the UK, or with a professional body recognised to be of similar standing to the UK regulator bodies.

    Where English is not your first language, we would normally require a score of 6.5 in the IELTS system (or equivalent), with scores of greater than 5.5 in each of the domains. This is to ensure you can complete the necessary reading, communication with the programme team and assessments, which must all be completed in English. There may be some exceptions to this requirement if you are from a majority English speaking country or you have completed studies in English language in the UK or another English speaking country, in which case, a recent high school diploma or equivalent course title may be sufficient.

    Students must be working in an environment that will allow them to engage in activities with potential to improve medicines use within the NHS (e.g. producing / updating guidelines, analysing medicines expenditure, designing measures to improve medicines safety). The programme team will assess the suitability of the access an individual has prior to admission, but guidance can be obtained prior to application by contacting Mr Gareth Nickless, the Module Leader.

How to apply

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

Complete the supplementary application form.

Complete the online application form, taking note of the below:

  • Select the course that you would like to study from the drop-down menu. Please ensure you select the ‘Postgraduate Taught’ option under ‘Level of Entry’ and ‘Continuing Professional Development’ under ‘Mode of Study’. Select ‘Browse Courses’ and search for the course Clinical Leadership for Medicines Optimisation entry point (March or September) and year
  • Ensure that you have provided details of your professional qualification and any other university qualifications (note, A-Level and GCSE/equivalent qualifications do not need to be listed)

Upload the following documents to your online application:

  • Certificate(s) for any qualifications listed in your application
  • A copy of your IELTS certificate (if English is not your first language and you have not recently completed a university level qualification in English)
  • A copy of the Purchase Order authorising payment of the course from your place of work

Please note: all documents must be attached to your application within 24 hours of submission – if you wish to attach documents after this date, you will need to email them to the School office: PBSOffice@ljmu.ac.uk


The module is assessed by a 4,000-4,500 word Critical Review of Practice report that requires you to consider how you have contributed to the medicines optimisation agenda for both individual patients and the wider population. Where indicated, you will need to use evidence from a portfolio of evidence to support your arguments.

CPD award

This Continuing Professional Development course can be studied within the MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice award framework or as a standalone CPD.

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.

Further guidance on programme changes.