UCC Postgraduate courses

Clinical Pharmacy (Online) - Pharmacy

Course Fact File
Subject TitlePharmacy
Duration2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time, Distance Learning. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June 2024. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June 2024. Early application is advised.
Course Delivery MethodOnline

Online (note: final year examinations take place on campus)

Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

MSc Clinical Pharmacy is a two-year, part-time distance learning course specially designed for pharmacists employed in a healthcare setting, who want to enhance their clinical pharmacy knowledge and practice skills. Much of the learning is case-based so scientific and professional elements are integrated. The course is designed to maximise contact between student and tutor while allowing distance learning via the internet and through teleconferences/webinars with experienced medical and pharmacy practitioners.

Pathway 1

Pathway 1 consists of 60 credits of taught modules and 30 credits of a research project.

Part I (60 credits)

  • PF6001 Biostatistics/Critical Appraisal (5 credits)
  • PF6005 Pharmacoeconomics (5 credits)
  • PF6006 Pharmacotherapy II: Endocrinology, CNS (Psychiatry/ Neurology), Musculoskeletal, Infectious Disease (15 credits)
  • PF6007 Pharmacotherapy III: Special Populations (10 credits)
  • PF6009 Pharmacotherapy I: Renal, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Disorders (15 credits)
  • PF6010 Drugs and Therapeutics: Safety, Efficacy, and Rational Use (10 credits)

In Part I, you must take a minimum of 30 credits in the first academic year. You cannot proceed to year 2 of the course unless you have passed year 1. 

Part II (30 credits)

  • PF6008 Research Dissertation in Clinical Pharmacy (30 credits)

The research project is carried out in the workplace under the supervision of an academic supervisor and your workplace tutor. You are expected to develop an understanding of the planning, execution and reporting of a research project. You will also develop problem-solving, project management and presentation skills.

After completion of the taught modules (60 credits), students can opt not to complete the course and be conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy.

Pathway 2 (one-year course)

Students take 45 credits as follows:

  • PF6001 Biostatistics/Critical Appraisal (5 credits)
  • PF6007 Pharmacotherapy III: Special Populations (10 credits)
  • PF6008 Research Dissertation in Clinical Pharmacy (30 credits)

Possible Exit Awards

Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy (NFQ Level 9, Minor award)
Students unable to complete the full Master's programme may register for the Master's and, on completion of 30 credits (taught modules), may opt to exit the programme and be eligible for the Level 9 award of Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy. A student who subsequently applies for the Master's Degree in Clinical Pharmacy must do so within 5 years from the date of successful completion of the Certificate examinations.

Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy (NFQ Level 9, Major award)
Students successfully completing 60 credits (taught modules) may opt not to proceed to the Research Project and Dissertation (PF6008) and may opt to be conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy. A student who subsequently applies to continue to the Master's Degree in Clinical Pharmacy must do so within 5 years from the date of successful completion of the Diploma examinations.

Masters in Clinical Pharmacy (NFQ Level 9, Major award)
Upon completion of the taught modules (60 credits), students will undertake PF6008 Research Project and Dissertation in Clinical Pharmacy (30 credits).

Individual Modules - CPD
As part of UCC's commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), healthcare professionals may take a one-off module from the list available in this course and be provided with a relevant transcript of marks.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

On-Campus Exams

Note that while this programme is taught online written examinations take place on campus in UCC at the end of both years.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Delivered entirely by distance learning. Apart from the final year exams, students are not required to attend university. A compulsory induction webinar at the start of year 1 introduces students to the structure of the programme. The taught modules incorporate a combination of module workbooks, teleconferences, web-based seminars and online assessments. Students communicate with the programme director, module coordinators and each other through regular teleconferences/ webinars and via the Internet (e.g. using Canvas, UCC’s learning management system).

Course materials are circulated under a strict timetable and all module assignments must be returned within set deadlines. Average 10 to 15 hours a week on teleconference/webinar preparation and participation, general reading, case studies, assignments and examination study and half a day each week on clinical placement/work-based learning.


This course is assessed using a mixture of continuous assessment (assignments, reflective exercises, multiple choice question exams and clinical case presentations) and written exams. Written examinations take place in UCC at the end of both years. For some modules, there is a clinical case presentation along with the exam at the end of the academic year. Students in year 2 of the course will complete their research project.


While this programme will be taught online please note that written examinations take place on campus in UCC at the end of both years.

Who teaches this course

Our academic staff includes clinical staff from the School of Pharmacy, pharmacists, medical doctors, health economists, pharmacologists and biostatisticians. MSc in Clinical Pharmacy contributing practitioners are identified in each module and contact can be made directly through programme director/module co-ordinators.

Why Choose This Course

The course encourages student engagement with speakers which is very positive. Student support on the course is excellent, very helpful when I encountered any difficulties on the course.

Enda Molloy

MSc Graduate

I thought the MSc was very valuable because it gave me the confidence that I was up to date with current evidence and best practice....

Rebecca Breslin

MSc Graduate

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Working full-time and having a young son of 15 months, I found that the correspondence and teleconference aspect of the course worked well....

Mairead McGuire

MSc Graduate

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I am very happy to have decided to continue my postgraduate studies with UCC School of Pharmacy through undertaking their MSc in Clinical Pharmacy.

Ita Fitzgerald

MSc Graduate

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The course was very well organised and perfectly co-ordinated. The material was all relevant and was presented in a very interesting way...

Martin Kantchev

MSc Graduate

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Our distance learning format allows you to remain in full-time employment throughout the course.

Skills and Careers Information

If you are interested in becoming a leader in clinical pharmacy services, our course will provide you with the skills you need. These include presentation skills, report writing, critical appraisal of drug therapies and rational drug use, pharmacoeconomic evaluation, research project management and medication safety management.


Entry Requirements
  • Candidates must hold a Primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8 or equivalent) from a School of Pharmacy that is approved by the Programme Committee;
  • They must be registered with the professional accreditation authority in the country in which they are practising;
  • Candidates should have practical experience in their area of qualifications of at least one year post-registration;
  • Candidates must be employed in a healthcare setting;
  • Applicants may be requested to undergo an interview;
  • All candidates will be required to have full access to computer and internet facilities and to be computer literate;
  • In some exceptional circumstances candidates, by virtue of their training and experience may, at the discretion of the Programme Director and the Head of School, be deemed suitable for entry to the degree under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Entry Requirements (Pathway II): In addition to the above the Programme Management Committee may permit graduates holding a Postgraduate Diploma (NFQ, Level 9 or equivalent) in Clinical Pharmacy from an appropriately accredited School of Pharmacy to enter a one year programme. To be considered for entry to this programme, candidates must have completed their Clinical Pharmacy Postgraduate Diploma no later than five years prior to the date of registration for this programme.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements 

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please provide evidence of at least 12 months of post-registration experience.
  • All applicants must upload evidence of formal approval for undertaking this course from their hospital/pharmacy of employment here. A letter of approval, signed by a senior representative ('authorising person'), must accompany this form as proof of formal employer approval. This letter should also confirm that the student may use work facilities for the purpose of the course. The letter must also indicate the name/qualification (undergraduate and/or postgraduate) of a proposed course tutor (ideally a pharmacist, but a physician may take the role if there are no pharmacists available in the workplace to do so).
  • All applicants must provide written evidence of their registration as a pharmacist with the professional accreditation authority in the country in which you are practicing. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June 2024. Early application is advised.

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact