Key Facts

Course Title: Research and Evaluation
Course type: Postgraduate Certificate
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Bev Oakden
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Pharmacy


The Postgraduate Certificate in Research and Evaluation course is a Master’s level course open to pharmacy practitioners who are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), or equivalent for practitioners working overseas, and who are practising either full-time or part-time. The course is also open to other appropriately qualified practising health professionals who have studied to at least undergraduate degree level, or who have at least 5 years’ experience of practising in their field, at the discretion of the programme manager. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Aims of the Course

Entry Requirements

The course takes into account a number of factors affecting education and professional role development for pharmacy practitioners to embody an emphasis on the researching professional as a reflective practitioner and is grounded in an individual’s professional practice. It will enable you to focus on an area of interest to you so that you can develop a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of this at an advanced level and apply your learning to develop your professional practice/services through scholarship, research and enquiry that will, in parallel, enable you to achieve the standards for a Master’s level postgraduate certificate award. This will be achieved through the following three modules:

  • Advanced Practice Development (APD)
  • Researching and Evaluating your Practice
  • Independent Learning Project (ILP)

Course Content

The course is designed around the three compulsory modules. The delivery media used, outline content and activities for each are described below.  You will also attend an Induction Session at the beginning of the course. You will normally complete the Certificate in under 12 months, but you have the option of taking longer.

Induction Session

You will attend an Induction session at Keele led by Medicines Management/School of Pharmacy staff at the start of the course. The date of the induction depends on when you start the course, but will normally be in September or January. This session will give you the opportunity to meet with other practitioners who are doing a pharmacy-related Master’s degree or APD course and with your tutor(s) who will support you on future modules of the certificate course.

The cost of the Induction session is included in the course fee. However, you must meet the full costs of travel and any overnight accommodation required.

Advanced Practice Development (APD) Module

This module will be directed by you under the supervision of a Keele tutor(s).  This module allows you to focus on an area of your professional practice that you have chosen, therefore you will negotiate specific learning outcomes, content, activities and overall format of your portfolio with your tutor.

It is anticipated that you will meet with your tutor following the Induction session, to discuss your initial ideas then finalise the learning outcomes during further meeting(s) - either face to face or virtual – as agreed necessary between you and your tutor.

If you are completing this module to support your accreditation as a Pharmacist with Special Interests (PhwSI), the specific learning outcomes will be based on the published required competencies for PhwSIs.

Given the student-led, flexible nature of this module you will be in control of your input to its achievement but we advise you to arrange any work shadowing or visits early on. You will be required to complete a portfolio ready for review by the due date.

This module is also available for you to complete on a stand-alone basis so that you do not have to commit to doing the whole Certificate course.

Researching and Evaluating Your Practice Module

This is a distance learning module. The majority of the learning materials will be provided in the Course Reader, so that you can study where and when it is convenient for you. Some sections signpost to resources that are available to download from Keele’s virtual learning environment (KLE). You are also expected to do your own reading as guided by and beyond the reading list that will be provided in the module, particularly in relation to the research methods you plan to use in your Independent Learning Project.

The Course Reader is divided into five sections:
•    Section 1 - The principles of research
•    Section 2 – Literature review
•    Section 3 – Research methods
•    Section 4 – Analysing data
•    Section 5 - Validity, reliability and allied concepts

You will be required to participate in some on-line activities, to help you to develop the course assessment. These will either be on-line discussions with other students, or e-mail discussions with your tutor depending on the numbers of students on the course. You are required to submit your assessment (project proposal) for this module to Keele by the due date.

This module is also available for you to complete on a stand-alone basis so that you do not have to commit to doing the whole Certificate course.

Independent Learning Project (ILP) Module

To be able to start this module you must have completed the APD and Researching and Evaluating Your Practice modules first.

For the ILP module you will conduct a project into an aspect of your chosen area of practice. The project will be an evaluation of an existing service, or evaluation of existing professional practice that might benefit from new service development. This will be informed by your learning from the APD module and the Researching and Evaluating Your Practice module and will require rigour, critical thinking and high quality presentation.

You are required to have passed the APD and the Researching and Evaluating Your Practice modules before you can begin the Independent Learning Project. You will be granted 6 months from receiving approval in which to complete the project. The due date for the project report will be agreed at the time approval is granted.

You will be assigned to a tutor (normally the same tutor who supported you for the APD module) for the duration of the module. Further meetings (face-to-face or virtual) will take place as agreed, if necessary, between you and your tutor. You will be provided with more information at the start of the module.

Teaching and Assessment