Are you planning a career change? This page is for pharmacists who are looking for an alternative career, either within the pharmaceutical environment or in non-pharmacy-related work.
If you are a pharmacist and are looking for financial support for research or further study, there are a number of organisations that may be able to help you with funding.
Pharmacy Research UK
Pharmacy Research UK is an independent charity that supports and promotes the professional practice and development of pharmacists. Some funding is available for research, both commissioned as well as small scale projects, that may not be eligible for funding from other bodies. For further information, see the Pharmacy Research.
Wellcome grants for research
We fund researchers to take on important questions relating to life, health, and wellbeing. The plan to spend £16 billion by 2032 to advance scientific discovery and take on the world’s most urgent health issues. For further information, see the Wellcome website.
This guide provides information on best practice in research grant and fellowship writing, including an overview of the main sources of funding available in pharmacy as well as the information required to interpret a funding call and application guidance. You will need to be an RPS member to access this guide. For further information, see the RPS website.
RDinfo is a website that provides information about funding and training opportunities for UK health professionals. For further information, visit the website.
Individual educational institutions’ hardship funds
Check whether your educational institution offers hardship funds to its students.
You could also speak to the student welfare office/NUS office.
NHS funding for diplomas and courses – England
Pharmacy Integration Programme – Independent Prescribing courses
Almost 3,000 Independent prescribing fully funded training places will be available to pharmacists who meet the required eligibility criteria:
- Community pharmacists (including locum pharmacists)
- Pharmacists employed in General Practice (who are not eligible for, or enrolled on, the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Programme (PCPEP) and those who are working to provide primary care services (e.g., working in primary care) who are not employed in ARRS roles)
- Health and Justice pharmacists
- Pharmacists enrolled on CPPE’s Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) and meet the PCPEP criteria to enrol on an Independent Prescribing Course
- Pharmacists working in an NHS Hospital Trust or Mental Health Trust (NHS managed sector)
- Pharmacists working in an integrated care board, ICB (previously CCG pharmacists)
Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway
This training is for pharmacists who are part of NHS England’s Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice Programme or recruited into post through the Primary Care Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (Primary Care Network Contract DES). Pharmacy professionals who are already enrolled on the Clinical pharmacists in general practice education or the medicines optimisation in care homes pathway will continue with this, but any new applicants employed through the primary care Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service will join the Primary care pharmacy education pathway.
The 18-month workplace-based training programme provides you with the clinical skills you need to deliver person-centred care in line with the NHS Long Term Plan. Pharmacists accepted on the training pathway are expected to play an active part in the emerging primary care networks, working as part of a multi-professional team in a patient-facing role. This might be in a patient’s own home, in a care home, in a GP surgery, or at another community venue.
The training will equip you with the skills you need to succeed in your role: from undertaking structured medication reviews, improving medicine optimisation and safety, and supporting care homes, to running practice clinics.
This training is delivered by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE). For further information visit the CPPE website.
Clinical Consultations and Assessments
This is a national offer for all community pharmacists, including locums and part-time staff, who wish to prepare to deliver the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).
The offer consists of an e-course available through The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) followed by online workshops delivered by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The CPPE e-course must be completed ahead of attending the RPS online workshops. To book your place and find out more, visit the RPS website.
NHS Education in Scotland (NES)
Post-Registration Foundation Programme for Newly Qualified Pharmacists in Scotland
This programme has been aligned to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Post-Registration Foundation pharmacist curriculum and has been developed with key stakeholders to include specific requirements and content to reflect the needs of the patients, workforce and service delivery in NHS Scotland. The programme promises to provide supported structured training with dedicated support from Senior Educators from the Post – Registration Foundation team. A key aspect of this specific programme is that it includes entry onto an Independent Prescribing course delivered by one of the universities in Scotland. Find out more about the programme at the NES website.
Advanced expert professional practice training
Advanced expert professional practice training aims to equip practitioners working within a specific area of practice with specialist more advanced skills. Current frameworks include:
- Infection and Antimicrobial Stewardship
- Public Health
- The Pharmaceutical Care of Older People
- Pharmacists Working in a GP Practice (General Practice Clinical Pharmacist (GPCP) learning pathway).
Find out more about this training at the NES website.
Independent prescribing, consultation and clinical assessment skills training
NES Pharmacy supports Pharmacist Independent Prescribers (PIPs) both within their training period, in implementation of your training into practice once you have qualified and those returning to prescribing practice. NES commission both Schools of Pharmacy in Scotland to organise and run Independent Prescriber courses each year. Pharmacists who practise in Scotland can also apply to NES Pharmacy for funding to undertake these courses.NES provide support through clinical skills courses, teach and treat centres (in collaboration with health boards).
Find out more about prescribing and clinical skills.
Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)
Access to Advanced and Extended Practice Funding for Pharmacy Professionals
All registered pharmacy professionals who provide public facing services from a community pharmacy or GP practice (including self-employed locums) can apply for funding to support you to develop advanced or extended skills.
Funding is limited to course fees only. Education funding requests must be service driven and linked to Pharmacy Delivering A Healthier Wales.
If you are successful, you will receive sponsorship letter from HEIW, which you can use when you apply for the course at the Higher Education Institute.
You will have to apply directly to the organisations offering the course and are subject to their eligibility requirements. HEIW will liaise with the Higher Education institutes to pay the course fees once you have enrolled on your course. For further information, visit the HEIW website.
Independent Prescribing Courses
For 2022/23 HEIW Pharmacy has secured funding for 200 pharmacists to undertake this training. These funded places on prescribing courses will be fairly allocated across Wales for all sectors of practice, with 100 of these places being ringfenced for community pharmacy.
For those community pharmacists who are employed by a specific pharmacy, HEIW also has 100 training grants of £3000 available to provide your employer with some funding to employ a locum to cover your release from the workplace to undertake the supervision in practice that all prescribing courses require.
HEIW currently commissions prescribing courses at the following universities with Wales:
- Bangor University Prescribing for Pharmacists course
- Cardiff University Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing course
- Glyndwr University Non-medical Prescribing course
- Swansea University Non-medical Prescribing for Pharmacists
- University of South Wales Independent Prescribing
Requests for prescribing programmes in universities outside of Wales will be considered and funded, if it can be demonstrated that there is no equivalent course or places on prescribing courses available within Wales or the applicant has clearly demonstrated a valid reason for the request. For more information, see the HEIW website.
This webpage was updated in November 2022.