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M.Sc./Diploma/Certificate in Community Pharmacy

Timeline 1: P.Grad.Dip. 21 months part-time, M.Sc. 24 months part-time.
Timeline 2: P.Grad. Cert. 1 year part-time, P.Grad. Dip 2 years part-time, MSc. 3 years part-time. (It is possible in this timeline to progress more gradually towards the M.Sc., accumulating blocks of 30 ECTS credits at a time, exiting and resuming the course between blocks).
Application: Currently the course is not admitting new students
Course Co-ordinators: Asst. Prof. Maria Santos-Martinez
Email:Maria Santos-Martinez or Marian Cash
Telephone: +353 1 896 3736
Graduate Studies Homepage: Graduate Studies Office

These courses have been specifically designed to meet the needs of practising community pharmacists. Because of their distance-learning format, participants can continue in full-time employment throughout the courses.


The courses are intended to help community pharmacists to:

  • Develop their clinical, managerial and research skills in line with CPD requirements
  • Meet duties imposed by the HSE contract
  • Undertake the role of a supervising pharmacist or superintendent pharmacist with confidence
  • Extend their professional role
  • Contribute to patient care as part of the primary health care team.

Course structure and content

The three courses have been designed to address both clinical and non-clinical topics relevant to community pharmacists, while the flexible pathways through the programme are structured to facilitate pharmacists who wish their CPD to lead gradually to an advanced qualification but do not necessarily want to commit to more than one year of study at a time.

Both courses are available on a part-time basis and participants undertake a series of modules covering clinical, social and business aspects of pharmacy practice, with opportunities for specialisation in particular fields: In the clinical electives, students choose from a range of therapeutic areas (cardiovascular disease; respiratory disease; infectious diseases; CNS disorders; gastroenterology; rheumatology and oncology; endocrinology and reproduction; dermatology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology; complementary and alternative medicine), while elective workbooks provide opportunities to focus on broad patient groups (care of the elderly; infant and child health; women’s health). Pharmacists undertaking the M.Sc. undertake a research project relevant to community pharmacy practice.


Which Timeline?

Participants intending from the outset to gain a M.Sc. within two years (45 ECTS credits per year) should choose Timeline 1. They will register as M.Sc. students and will undertake a research project in Year 2. However there will also be an opportunity for students to exit in Year 2 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Pharmacy on successful completion of the taught material (Blocks A and B) but not the research project.

Participants who wish to undertake a shorter course or to proceed more gradually towards a M.Sc. should choose Timeline 2. They will initially register for the Postgraduate Certificate (30 ECTS credits), and upon successful completion they may exit with the Certificate but also have the opportunity to apply (immediately or within 5 years) to undertake the Top Up Diploma (a further 30 ECTS credits). Students undertaking the Top Up Diploma rescind the Certificate, i.e. they will not hold both qualifications. Similarly, students who have completed the Diploma may exit with this qualification but also have the opportunity to apply (immediately or within 5 years) to rescind the Diploma and undertake the Top Up M.Sc. (30 ECTS credits).


The taught material (Blocks A and B) is assessed on a continuous basis with written assignments and practice-based workbooks. Written examinations are held annually.

M.Sc. candidates must also present their research both orally and as a written dissertation.
Previous research projects

Entry requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be registered as pharmacists with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (or be entitled to apply for registration)
  • Work on a regular basis (full/part-time) in community pharmacy.

Further information

Additional information is available from the Course Co-ordinators or Executive Officer.
Address: School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College, Dublin 2.
Telephone: +353 1-896 3736, E-mail:

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