Pharmacist taking notes

Postgraduate Diploma in Enhanced Clinical Practice

This qualification prepares registered health professionals for enhanced clinical practice roles. You'll develop your knowledge and critical understanding of enhanced clinical practice, leadership, research and education, and the skills that enable you to act with a high level of autonomy. You will enhance your skills in holistic and systematic assessment, complex decision making, and provision of high-quality evidence-based interventions for patients, clients and their families.

The diploma also incorporates a Non-Medical Prescribing module which, upon successful completion, will enable you to gain regulatory recognition as a non-medical prescriber within your scope of practice.

Key features of the course

  • Encompasses the four pillars that underpin advanced clinical practice - clinical practice, leadership and management, research, and education.
  • Develops your core capabilities for enhanced Practice and your area-specific clinical practice.
  • Provides learning and development of your leadership skills at a clinical level to inform people management and service development.
  • Learn to critically appraise, evaluate, implement and disseminate research to support professional practice in your clinical environment.


Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
18 months – 4 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method

Distance and practice-based learning

Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you will study 120 credits from the following modules:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Non-medical independent and supplementary prescribing (K803)  
This module enables you to gain the knowledge and skills required for safe, appropriate and effective prescribing practice and become an Independent/Supplementary Prescriber.

See full description

60 02 Sep 2023
Developing advanced clinical practice (K804)  

This advanced clinical practice module provides a unique and flexible curriculum, linking theory with practice and focusing on your advancement as a highly autonomous practitioner.

See full description

60 28 Oct 2023

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study.

You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website

On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Postgraduate Diploma in Enhanced Clinical Practice. You’ll be entitled to use the letters PG Dip ECP (Open) after your name.

You can progress from this Postgraduate Diploma in Enhanced Clinical Practice to our MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice (F85).


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 15 March 2022.

Entry requirements

You will need to:

  • hold a degree in a health-related discipline. Applicants with evidence of equivalent professional development or academic proficiency will be considered. Applicants with non-European academic qualifications will need to supply evidence of equivalency through UK ENIC (formally NARIC).
  • be currently registered with one of the statutory regulators of health and care professions.
  • be employed as a health care professional.
  • provide evidence of your employer’s recommendation for your application for a programme of study leading to an Advanced Practice role, including a formal reference from the employer confirming the applicant demonstrates professional values and behaviours, respecting people’s diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values and preferences, and shows respect and empathy acting as a role model for others. It should also confirm your ‘clinical readiness’ to undertake the programme.
  • show evidence of employer support to undertake the programme including; the provision of a mentor to ensure appropriate learning in practice; the availability of appropriate supervision in clinical practice; and the provision of a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) with evidence of a qualification at level 7 during the Non-Medical prescribing module.
  • have relevant post-qualification experience, as specified by the appropriate regulatory body.
  • There are additional entry requirements to study Non-medical independent and supplementary prescribing (K803) and you should read the module description for further details.

How to apply

The next start date is September 2023, and registration details will follow shortly.

How long it takes

It is expected that most students will complete the qualification in the minimum time of 18 months by studying 60 credits a year, but there is flexibility to take up to four years to complete.

Career relevance

You’ll be employed as a registered health professional when you start the course and have approval from your designated employer to undertake the qualification.

Once qualified, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to work at an enhanced level of practice in a wide variety of clinical settings across primary and secondary care and other health and social care provider environments.