Pharmacology and Medicines Management


This module enables student nurses to develop their understanding of pharmacology and the relevant principles of medicines management.


The aim of this module is to provide student nurses with opportunity to develop their understanding of pharmacology and apply the relevant principles to ensure the safe administration of therapeutic substances.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Apply appropriate numeracy and drug calculation skills to administer medicines safely.

2.  Demonstrate understanding of the legal frameworks that underpin medicines management.

3.  Critically analyse ethical considerations relating to medicines management and understand the importance of partnership working with patients and their carers.

4.  Apply relevant evidence based principles to ensure the safe administration of therapeutic substances and demonstrate understanding of patient group directions.

Indicative Content

1 Numeracy skills and drug calculations

Drug calculations for the safe administration of medicines via appropriate routes in field of practice, including specific requirements for children and other groups.

2 Legal frameworks

Supply of medicines, Medicines Act exemptions, clinical management plans; Legislation relating to safe and effective ordering, receiving, storing, administration of medicines in a range of settings; Non- medical prescribing, including supplementary prescribing, community practitioner nurse prescribing and independent nurse prescribing; national and local policies.

3 Ethical considerations

Ethical considerations and the preferences of the person receiving care; using an evidence-based approach to determine the appropriateness of medicines as a treatment choice; ethical issues relating to compliance, concordance and consent. Emergency tranquilsation

4 Partnership working with patients and their carers

Self administration of medicines; meeting the needs of specific groups e.g. people with mental health needs, learning disabilities, children and young people, adolescents and older adults; the expert patient. Cultural, religious, ethical and linguistic issues and sensitivities around medication.

5 Safe administration of therapeutic substances

Common routes and techniques of medicine administration; reporting of contraindications, adverse reactions and near misses; management of anaphylaxis; medicines management in a range of settings e.g. hospitals, primary care, schools and home care; self administration of medicines.

6 Patient group directions

Principles of safe and effective supply and administration via a patient group direction (PGD); accountability related to PGDs; demonstration of supply and administration via a PGD; National prescribing centre competency framework.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module incorporates the Nursing and Midwifery Council's essential skills cluster of medicines management. There is a mix of lectures, tutorials and computer based activities. The lectures provide background knowledge and a theoretical framework for the module. The tutorials enable the student to engage in enquiry based learning activities. The computer based activities enable the student to develop their skills in drug calculations. This module includes input from clinical experts for teaching of specialist topics. Assessment of the learning outcomes is achieved via a drug calculations examination (unit 2) and a viva (unit 1) . The pass mark for unit 2 is 100% and this is a compulsory unit of assessment. Students will be given the questions for the viva in week 20 with the assessment held in week 31 Additional supportive reading is provided by lecturers.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 6
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 20
Independent 150

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.