BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Pharmaceutical Science

Type of Study
Pharmacy Support Staff
Entry Criteria
Staff working either part or full time in a pharmacy or pharmacy department
Course Overview

The course provides the underpinning knowledge for the Apprenticeship Programme and may be purchased as part of this delivery programme by other NVQ Centres. It can also be used by those without pharmacy employment or returning to practice to raise awareness of current dispensary practice. It cannot be used as a stand alone qualification if working in a dispensary.

It covers use of reference books, interpretation and validation of the prescription, law and ethics, the Drug Tariff, compliance and concordance and dispensing errors.

How will this course benefit me?

This course develops confidence in the dispensary and provides in-depth knowledge in meeting individuals’ needs, teamwork, health and safety, preparation and issuing of prescribed medicines and the ordering, receipt and storage of pharmaceutical stock.


This course is generally undertaken as part of the Apprenticeship Programme over a period of 12 months but should take 6 months if being completed separately.

How is the course delivered?

All our courses are delivered by blended learning. This course benefits from a dedicated website where learners with internet access can download course materials and complete some assignments on-line with immediate feedback. The course consists of 12 modules, which are assessed by multiple choice questions.

The Course Content
Module 1
Keeping You and the Public Safe

Covers the key responsibilities with regards to health and safety, SOPs and safeguarding the public. Learners will understand the roles of the wider team and the importance of team work, and be introduced to effective communication and customer service.

Module 2
Receiving and Interpreting Prescriptions

This module teaches the knowledge and skills required to accept prescriptions presented to the dispensary and interpret the information on the prescription to ensure it is ready for dispensing.

Module 3
Knowledge for Assembling Prescriptions

This module introduces dispensary equipment, resources, calculations and abbreviations which underpin the dispensing processes required to dispense or label prescription items.

Module 4
Skills for Assembling Prescriptions

The module covers the practical processes and skills required to safely and hygienically dispense a prescription, including the checks each prescription will undergo.

Module 5

Learners will understand how to order, receive, maintain and issue dispensary stock, along with any administrative tasks associated with these processes.

Module 6
Controlled Drugs

This module focuses on the additional legislation and procedures required for handling and dispensing controlled drugs safely.

Module 7
Handing Out Prescriptions and Patient Counselling

This module teaches the knowledge and skills required to understand the role of the dispensing assistant in issuing prescriptions to patients and communicating effectively with patients regarding their dispensed medicines.

Module 8
Clinical Governance

This module introduces the concept of clinical governance within dispensaries, including error monitoring, error reduction, audits, information governance, whistleblowing and quality payments.

Module 9
Teamwork and Professional Development

Learners will understand importance of team work, including the wider multidisciplinary team, and develop communication skills and personal practice to deliver high quality care to patients.

Module 10
Wider Pharmacy Services

This module explores the services offered by pharmacies and other healthcare providers, to improve patient access to medicines, screening, services and advice, and how the dispensing assistant can support the wider team with this.