PHARMACY 769 : Principles of Prescribing

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Legal and ethical considerations; communication with patients and other health professionals; clinical reasoning and decision-making; physical assessment and diagnostic skills; 'mechanics' of prescribing; pharmacoeconomic considerations.

Course Overview

The course is designed to provide students with the principles that underpin pharmacist prescribing. It is aimed to complement a student's prior clinical knowledge based on the completion of a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy and subsequent clinical experience and to provide the student with the necessary knowledge and skills to move into the Prescribing Practicum.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director:
Dr Rhys Ponton  
Senior Lecturer 
Specialisation Lead in Postgraduate Clinical Pharmacy Programmes
School of Pharmacy 
University of Auckland   


Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the responsibilities of the pharmacist prescriber (Capability 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8)
  2. Understand methods of effective communication (Capability 1, 6, 7 and 8)
  3. Undertake a relevant clinical examination (Capability 3, 4 and 5)
  4. Use basic diagnostic aids and interpret findings (Capability 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Formulate a treatment plan (Capability 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8)
  6. Recognise, critically evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice (Capability 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8)
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of public health issues related to medicines (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 8)
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility relating to prescribing (Capability 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 75% Individual Coursework
Presentation 25% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 30-point course and students are expected to spend 20 hours per week involved in the teaching and learning activities related to this course. 

In addition, students are expected to work towards the supervised practice hours requirement throughout the duration of the course. 

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities, including study days/tutorials/lectures to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events, including group discussions/tutorials/presentations.
Some learning activities will be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the final assessments.
The activities for the course are scheduled throughout the semester as detailed in the timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

In response to student feedback received via both formal (SET) and informal means, minor improvements have been made to the course to enhance and improve the learning experience of future students.  

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.