Using portfolios to learn about prescribing: Qualitative insights into students’ experiences

Darren M. Ashcroft, Jason Hall


In the UK, pharmacists have recently started to take on new roles in relation to the prescribing of medicines. As a result, a reflective portfolio was developed and introduced into the final year of the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum at the University of Manchester to support the students’ learning about prescribing. This study reports on qualitative analysis of the prescribing portfolios, examining specifically the students’ perceptions of what they had learnt by completing the portfolio. In general, the students were in favour of using the portfolio to support their learning about prescribing, acknowledging that this had helped them to broaden their appreciation of all the stages in the prescribing process, and bridge differences between the taught components in the degree course and practice experience. Preparing the portfolio had also encouraged the students to build on their learning from other modules, recognise the inherent uncertainty associated with decision-making and to reflect on their future learning needs in relation to prescribing.


Pharmacy, prescribing, portfolio, qualitative analysis

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