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Karen Hodson

Professor Karen Hodson

Personal Chair and Director for the Postgraduate Taught Professional Programmes and Continuous Professional Development

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

+44 29208 75806
Redwood Building, Room 2.57B, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Available for postgraduate supervision


Professor Karen Hodson FRPharmS, MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, PhD  

Professor in Pharmacy Practice

I am the strategic lead for Postgraduate Taught Professional Programmes and CPD modules within the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  These include the post-registration foundation training programme and a range of CPD modules.  I am a strong advocate of collaborative working; this involves scoping courses that the NHS and others require, working with them in the design, as well as running them in partnership. This approach hopefully ensures that the courses delivered by the School are 'fit for purpose' and relevant to the current workforce.

My research interests are based on non-medical prescribing, technology-enabled provision of pharmacy services, and the evaluation of pharmacy services in all sectors.  I collaborate with researchers from hospital and community pharmacies, GP practices, Welsh Government and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Outcomes from such projects have provided an evidence base to Health Boards in Wales and the Welsh Government for the commissioning of pharmacy services.

In addition to working for the University, I also work one day a week for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Wales.  Work has included working with NHS Wales to implement the RPS Wales Palliative and End of Life Care Policy, as well as leading the initial scoping work and being involved in the subsequent development of the RPS Sustainability Policy, their Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency, their Climate Change Charter, and their decision to disinvest from fossil-fuels.














Research Interests

My research interests are:

  • non-medical prescribing,
  • technology-enabled provision of pharmacy services
  • Medicines Management
  • evaluation of pharmacy services in all sectors.

Most of the research has been undertaken through collaboration (see later) and has involved methods such as focus groups, interviews and questionnaires/surveys. Other methods have involved data linkage, discourse analysis, quasi-experiment, systematic review and secondary analysis of data.

The research has been funded through the Welsh Government, local Health Boards, PRUK and Cardiff University.

My collaborators are:

  • hospital and community pharmacies, GP practices and local health boards and NHS Trusts
  • Digital Health and Care Wales
  • Welsh Government
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Outcomes from my research:

  • have provided an evidence base to Health Boards in Wales and the Welsh Government for the commissioning of pharmacy services.

Reports to Welsh Government and NGOs


Mantzourani E, Hodson KL 2022 An Investigation into the Impact of Digital Transformation across the Regions of the Welsh Renal Clinical Network. Report to South West Wales Renal Unit.


Hodson KL, Kember J, Hughes ML, Mantzourani E 2016 Evaluation of electronic prescribing for hospital Out-patients. Report to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  


Mantzourani E, Hughes L, Leggett H, Way C, Hodson K 2014 Community pharmacists' information needs to complete a Discharge Medicines Review for their patients when they are discharged from hospital. Report to DMR Clinical Reference Group.


Hodson KL et al. 2014. Evaluation of the Discharge Medicines Review Service. Evaluation of the Discharge Medicines Review Service. Pontypridd. Available at:


Invited editorials and newsletters


Mantzourani E, Hodson K, Way C, Andrew E. 2020 The Discharge Medicines Review service in Wales: What is it and what are the benefits? International Pharmacy Journal, Vol 38, No1, pp34-37.  Available at

Mantzourani E, Hodson K, Hughes L, Way C 2016 Electronic discharge advice letters for community pharmacists Clinical Pharmacist, Vol 8, No 1, p9 doi: 10.1211/CP.2016.20200228 


    My main teaching is for postgraduate taught professional pharmacy-related programmes, where I aim to combine my practice-based experience with my expertise in education and training, in combination with stakeholder engagement, to develop practitioners that are competent and confident in their roles and have an ambition to continuously develop themselves and their professional role.

    I utilise the appropriate evidence-base, curriculum from the General Pharmaceutical Council where relevant, and resources such as those available from the Higher Education Academy to develop programmes of study and CPD modules that consider the adult learning theory and the practical application of the knowledge and skills to the practitioners' day-to-day roles.

    A large component of my time is in the strategic development of programmes and CPD modules, as well as responsibility for the accreditation of the Pharmacist Prescribing Programme from the General Pharmaceutical Council. Whilst I enjoy the challenges of developing new programmes, I also take great delight in the delivering and facilitation of specific teaching sessions.  Examples of these currently for the prescribing programme include teaching consultation and patient assessment skills, as well as leading discussions on the governance and legal frameworks for prescribing.

    As many of the programmes I am responsible for require practice-based supervisors, a large component of my role over the last 20 years has been related to the development of education and training skills for these practitioners. This has involved developing and running specific one-day courses through to the development of a specific credit-bearing module.

    Other CPD modules I have developed include research methods; this module helps develop pharmacy staff skills in this area.  Some of those who have successfully completed this module have undertaken further research e.g. First into Research, PhD, supervised 4th-year MPharm projects.  Both the education and training, and the research methods module provide evidence for pharmacists to meet the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Advanced and Consultant Frameworks.

    In my role, I work closely with the School of Healthcare Sciences, where I also teach on some of their prescribing modules.  This collaboration has enhanced my teaching approach and I really value their input into our programmes and the opportunity to teach and share my expertise with other healthcare professionals.

    My undergraduate experience of teaching comes from my time at the University of Queensland (Australia) and my initial time at CardiUniversity where I was a module lead for a 4th-year pharmacy practice-based module of the MPharm programme.  As the postgraduate taught requirements have grown, it has been necessary to concentrate on this area; however, I still supervise MPharm 4 projects each year, and help with other aspects of that programme as needed.


    I originally qualified from Manchester University and undertook my pre-registration training to become a registered pharmacist at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary. After becoming a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain I completed the Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. I went on to work as a clinical pharmacist (specialising in paediatrics) whilst working in the Medicines Information Centre at Cardiff. During this time, I completed the MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, investigating the reasons why doctors do not report adverse drug reactions to the then Committee on Safety of Medicines.

    In 1996 I moved to Australia, to take up a teacher-practitioner (conjoint) position between the University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane Hospital. As a practitioner, I specialised in rheumatology and dermatology, whilst also having responsibility for education and research within the hospital department. My University position involved undergraduate teaching (especially the experiential component of the programme), as well as postgraduate taught teaching, taking joint responsibility for running their MSc in Clinical Pharmacy programme.

    In 1999, I returned to the UK to become the Director for the MSc in Clinical Pharmacy at Cardiff University. This was an experiential based programme run in approximately 35 hospitals in the UK. In 2004, with the initiation of prescribing rights for nurses and pharmacists, I became Director of the Pharmacist Prescribing programme and have continued to work collaboratively with the School of Heathcare Sciences in ensuring the prescribing programme for each healthcare professional meets the required standard. It was also the time I started my PhD on evaluating non-medical prescribing, finally completing it in 2009.

    Academic and Professional Qualifications

    • 2014 - Fellow of the Faculty, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
    • 2011 - Practical Leadership for University Management, Cardiff University
    • 2009 - PhD, Cardiff University
    • 1995 - MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, University of Wales, Cardiff (Distinction)
    • 1991 - Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, now General Pharmaceutical Council
    • 1990 - BSc in Pharmacy, Manchester University (2:1)

    Honours and awards

    • Oustanding Contribution Award, Cardiff University 2021
    • BMA Medical Book Awards: highly commended, British Medical Association, 2018
    • Fellow, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2016

    Professional memberships

    Academic positions

    • 2022 to date Professor(Personal Chair) Cardiff University
    • 2001 - 2022 Senior Lecturer Cardiff University
    • 1998 - 2001 Lecturer, Cardiff University (Director of MSc in Clinical Pharmacy)
    • 1998 Conjoint appointment at the University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane Hospital, Australia.

    Committees and reviewing

    • Grant reviewer, NIHR and PRUK
    • Journal reviewer (various)
    • Task and Finish groups for Welsh Government for Prescribing
    • Task and Finish Groups for Royal Pharmaceutical Society for education



    I am interested in supervising PhD/MPhil or MSc students in the areas of:

    • Healthcare provision, specifically pharmacy related e.g. community pharmacy services, evaluation of hospital and GP practices
    • Non-medical prescribing

    Current supervision

    Saeed Alghamdi Alghamdi

    Saeed Alghamdi Alghamdi

    Research student

    Najala Alshakmobarak

    Najala Alshakmobarak

    Research student

    Sarah Al Hussain

    Sarah Al Hussain

    Research student

    External profiles