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Underlying Principles

underlying principles - CPD


  Key facts:

  • 10 masters level credits
  • Distance learning 
  • Standalone module

This course is for you if you are looking to develop your understanding of the principles of psychopharmacology and the pharmacological basis for medicine use in psychiatry. This module forms part of the PgCert Psychiatric Therapeutics which is accredited by the CMHP.

  • Credit value: 10 masters level credits
  • Mode of delivery: Distance Learning
  • Course type: Standalone Module
  • Number of places available: 10
  • Start date: March
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time commitment: Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend around 10 hours a week throughout the duration of the course, equivalent to 100 hours of study in total.
  • Entry requirements: Applicants must possess a good honours degree (minimum lower 2nd class) from a recognised university in Pharmacy, Medicine or Nursing or an equivalent qualification as agreed with the Programme Director, or be a Pharmacy Technician registered with the GPhC and currently working in mental health services with substantial experience (at least 3 years) of mental health.

How to apply

  • Applications for our next intake will open in late autumn 2017
  • Closing date is one month before the course start date.
This module forms part of the PgCert Psychiatric Therapeutics which is accredited by the CMHP.

This module offers you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of the use of medicines in psychiatry. This module provides a flexible route if you wish to expand your knowledge and skills by studying one or more modules whilst also managing their working commitments. It also offers a taster of studying at this level without committing to a whole programme.

You will study the principles of psychopharmacology and the pharmacological basis for medicine use in psychiatry.

This course is delivered via distance learning. You will access learning materials for general study, revision and assessment via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

Assessment is by coursework submitted throughout the course. Coursework will take the form of a case study as well as the completion of multiple choice question paper.

Our CPD courses offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career. In addition, our ethos is to equip you to make a real difference in your field.

This module forms part of the PgCert Psychiatric Therapeutics which is accredited by the CMHP. This qualification is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health positions in the NHS.

Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of Life and Health Sciences teaching and research. Many members of staff practise / have practised professionally. In the recent Teaching Excellence Framework assessment, Aston University was awarded Gold, the highest award possible. In addition, our courses are regularly reviewed by relevant professional experts.

Course Leadership in Psychiatric Pharmacy at Aston is delivered by established figures in the field of Mental Health Pharmacy, whose joint experience spans community, industrial and hospital practice and research excellence.

Course director Dr Ian Maidment has a broad pharmacy background, having spent periods in the pharmaceutical industry, the acute sector and community pharmacy. However, the majority of his career (20 years) has been within the mental health sector mainly as a clinical pharmacist. He has also been chief pharmacist in two NHS Mental Health Trusts and led medication management education in an NHS Trust. 

He was awarded his PhD on medication error in dementia in 2013 and has a masters in research methods. He is a past chair of the UKPPG (UK Psychiatric Pharmacy Group) - predecessor organisation of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy, has advised the Department of Health and lectured widely on aspects of Mental Health Pharmacy. He has published approximately 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Hannah Macfarlane has worked in general hospital, community pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry and prison pharmacy posts but has been a specialist mental health role since 2006.  Hannah achieved distinction in the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy and was awarded the Helen Tennant award for best overall student performance. 

She is a credentialed member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy and teaches regularly on behalf of the College. Hannah is a member of the College Council and has been a clinical tutor on the Psychiatric Pharmacy courses since 2011.

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