MSc Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice

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  • Enables graduands of the Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy programme to convert their Diploma to an MSc
  • Provides  the necessary critical, analytical and evaluation skills to understand the research process including ethical and risk assessment issues
  • Facilitates practice research in mental health pharmacy

A Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy from Aston University or equivalent is essential, with a research methods module a desirable option.                          

Students will normally be employed by the NHS and will be on a career path as a mental health pharmacist specialising in the treatment of people with mental illness.

For further information about the eligibility requirements please contact the course director.

Note: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be considered for applicants who express an interest in direct entry to the Diploma or MSc.

Please be aware that places are not guaranteed and will be limited by supervisor capacity, academic ability and treated on a first come, first served basis.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements

Duration of programme:
Approximately 1 year part-time

Start date: April & October

Fees 2014 entry:

UK/EU students: £3000
International students: £3000

This one year research MSc in Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice is offered to graduands of the Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy programme.

It is a single 60 credit module which enables them to convert their Diploma (120 credits) to an MSc.(180 credits).

It aims to engage students in supervised but independently executed practice research. Students will be encouraged to integrate and apply the skills acquired during the Certificate and Diploma programmes to investigate in depth an area of clinical psychiatric pharmacy practice of specific interest to them.

The module will equip students with the necessary critical, analytical and evaluation skills necessary to understand the research process thoroughly including ethical and risk assessment issues. It provides experience of practice research and project management together with preparation for submission for publication.

Please click here for Programme Specification

Assessment is in three parts

A research proposal: The student is required to submit a research proposal of approximately 2,000 words. This will be assessed for appropriateness of content; proposed research question and design of the study together with ethical issues; professional conduct and implications of the results. 

The project: This should demonstrate a detailed theoretical understanding and a critical appraisal of the relevant research literature. It should include an appropriate research question or hypothesis, plus suitable experimental design, execution, data handling, data analyses and interpretation in a systematic and accurate manner. The project should usually be between 10,000 and 15,000 words in length.  Included in that word limit are an abstract (maximum 300 words) and an executive summary (maximum 1500 words). Independence of thought and action within the research process and effectiveness of time keeping will all be assessed.

An oral assessment (Viva voce)

Professional accreditation

The programme is supported by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP).

Students will develop the ability to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries in the field of psychiatric practice research.
They will:

  • Learn to communicate effectively to academics as well as students
  • Learn good writing skills and the ability to complete an ethics proposal for submission to an ethics committee
  • Develop the ability to study independently and employ good time management

The certificate is the first stage for pharmacists in becoming a specialist mental health pharmacist. It is also under taken by mental health nurses to increase their knowledge base especially those practicing or aiming to practice as non-medical prescribers. General practitioners and psychiatrists as well as graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry have also been past students.

The diploma is frequently a requirement for specialist clinical mental health posts in the NHS. “Specialist status” as deemed by Membership of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy is also increasingly expected for higher level clinical posts in the NHS. The Diploma forms part of the pathway for this accreditation.

The MSc (research project) is designed to help students develop their career either within practice or academia. Consultant pharmacist posts, in the NHS, are all required to have a research component. The qualification can also help students looking to undertake a PhD.

Dr Ian Maidment

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.

Penny Delaney
Programmes administrator
Tel: 0121 204 3928
email: p.j.delaney@aston.ac.uk

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