Postgraduate Diploma/ MSc for Overseas Pharmacists (OSPAP)

This course is for pharmacy graduates who gained their degree outside the UK. It enables pharmacists to convert their existing pharmaceutical qualification so it is recognised in Great Britain. 

Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • Aston Pharmacy School is one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools with over 100 years of history and reputation. It is ranked 3rd for student satisfaction in England (The Complete University Guide 2015) 
  • Specifically designed for pharmacy graduates who gained their degree outside the UK, but who wish to practice in Great Britain
  • Utilises a range of specialist laboratories recently refitted to very high standards in a £3m upgrade project.

All applicants must have approval from the GPhC prior to applying to Aston University.

  • Candidates must possess a pharmacy degree to enable them to register as a pharmacist with The General Pharmaceutical Council.
  • In addition, candidates must have documented evidence of their eligibility to undertake the course. This evidence must be obtained before you apply. Please note that it may take up to two months to gain approval from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • In order to secure a place for this course, we recommend that students apply for the GPhC approval before June 2016 and apply to Aston before July 2016.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. This will need to be an IELTS test with 7.0 overall with at least 7.0 in each area.


Course information

Duration of programme: Full-time: 9 months. There is an MSc route available and this would be full-time for 12 months; if you wish to be considered for this please state this in your personal statement & contact the admissions team on the email below.

Start date: 13th September 2017

Application deadline:

1st August for International students

31st August for UK/EU students

If you are applying close to the deadline, please ensure you have all supporting documentation ready for the application. If the deadline has passed, we may still be able to consider you, so please contact us.

Distance learning available: No
Intake: 54


Important information

Students enrolling onto certain programmes within the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check. Also in line with national requirements for programmes leading to a health professional qualification, a number of degree programmes in the School of Life and Health Science are subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.

For more information please follow the link: DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise

Visas for Pre-Registration    

Other Important Information

The below documents are policies that we ask all OSPAP students to be aware of before undertaking the programme:

Student Policy for Raising Concerns

Professional Appearance Standards

Pregnancy Risk Assessment

Infection Control Policy

Fee for 2017:

£11, 500 for the Diploma 

£17,200 for the MSc

This course is for pharmacy graduates who gained their degree outside the UK. It enables pharmacists to convert their existing pharmaceutical qualification so it is recognised in Great Britain.

Successful completion of the course will allow you to  undertake a pre-registration placement, before  applying to register as a Pharmacist with The General Pharmaceutical Council. You will also gain an Aston University Diploma. Aston University is not responsible for the provision of a pre-registration training place nor preparation for professional qualifying examinations.

The programme focuses upon new developments in key pharmaceutical sciences, clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice together with the study of health service delivery and pharmacy law and ethics within the UK.


  • Professional Critical Skills - Covers core elements of the retrieval and use of pharmaceutical information, the theory and practice of personal and interpersonal skills including communication and IT skills, responding to symptoms and introduces students to the concepts of organised continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Applied Pharmacology and Therapeutics - Introduces therapeutics and develops an evidence-based approach to pharmacotherapy - covering diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory, upper gastrointestinal and central nervous system disorders.
  • Practical Therapeutics - Focuses on students utilising their clinical knowledge in a criticial and systemic manner to deliver clinically appropriate outcomes for patients, including prescribing decisions. Enable students to respond to varied clinical situations including patients with multiple pathologies or complex medical needs guided by evidence, legal frameworks, ethical practice and local guidance in a manner consistent with the patients needs.
  • Pharmaceutical Technology - Focuses on radiopharmacy, cytotoxics, parenteral nutrition, intravenous additives, and quality assurance
  • Pharmaceutics in Practice - Focuses on the role of drug delivery in patient care including advanced drug delivery techniques, biotechnology and clinical pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacy Law, Ethics and Practice - This covers background to UK and EU law – origins of law, political and legal frameworks, dispensing and the sale and supply of medicines in the UK, medicines legislation in the UK, legislation that affects the practice of pharmacy, health service structures in the UK and Europe, legislation governing pharmacy within the UK and EU and an overview of the comparable legislation for medicine, medical and pharmacy ethics including the UK code of ethics and pharmaceutical calculations.

The following study methods are used throughout the programme:

  • Lectures
  • Group tutorials
  • Practicals
  • Web-based learning
  • Clinical teaching sessions. 

A wide range of assessment methods are used including:

  • Examination
  • Web based clinical assignments
  • Clinical case studies
  • Clinical case presentation
  • Portfolio development
  • Practical dispensing examination.


Professional accreditation

The course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)


The course is designed for those who wish to practice as a Pharmacist in Great Britain. The programme has an excellent track record of students obtaining and successfully completing the pre-registration training.
The programme utilises a range of specialist laboratories recently refitted to very high standards in a £3m upgrade project. In 2008 we opened a new fully computerised medicines management suite to support learning of modern pharmacy areas like clinical care and prescribing.

Pharmacy Pharmacy

 Dispensary suite


Research laboratories


 Power handling room and tableting machine



Course Director: Dr Kay M G Wood - A practising pharmacist with an interest in teaching and learning, clinical pharmacy and medicines management.

Find out more about our Pharmacy teaching staff.

LHS Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3000      

Email: lhspgt@aston.ac.uk

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Student Profile

Shams Mousa Imran Al-Qaraghuli
Since I am an overseas pharmacist, I was extremely concerned on how to get on with a new educational system. But from the first day of applying to the OSPAP course, I found all the university staff very friendly and understanding. I did not find any difficulty in getting along with the system; on the contrary, it was an unforgettably pleasant exper

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