Life & Health Sciences


Psychiatric Pharmacy at Aston: an established, specialist and sustainable pathway to professional and clinical excellence.

The School of Life and Health Sciences' Psychiatric Pharmacy department offers a three stage programme for healthcare and mental health professionals. Our courses are accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy. 

The majority of students sit the Certificate to gain the professional grounding for a specialist mental health role. Following successful completion of the Certificate, some students wish to progress to the Diploma - an additional qualification which differentiates professionals in a competitive field by gaining further knowledge and demonstrating an aptitude for reflective learning and continuous improvement.

Students who complete the first two levels and demonstrate an aptitude for academic rigour can then convert their diploma into a full Masters level qualification by conducting a piece of original research. The Masters is designed to demonstrate a high level of academic and clinical proficiency and can lead to further research via a PhD. 

Embedded in practice

Dr Maidment
Ian Maidment
Dr Macfarlane
Hannah Macfarlane
Course Leadership is delivered by established figures in the field of Mental Health Pharmacy, whose joint experience spans community, industrial and hospital practice and research excellence.

Programme Director Dr Ian Maidment has 25 years in practice and is an experienced researcher, manager and clinician. He is also a senior lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at Aston. He combines his role on the programme with teaching undergraduates and his research on medication management, which is internationally recognised.

Hannah Macfarlane is a credentialed member of The College of Mental Health Pharmacy and combines her work as a Clinical Tutor at Aston with practice as lead Clinical Pharmacist for forensic services at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust.

Unique and accredited

We offer a specific, specialist and genuinely international suite of qualifications.

The Aston Psychiatric Pharmacy qualifications hold a unique position in the industry with the Certificate the recognised route to Mental Healthcare specialism, and the progression pathway a recognition of clinical and academic excellence. In addition, all our courses are accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy.  

The Postgraduate Pathway to Psychiatric Therapeutics

Written, taught and assessed by specialist Mental Health Pharmacists the Certificate is open to all healthcare professionals with a suitable first degree and experience. Often a prerequisite for specialist clinical Mental Health posts, this programme allows a student to balance continuing their professional work and part-time study distance study. A six module programme that includes study of Schizophrenia, The Affective Disorders, Anxiety and Sleep Disorders and The Dementias and Related Disorders. 

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A genuinely reflective work-based learning programme that applies the teaching from the Certificate in a professional context.

A meaningful differentiator in demonstrating a broader knowledge set and applied reflective learning.

The taught compontents cover areas such as substance misuse, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Epilepsy.
Practice based clinical modules include Clinical Interventions and Formulary Development.

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Convert your Diploma to an MSc. High calibre students and professionals use the MSc Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice to enter into practice research in Mental Health Pharmacy. 

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As both a previous participant in the Aston Postgraduate Psychiatric Pharmacy Programme and as a manager, I consider it to be an excellent grounding in the practice of mental health pharmacy.

The course provides pharmacists with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice effectively in mental health. The information and skills that are obtained can be used to improve the care and management of people with mental health problems.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Psychiatric Therapeutics is an essential training programme for pharmacy staff wishing to deliver patient centred care in mental health.

As an employer I have witnessed the growth in knowledge and confidence of those undertaking this programme and I regard this as the single most important postgraduate training programme for aspirant mental health pharmacists.

From my perspective as an employer, the postgraduate mental health pharmacy courses at Aston are invaluable and unique - they provide me with the means of accessing high-quality, relevant and practical educational opportunities for my staff to better enable them to undertake their roles as specialist mental health pharmacists in a more informed and able manner for the benefit of the service users they're working with.

The courses provide supportive stretch and facilitate assimilation and implementation of relevant knowledge and skills for working with mental health service users via a parallel programme of knowledge gain alongside practical implementation in the workplace.

The courses are paced well and give constructive feedback to students to allow incremental improvement throughout the course. Having relevant experts design, facilitate and mark the course adds robustness and credibility to the resulting qualification, which is of sufficiently high standard to be the qualification of choice to enable application to become a credentialled member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacists.

Nikki is also President of the CMHP.

Current MSc research projects

Discover more about the research projects currently being undertaken by MSc students in Psychiatric Pharmacy that are looking for participants:

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Find out more about Postgraduate programmes in the School of Life and Health Sciences:

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