Postgraduate Certificate in Psychiatric Therapeutics by Distance Learning

The programme is supported by both The United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group (UKPPG) and the College of Mental Health Pharmacists (CMHP)
  • No time needed away from employment
  • The qualification is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health posts in the NHS
  • Written, taught and assessed largely by specialist mental health pharmacists but open to any healthcare professional with a suitable first degree and experience

  • An appropriate first Degree from a UK university or an equivalent qualification which provides evidence of your work with patients with psychiatric illnesses.
  • Pharmacists who wish to proceed to the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy  must successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Psychiatric therapeutics by distance learning from Aston University and have normally achieved a minimum mark of 55% in each module. Offers are also normally made only to suitably qualified students based in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Additionally, students will only be admitted who have suitable access to a multidisciplinary team and patients with psychiatric illnesses, for example by demonstrating employment in a hospital possessing psychiatric beds in a clinical setting deemed appropriate.
  • International students must possess an English IELTS score of 7 across all bands

Duration of programme: 12 months (distance learning)
Start date: January
Distance learning available: Yes
Intake: N/A

UK/EU students - Please contact the School
International students - Please contact the School

Bursaries are awarded to members of the United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group (UKP Postgraduate) according to the need and merit on application to the Committee of the UKP Postgraduate.

Six modules, two of which are introductory with the following four covering the major therapeutic areas of psychiatry:
  • An Introduction to Psychiatry
  • Underlying Principles
  • Schizophrenia
  • The Affective Disorders
  • Anxiety and Sleep Disorders
  • The Dementias and Related Disorders. 
The following learning methods will be used:
  • Study of authored text material, directed reading and self assessed exercises                     
  • Formative exercises and assignments                   
  • Additional reading    
  • Application within professional practice  
Assessment is by assignments and multi-response question papers, plus a final, open-book examination.
This programme 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 intending 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 programme is supported by both The United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group (UKPPG) and the College of Mental Health Pharmacists (CMHP)

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.

Priti Ved B.Pharm MRPharmS Dip.Psych.Pharm is a clinical psychiatric pharmacist working in Coventry. She works as a member of the course team as an external marker.


Penny Delaney
Programmes Administrator
Psychiatric Pharmacy Course Office
Phone: 0121 204 3928
Email: p.j.delaney@aston.ac.uk
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