MPharm in Pharmacy

Aston University is one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools with over 100 years of history and reputation. Ranked 1st for student satisfaction in England (The Complete University Guide 2015) and with 100% of students getting a job within six months of graduating, the course is one of the best ways to start your career as a pharmacist.

Why choose this course?

  • The Overall Satisfaction level in the 2013 National Student Survey among leavers from this programme was 95%
  • 24/24 for Teaching Quality Assessment
  • Student work-based placements in all years of the programme, keeping your leaning professionally relevant.
  • A modern pharmacy programme that meets the developing role of pharmacists in all branches of the profession (pharmacy, community and industry).
  • Fully accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council.
4 years Full-time

UCAS Code: B230

Typical offers:
A Levels: AAB in three A level subjects, including Chemistry and at least one other science subject (Biology, Maths or Physics). General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted as part of the offer. Additional AS/A2 subjects welcomed.

IB: 34 points overall, including 6 points in Higher Level Chemistry and Higher Level Biology or Physics, 5 points in Higher Level Maths or 6 points in Standard Level Maths and 5 points in Standard Level English.

We do not accept Access courses for entry to this degree.

BTEC & other: 
Three Distinctions in BTEC National Diploma / BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science, Laboratory & Industrial Science or Medical Science) together with grade B in A level Chemistry. AS Chemistry is not sufficient.

Two Distinctions in BTEC National Certificate / BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science, Laboratory & Industrial Science or Medical Science) or Pharmacy Services & NVQ level 3. With these qualifications we also require grades A and B in A level Chemistry and one other A level science subject.

AAABB in Scottish Highers, including Chemistry, Biology and Maths.

AAABB in Irish Leaving Certificate including Chemistry, Biology and Maths and excluding Irish. Physics can be considered in lieu of Biology.

GCSE: English grade C, Maths grade B.

Please note for 2015 entry we will be conducting pre-offer interviews.

Tuition fees: £9,000 for UK/EU students. . More on fees

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

Aston University is one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools with over 100 years of history and reputation. Ranked in the UK's top 5 in The Times, Complete University Guide and Sunday Times rankings 2013, The Aston School of Pharmacy has excellent links with the profession. Graduate Level employment success is consistently at 100% according to the annual DLHE survey. The School's internationally significant research profile ensures relevant, expertise led teaching for around 170 students each year who enrol onto the Aston University MPharm programme. 

The first year develops your knowledge of the basic scientific principles underpinning pharmacy. You will apply this knowledge to the dispensary and patient-based case studies to develop your patient-centred skills.
The second year extends your understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences - the chemistry of different drug groups, their formulation into medicines, the pathology of major diseases and the pharmacological basis of therapeutics.

The third year completes your study of applied pharmacology and medicinal chemistry. You will learn how drugs can be delivered to the body, and how medicines are prepared and reach the market.

The theme of the final year is pharmaceutical practice. It focuses upon the clinical use of medicines and the use of medicines for individual patients. You will also complete an extended research project.

Download the course flyer PDF >

Year 1

In the first year, you will develop the scientific knowledge which provides a basis for the pharmaceutical industry. You also start applying your knowledge to clinical situations that you might encounter in a community pharmacy.  You will study:

  • Physiology (how the body works)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Formulation of Liquid-based Medicines: How medicines are made
  • Drug Molecules, Mechanisms and Analysis (pharmaceutical chemistry)
  • Introduction to the Practice of Pharmacy 
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Patient Care 
  • Professional Studies: Effective Learning, Career Managment and IT.

Year 2

The second year builds upon your understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences and your clinical pharmacy skills. You will study:

  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics of the Life Support Systems: how drugs work and therefore why they are used to treat disease
  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology
  • Pharmacogenetics 
  • Spectroscopic Analysis of Medicines 
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Medicines Optimisation through formulation 
  • Medicine supply - law and practice 
  • Introduction to Clinical Pharmacy: understanding clinical data, drug safety, clinical consultation skills
  • Personal Development and Key Skills: written and oral communication skills.

Year 3

In the third stage you will complete your study of pharmacology and therapeutics, of medicinal chemistry and of dispensing law and ethics.  The research methods and statistics course will prepare you for your research project. You will study:

  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics of drugs used to treat Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases 
  • Chemotherapy and Selective Toxicity
  • Design of Modified Release Formulations: biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics
  • Quality assured Pharmaceutical Technology: Aseptic parenteral and radio pharmaceutical delivery  
  • Medicinal Chemistry: Analysis, Metabolism and Drug Discovery 
  • Applied Clinical Skills: applying scientific knowledge to real patient cases
  • Pharmacy Health Policy - Policy and practice 
  • Personal Development and Key skills: research methods and statistics

Final Year

In your final year you will use and extend all the knowledge and skills you have developed in the previous years. You will develop confidence in applying your pharmaceutical knowledge to maximise individual patient benefit from treatment.  You will also consider wider aspects of pharmacy such as evidence-based medicine and pharmaceutical public health. 
You will study:

  • Clinical pharmaceutics and drug delivery 
  • The Professional Pharmacist - medical law and the public's health 
  • Practical Therapeutics 
  • Interprofessional learning 
  • Research Project  

Each year of the course includes structured practise-based placements in local hospitals, clinics or pharmacies. These will provide you with invaluable professional experience.

Please note that students who enter placements in the NHS may be required to pay for DBS checks and occupational health checks.

Find out more about placement and pre-registration years in the Life & Health Sciences.

The course recognises different learning styles and provides a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Hospital and other clinical/practice placements
  • Group work and problem-based learning
  • Self-study courses
  • Computer-Aided Learning (CAL) e.g. clinical patient simulations.

A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are also employed, including

  • Examinations
  • Portofolio
  • Essays
  • Practical reports
  • Project work
  • Computer based assessment.
  • Interactive clinical examinations (OSCEs)

You will be continuously assessed throughout the four-year course – contributing to 40% of your final grade.

For further information, see the programme specification (PDF).


Teaching staff

Aston Pharmacy School 
See a list of MPharm teaching staff >

Pharmacy at Aston University, Birmingham, is part of the School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS), which also includes Optometry, Biomedical Science, Biololgy and Psychology undergraduate programmes and a thriving research culture. There are over 50 teaching and research staff in Pharmacy with other LHS staff also undertaking Pharmacy/Life/Health Sciences related teaching and research.

Career prospects

Our degree programme has been specifically designed for employability in all areas of pharmacy – community, Primary Care Trusts, hospitals and industry. Aston’s long-established reputation and professional accreditation ensure that career prospects are first-class. For example, in 2008/9, 2009-10 and 2010-11, 100% of our graduates gained graduate-level employment and pre-registration pharmacist places across the UK within six months of graduation. Major employers were Boots, Lloyds, Sainsbury’s and hospital-based pharmacies.

Personal development

Our course helps you develop the knowledge and skills needed to maximise your career prospects. Communicating with patients and fellow professionals is a crucial professional skill - you experience patient contact and engage in role-playing activities. IT skills are essential and we help you develop these in our up-to-the-minute IT teaching and learning suites and in our dispensary using specialist software packages.

You will develop a portfolio throughout your four years which helps you identify, plan for and record your personal and professional development.

The MPharm utilises specialist teaching and research 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 such as clinical care and prescribing. The Pharmacy School is located in the Main Building at Aston University with all laboratories, lecture theatres and support offices located in the same place. 

In some other Universities, Pharmacy programmes are spread across different campuses and buildings   -meaning more travel time/inconvenience and less integration. At Aston University we are proud of our green, compact campus with all facilities on one site.

Pharmacy Complete University Guide 2014

Top 10 reasons to choose Pharmacy

Top 10 reasons to choose Pharmacy

The history of Aston Pharmacy School

The history of Aston Pharmacy School

Did you know... Aston Pharmacy School has been educating pharmacists for over 120 years.

INFOGRAPHIC: Interesting facts about Pharmacy at Aston

INFOGRAPHIC: Interesting facts about Pharmacy at Aston
Student Profile

Student Profile

James Duggan
I like how the pharmacy course here at Aston covers a wide range of areas and topics, and isn't just one same thing all of the time. For example, pharmacy covers Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Law, and Pharmacology etc.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research