Mental Health Therapeutics PgCert

The Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health Therapeutics at Aston University is a distance learning course that has been written, taught and assessed by specialist mental health pharmacists.The Programme aims to enable students to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills to validate, recommend and critically appraise the use of medicines in a mental health context in a person-centred manner. This qualification is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health positions in the NHS and this course is accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP).



Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


14 months

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Mode of delivery: Distance learning - all course materials are delivered electronically.

Duration: 14 months 

Start date: January 2023

Application deadline: Monday 5th December 2022

Fees (2023): £3,600

Bursaries are awarded to members of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) according to the need and merit on application to the Treasurer of the CMHP.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

A good honours degree (minimum lower 2nd class) from a recognised university in a relevant subject. See below for more details

Alternative qualifications

An equivalent qualification as agreed with the Programme Director and Pharmacy Technicians without a degree but with extensive relevant experience will also be considered.

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation.
  • Applicants would usually possess a good honours degree (minimum lower 2nd class) from a recognised university in one of the following subjects (or an equivalent qualification as agreed with the Programme Director; Pharmacy Technicians without a degree but with extensive relevant experience will also be considered):
    • Pharmacy
    • Medicine
    • Nursing.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.
  • The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor. 

This course is part of the Aston Pharmacy School which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.

Timeline of application

I have submitted my application, what happens next?

1.    Application is submitted 

2.    New applications are picked up by the Postgraduate Admissions Team

3.    Postgraduate Admissions Team staff check if we have all the documents we need, if anything is missing, we send an email to the applicant to request the missing information. If we have all the information, we need we make a decision. ‘Offer’, ‘Reject’ or ‘Send to tutor for review’ are the possible options at this stage.

4.    If it is an offer, we will decide if it is conditional or unconditional 

5.    Offer is issued via email and the applicant is given 4 weeks to accept the offer. Date is entered into the offer email.

6.    Acceptance of an offer has 2 steps: 

a.    the offer reply form, and 
b.    paying the deposit/sending sponsor letter. 
A place on the course is not secure until we have received the deposit payment or the sponsor letter and this must be by the deadline stated in the email.

7.    Once an offer has been accepted fully, the system is updated to reflect this. Approximately 6 weeks before the programme starts applicants who have fully accepted are sent their enrolment email from the email has their username and password. The applicant then completes the enrolment steps and student support before they can be given access to the modules that they will study.


Professional accreditation

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

Course outline, assessment and staff

You will take a 60 credit module delivered by distance learning over 12 months, followed by an exam two months later. There are no attendance requirements for this course.


  • Mental Health Therapeutics - includes units on schizophrenia, the affective disorders, anxiety, sleep and dementia.

All course materials will be delivered electronically for you to study at your own time and you will encounter a range of learning methods, including:

  • Study of authored text material, directed reading and self assessed exercises
  • Formative exercises and assignments
  • Additional reading
  • Application within professional practice.

Assessment is by coursework assignments and a final exam.  You will submit four pieces of written coursework including case studies and an essay, each concentrating on a different therapeutic area.  Home students may be required to attend the University for the final exam.

Course Director: Hannah Macfarlane 

Teaching staff: Dr Ian Maidment, Emma Smith, Ruth Egbe, Dr Muhammad (Umair) Khan, Adaora Ndu, Emma Bryant.

Your future career prospects

This course is the first stage for pharmacists in becoming a specialist mental health pharmacist. It is also taken by experienced pharmacy technicians who would like to gain a greater understanding of the subject.

It is also undertaken by mental health nurses to increase their knowledge base especially those practising or intending to practise as non-medical prescribers.

General practitioners and psychiatrists, as well as graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry, have also taken this course.

Contact us

The information you provide will be used by Aston University to contact you about the University, courses you may be interested in and events you may wish to attend, for anything outside of this purpose we will obtain your consent. Your data is subject to Aston University’s privacy policy and cookie policy.  For further information, please visit