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. Completing this qualification allows progression to the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


14 months

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Mental Health Therapeutics at Aston University

Why study a postgraduate degree at Aston University?

A postgraduate degree is a great way to improve your career prospects. As well as opening doors, it builds on your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a competitive edge in a crowded job market.

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Credit value: 60 credits

Mode of delivery: Distance learning and self-directed. There are no attendance requirements for this course which makes it available to study internationally. The module content is available online so you will be able to fit your studies around your work and personal commitments.

Duration: 14 months

Start date: January 2024

Application deadline: November 30th 2023

Time commitment: Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend around 10 hours a week throughout the duration of the course. The module content is provided online allowing professionals to work at their pace.

Fees (2023): £3,720

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. Failure to meet the deadline, or to apply for an extension by emailing the admissions team will result in the offer being made to someone else.

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.


Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm BST)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

Course outline, assessment and staff

This course is delivered via distance learning and is self-directed. You will access learning materials for general study, revision and assessment via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials including authored text material, pre-recorded lectures, self-assessed exercises, essential and further reading, e-journals, databases and much more. Occasional synchronous lectures or meetings will be held, but the intention is that all of these are recorded to allow access to all students at whatever time they study.

Module content (includes the theory and supports application within professional practice):

Unit 1 – Introduction to Mental Health Therapeutics
Unit 2 – Schizophrenia
Unit 3 – The Affective Disorders
Unit 4 – Anxiety and Depression
Unit 5 – Dementia and related conditions

Assessment is by coursework assignments and a final exam.  Coursework will take the form of individual assignments including case studies and an essay, each concentrating on a different therapeutic area.  There will also be an exam at the end of the course which is usually held online.

Course Director: Dr 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

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