Pharmacy

MPharm

Learn from leading experts in the pharmaceutical field within a prestigious pharmacy school - the only pharmacy school in the UK to hold a prestigious Regius Chair in Pharmacy.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

4 years

UCAS code(s)

B230

Start date

Course overview

Our Master of Pharmacy degree is designed to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of pharmaceutical science and the practical skills necessary to excel professionally. 

This programme stands out as a premier pathway for aspiring pharmacists, providing a full learning experience combined with hands-on learning through our extensive network of industry partners; developing your skills in our dedicated specialist facilities, and benefitting from the experience and insight of our expert teaching staff.

You will benefit from extensive patient contact throughout the course, both within the University and through a series of professional experiences in different workplace environments such as hospitals, community pharmacies, GP surgeries and primary care settings.

We also have a strong focus on interprofessional practice and collaborative care, offering opportunities for you to learn with, from and about other healthcare specialities. In addition, our final-year students can personalise their learning through elective choices and research projects, including in pharmacy practice, which can be based in either community, hospital or primary care practice.

Mpharm pharmacy student smiling

"One of my best highlights of my course was the recognition Aston got in the pharmaceutical field for providing life changing research. The best lecture we had was one from an industrial Pharmacist who was active in world leading research. They provided a whole new insight into life as a Aston Graduate. This experience opened my eyes to all the opportunities that open up once you graduate with an Aston Degree."

Amandeep Singh
Pharmacy MPharm

Why Pharmacy at Aston University?

TEF Gold 2023 logo
Triple gold teaching
Aston University was awarded Triple Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
Student satisfaction
Regius Chair in Pharmacy
Only Pharmacy School in the UK to hold a prestigious Regius Chair in Pharmacy, awarded by the Monarch.
General Pharmaceutical Council
Accredited programme
Our MPharm course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical council
15th in the uk
Excellent student experience
Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching in Pharmacy and Pharmacology (Guardian University Guide, 2023).
Career - suitcase
Professional experience
Extensive patient contact with work based learning within hospitals, pharmacies, GP surgeries and pharmaceutical companies.
Money icon
Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023).

Course description

MPharm Pharmacy

Our Pharmacy MPharm degree at Aston will equip you with the skills, insights, and confidence required to become an outstanding pharmacist, well-equipped to be able to keep our communities healthy and safe in a rewarding career. 

arrow icon

What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you, fantastic facilities that will bring your course to life through hands-on, practical experience; years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. 

user icon

What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understand that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, you must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel.

graduate cap icon

What skills we teach
As a pharmacy student in our MPharm programme, you will learn the skills to work as a competent pharmacist in various healthcare settings, including medication dispensing, pharmacology, patient counselling, pharmaceutical calculations, and drug therapy management. You will also learn about healthcare ethics, communication, research methodologies, and regulatory compliance. 

target icon

Placement year
You will benefit from extensive patient contact throughout the course within the university and through a series of professional experiences in different workplace environments such as hospitals, community pharmacies, GP surgeries and primary care settings. We also have a strong focus on interprofessional practice and collaborative care, offering opportunities for you to learn with, from and about other healthcare speciality.

signpost icon

Career prospects
Our Pharmacy MPharm degree is valued by some of the best known companies in the world. Recent graduates have successfully secured careers with employers such as Lloyds, Boots, Pfizer, GSK, and NHS hospitals and GP surgeries.

How you will learn

Our teaching style is modern and innovative, with a hands-on approach that bridges the gap between theory and practice. This enables you to apply your skills as you progress through your course, marrying your learning with practical examples, all designed to prepare you for the world of work.

For UK students our degree course consists of four years of full-time study, with integrated placements and interprofessional learning in different workplace environments such as hospitals, community pharmacies, GP surgeries, and primary care settings. 

On top of the curriculum, you can get involved with many other exciting pharmacy activities at Aston. The student-led Aston Pharmacy Association student society offers an opportunity to network with peers in the field and opportunities to meet employers.

What you will learn

Aston’s Pharmacy MPharm degree delves into twelve integrated themes spanning three fascinating areas of study: ‘The Professional’, mastering the science of safe and effective healthcare delivery; ‘The Medicine’, learning how medicines are discovered, formulated, and used in practice; and ‘The Patient”, the immersion into the multifaceted world of patient care, covering a wide range of clinical conditions.

Foundations

Your first years of the MPharm Pharmacy degree introduce you to key concepts of pharmaceutical science - the process of discovering, designing, and formulating new drugs, discovering how drugs interact with the body, understanding the chemical properties of drugs, drug safety, and patient care. You’ll begin to learn how to make professional judgments based on evidence in pharmacy practice and develop effective leadership and management skills.

Build upwards

With the fundamentals learned in your first three years firmly in place, your final year culminating in a master’s degree provides you the opportunity to apply knowledge to more complex clinical cases and build your understanding of real-world industry practice. 

Placement

You will benefit from extensive patient contact throughout the course within the university and through a series of professional experiences in different workplace environments such as hospitals, community pharmacies, GP surgeries and primary care settings. We also have a strong focus on interprofessional practice and collaborative care, offering opportunities for you to learn with, from and about other healthcare specialities.

Facilities

Pharmacy students have access to a range of specialist facilities that reflect the hands-on learning within the field. In these settings, you gain practical experience alongside like-minded students, with pharmacy workshops and lectures guided by industry professionals and expert technicians.

Clinical skills area

  • Mock hospital bay set-up
  • Medicines supply 
  • Patient counselling suites with discrete video recording capabilities.

Cutting edge laboratory equipment

  • Tabletting machines
  • High-performance liquid chromatograph
  • Gas chromatography
  • NMR spectroscopies and dissolution vessels.
  • Industry-standard clinical trial simulation software (e.g. Simcyp, Winnonlin).

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with the opportunities to realise your academic potential through a range of learning experiences.
  2. Encourages you, through a practical approach, to have a passion for Pharmacy and an enthusiasm for learning.
  3. Enables you to be confident about, and capable of, operating in multi-professional teams across a variety of healthcare settings to meet diverse and changing patient needs.
  4. Enables you to ensure high-quality use of medicines that incorporate both safety and effectiveness alongside compassion and empathy.
  5. Prepares you to be a proficient prescriber whose skills can be used to collaborate with and support the wider, complex healthcare systems across the United Kingdom.
  6. Provides you with an up-to-date and professionally focused curriculum satisfying the accreditation requirements of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
  7. Offers you the opportunity to obtain relevant industrial experience by providing integrated placements throughout your educational experience.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Pharmacy stage 1120
Total120

Year 1 outcomes 

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to deliver effective leadership and management of pharmacy services.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to deliver high-quality person-centred care in collaboration with others.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to diagnose, prescribe, monitor, and manage pharmacotherapy.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to engage in continuing professional development.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to practise population and public health.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to practise the application of the natural and social sciences to patient care.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to practise, utilising appropriate attitudes, values, and behaviours.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to practise, utilising professional judgement based on evidence.

Year 2 modules

In your second year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Pharmacy stage 2
 
120
Total120

Year 2 outcomes 

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to deliver education and research in the context of pharmacy services.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to diagnose, prescribe, monitor, and manage pharmacotherapy.
  • Exhibit the knowledge necessary to practice, utilising professional judgement based on evidence..
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver effective leadership and management of pharmacy services.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver high-quality person-centred care in collaboration with others.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to practise population and public health.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to practise the application of the natural and social sciences to patient care.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to practise, utilising appropriate attitudes, values, and behaviours.
  •  Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to practice, utilising professional judgement based on evidence.

Year 3 modules

In your third year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Pharmacy stage 3
 
120
Total120

Year 3 outcomes 

On successful completion of the third year, you will be able to:

  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver education and research in the context of pharmacy services.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver effective leadership and management of pharmacy services.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to practice population and public health.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to practice, utilising professional judgement based on evidence.
  • Demonstrate the traits of a professional pharmacist to deliver high-quality person-centred care in collaboration with others.
  • Demonstrate the traits of a professional pharmacist to diagnose, prescribe, monitor, and manage pharmacotherapy.
  • Demonstrate the traits of a professional pharmacist to practise, utilising appropriate attitudes, values, and behaviours.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to practise the application of science to patient care.

Final year modules

In your final year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Pharmacy stage 4
 
120
Total120

Final year outcomes 

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the traits of a professional pharmacist to deliver education and research in the context of pharmacy services.
  • Demonstrate the traits of a professional pharmacist to deliver effective leadership and management of pharmacy services.
  • Demonstrate the traits of a professional pharmacist to practise population and public health.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to deliver high-quality person-centred care in collaboration with others.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to diagnose, prescribe, monitor, and manage pharmacotherapy.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to engage in continuing professional development.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to practise the application of the natural and social sciences to patient care.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to practise, utilising appropriate attitudes, values, and behaviours.
  • Undertake the role of a pharmacist to practise, utilising professional judgement based on evidence.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    ABB must include Chemistry and one other science subject from Biology, Maths OR Physics.
    BBB must include Chemistry and one other science from Biology, Maths or Physics, for contextual offer students
    The following subjects will not be considered as one of the core three A Levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, and Citizenship Studies.
    We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

BTEC Qualification Name    BTEC grades required    A-Level Requirements
 
Extended Diploma (QCF) National    
 
Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction*
(D*D*D*)
The BTEC subject must be Applied Science with which you do not require an additional A Level.
 
Extended Diploma (QCF/National)    
 
Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
(DDD)
With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.
 
Diploma (QCF)National DiplomaDistinction, Distinction (DD)    

With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject, you must also achieve grade B in A- Level Chemistry.

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
National Extended Certificate
Distinction (D)    With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.
90 Credit Diploma (QCF)    Distinction, Distinction (DD)    With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.
National Foundation DiplomaDistinction (D)With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

Standard offer: 32 points overall in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which must include 6, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects. These subjects must include Chemistry and one other science subject from Biology, Maths OR Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Maths and English Language. 

Contextual offer: 31 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 5 5 5. These subjects must include Chemistry and one other science subject from Biology, Maths OR Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Maths and English Language for contextual offer students.*

This qualification is not accepted for this course.

This qualification is not accepted for this course.

Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Maths and English Language or English Literature. Please note that we do not accept Key Skills or Functional Skills in place of these.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Fitness to Practise (FTP)

These requirements are checked at the point of enrolment.

Due to the nature of this course and in line with national requirements, you will be required to complete a series of checks and screenings, in addition to adhering to a number of regulations and policies. Full details can be found here.

Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check (known as a DBS check) Fitness to Practise Regulations Health screening assessments: All accepted candidates to the MPharm programme will be required to undergo an online health screening assessment during the first year of the course and provide appropriate evidence of immunisation against rubella, measles, tuberculosis, varicella and hepatitis B. Please note:

  • Hepatitis B immunisation takes several months; therefore, prospective students are strongly advised to start the vaccination course in good time and undertake the vaccination schedule as per the Hepatitis B immunisation information for public health professionals contained in the Green Book.
  • A number of the patient-facing learning and teaching sessions will require students to be immunised. Non-immunised students will not be allowed access into some clinical environments and this may result in the failure of modules within the programme or the failure of individual elements of assessment within modules.
  • Following the health screening assessment, some students may be contacted by the Enabling Team to review any health concerns that may affect their ability to take part in patient-facing activities.
  • A hardship fund is available for eligible students to assist with vaccination costs (of up to £160). Those applying for reimbursement upon commencement of the programme should ensure they have retained receipts for any vaccination undertaken.

Aston Pharmacy School policies: There are also further policies that all Pharmacy students must comply with and you should be aware of these before you apply.

  • Student Policy for Raising Concerns
  • Professional Appearance Standards
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment
  • Infection Control Policy.

Other

Degree

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must meet the GCSE requirements and have at least BBB at A Level including Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics. A typical offer would be to achieve a 60% overall with no fails in any units. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this.

Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance. This is due to integrated placements aspect of the course which starts from year one and also the accreditation of the content is for the whole course.

View our Transfers Policy

For further information regarding the transfers policy and Student Transfer Arrangements please check:  https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/student-transfer

Age of qualifications

Applicants must normally have achieved their eligible academic qualifications for entry onto this course within the last two years. Applicants presenting qualifications older than two years will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Admissions Lead.

External Foundation Programmes

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English. You need achieve a total of three A Levels, BBB in any subjects OR CCC including one science from Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Maths.

Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications.

 

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250

International students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

Our MPharm curriculum utilises a range of different assessment types and the assessment strategy reflects both the national educational requirements in the FHEQ and the professional educational standards and learning outcomes from the GPhC.

The four levels within Miller’s Triangle have been used within the national pharmacy educational standards and applied to the outcomes defined in the 2021 GPhC Standards. Assessment formats include diagnostic tests, written examinations, synoptic assessments, coursework, oral presentations, poster presentations, clinical simulation activities, OSCE and other case-based assessments, portfolios, laboratory practicals and calculations, amongst a range of others. Clinical and therapeutic summative assessments in Stages 3 and 4/F have been developed to include prescribing skills.

Career prospects

Our MPharm Pharmacy programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

The transferable skills that our pharmacy programme provides mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in:

  • Community pharmacies like Boots, Cooperative, Lloyds Pharmacy, Superdrug and small-chain or independents
  • GP surgeries
  • Integrated Care Boards
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical industry with organisations such as GSK, Pfizer and Britannia Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Further study through postgraduate programmes such as MSc or PhD
Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Pharmacy at Aston

At Aston, we give all our pharmacy students the ideal preparation for their foundation training year, through working with other healthcare professionals and focusing on the needs and experience of patients and pharmacists, as well as getting to really understand medicine. You’ll learn in specialist facilities from experts in their field, giving you great links into pharmacy practice and industry, and the ideal preparation for a career in pharmacy.

What learning facilities can I expect

As a Pharmacy student, you will have access to a range of specialist facilities in our recently redeveloped Wilson Pharmacy Suite. This includes our clinical skills area, with a mock hospital bay set up, medicines supply and patient counselling suites with discrete video recording capabilities. You will also have access to and use a range of cutting-edge laboratory equipment used in the design, development and testing of drug products which includes tabletting machines, high-performance liquid chromatographs, gas chromatography, NMR spectroscopies and dissolution vessels.

What will my career prospects be like after studying Pharmacy at Aston?

Our graduates go on to work in a variety of career paths, from community-based practices, GP surgeries and hospitals, to pharmaceutical research and industry. 

Organisations who have recently employed Aston graduates include:

  • NHS Trusts
  • Primary care
  • Major high street pharmacy chains (including Boots, Cooperative, Lloyds Pharmacy and Superdrug)
  • Small chain and independent pharmacies
  • Large Pharmaceutical firms such as Glaxo Smith Kline, Pfizer and Britannia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Register your interest

Unistats