Pharmacy MPharm

Studying the Pharmacy MPharm degree at Aston University, Birmingham gives you the skills, insight and capability to keep our communities healthy and safe, delivering person-centred care in a rewarding career.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type


Course format

Integrated placements


4 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

This course is currently available through Clearing.

Applications for the MPharm Pharmacy course must be made through our online clearing self-apply form only. Applicants must not call the clearing hotline, or apply via social media. Our phone line operators and social media teams cannot assist with your application form.

All applications will be assessed and if shortlisted, you will be invited via email, to complete a telephone interview. This forms a compulsory part of your application. Please ensure you read through our interview information in full (please see below) as it provides details on interview arrangements and content.

You must be in clearing in order to be considered for an interview and place on this course. If you are not currently in clearing, you are welcome to submit a self-apply form and we will advise you on your eligibility. However, you will still be required to submit another self-apply form once you are in clearing in order to be considered. We are unable to hold places for students who are eligible but not in clearing.

Please read the interview information in full before applying

Entry requirements:

A Level: CCC must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics. 


BTEC UnREF: DDD BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF/National) in any subject, plus grades CC which must include Chemistry and another science subject from Biology, Maths or Physics. 


BTEC REF: DDD BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF/National) in any subject, plus grades CC which must include Chemistry and another science subject from: Biology, Maths or Physics. 


BTEC UnREF/REF: Alternatively D*D*D BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF/National) in Applied Science  


Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Mathematics and English Language/Literature

Explore Pharmacy MPharm at Aston University

Pharmacy graduate Jenny talks about her time studying at Aston and her current role at Royal Derby Hospital.

Ghassan Helo

"The highlight of my time was during my dissertation. Having freedom, trust and support is key to a successful dissertation even before you put pen to paper and I had support from my personal tutor, my supervisor and the module leader throughout. Feedback was extensive and candid, without it, I would not have come close to what I achieved. My tutors always offered support and sometimes even just time to chat when I needed it, I would have struggled had they not been approachable and keen to talk."

Ghassan Helo
Graduate role: Pre-registration Pharmacist Trainee, Boots

Ghassan Helo

"The highlight of my time was during my dissertation. Having freedom, trust and support is key to a successful dissertation even before you put pen to paper and I had support from my personal tutor, my supervisor and the module leader throughout. Feedback was extensive and candid, without it, I would not have come close to what I achieved. My tutors always offered support and sometimes even just time to chat when I needed it, I would have struggled had they not been approachable and keen to talk."

Ghassan Helo
Graduate role: Pre-registration Pharmacist Trainee, Boots

Clearing information

Interviews form a compulsory part of the application process for our MPharm Pharmacy course and must be completed in order to be considered for an offer. Please ensure you read this page in full for details on how interviews will work during clearing 2020.

Clearing application process

  1. Submit your application through the self-apply form, please ensure you provide two contact telephone numbers. Please note places are limited; therefore, it is important you check availability on the website throughout the day as place availability will change.
  2. If you are eligible you will be shortlisted for a telephone interview. You will be contacted via email to confirm this. 
  3. Calls will be made within an hour of receiving your interview invitation email wherever possible. You may be called at any point within that hour so it is vital to ensure you have your telephones to hand and are ready to be interviewed. Please note at busy times we may take longer to contact you. If you miss your phone call and are rejected for no response, you will need to submit a new self-apply application form, submitting a new application form is subject to vacancies being available.
  4. If you are successful at interview an offer will be made. You will be given a deadline for adding us on UCAS track and this will be clearly communicated in your offer email.

The interview

The telephone interview will be with one of our Aston Pharmacy School staff members and will last around 10-15 minutes. During the interview you will discuss your views on your chosen proposal (see details below) and be asked questions about your response. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.    

Preparing for your interview

Before your telephone interview you should consider one of the two following proposals:

  1. The NHS promises that care will be ‘free at the point of delivery.’ However, the cost of care is very much more than when it was started, and there are many more people calling on its services. Resources are not unlimited even though spending on health and social care is estimated to be £140 billion a year. It is proposed that the cost of care for injuries in high risk sports (for example freestyle high-altitude climbing, base-jumping and off-piste skiing) shouldn’t be paid for by the NHS.
  2. In the last year there has been an increasing concern about the number of measles cases occurring. Some experts have suggested it may be necessary to address surges in diseases like measles, alongside falling rates of immunisation. It is proposed that unvaccinated children should not be allowed to start school.

Key things to note about how we conduct our interviews:

  • You will not be asked technical questions about pharmacy. We are more interested in how you think through problems and whether you can communicate a solution, rather than if you are able to draw the structure of Aspirin.
  • We welcome you to ask any questions you may have about the course and university.

Aston interview pledge

Since the UK lockdown began in March, the majority of staff at Aston University have been working at home and all teaching has been conducted virtually. This means we are mindful of other’s home life and understand the need to be flexible during these challenging times. This flexibility and understanding also extends to our applicants when we deliver our telephone interviews. Below are some pledges to reassure you:

We are happy to pause the interview if your attention is required for any domestic reason.
We understand that there may be some background noise during the call.

It is our aim to ensure all applicants are treated fairly regardless of their circumstances, so the outcome of your interview will not be affected by either of the points noted above. If you have any concerns about conducting your interview, please raise these with your interviewer at the start of your call and they will be happy to discuss this with you. 

Frequently asked questions


Why do I need to be interviewed?

In addition to academic performance, we place a strong focus on skills which are not easy to assess based on your clearing application form alone. Therefore, we interview applicants in order to ensure those we offer places to have the right skills for a successful career in pharmacy.

Offers are dependent on completion of a successful interview.

When will I hear whether I am successful?

Shortlisted for interview: we will review and process applications in order of time applied. The earlier you apply, the earlier you will hear whether you have been shortlisted.

Decision after interview: we aim to make a formal decision to you very soon after the interview has taken place.

If I’m made a clearing offer, when do I need to accept it by?

If you successfully pass the interview and are made an offer, you will be given a deadline for adding us on track. This would be clearly communicated on your offer email. 

If I accept a clearing offer for Pharmacy, can I then transfer onto Medicine at Aston University?

No. No applicant is allowed to transfer onto Medicine at Aston from another undergraduate programme. To apply for Medicine, you will need to have completed your degree or to be applying in the final year of your degree. Please see the MBChB course page for more information.

Course outline and modules


Studying at Aston Pharmacy School will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and outlook required to become an outstanding pharmacist. You’ll experience work-based learning through our extensive network of industry partners; develop your skills in dedicated specialist facilities, and benefit from the experience and insight of our expert teaching staff.

With our roots stretching back to the establishment of the Birmingham Pharmaceutical Institution in 1847, and strong links with the NHS and healthcare industry, Aston is the ideal place to learn about this fascinating, and ever-changing profession.


Our Pharmacy MPharm degree is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), which is one of the key requirements to practice as a pharmacist in the UK. The most recent accreditation at Aston University took place in May 2019 and the MPharm programme was re-accredited for six years, the maximum period possible.

Integrated placements and interprofessional learning

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 to this, many of our final year students select a final year research project in pharmacy practice, which can be based in either community or hospital practice.

Your personal tutors, along with the wider Pharmacy School team, will be on hand to support you with sourcing additional work-based experiences on summer breaks to improve your skills and enhance your CV.

International students and post-study work visa

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

For international students who are interested in completing their Pre-registration year in the UK, you can find more information about visa requirements here. Additionally, the new post-study work visa enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. For more information visit the government website.

Course outline 

As the only Pharmacy School in the UK to hold a prestigious Regius Chair in Pharmacy, studying at Aston means you’ll be learning in the best possible environment to have an outstanding career that changes and improves many lives.

We have a long-standing track record of teaching excellence, student satisfaction and graduate prospects, and at Aston, you’ll be provided with the opportunities, experience and expertise needed to prepare for your pre-registration training year and successful future career as a pharmacist.

You’ll have access to our student support team and personal tutor who are there to help you through your studies, supporting your personal and professional development. In addition, you will have a great peer support network through the highly active and student-led Aston Pharmacy Association.

Our open and inclusive curriculum structure allows you to see how the material you learn throughout the course is connected.

You’ll study twelve integrated themes, within three broad areas of study:

The Professional

Four themes focusing on the safe and effective delivery of healthcare and supporting you in the development of your professional identity as a pharmacist. Themes include:

  • Personal professional development
  • Population and public health
  • Delivery of care
  • Fundamentals of practice
The Medicine

Four themes focusing on how medicines are discovered, formulated and used in practice, including the latest developments in individualised medicines. Themes include:

  • Drugs to market
  • Enteral drug delivery
  • Parenteral drug delivery
  • Personalisation of pharmaceuticals
The Patient

four themes focusing on the care of patients, covering a wide range of both individual and multiple clinical conditions. Themes include:

  • Inflammation and immunity
  • Musculoskeletal and central nervous system
  • Cardiovascular, respiratory and renal
  • Gastrointestinal and endocrine

Running throughout each of these themes are three key central learning threads:

  • Patient-centred care
  • Deliberative practice
  • Collaborative practice, via inter-professional learning with other healthcare professionals and students, such as those from the Schools of Medicine, Optometry and Audiology.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers:

A Level

BBB to BBC including Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics (depending on EPQ, Core Maths or Contextual offer)


Are welcome with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details

International Baccalaureate Diploma

31 overall (HL 5, 5, 5 must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics)


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

Further details

A Levels
  • BBB must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics.
  • BBC must include Chemistry and one other science from Biology, Maths or Physics, in addition to either a B in Core Maths or B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • Students who are eligible for a contextual offer under the Aston Ready programme are required to meet three A Level requirements, including Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics, but will receive a specific lower offer.

The following subjects will not be considered as one of the core three A Levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, 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.

BTEC Qualification NameBTEC grades requiredA Level Requirements
Extended Diploma (QCF) National

Distinction*, Distinction* , Distinction*

The BTEC subject must be Applied Science with which you do not require an additional A Level.
Extended Diploma (QCF/National)

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction

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

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.


International Baccalaureate Diploma

31 points overall in the IB Diploma, which must include 5, 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.

Access to Higher Education

This qualification is not accepted for this course.

Foundation programmes

Foundation Programme in Science: Biosciences and Psychology (Aston University)

For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science: Bioscience and Pharmacy

External Foundation Programmes from another University

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 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.
  • CCC or above in three A level subjects which much include one or more science from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

International Students

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University)

For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation programme in Science. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

International qualifications

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages.



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.

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.

Further requirements

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 failure of modules within the programme or 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 (2020 policies will be available soon):
  • Student Policy for Raising Concerns
  • Professional Appearance Standards
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment
  • Infection Control Policy


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.

More advice on applying to Aston can be found here.

View our Admissions Policy. 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

You will benefit from working with our highly qualified and knowledgeable team of academics, scientists, leading researchers and practising pharmacists from a variety of healthcare areas.

Our interconnected course structure enables us to put all teaching firmly in the context of delivering patient care as part of a multi-disciplinary team. We have a strong and deliberate focus on interprofessional practice and collaborative care, working closely with Aston’s many healthcare courses to increase the opportunities for you to learn with, from and about other healthcare specialities.

Your learning will be delivered via a range of teaching methods from problem-based learning and video recording sessions, to computer aided learning and patient-simulators. We utilise a range of learning technologies, which are combined with high-fidelity simulations of healthcare practice to provide you with a realistic and safe environment in which to learn skills and develop your knowledge.

Each year of study is worth 120 credits, with each credit equivalent to 10 learning hours. The learning hours may include but are not limited to lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab sessions, practicals, online activity, reading, other independent study, reflecting on assignment feedback, field trips and work placements.


Our recently revised MPharm curriculum has a 50/50 split between coursework end of year assessments.

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 room with a mock hospital bay set up, dispensing and patient counselling suites with discrete video recording capabilities. You will also use a range of laboratories and teaching rooms.


Fees and Scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £18,900*

During placement year: £2,500

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.

You can explore the costs involved in studying at university and the financial support that may be available to you here.

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

Career prospects

As an MPharm student at Aston, you will have access to a wide range of services and support as you embark upon your first career steps.

Our dedicated Careers and Placements team offer interview support, CV surgeries and specialist on campus careers fairs. Of course, you will also have the Aston Pharmacy School team on hand to assist with any questions you have about securing your pre-registration post or other career of choice.

Our graduates enter a variety of careers in:

  • Community pharmacies like Boots, Cooperative, LloydsPharmacy, Superdrug and small-chain or independents
  • GP surgeries
  • NHS Primary Care Trusts
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical industry with organisations such as GSK, Pfizer and Britannia Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Further study with an MSc or PhD


Frequently asked questions

Why study Pharmacy at Aston?

At Aston, we give all our students the ideal preparation for their pre-registration year, through working with other healthcare professionals, and focusing on the needs and experience 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 industry, and the ideal preparation for a career in pharmacy.

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 operating in hospitals, GP surgeries and hospitals
  • 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, Phizer 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 careers 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. Click here for more information on post-work visas.


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