Psychiatric Pharmacy


Build upon your existing knowledge and study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy at Aston University. Accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) this qualification is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health positions in the NHS.

Start date: September 16th 2024. We are accepting applications until Wed 31st July

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Part-time, Online / distance learning
Entry requirements

One year

Start date

Course overview

Our Psychiatric Pharmacy programme, through both knowledge-based learning as well as professional practice, prepares students for a specialist clinical role in the field of psychiatric pharmacy.  The course provides opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to enable pharmacists to play an active part in the care of people with a range of mental health disorders. 

After the Diploma, students may go on to study for a research MSc, conducting relevant research in the specialty in order to inform and improve future practice.

Our Psychiatric Pharmacy modules integrate the five domains of practice outlined in the RPS Core Advanced AND RPS/CMHP Specialist Advanced Curricula. These domains include:

  1. person-centred care and collaboration
  2. professional practice
  3. leadership and management
  4. education
  5. research

This structured approach supports career development by fostering the necessary competencies and behaviours for advanced pharmacist practice.


"I recently have been appointed to a new post as an Adult ADHD Specialist Pharmacist.  This is a really exciting job as I'll be involved in shaping and developing the service going forward.  I'd like to say thank you to the team as this appointment was made possible for me by having the Postgraduate Diploma.

Sarah Walter
Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy
Adult ADHD Specialist Pharmacist

Why Psychiatric Pharmacy at Aston University?

Accredited qualification
Accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy
Book and pen
Specialist knowledge
Written, taught and assessed by specialist mental health pharmacists
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Industry links
Gain eligibility for specialist clinical mental health posts in the NHS

Course description

Psychiatric Pharmacy PgDip

Our Psychiatric Pharmacy PgDip at Aston will equip you with the skills, insights, and confidence required to become an outstanding clinical mental health specialist.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching delivered by a diverse array of staff with years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. Our teaching aims to inspire and excite you and bring your course to life.

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

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What skills we teach
Learn the skills to work as a competent clinical mental health specialist in the NHS with our programme of professionally-relevant and educationally-challenging postgraduate education that will enable students to maximise their contribution to the treatment and care of patients with mental illness. Through full engagement with the learning content, assessments and feedback, this course allows students to develop and refine the following transferable skills:

  • Independent study
  • Application of problem-solving skills
  • Time management
  • Effective information retrieval, synthesis, evaluation, and presentation
  • Critical appraisal
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Career prospects
Our Psychiatric Pharmacy PgDip is highly valued by employers and is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health posts in the NHS.

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.

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.

What you will learn

You will develop a high level of professionally-relevant knowledge that will enable you to maximise your contribution to the treatment and care of patients with mental illness and directly enhance your applicable skills for a successful career as a clinical mental health specialist. 

Course objectives

  1. To prepare you for a specialist clinical role in the field of psychiatric pharmacy.
  2. To provide you with the knowledge to enable you to play an active part in the care of people with a range of mental health disorders
  3. To enable you to communicate effectively across professional boundaries and act as an integral member of the multidisciplinary team.
  4. To develop your decision-making process in a professional context within the auspices of the multidisciplinary team.
  5. To apply knowledge and skills in the practice of mental health pharmacy and to prepare students for expert professional practice, delivering care to people with complex needs.  In addition to clinical expertise, you will have the opportunity to develop and apply skills in communication, teamwork, education and critical evaluation.


Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
An Introduction to Clinical Practice10
Clinical Interventions10
Formulary Development, Clinical Audit and Communication10
Psychological Therapies/Substance Misuse10
Pharmaco-Economics/Information Technology & Evidence Based Medicine10
Integrated Studies and Specialist Areas10

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.

Entry requirements

Postgraduate qualifications

Students must usually have successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Mental HealthTherapeutics from Aston University with an average mark of no less than 55% and no referred modules. Other clinical pharmacy qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


You must be able to regularly attend a multidisciplinary clinical forum in which prescribing decisions are made for people living with a range of mental illnesses. Attendance at such a clinical forum will be required for a minimum of 14 weeks over each four-month module, of which there are three over the year of study.

  • 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.
  • Other clinical pharmacy qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Additionally, students will only be admitted if they have suitable access to a multidisciplinary team and patients with psychiatric illnesses. For example, they are employed in a unit that treats people with mental health problems in a clinical setting that is deemed appropriate by the Programme Director.

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. Potential applicants who are not sure that their current employment will meet these expectations should contact the Programme Director for advice for applying.

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

Timeline of application

  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:
  7. the offer reply form, and,
  8. paying the deposit/sending a sponsor letter.
  9. 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.
  10. Once an offer has been accepted fully, the system is updated to reflect this. Approximately six 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.

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

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

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

English language requirements

How to apply

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.

Masters Foundation 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.



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 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£3,900

International students

Annual tuition fees:£3,900

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students 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. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


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.


The course is assessed entirely through coursework, there is no exam. This course is worth 60 credits, with each credit equivalent to 10 learning hours. These learning hours include engagement with the learning materials which includes but is not limited to pre-recorded lectures, module meetings, online activity, reading, other independent study, reflecting on assignment feedback and application of learning in practice. Most students will need to spend 5-10 hours per week on their studies.

Career prospects

This qualification is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health posts in the NHS. 

“Specialist status” as deemed by Membership of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy is also increasingly expected for higher level clinical posts in the NHS. This diploma forms part of the pathway for this accreditation.


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 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.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

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