Key information, entry requirements and fees
Mode of delivery: Part-time distance learning
Duration: Approximately 12 months
Start date: This programme will have two intakes per year, 1st January and 1st July.
You can now apply for the 1st July intake. The application deadline for the 1st July start is 9th June.
Fees: 2022/23 £3,600
The student will normally be employed by the NHS and will be on a career path as a mental health pharmacist specialising in the treatment of people with mental illness
A PgDip Psychiatric Pharmacy from Aston University or equivalent is essential, with a research methods module a desirable option.
- 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.
- A Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy from Aston University or equivalent is essential, with a research methods module a desirable option.
- Students will normally be employed by the NHS and will be on a career path as a mental health pharmacist specialising in the treatment of people with mental illness.
- Please be aware that places are not guaranteed and will be limited by supervisor capacity, academic ability and treated on a first come, first served basis.
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be considered for applicants who express an interest in direct entry to the Diploma or MSc.
- For further information about the eligibility requirements please contact the course director.
- 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.
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. Find out more about our scholarships here.
Course outline and what you will study
Our one year research MSc Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice is available to you if you have previously successfully completed the PgDip Psychiatric Pharmacy course here at Aston. This single 60 credit module will enable you to convert your Diploma (where you will have obtained 120 credits) to a MSc (where you will then obtain 180 credits in total).
You will undertake supervised, but independently executed, practice research and be encouraged to integrate and apply the skills acquired during the PgCert and PgDip courses to investigate in depth an area of clinical psychiatric pharmacy practice of specific interest to you.
This module will equip you with the necessary critical, analytical and evaluation skills necessary to understand the research process thoroughly, including ethical and risk assessment issues. It provides experience of practice research and project management together with preparation for submission for publication.
In addition to the knowledge gained on this course, you will develop the following skills:
- The ability to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries in the field of psychiatric practice research
- Learn to communicate effectively to academics as well as students
- Learn good writing skills and the ability to complete an ethics proposal for submission to an ethics committee
- Develop the ability to study independently and employ good time management.
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.
Learning, teaching, assessment and staff
You will complete:
- A research proposal: You will be required to submit a research proposal of approximately 2,000 words. This will be assessed for appropriateness of content; proposed research question and design of the study together with ethical issues; professional conduct and implications of the results.
- The research project: This should demonstrate a detailed theoretical understanding and a critical appraisal of the relevant research literature. It should include an appropriate research question or hypothesis, plus suitable experimental design, execution, data handling, data analyses and interpretation in a systematic and accurate manner. The project should usually be between 10,000 and 15,000 words in length. Independence of thought and action within the research process and effectiveness of timekeeping will all be assessed.
Course Director: Dr Ian Maidment
Teaching staff: Hannah Macfarlane
Your future career prospects
The certificate is the first stage for pharmacists in becoming a specialist mental health pharmacist. It is also undertaken by mental health nurses to increase their knowledge base especially those practising or aiming to practise as non-medical prescribers. General practitioners and psychiatrists, as well as graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry have also been past students.
The diploma is frequently 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. The Diploma forms part of the pathway for this accreditation.
The MSc (research project) is designed to help students develop their career either within practice or academia. Consultant pharmacist posts, in the NHS, are all required to have a research component.
The qualification can also help students looking to undertake a PhD.