Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice MSc

The Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice MSc programme is for you if you are looking to build upon the knowledge gained from a Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy to gain an MSc and learn the necessary critical, analytical and evaluation skills to understand key research processes including ethical and risk assessment issues.


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format


1 year

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore the Psychiatric Pharmacy MSc 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

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. The application deadline for the 1st of July start is the 1st of June and the deadline for the 1st of January is the 1st of December.

Fees: 2024/25 £3,900

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)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

Course outline

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 an 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 in 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 with academics as well as students.
  • Learn good writing skills and if required the ability to complete an ethics proposal for submission to an ethics committee.
  • Develop the ability to study independently and employ good time management.

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 8,000 and 12,000 words in length. Independence of thought and action within the research process and effectiveness of timekeeping will all be assessed.

Course Director: Hannah Macfarlane

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.

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