Psychiatric Therapeutics PgCert

The Postgraduate Certificate in Psychiatric Therapeutics at Aston University is a distance learning course that has been written, taught and assessed by specialist mental health pharmacists. This qualification is often a requirement for specialist clinical mental health positions in the NHS and this course is accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP).


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


1 year

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Mode of delivery: Distance learning - all course materials are delivered electronically.

Duration: 12 months plus exam (the exam is usually around 2 months after the coursework finishes).

Start date: January 2021

Application deadline: 14th December 2020

Fees: £3,300

Bursaries are awarded to members of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) according to the need and merit on application to the Treasurer of the CMHP.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

A good honours degree (minimum lower 2nd class) from a recognised university in a relevant subject. See below for more details

Alternative qualifications

An equivalent qualification as agreed with the Programme Director and Pharmacy Technicians without a degree but with extensive relevant experience will also be considered.

  • 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.
  • Applicants would usually possess a good honours degree (minimum lower 2nd class) from a recognised university in one of the following subjects (or an equivalent qualification as agreed with the Programme Director; Pharmacy Technicians without a degree but with extensive relevant experience will also be considered):
    • Pharmacy
    • Medicine
    • Nursing.
  • 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. 

Professional accreditation

The programme is accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP).

Course outline, assessment and staff

You will take six modules in total, two of which are introductory with the following four covering the major therapeutic areas of psychiatry. One module will be made available online every two months and there is a written assessment at the end of each module.


  • Introduction to Psychiatry
  • Underlying Principles
  • Schizophrenia
  • Affective Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Dementia


All course materials will be delivered electronically and you will encounter a range of learning methods, including:

  • Study of authored text material, directed reading and self assessed exercises
  • Formative exercises and assignments
  • Additional reading
  • Application within professional practice.

Assessment is by assignments and multi-response question papers, plus a final examination, home students are required to attend the University for the final exam.

Course Director: Dr Ian Maidment

Teaching staff: Hannah Macfarlane

Your future career prospects

This course 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 practicing or intending to practice as non-medical prescribers.

General practitioners and psychiatrists, as well as graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry, have also taken this course.

Contact us

Register your interest

The information you provide will be used by Aston University to contact you about the University, courses you may be interested in and events you may wish to attend, for anything outside of this purpose we will obtain your consent. Your data is subject to Aston University’s privacy policy and cookie policy.  For further information, please visit