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 2022

Application deadline: Applications are now closed.

Fees (2022): £3,450

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. 


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

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.


  • An Introduction to Psychiatry and Integrated Psychiatric Therapeutics
  • Underlying Principles
  • Schizophrenia
  • The Affective Disorders
  • Anxiety and Sleep Disorders
  • The Dementias and Related Disorders

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, Emma Smith, Ruth Egbe, Muhammad (Umair) Khan

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 practising or intending to practise as non-medical prescribers.

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

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