Pharmacy MPharm (Hons)

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A Level (2020 entry)
    ABB-BBB must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics
  • BTEC
    Are welcome with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details
  • International baccalaureate diploma
    32 – 31 Overall (HL 5, 5, 5 must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics)
  • GCSEs
    Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Mathematics and English Language
More information
Apply via UCAS

Key Dates

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Pharmacy at Aston: Workshops & Lectures

Aston Pharmacy students talk about their studying experience

90.4% Overall Student Satisfaction (MPharm Pharmacy, NSS, 2019)

Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Work based learning within hospitals, pharmacies, GP surgeries and pharmaceutical companies

Top 15 in the UK for graduate prospects, student satisfaction and research quality (Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Complete University Guide, 2020)

Course summary

This course is for you if you wish to begin a career in pharmacy by studying at one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools. 

Entry requirements for 2020

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated placements

UCAS Code: B230

Admissions Review Process: All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with lower predicted grades if the application is of a high standard which includes a strong personal statement and academic reference. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated below. If you have already achieved your A level grades you may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme - this means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course may be reduced. Whilst we normally look for evidence of recent study (which we define as the past 2 years), we also welcome applications from mature students who have achieved grades up to 3 years old, which will be considered on a case by case scenario. You will be required to make a full UCAS application which lists your education and work history up to the time of application along with sufficient references. Find out more about our admissions policy.

Applicant Interview Visit Days: If you are shortlisted, you will receive an interview invite which will be held on campus. It is compulsory that you attend in order to receive a decision on your application. For International applicants we organise a Skype interview.

Typical offers


Five GCSEs which must include Mathematics and English Language all at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

A Levels:

ABB-BBB (must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics).

A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

Excluded Subjects: We welcome the following subjects as an additional A level, but not as one of the core three A levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies. We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.


We welcome BTEC qualifications in any subject which are taken with the relevant A Level subjects as listed below.

BTEC Qualification Name

BTEC grades required A Level Requirements

Extended Diploma (QCF/National)


With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject you must achieve grade B in Chemistry.

Diploma (QCF) National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must achieve grade grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject you must achieve grade B in Chemistry.

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D) With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

90 Credit Diploma (QCF)

Distinction, Distinction (DD) With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

National Foundation Diploma

Distinction (D) With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two science subjects including Chemistry PLUS Biology, Physics or Maths.

International Baccalaureate Diploma:

32 - 31 points overall in the IB Diploma which must include 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects. These subjects must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Maths and English Language.

Access to Higher Education qualification is not accepted for this course.


International students

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your future webpage.

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): 

We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements and the entry requirements to our courses. 

International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): 

For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science at Aston University, however, please note there are specific entry requirements which must be checked:  Foundation Entry Requirements.


Non-standard qualifications


We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalents as listed) requirements, with which a typical offer would be to achieve 60% overall with no fails in any units. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications.

Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance. This is due to integrated placements aspect of the course which starts from year one and also the accreditation of the content is for the whole course. 

Alternative qualifications:

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.

External Foundation Programmes from another University:

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

  • 5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.
  • BBB in any three A level subjects.
  • CCC in three A level subjects which much include one or more science from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

Fees for 2020

For 2020 entry:

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 per year
  • International students: £18,900* per year

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.


Tuition fees 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. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

Criminal Records Check (DBS) & Fitness to Practise information

Students enrolling onto this course will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check (known as a DBS check). 

In line with national requirements for courses leading to a health professional qualification, this course is also subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.

Discover more about DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise.

There are also further policies that all Pharmacy students must comply to and you should be aware of these before you apply:

Key applicant information

All accepted candidates to the MPharm programme will be required to undergo an online health screening assessment during the first year of the course and provide appropriate evidence of immunisation against rubella, measles, tuberculosis, varicella and hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B immunisation takes several months; therefore, prospective students are strongly advised to start the vaccination course in good time and undertake the vaccination schedule as per the Hepatitis B immunisation information for public health professionals contained in the Green Book.

A number of the patient facing learning and teaching sessions will require students to be immunised. Non-immunised students will not be allowed access into some clinical environments and this may result in failure of modules within the programme or failure of individual elements of assessment within modules.

Following the health screening assessment some students may be contacted by the Enabling Team to review any health concerns that may affect their ability to take part in patient facing activities.

A hardship fund is available for eligible students to assist with vaccination costs (of up to £160). Those applying for reimbursement upon commencement of the programme should ensure they have retained receipts for any vaccination undertaken.

Course outline

Pharmacists are health care professionals with a strong background in sciences, whose expertise covers all aspects of the design, development, delivery, supply, control and use of drugs. Pharmacists need a broad scientific education and specialist professional training, so we have pioneered an integrated approach to teaching and learning which links professional studies to an extensive core science course.

Our 4-year MPharm degree course is specifically designed to meet the rapidly changing requirements for the practise of pharmacy. In designing and developing our Pharmacy degree we consult first with the patients we serve, then with major employers, other health professionals, our own students, the public and government bodies. 

From the start of the course you will be encouraged to apply your understanding of the scientific principles of pharmacy within a patient focussed setting, through case based workshops, problem based learning, integrated science and clinical scenarios. Our modern course benefits from substantial links with the profession including consultant pharmacists, experts from pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy entrepreneurs. Aston University also has a team of teacher practitioners based in the major Birmingham hospitals and has an established inter-professional learning network across the campus and the region.

The aim of the pharmacy course at Aston is to give you a breadth of knowledge and a wide range of professional and technical skills, coupled with a critical ethical outlook to ensure you become an outstanding pharmacist. You will also benefit from a great peer support network through our student-led Aston Pharmacy Association.

Please note to ensure our MPharm Pharmacy course provides you with the most up to date and relevant pharmacy education our curriculum has recently undergone a redesign. This page will be updated shortly with the full details of our new curriculum.   

Did you know that Aston Pharmacy School can trace its roots back to 1841?

What you will study

Please note to ensure our MPharm Pharmacy course provides you with the most up to date and relevant pharmacy education our curriculum has recently undergone a redesign. The information provided below is correct for 2019, full details of the curriculum and modules for 2020 will be available on this page soon. 

Year 1

In the first year, you will develop the scientific knowledge which provides a basis for the pharmaceutical industry. You also start applying your knowledge to clinical situations that you might encounter in a community pharmacy as the course is patient focussed from Year 1. You will study:

  • Physiology (how the body works)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology

  • Pharmaceutical Calculations

  • Formulation and Optimisation of Medicines: How medicines are made

  • Drug Molecules, Mechanisms and Analysis (pharmaceutical chemistry)

  • Introduction to the Practice of Pharmacy

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Patient Care 

  • Professional Studies: Effective Learning, Career Management and IT.

Year 2

The second year extends your understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences - the chemistry of different drug groups, their formulation into medicines, the pathology of major diseases and the pharmacological basis of therapeutics. You will study:

  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology: Pharmacogenomics, Pharmacogenetics and Immunology

  • Medicines Optimisation through Formulation

  • Spectroscopic Analysis of Medicines

  • Professional Workplace and Scientific Communication Skills

  • Medicine Supply: Law and Practice

  • The Pharmacological Basis of Clinical Care.

Year 3 

The third year completes your study of applied pharmacology and medicinal chemistry. You will learn how drugs can be delivered to the body, and how medicines are prepared and reach the market.  You will study:

  • Neuropharmacology

  • Chemotherapy and Selective Toxicity

  • Pharmaceutical Formulation III

  • Quality assured Pharmaceutical Technology: Aseptic parenteral and radio pharmaceutical delivery  

  • Medicinal Chemistry: Analysis, Metabolism and Drug Discovery 

  • Personal and professional development: preparing for your project and your pre-registration

  • Applied Clinical Skills: applying scientific knowledge to real patient cases.    

Final Year

The theme of the final year is pharmaceutical practice. You will use and extend all the knowledge and skills you have developed in the previous years. You will develop confidence in applying your pharmaceutical knowledge to maximise individual patient benefit from treatment. You will also complete an extended research project. You will study:

  • Clinical Pharmaceutics and drug delivery 

  • The Professional Pharmacist: Medical law and medicalisation

  • Practical Therapeutics 

  • Interprofessional learning 

  • Essential Skills: Research Project.

Work based learning

We are at the forefront of work based and e-learning within pharmacy. Work based experiential learning is integrated in to each academic year. The experiences that you will encounter are very important for the development of a wide range of practical skills and deepening your knowledge. You will also develop interpersonal skills such as working in clinical teams, managing your time and much more. You will also discover more about the career options that are available in this area.

Each year of the course includes structured practise-based opportunities in local hospitals, clinics or pharmacies. These will provide you with invaluable professional experience. Working with a range of healthcare professionals across NHS trusts gives you the opportunity to develop valuable and transferable skills for modern day pharmacy practice.

Students who complete work based opportunities in the NHS may be required to pay for DBS checks and occupational health checks.

Find out more about placement and pre-registration years in the Life & Health Sciences.

Learning, teaching & assessment

You will encounter a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Hospital and other clinical/practice placements
  • Group work and problem-based learning
  • Self-study courses
  • Computer-Aided Learning (CAL) e.g. clinical patient simulations.

You will be continuously assessed throughout the four-year course. A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are used, including

  • Examinations
  • Portfolio
  • Essays
  • Practical reports
  • Project work
  • Computer based assessment.
  • Interactive clinical examinations (OSCEs).
Professional accreditation

Our MPharm degree is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

The GPhC is the independent regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. They are responsible for defining the education and training requirements for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

We are also the first and only Pharmacy School to be awarded a Regius Professorship in Pharmacy by HM the Queen.

Your future career prospects

Our degree programme has been specifically designed for employability in all areas of pharmacy – community, primary care trusts, hospitals and industry. Aston’s long established reputation and professional accreditation ensures that career prospects of our graduates are first-class. 99.2% of our MPharm Pharmacy graduates were in a graduate level destination within 6 months of graduating (most recent Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), 2016/17)

We have strong links with a number of NHS trusts and a range of employers from the community and primary care sectors. This means we are able to bridge the gap between the student and career pharmacist at multiple levels – giving you an informed choice of how you might specialise and develop your career.

A large proportion of our students go onto pre-registration posts in local hospitals, clinics, GP surgeries and pharmacies, others into industry roles in research, manufacturing and sales. In addition students can also choose to continue their studies with a PhD to move into academic research.  

Recent employers include:

  • NHS hospital pharmacy: 
    • Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
    • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
    • Royal Derby Hospital
    • St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust.
    • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Community pharmacy:
    • Balsall Common Pharmacy
    • Boots Pharmacy
    • Cooperative Pharmacy
    • Lloyds Pharmacy
    • Marsden Pharmacy
    • Superdrug
    • Tesco Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical companies:
    • Britannia Pharmaceuticals Ltd
    • GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
    • Pfizer

Personal development

Our course helps you develop the knowledge and skills needed to maximise your career prospects. Communicating with patients and fellow professionals is a crucial professional skill - you experience patient contact and engage in role-playing activities. IT skills are essential and we help you develop these in our up-to-the-minute IT teaching and learning suites and in our dispensary using specialist software packages.

Communication skills 

Understanding and communicating with patients and fellow professionals is a key skill. There are many and varied opportunities to develop your communication skills throughout the programme, from essential skills modules devoted to particular aspects of communication, to the teaching, learning and assessment methods used in all other areas of the course. Such methods include role play with video feedback, individual and group presentations during workshops and problem based learning, and seminar presentations. 

Professional and personal development 

You will be encouraged to develop your areas of strength and to identify and address areas of weakness throughout the course creating a portfolio of professional practice, which you will develop during each academic year. This will provide evidence of your professional competence, and of your ability to undertake Continuing Professional Development to the standards required of all pharmacists by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

You will develop a portfolio throughout your four years which helps you identify, plan for and record your personal and professional development.


The MPharm utilises specialist teaching and research laboratories recently refitted to very high standards in a £3m upgrade project. You will benefit from:

  • Extensive and well equipped laboratories;
  • Purpose-built dispensing practice laboratory;
  • Medicines management clinical examination suite, to support the learning of modern pharmacy areas such as clinical care and prescribing. 
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment;
  • A virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more. 
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form;
  • Innovative teaching methods including problem-based learning, video recording sessions, computer-aided learning and patient-simulations.

To make sure you get off to the best start possible we provide all of our 1st year students with a lab coat, Pharmacy School name badge, tunic, and key personal laboratory equipment free of charge. 

Pharmacy teaching laboratories
All pharmacy undergraduate teaching takes place here. Usually students are analysing drug molecules; formulating drug molecules into capsules and tablets and looking at how quickly a drug is released from a tablet or capsules.

Dispensary suite
All pharmacy undergraduate dispensing activities are taking place here. Mainly used for dispensing drug products to patients and other patient-pharmacist simulation exercises.

Research laboratories
Mostly used for Pharmacy undergraduate research projects for designing and developing new drug formulations.

Further information for international students

Whether you will need a work visa in order to be allowed to take your pre-registration year at the end of your MPharm course depends on the type of UK visa you already possess, or could obtain, and which you will use to study at Aston University. You can find out more in our briefing note for prospective MPharm students for the academic year  2019-2020 (updated information available shortly) and our visas for Pre-Registration webpages.


Pharmacy at Aston University is part of the School of Life and Health Sciences, which also includes Optometry, Biomedical Science, Biology and Psychology undergraduate programmes and a thriving research culture. There are over 50 teaching and research staff in Pharmacy with other School of Life and Health Sciences staff also undertaking Pharmacy/Life/Health Sciences related teaching and research.

Admissions Tutors: 

  • Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan - Lecturer in Pharmacokinetics
  • Dr Chi Huynh - Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy

Meet the Pharmacy team.

Find out more

Discover more in the following ways:

Why did you choose to study at Aston?

I chose to study at Aston because the Pharmacy School was highly renowned. As the Pharmacy course had been established here for many years, I knew that I would get a well-rounded and credible education which would be the perfect start to my career. I also liked the Aston campus as everything was in one place and within a short distance to the train station and other shops and amenities.

What was the highlight of your time at Aston?

The highlight of my time was during my dissertation. Having freedom, trust and support is key to a successful dissertation even before you put pen to paper and I had support from my personal tutor, my supervisor and the module leader throughout. Feedback was extensive and candid, without it, I would not have come close to what I achieved. My tutors always offered support and sometimes even just time to chat when I needed it, I would have struggled had they not been approachable and keen to talk.

How did the quality of teaching and student support enhance your time at Aston?

The teaching was amazing with lecturers explaining in depth, different topics. Having the peer mentoring opportunity enabled me to talk to peers who have been through the Pharmacy programme and it was a great support to have.

How do you feel your placement prepared you for your future career?

The experience with Aston has opened new opportunities for my future career and has further supplemented the competencies required to become a pharmacist in the future.

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