Pharmacy MPharm (Hons)

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A Level
    BBB to BBC including Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics (depending on EPQ, Core Maths or Contextual offer)
  • BTEC
    Please see below for further details
  • International baccalaureate diploma
    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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MPharm Pharmacy at Aston University

Meet Jenny, our MPharm graduate now working as a Pre-registration Pharmacist at the Royal Derby Hospital.

Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

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

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

Study our patient-focused MPharm Pharmacy course at Aston University and develop the skills, knowledge and ethical outlook required to become an outstanding pharmacist. Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), this course has been designed to meet the changing needs of modern pharmacy and the crucial role this rewarding profession plays in the provision healthcare.

Use Unibuddy to ask third year Pharmacy student Raman any questions you have about what it's like to study at Aston. Ask Raman

Entry requirements and fees: 2020

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated work based experiences

Start date: September

UCAS Code: B230

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.

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 5 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 be invited to attend an interview. Please note, the interview is a compulsory element of your application and must be completed for you to be considered for an offer. Our interviews are held on campus, however if you are unable to travel to us, please contact our admissions team as soon as possible on International students based outside of the UK will be invited to a Skype interview.

Typical offers

GCSEs: Five GCSEs which must include Maths 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:

  • BBB must include Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics.
  • BBC at A Level (must include chemistry and one other science from Biology, Maths or Physics) in addition to either a B in Core Maths or B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • Students who are eligible for a contextual offer under the Aston Ready programme are required to meet three A Level requirements, including Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics, but will receive a specific lower offer.

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.

BTEC: We welcome BTEC qualifications in any subject. Some of these will require additional A Level subjects as listed below. 

BTEC Qualification Name

BTEC grades required A Level Requirements

Extended Diploma (QCF) National 

Distinction*, Distinction* , Distinction* 


The BTEC subject must be Applied Science with which you do not require an additional A Level.

Extended Diploma (QCF/National)

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction 


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

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: 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: this qualification is not accepted for this course.

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.


International students

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

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.


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.

Degree: We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must meet the GCSE requirements and have at least BBB at A Level including Chemistry and one other science subject from: Biology, Maths OR Physics. A typical offer would be to achieve a 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. 

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.

Key applicant information

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

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

Health screening assessments: 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. Please note:

  • 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.

Aston Pharmacy School policies: There are also further policies that all Pharmacy students must comply with and you should be aware of these before you apply (2020 policies will be available soon):

  • Student Policy for Raising Concerns
  • Professional Appearance Standards 
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment
  • Infection Control Policy

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 visas for Pre-Registration webpages

You can see details of our policies here.

Aston Pharmacy School

Our heritage

As the only Pharmacy School in the UK holding a prestigious Regius Chair in Pharmacy awarded by HM the Queen, studying at Aston ensures you’ll receive excellent teaching and support throughout your degree. We can trace our roots back to 1847 and the establishment of the Birmingham Pharmaceutical Institution, meaning you’ll learn from qualified experts with robust experience at one of the most established pharmacy schools in the UK.

Our clinical links

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, helping to give you an informed choice of how you may choose to specialise and develop your career in the future.

Our teaching excellence

As an MPharm student, you will benefit from our highly qualified and knowledgeable team of academics, scientists, leading researchers and practising pharmacists from a variety of healthcare areas. In addition, your learning will be delivered via a range of innovative teaching methods including problem based learning, video recording sessions, computer aided learning and patient-simulators.

Our research

The world-renowned research conducted at Aston is used to underpin the content of our MPharm degree, research topics within Aston Pharmacy School include; pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutical formulation sciences, cancer and neuroscience amongst many other areas.

Professional accreditation

Our MPharm Pharmacy degree is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The most recent accreditation at Aston University took place in May 2019 and the MPharm programme was re-accredited for a full six year period.

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.

Course outline and what you will study

The practise of pharmacy is consistently evolving, with modern pharmacists now playing a crucial role in the provision of healthcare. Our MPharm Pharmacy degree has been designed to meet these changing requirements and provide you with a wide breadth of knowledge, professional and technical skills, and a critical ethical outlook, to ensure you become an outstanding pharmacist.

From the start of the course, you will be encouraged to apply your understanding of the scientific principles of pharmacy within a patient-focused setting, through case-based workshops, problem based learning, integrated science and clinical scenarios. Recently redeveloped, our curriculum combines a broad scientific education with specialist professional training and takes an integrated approach to teaching and learning, linking professional studies to an extensive core science course.

What you will study

Each of your four years at Aston will be provided as one single fully integrated course of study. This open and inclusive curriculum structure allows you to see how the material you learn throughout the course is connected.

Twelve interconnected themes run through the entire programme, these build from year to year as you develop your knowledge, skills and confidence. The twelve themes cover three broad areas of study:

  • The Patient – four themes focussing on the care of patients, covering a wide range of both individual and multiple clinical conditions. Themes include:
    • Personal professional development
    • Population and public health
    • Delivery of care
    • Fundamentals of practice
  • The Medicine – four themes focussing on how medicines are discovered, formulated and used in practice, including the latest developments in individualised medicines. Themes include:
    • Drugs to market
    • Enteral drug delivery
    • Parenteral drug delivery
    • Personalisation of pharmaceuticals
  • The Pharmacist – four themes focussing on the safe and effective delivery of healthcare, and supporting you in the development of your professional identity as a pharmacist. Themes include:
    • Inflammation and immunity
    • Musculoskeletal and CNS
    • Cardiovascular, respiratory and renal
    • GI and endocrine

This course structure enables our team of highly skilled teaching staff to put all teaching firmly in the context of patient care. Alongside this, and recognising how important this will be for future healthcare practice, our MPharm programme has a strong and deliberate focus on interprofessional practice and collaborative care. We work closely with colleagues from Aston Medical School to increase the opportunities for students to learn with, from and about other healthcare professionals.

How you will be assessed

Our recently revised MPharm curriculum has a 50-50 split between examinations and continuous assessment (coursework), with a combination of in-depth assessments on each of the 12 themes in the programme and end-of-year assessments on the integration of knowledge and skills and on professional practice.

Work based learning and our facilities

During your time on the MPharm course, you will benefit from extensive patient contact through a series of work based and community pharmacy environments.

In subsequent years, you will take part in specialist ward-based learning in hospitals and GP surgeries in the West Midlands. In addition to this, many of our final year students select a final year research project in pharmacy practice, which can be based in either community or hospital practice.

To make sure you are prepared for these work-based learning experiences and your pre-registration year, our Pharmacy School facilities have recently undergone a £3m upgrade to ensure your learning environment is reflective of the tasks and duties you will undertake in the field.

Specialist facilities in our modern Birmingham city centre campus include:

  • Hospital practice ward
  • Pharmacy practice suite
  • Clinical skills suite
  • Teaching and research laboratories
  • Patient simulators
  • Video recording technology and computer-aided learning.
Student support and your future career prospects

Throughout your pharmacy degree, you’ll have a great peer support network through the highly active and student-led Aston Pharmacy Association.

You’ll also have access to our student support team and personal tutor who are there to help you through your studies, supporting you academically and pastorally. Our specialist support team are also able to help you with sourcing additional work-based experiences on summer breaks as well as being there to assist with any questions you have about securing your first pre-registration post.

Our graduates enter a variety of careers in community based practices, GP surgeries, primary carer trusts, hospitals industry and pharmaceutical research, while others choose to undertake further study in the form of postgraduate MSc or PhD courses.

Organisations who have recently employed our graduates include:

  • NHS Trusts at community, primary care and hospital level
  • All of the major high street pharmacy chains including Boots, Cooperative, LloydsPharmacy and Superdrug
  • Small-chain and independent pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical firms such as GSK, Pfizer and Britannia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Contact us
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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