Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice MSc

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • Employment
    Student will normally be employed by the NHS and will be on a career path as a mental health pharmacist specialising in the treatment of people with mental illness
  • Postgraduate qualifications
    A Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy from Aston University or equivalent is essential, with a research methods module a desirable option.
  • Full entry requirements
    Please see below for more details
More information
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Key Dates

  • Application deadline and start date
    Applications for this MSc course are accepted year round

Accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP)

Top up for Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy graduands

Gain critical, analytical and evaluation skills to understand the research process, including ethical and risk assessment issues

Research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions (REF, 2014)

Course Summary

This course is for you if you are looking to build upon the Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy to gain an MSc. This qualification provides the necessary critical, analytical and evaluation skills to understand the research process including ethical and risk assessment issues. This course is accredited by the CMHP.

Key information for applicants & entry requirements

Mode of delivery: Part-time distance learning

Duration: Approximately 12 months

Entry requirements:

  • 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.
  • Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy from Aston University or equivalent is essential, with a research methods module a desirable option.
  • Students will normally be employed by the NHS and will be on a career path as a mental health pharmacist specialising in the treatment of people with mental illness.
  • Please be aware that places are not guaranteed and will be limited by supervisor capacity, academic ability and treated on a first come, first served basis.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be considered for applicants who express an interest in direct entry to the Diploma or MSc.
  • For further information about the eligibility requirements please contact the course director.
  • 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 future 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. 

Start date: Applications for this MSc course are accepted year round. 

 

Fees
  • For students starting in 2019: £9,900 (total)
  • For students starting 2019 that already hold the PgDip Psychiatric Pharmacy from Aston University: £3,300

 

Course outline

This one year research MSc in Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice is available to you if you are a graduand of the Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy

It is a single 60 credit module which will enable you to convert your Diploma (where you will have obtained 120 credits) to a MSc (where you will then obtain 180 credits in total).

You will undertake supervised, but independently executed, practice research. You will be encouraged to integrate and apply the skills acquired during the Certificate and Diploma 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 of practice research and project management together with preparation for submission for publication.

Learning, teaching & assessment

Assessment is in three parts:

  • 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 10,000 and 15,000 words in length. Included in that word limit are an abstract (maximum 300 words) and an executive summary (maximum 1500 words). Independence of thought and action within the research process and effectiveness of timekeeping will all be assessed.
Professional accreditation

All our Psychiatric Pharmacy courses are accredited by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP).

Personal development

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 to academics as well as students
  • Learn good writing skills and the ability to complete an ethics proposal for submission to an ethics committee
  • Develop the ability to study independently and employ good time management.
Your future 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 practicing or aiming to practice 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.

Course Director & Teaching staff

Ian Maidment

 

Course director Dr Ian Maidment has a broad pharmacy background, having spent periods in the pharmaceutical industry, the acute sector and community pharmacy. However, the majority of his career (20 years) has been within the mental health sector mainly as a clinical pharmacist. He has also been chief pharmacist in two NHS Mental Health Trusts and led medication management education in an NHS Trust. 

 

He was awarded his PhD on medication error in dementia in 2013 and has a masters in research methods. He is a past chair of the UKPPG (UK Psychiatric Pharmacy Group) - predecessor organisation of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy, has advised the Department of Health and lectured widely on aspects of Mental Health Pharmacy. He has published approximately 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

 

Hannah Macfarlane has worked in general hospital, community pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and prison pharmacy posts but has been in a specialist mental health role since 2006, working predominantly in forensic psychiatry.  Hannah achieved distinction in the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy and was awarded the Helen Tennant award for best overall student performance. She has been a clinical tutor on these courses since 2011.

Hannah is a credentialed member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy and teaches regularly on behalf of the College. Hannah was a member of the College Council from 2014-2017 and was made a Fellow in 2018. Hannah is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

 

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