Enrolment on a Health Professional Programme and Fitness to Practise Regulations within the School of Life and Health Sciences

Certain academic courses within the School of Life and Health Sciences involve working closely with both patients and members of the public. In order to ensure that both of these groups are adequately protected, the School is required to undertake Occupational Health screening, and/or Enhanced Level Disclosure and Barring Service checks upon admission to, and at certain other points during the course of, relevant academic programmes. In addition, to meet national requirements in relation to courses of study leading to membership of a regulated health profession, the University has introduced Fitness to Practise Regulations for all students on relevant healthcare courses. These formal checks and regulations, in additional to annual self-declarations, are an important part of being a student on a health professional course. Further details on each of these are included below.

Disclosure and Barring Service checks

Students enrolling onto certain programmes within the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check. All positive checks will be reviewed by the School’s Disclosure Barring Service Board and certain disclosures may result in restrictions being placed on the student during their studies or ultimately, in the withdrawal of an offer.

Annual self-declarations will be required during the course of any affected programmes. In addition, the School reserves the right to request further Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service checks during the course of the programme. Any new conduct issues may be referred to the School’s Fitness to Practise Committee for review.

Affected courses:


Fitness to Practise Regulations

In line with national requirements for programmes leading to a health professional qualification, a number of degree programmes in the School of Life and Health Science are subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations. These Regulations apply to all enrolled students on these courses and cover any conduct or health issue where a student’s fitness to practise could be called into question. In addition to the issue of guidance and formal Warnings, continuation on these programmes could be restricted by the use of sanctions, or ultimately terminated by the Fitness to Practise Committee if a student’s conduct or health causes sufficient concern.

Affected courses:


Registration with the professional body

It should be noted that for all Fitness to Practise or Occupational Health issues, any decisions relate to an individual student’s ability to practise on the course as a student. Any decisions do not, (and indeed cannot) bind the regulatory body for the respective programmes in their determination of an individual’s Fitness to Practise upon any application for professional registration.


The School of Pharmacy has adopted the same policy as other major institutions and is in line with those enforced throughout medical practice by the General Medical Council (GMC) as well as those governed by the principles surround the General Pharmaceutical Councils (GPhC) code of conduct for Students.

Non-verbal communication is at least as important as verbal communication, and so how a student or pharmacist appears to patients, relatives or colleagues means as much as what he or she says. Pharmacists must in professional settings:

  • Dress in a manner that adds to, and does not detract from, effective communication.
  • They must learn how to listen to patients and their carers and communicate effectively with them in a way they can understand.

As a student professional or a pharmacist appearance is something all students and graduates must consider and respond to. In general, male and female students should be clean and smartly dressed. Thus the following are not permitted in specified compulsory sessions of the program as they are incompatible with effective, sensitive communication:

  • Wearing a t-shirt, coat or other clothing item with slogans. 
  • Baseball hats or other visibly branded head wear. 
  • Covering most of the face. This is true not only in clinical settings but also throughout the educational elements of the undergraduate programme, which is built around group work with other students and tutors.
  • Visible body art.
  • Large amounts of body and face jewellery.
  • Revealing or figure hugging clothing that may be considered unacceptable by patients.


The convention of some modules may require wearing of white coats or other approved clothing for safety of the individual or patient, or as an aid to communication. Hair should be tied back if it interferes with, or adds risk, to a clinical interaction. Students must be able to participate fully in communication and other skills training, discussion and assessment. As well as adhering to the dress code above, it means being able to interact fully with other students, patients, standardised patients, teachers and examiners of any cultural or ethnic background of either gender.

The program would welcome discussing any specific concerns you may have with regard to our dress code. Why not come on one of the School visits and ask your questions then?

Aston University is committed to assisting you from the application stage and throughout your studies to graduation. Applications from students with disabilities or additional needs are welcomed. All such students are encouraged to contact Aston School of Pharmacy’s Disability and Additional Needs Tutor (Dr Fiona Lacey f.m.lacey@aston.ac.uk) at an early stage of the application process so that any disability related needs can be discussed. The Disability and Additional Needs Tutor, working with the University’s Disability Team, is able to give information about course delivery and access to the physical environment relevant to potential applicants with additional needs. Letting us know what your individual requirements are at an early stage will help us to help you.

Applications to the MPharm course will be considered on academic merit alone and will be treated in the strictest confidence. Any discussions that take place with our Disability and Additional Needs Tutor or a Disability Advisor from the University’s Disability Team are treated confidentially and separately to the application process.


Applicants to whom offers are made may be invited to an Open Day. We invite such applicants to notify the School of any disability related or additional needs that they or any accompanying visitor may have so that reasonable adjustments can be made. A Disability Advisor can be available during the Open Day to answer queries in confidence or SKYPE appointments can be made during any point of the admissions process. Where a student has disclosed a disability on their UCAS form and they have been made offer, a Disability Advisor will write to them to obtain more specific information and to find out more about the effects their condition may have on their studies and daily life. This information will be used to assess the support that may be needed during the course and Aston School of Pharmacy is happy to adopt reasonable recommendations from the Disability Team to help you succeed.