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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    9-12 months full time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    09 January 2019

This course is for you if you obtained your pharmacy degree from outside the UK and wish to convert your qualification so it is recognised in the UK by taking an accredited course at one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools.

Course outline

This course is for pharmacy graduates who gained their degree outside the United Kingdom. It enables pharmacists to convert their existing pharmaceutical qualification so it is recognised in the UK. It focuses upon new developments in key pharmaceutical sciences, clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice together with the study of health service delivery and pharmacy law and ethics within the UK.

Successful completion of the course will allow you to undertake a pre-registration placement, before applying to register as a Pharmacist with The General Pharmaceutical Council. You will also gain an Aston University Diploma. Aston University is not responsible for the provision of a pre-registration training place nor preparation for professional qualifying examinations.

The course begins in late September of each year and assessments take place at many times of the year. Main exams are split between January and May with exam boards held in June. 

It is a taught course, with attendance expected Monday to Thursday (with the occasional Friday). Satisfactory attendance and performance in the assessments are required for successful completion of the OSPAP.

The MSc additionally consists of a research project, completed between June and September. Please note that students on the MSc cannot commence their pre-registration training until they have completed the MSc.

What you will study

The diploma course comprises six modules of study and a wide range of study methods are used including lectures, group tutorials, practicals, web-based learning and clinical teaching sessions.

You will study the following modules: 

  • Professional Critical Skills: Covers core elements of the retrieval and use of pharmaceutical information, the theory and practice of personal and interpersonal skills including communication and IT skills, responding to symptoms and introduces students to the concepts of organised continuing professional development (CPD). 
  • Applied Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Focuses upon introducing therapeutics and develops an evidence based approach to pharmacotherapy, covering diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory, upper gastrointestinal, mental health and selected disorders of the central nervous system. 
  • Practical Therapeutics: Focuses on students utilising their clinical knowledge in a critical and systematic manner to deliver clinically appropriate outcomes for patients, including prescribing decisions. Enables students to respond to varied clinical situations including patients with multiple pathologies or complex medical needs guided by evidence, legal frameworks, ethical practice and local guidance in a manner consistent with the patient’s needs. 
  • Pharmaceutical Technology: Focuses on radiopharmacy, cytotoxics, parenteral nutrition, intravenous additives, and quality assurance. 
  • Pharmaceutics in Practice: Focuses upon the role of drug delivery in patient care including advanced drug delivery techniques, biotechnology and clinical pharmaceutics. 
  • Pharmacy Law, Ethics and Practice: This covers background to UK and EU law – origins of law, political and legal frameworks, dispensing and the sale and supply of medicines in the UK, medicines legislation in the UK, legislation that affects the practice of pharmacy, health service structures in the UK and Europe, legislation governing pharmacy within the UK and EU and an overview of the comparable legislation for medicine, medical and pharmacy ethics including the UK Code of Ethics, and Pharmaceutical Calculations. 

The MSc course additionally consists of a research project, completed between June and September. You will attend a compulsory two week induction/training session on research skills prior to starting their projects and will be assessed via the following methods:

  • Presentation skills: Critical appraisal of a journal article related to your research project
  • Dissertation: Your research project
  • Poster presentation: An event where you will produce an A3 size poster to be presented and defended with an assessor and your peers.

Learning, teaching & assessment

The following study methods are used throughout the course:

  • Lectures 
  • Group tutorials 
  • Practicals 
  • Web-based learning 
  • Clinical teaching sessions.

A wide range of assessment methods are used including:

  • Examination
  • Web based clinical assignments
  • Clinical case studies
  • Clinical case presentation
  • Portfolio development
  • Practical dispensing examination
  • MSc only - Research project (critical appraisal, dissertation and poster presentation).

Your future career prospects

The course is designed for those who wish to practise as a Pharmacist in the UK.

The programme has an excellent track record of students obtaining and successfully completing the pre-registration training.

Professional accreditation

The Diploma for Overseas Pharmacists has been accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), fulfilling their requirements as an OSPAP.

Visit the Overseas Pharmacists (OSPAP) - MScPGDip page on the Aston University website for more details!






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