Physician associates are increasingly important in the health care workforce, supporting doctors and medical teams to diagnose and manage a wide range of common and complex diseases. This stimulating master’s course offers you the clinical skills and knowledge required to provide high quality care under the direct supervision of a doctor.
The physician associate (PA) is one of the newest allied medical professions and presents a unique and exciting route to clinical care for graduates. Physician associates play a key role working as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside doctors, nurses and the wider health care team to deliver care to patients of all ages. As a physician associate you’ll take medical histories, perform clinical examinations, order and interpret test results, take part in clinical reasoning and diagnosis, and develop evidence-based patient management plans.
Working in partnership with local NHS Trusts, our experienced and dedicated academic staff will support you to achieve clinical learning and skills development. We’ll guide you as you gain the theoretical knowledge that underpins the physician associate role, and integrate this knowledge into your practice during your clinical placements.
Initially, you’ll focus on developing a thorough understanding of the academic knowledge that underpins the physician associate role. We’ll also support you to gain core clinical skills, developing your confidence and practical knowledge in the safe confines of our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites, before you’re exposed to primary and secondary care environments and practice through short placements.
In the second year, you’ll have longer clinical placements in these areas, as well as gain experience in emergency care, paediatrics, mental health, and obstetrics. As a graduate, you’ll have competence in the core clinical skills of the physician associate, and possess practical experience of health care procedures ready for a career in this demanding and rewarding profession.
If you’re a hands-on health professional with a passion for patient care, our progressive PgCert/PgDip/MSc course in Clinical Practice could give you the opportunity to build on your skills with an entirely clinically-focused curriculum.
At the University of Bolton, we take a distinctively different approach to clinical practice, focusing wholly on patient care and dispensing with traditional modules in less relevant areas such as professional development and leadership. Our Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Practice is built around solution-focused problem solving and patient journeys, challenging students to become exceptional thinkers, safe decision-makers and skilled clinicians. You’ll have the opportunity to build your theoretical knowledge and then put your skills into practice safely within our supervised on-site setting.
We’ll cover modules within the areas of human anatomy and physiology, as well as exploring the biological basis and mechanisms of disease. Working with advanced resources such as the Anatomage anatomy table, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of clinical practice and learn to work in ways that aim to improve quality and productivity. Within the Clinical Simulation Suite, meanwhile, you can experience the dynamics of a clinical setting and test your abilities on high-tech, computerised manikins - as well as your classmates!
For more information please visit http://www.bolton.ac.uk/postgrad
The MA in Clinical Education addresses the contemporary context, educational theory and practical teaching skills relevant to practitioners of all disciplines involved in education and training of healthcare professionals.
This programme enables participants to develop their research and analytical capabilities in order to:
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of a number of optional modules covering a range of clinical education topics, and either a dissertation (60 credits) or a report (30 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered.
There are no core modules for this programme.
Flexibility and choice are key features of this exciting and innovative programme.
Consequently, there are no core modules, and students may choose from a wide range of optional modules covering a range of topics, from introductory modules on teaching and learning to new modules on leadership, quality improvement and teaching ethics and law.
All MA students submit either a dissertation or a report.
The dissertation is based on original empirical research, whereas the report is based on secondary research, often taking the form of a literature review.
Both options have a prerequisite module which is designed to support the research that you plan to undertake. This module should normally be taken in the academic year prior to commencing the dissertation or report, but can be taken in the same academic year.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered through a combination of face-to-face daytime and evening sessions and online distance learning. Assessment is by coursework assignments, including 5,000-word essays with reflective components.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Clinical Education MA
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teaching clinicians in a range of disciplines and professional roles, while others have jobs as lecturers and researchers in clinical and non-clinical areas. Graduates can also be found working as clinical education policy-makers and managers.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The programme team have extensive expertise and experience in research and practice in clinical education and training. The programme has been developed and run in collaboration with experts from a variety of educational fields across UCL, including the world-renowned Institute of Education (IOE), from the NHS and from policy-makers such as Health Education England.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: UCL Medical School
80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Physician associates first joined the NHS workforce nearly ten years ago and are now employed throughout the UK in increasing numbers.
Physician associates are permanent members of the medical team, responsible for performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests and recommending therapy. The role of physician associates is increasingly important within the healthcare workforce and individuals with this qualification are in demand.
Our PGDip in Physician Associate Studies aims to develop the skills required to become an effective practitioner through a combination of teaching and practical placements.
You will be trained according to the medical model and will work in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage a wide range of common and complex diseases,
A range of benefits are provided by the University to support your career development:
On successful completion of the course and having passed the national examinations and fulfilled all required competencies, you will spend a further two years in clinical practice within the NHS by applying for a range of posts with primary and acute care providers.
You will develop:
Extensive clinical training
You will receive over 1,600 hours of clinical training, including placements across the full range of medical specialities at teaching hospitals and primary care providers.
You have the opportunity to develop your skills by working abroad in Year 2. Travel bursaries are available to support this.
This course has been developed as a stand-alone postgraduate taught programme with a graduate-entry ethos and a fully integrated course structure based on clinical presentations rather than body systems.
We use a combination of problem based learning (PBL) tutorials, small group teaching and lectures to deliver a course with very high levels of staff-student contact time and excellent student satisfaction. The curriculum is delivered through a mixed methods approach incorporating early clinical skills training, reflective practice, clinical immersion, a short elective, distance learning, and a dedicated 'preparation for practice' block.
We use a structured programme of formative and summative assessments to examine the knowledge and skills that you must develop. You will undertake written and OSCE examinations at the end of each year and will maintain a portfolio for personal and professional development (PPD).
The course is non-modular, providing you with an opportunity to develop and consolidate skills throughout each year of the course.
Taught content is delivered in blocks of study of increasing complexity alongside the two longitudinal themes of Personal and Professional Development (PPD) and Consultation Skills (CS), with assessment periods at the end of each year. Each taught block feeds seamlessly into the next and all components of the programme are compulsory.
You have the option of spending an elective period in a speciality of your choosing.
Course content for Year 1
The first year of the course begins with a four-month period of intensive study where you will develop your understanding of the essential basic and clinical sciences that facilitate safe and effective practice.
After this 16-week taught block, you will rotate through a series of medical and surgical placements, each incorporating a short period of university-based teaching.
The curriculum is built around a core content of common clinical situations that are then organised according to their relative complexity. The content of each taught block is delivered using a problem-based learning (PBL) approach through the study of clinical cases/scenarios.
Each case integrates elements of the taught content and you will learn about and reflect upon the related biomedical, behavioural and population sciences appropriate to the case.
PBL is supported by small group teaching, lectures and workshops to form a truly integrated curriculum with very high levels of contact time.
Course content for Year 2
The second year of the course provides more advanced specialist instruction in the core medical and clinical sciences alongside a comprehensive programme of clinical reasoning to prepare you to sit your national postgraduate examinations.
This course is part of a wider collaboration across the north-west. We work in partnership with Health Education England and the Universities of Liverpool and Central Lancashire to develop the physician associate role across the region.
The three universities collaborate in interviewing applicants and you apply directly to the HEE North West physician associate programme, indicating your preference of university on the application form.
You will have access to medical facilities at the University (similar to students studying the Medicine MBChB course) with a focus on clinical teaching and highly advanced clinical simulation.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
Elements of the course will be available for CPD in 2018. Please contact us for further information.
This course is aimed at applicants who are training to become an advanced clinical practitioner in a wide variety of healthcare settings. It is intended for experienced healthcare professionals and for those wishing to formalise and develop their role as an advanced clinical practitioner. The course seeks to focus on decision-making, diagnostics, therapeutics, and clinical management. You share learning with others from an extensive range of multi-professional backgrounds to create a vibrant and challenging learning environment.
The core modules focus on the four elements of advanced practice • clinical practice • education • managerial/leadership • research and flexibility is built into this course to enable you to tailor the course and focus on your area of specialism using a wide choice of elective modules.
Recognition of prior credited learning and recognition of prior experiential learning have been adopted for these awards to facilitate entry to the course.
The course enables you to
Learning in multi-professional groups and being taught by a multi-professional teaching team creates a vibrant and challenging learning environment to enhance and extend your knowledge of working in transformational roles such as Advanced Clinical Practice.
This course is designed to provide a platform of essential skills, supported by a variety of pathways that provides you with a genuine choice. This range seeks to provide you with the opportunity to critically discuss cases, demonstrate knowledge within a simulation and develop critical appraisal skills.
You also take part in practical assessments that are designed to ensure that you are safe and able to make judicious clinical decisions based on your knowledge and understanding. The range of your practice related learning is recorded and documented in the Personal and Professional Development Portfolio (PPDP), which is a personal record of learning through the course. The format of your e-portfolio will be dependent on local and professional body requirements.
The course is structured around a combination of both core and elective modules, some of which are delivered via distance learning.
There is an extensive range of elective modules which may be accessed according to individual need and availability.
Year one core modules
Year one options
One of the below elective modules
Year two core modules
Year two options
Year three options
* Note that if opting for the 45 credit version you can chose up to 45 credits from the elective modules, or if you do the 60 credit version, you can choose up to 30 credits maximum from the elective modules.
Successful completion of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice will prepare you to seek an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) post or if already employed as a trainee ACP, to formalise this post with a nationally recognised academic qualification. Successful completion also provides the practitioner with the skill set to take on a more strategic leadership role within a secondary or primary health care setting.
Some typical case study examples of career progression opportunities taken by similarly qualified graduates are • advanced clinical practitioner - emergency department • advanced clinical practitioner - specialist paramedics (emergency and urgent care) • advanced clinical practitioner (trainee) - pharmacist • advanced clinical practitioner - complex mental health needs in prison • advanced clinical practitioner - chartered physiotherapist