The Education in Primary Care PGCert is for health professionals working and teaching in primary care in the UK. It will suit any primary care educator, including nurse practitioners, GPs, community pharmacists and practice nurses, intending GP trainers and training programme directors.
The programme offers a deep understanding of education in primary care and equips you to succeed in learning and teaching at a wide range of levels and primary care disciplines, as demonstrated by our alumni.
All facilitators on the programme are GP trainers, undergraduate tutors or training programme directors. You’ll benefit from links with current practitioners and expert researchers working at the Academic Unit of Primary Care at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences. You’ll also have the opportunity for one-to-one support from a mentor throughout the programme.
Funding for is available from Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber for those on the Intending GP Training Pathway.
You can study this programme over one or two years, so you can fit your study time around the clinical environment and other commitments.
To study this programme over one year, see the Education in Primary Care PGCert – 12 months.
You’ll study four modules, all focused on primary care. Each module consists of two teaching days alongside online activities and discussions.
You’ll reflect on education in primary care, critically examine key aspects of your work and gain skills and ideas for your own development and the development of others. Students also have the opportunity to critically evaluate current research and contribute to the evidence base in education in primary healthcare.
The programme aims to develop the skills to implement and evaluate a curriculum, as well as critically evaluate consultation models and personal consultation skills. This is the only programme approved by Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber that offers teaching on consultation skills.
The programme is taught through a blended learning approach, combining face-to-face learning (at teaching days) with online activities.
Teaching is mostly in small groups with a facilitator, ensuring a personalised learning approach. You’ll learn through lectures, practical classes, tutorials, seminars and supervised research projects. We make extensive use of IT and a wide range of materials is available to enable you to study at your own pace and to enhance and extend on the material taught formally. Besides access to online materials, the Virtual Learning Environment offers continued peer and tutor support.
Assessment for all four modules is through written assignments, submitted approximately six weeks after the end of the module.
This programme is one of the steps in the process to become a GP trainer with Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber. Many successful local educators have completed this programme.
Graduates of this programme have become GP trainers, vocational training programme directors and gone on to work in Health Education Yorkshire and Humber, in roles such as Locality Lead for GP Education and GP School Lead for Trainer Quality Management.
This course is suitable for graduates with a life science degree or similar qualification. It enables you to build on your previous studies and gain a healthcare professional qualification.
Physician associates are a growing group within the UK and are seen as one of the solutions to recruitment challenges within medicine, particularly in general practice. There are excellent job prospects for qualified physician associates as the role continues to evolve in response to changing healthcare needs.
The course provides you with opportunities to develop expert medical knowledge and skills in taking medical histories, examining patients, providing a diagnosis, analysing results and developing management plans and pathways. The course meets the expectations of Competence and Curriculum Framework for the PA (DH 2006, revised 2012) (CCF).
Learning takes place in the classroom, in simulated clinical learning suites and whilst on clinical placement. We give you the unique opportunity to work with students on other healthcare professional courses, such as nursing and physiotherapy.
You complete over 1,600 hours of clinical placements during the two year course. You learn in general hospital settings in medicine and surgery, as well as specialised areas such as paediatrics and mental health, and in primary care in GP surgeries. You attend clinical placements within a month of starting the course, and placements are integrated throughout the two years so that you are able to apply theoretical learning to the real world of practice and the care of patients. Your first and final placement take place in the same GP surgery and you are able to maintain a relationship with your GP supervisor throughout the two years for mentoring and support. A final three month placement in general practice also provides you with an ideal environment to prepare for the National Examination at the end of the course.
After successfully completing the course, you are able to apply for innovative roles throughout the UK, joining a growing body of physician associates in rich and varied employment.
Full-time – typically two years
Starts January 2018. You are required to attend a compulsory study day in November 2017 (date to be confirmed).
The course meets the expectations of Competence and Curriculum Framework for the PA (DH 2006, revised 2012) (CCF)
The curriculum content is structured into modules which develop your skills in professional practice, clinical assessment and treatment and underpinning knowledge. Learning takes place in the classroom, in clinical simulation suites and in the real world of healthcare.
In addition you have access to online/distance learning resources to support and enhance your learning experience.
It is expected that graduates from this course will have access to a wide range of healthcare roles, working under the supervision of a medical practitioner. For example, there are physician associates employed in GP surgeries in the Yorkshire region, in medicine and surgery settings in acute healthcare and in specialised areas of medicine.
Typically, graduate physician associates are employed on band 7 in NHS posts and can progress to band 8. For more information about a career as a physician associate visit the NHS Careers website.
This programme of study, skills development and placement experience allows you to build upon a first degree in biosciences, life sciences or health sciences in order to function as a qualified physician associate.
The programme teaches you to assess, diagnose and manage medical problems competently, consulting with patients presenting with a variety of specified conditions on behalf of, and under supervision of, a senior experienced doctor.
By the end of the programme, you will be able to deliver holistic medical care and treatment to a standard defined by the National Examination for Physician Associates, which will enable you to work in either Primary or Secondary Care.
The programme consists of eight taught modules.
On successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Post Graduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies, but will also need to sit a National Examination comprising a written paper and OSCE examination, set by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians, in order to be able to practise in the NHS.
On passing the National Examinations, the graduate can be registered on the National Register (currently a Voluntary Register but awaiting accreditation and appointment of a Regulatory Body). The graduate can only work as a physician associate in the NHS if he/she is on this National Register.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. As a physician associate, you might work in a GP surgery or be based in a hospital, but wherever you work, you'll have direct contact with patients.
You’ll be trained to perform a number of day-to- day tasks including:
To understand what a physician associate does on a day-to- day basis, Health Education England have produced this informative Day in the Life of a Physician Associate video.
This programme will be delivered through collaboration with Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex and engagement with Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), Canterbury and Christchurch University (CCU) and the University of Kent.
The majority of teaching, however, will be conducted by Surrey staff and local NHS clinicians. The four HEIs (including Surrey) may share facilities in areas of individual specialist expertise, although teaching will be conducted by Surrey staff.
Working with local NHS Trusts (primary and community care, acute, secondary care and mental health) will enable elements including work-based assessments and summative assessments (the clinical OSCEs).
The University of Surrey is part of the Surrey Health Partners Alliance, bringing together NHS Trusts in Surrey with the University to enhance learning and teaching, research and clinical practice.
The local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs, covering GP practices) and NHS Health Trusts (covering hospitals, community care and psychiatric care) are all represented fully within Surrey Health Partners.
Following successful graduation from this Diploma course, you will need to sit the National Assessment for Physician Associates, set by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians, London.
Passing the National Assessment will allow you to be put onto the National Register for Physician Associates, so that you can practise clinically in the UK.
The predicted growth of the physician associate role across the NHS to fill an important resource gap indicates strong continued employment prospects for graduates. Physician associates will pursue a profession that is supported by the NHS and the Department of Health: over 30 hospitals currently employ PAs across the UK and the numbers are growing fast.
Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex aims to produce PAs who can work in primary as well as secondary care.
The overarching educational aim of the programme is to train graduates with a first degree in Biosciences, Life Sciences or Health Sciences, or suitable approved programme, to Post Graduate Diploma level, to function as a qualified physician associate (on passing the National Examination).
Physician associates will be able to:
This training includes the necessary knowledge, skills and professional attitudes needed to work to the medical model, demonstrating safe medical practice, medical competence, compassion, reflective and critical thinking in diagnostic reasoning and clinical management.
Graduates will be able to assess, diagnose and manage medical problems competently, consulting with patients presenting with a variety of specified conditions on behalf of, and under supervision of a senior experienced doctor.
They will be able to understand and demonstrate the principles of safe and effective prescribing.
Graduates will be trained to a standard defined by the National Examination for Physician Associates that will enable them to work as physician associates in the National Health Service, with appropriate accreditation and regulation once these have been decided and implemented.
Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician. Training as a Physician Associate allows you to develop and direct your healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty. This flexibility is unique to the Physician Associate role and makes it an exciting new career choice. Physician Associate training is based on a ‘fast track’ medical school model that was developed in the U.S in 1965.
UK/EU Physician Associate students may be eligible for a bursary to cover a proportion of their fees. Find out more under 'fees and additional costs'.
Our MSc in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences at the Medway campus where students have the added benefit of training in a specialist facility with qualified medical practitioners engaged in postgraduate education and research.
You will spend a significant portion of the first year in the simulation suite learning hands on skills. The simulation suite is equipped with mock wards as well as a surgical suite with anesthesia and laparoscopic equipment. Highly sophisticated human simulation models will be used in the teaching of hands on skills to prepare you for your second year clinical based modules.
The Physician Associate role was introduced in the UK in 2003. Physician Associates are now recognised as skilled and valued members of the health care profession. The newly qualified Physician Associate post has been evaluated under the NHS Agenda for change at Band 7 with potential to advance to Band 8 with experience and advanced education.
Physician Associates can perform medical history and physical examinations, screen and interpret results of diagnostic studies, diagnose patients, implement treatment plans, counsel patients regarding illness and preventative medicine and facilitate access to appropriate health care resources.
As with many types of medical providers, duties of a Physician Associate will depend on the medical setting where they work, their level of experience, their specialty and their supervising physician.
Physician Associates may provide care to individuals across the age spectrum in a variety of healthcare settings. More information on the Physician Associate profession and salary may be found on the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty web page.
The course is aimed at people interested in pursuing a healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty.
It is designed for people with a strong science background. Please see more details under 'Further entry requirements'.
he Physician Associate curriculum begins with a year of rigorous medical science, pharmacology and clinical reasoning taught by a qualified team of specialist physicians and Physicians Associates. One day per week in the first year is spent in a general practice clinical setting. The second year is comprised of six specialist clinical placements and intensive classroom teaching in advanced skills and concepts.
Upon successful completion of the MSc in Physician Associate Studies*, you are eligible to take the National Exam for Physician Associates and be part of the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Registry (PAMVR) which allows you to be employed by the NHS. The profession is currently working towards regulation in the UK and is overseen by the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty.
All modules are taught using a combination of teaching methods, including lectures, problem based learning, short case review and hand on/skills practice.
Lecture, practice based learning, case review and skills application are incorporated in each module to ensure students assimilate clinical knowledge and skills in all areas.
What can I do next?
Physician Associates in the UK work in a wide variety of healthcare settings which include:
• GP surgeries
• Accident and Emergency departments
• Inpatient medical and surgical wards
• Trauma and Orthopaedics
• Mental Health
• Hospital Operating Theatres
The MSc in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) at the Medway campus which has a growing reputation for expertise in medical education and research.
The Institute houses a fully equipped clinical simulation suite enabling clinicians to develop skill and expertise using specialised endoscopic surgical equipment, cardiology diagnostics or otorhinolaryngological techniques and procedures.
The teaching team is comprised of specialists in Cardiology, M.H, Endocrinology, Ear Nose and Threat (ENT), Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics, GU, GI, WH, SH, Anaesthesia/Pain, GP, Neurology and Genetics
The Physician Associate Studies programme is full time, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm for 45 – 47 weeks per year.
The programme is very challenging and demanding, therefore we caution students who plan to work while enrolled on the course.
To be confirmed, please enquire
ScotGEM is a unique and innovative four-year graduate entry medical programme focused on enthusing graduates to become generalist practitioners (not necessarily GPs), with experience in rural health care and healthcare improvement. The programme will prepare students for any branch of medicine with appropriate further training.
ScotGEM uses the existing strengths of medical teaching in the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee and our local health boards in Fife and Tayside, in collaboration with NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and the University of Highlands and Islands. The first year will be based at the University of St Andrews and within Fife, components of the course in the second, third and potentially fourth years will include periods of living and studying in other regions of Scotland.
A bursary of £4,000 each year will be available to all students, those who accept the bursary will complete a return of service to NHS Scotland of one year for each year of bursary accepted. Return of service, sometimes known as bonding, will commence at the start of Foundation training.
From week one, your learning will be focused around real patient scenarios using an approach known as Case Based Learning. Semester one will use cases to focus on foundational medical sciences to underpin subsequent more challenging scenarios. Consultation skills will be introduced early alongside topics such as biochemistry, pharmacology and anatomy and weekly clinical experience in the community. The course is designed as a spiral in which the complexity and challenge of the cases builds as you and your peers become more effective learners.
Semester two focuses on body systems so that related regional anatomy and examination skills can be learnt in parallel. You will be engaged in small group workplace-based learning for one day per week, supported in the community by dedicated Generalist Clinical Mentors (GCM) who are trained GP tutors.
Second year is largely structured around the lifecycle but will be delivered in different regions. You will be expected to spend some weeks away from Fife with opportunity to study in Tayside, the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway. NHS Boards will provide accommodation when required. You will continue to work for a day each week with a GCM in their practice but also spend an additional half day in a specialist clinical environment. Second year closes by providing experience of unscheduled care (GP, Emergency department, ambulance etc.) and two periods of project work related to five underpinning Vertical Themes (Informatics, Quality Improvement, Prescribing and therapeutics, Public health and community engagement).
Throughout the course these five Vertical Themes will also develop expertise as ‘agents of change’ within the health service. For example, students might work with a group of general practices to research and analyse prescribing patterns before implementing an agreed improvement.
Third year is designed as a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship with students being immersed into a community for the duration of the year. You will be based in a general practice, seeing many patients each week and following a selection through their illness journey. This approach works especially well for graduates and has been shown to develop more patient-centred doctors with improved decision-making skills.
Fourth year offers you, as a now competent generalist student, the opportunity to be immersed in the hospital environment and prepare yourself for work as a junior doctor through two one-month Foundation Apprenticeships and other hospital based clinical attachments. You may choose areas of particular interest, perhaps a potential career choice, which you can experience in greater depth. You will also arrange an eight-week elective of your choice.
Upon successful completion of the ScotGEM programme, graduates will receive a primary medical qualification (PMQ), which allows them to apply for subsequent postgraduate training in any specialty through normal routes. It also entitles graduates to provisional registration with the General Medical Council.
The ScotGEM course will be based on clinical cases from the outset. These will be supported by a set of learning objectives, lectures, practical classes, tutorials, simulated and ‘real’ clinical and consultation skills plus extensive supported independent and peer-peer learning.
Your learning will be underpinned by a sophisticated online Curriculum Management System (GEMonline), which will give access to a wide range of resources and enable progress to be monitored for all including the geographically dispersed class from second year.
Increasingly, especially in second year, learning will become more self-directed and you will be reliant upon yourself and your peers to explore, investigate and learn from the cases (guided by clear learning objectives with synchronised centrally organised teaching). This approach will set you up well for learning based on real patients in the clinical environment.
The Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship in third year will allow you to join a team and learn whilst becoming increasingly involved in patient care. You will select patients to follow through and study them, their conditions and their care in more detail. Where relevant you will attend specialist clinics, operations etc. as you follow these individuals’ journey through the healthcare system.
Finally, in fourth year, you will experience intensive hospital attachments that involve shadowing Foundation Doctors and other secondary care attachments.
Each year will require you to pass assessments of knowledge, clinical skills and a portfolio demonstrating professional development.
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