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Masters Degrees (Physicians Associate)

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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. Read more

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. 

Suitability

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'.

Content

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

• Paediatrics

• 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

Attendance

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.

Funding

To be confirmed, please enquire



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Your programme of study. Physicians Associates support doctors to diagnose and manage patients mostly in hospital settings but you may also work in busy GP practises. Read more

Your programme of study

Physicians Associates support doctors to diagnose and manage patients mostly in hospital settings but you may also work in busy GP practises. Currently PAs work in England and Scotland in a wide range of speciality areas. Physician Associates were brought into the medical profession to meet the demands of the NHS. They were introduced in 2015 to tackle workload pressures of GPs. The Faculty of Physicians Associates is currently working to gain statutory registration for PAs. The Secretary of State has mandated that there should be 1000 PAs working in Primary Care by 2020.

At Aberdeen you will be trained to provide a thorough range of PA duties and you will often diagnose, take medical histories, perform examinations, analyse test results and develop management plans. You will have the chance to choose general surgery, emergency medicine, reproductive health and paediatrics as a specialism. The university has a long established history in teaching medicine. It is ranked 7th in the UK for medicine (Guardian University Guide 2016).

The role of Physicians Associate is a relatively new area and it is designed to supplement the diagnostic needs within busy medical settings which involve specialist hospital doctors so that they could concentrate more on specialist consultancy and other areas of work. You have employment options across the UK. If you want to be a Physicians Associate this programme gives you the knowledge, skills and attitudes to practice in the UK in many different clinical settings as part of multidisciplinary healthcare teams. This programme is offered in partnership with NHS Grampian.

Courses listed for the programme

Year 1

  • Medical Sciences 1 and 2
  • Advanced Clinical Method 1
  • Anatomy (runs over both 1st and 2nd half sessions
  • Medical Sciences
  • Advanced Clinical Methods 2
  • Clinical Placements

Year 2

  • Clinical Placements
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Transitions to Practice
  • E-Portfolio Reflection in Practice

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You are taught by a university ranked 7th for medicine (Guardian University Guide 2016)
  • Aberdeen has a long established Chair in Medicine endowed at the University in 1497
  • You acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours and personal and intellectual attributes for lifelong professional development

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time
  • 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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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. Read more

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.

Programme structure

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.

What is a physician associate?

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:

  • Taking medical histories
  • Performing examinations
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Analysing test results
  • Developing management plans

You can find further information on the role through the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP) or the NHS careers website.

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.

Collaboration

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).

Surrey Health Partners

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Career prospects

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.

Educational aims of the programme

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:

  • Deliver holistic medical care and treatment under defined levels of supervision, in acute and primary care settings in the National Health Service.
  • Work effectively with patients and multi-disciplinary healthcare teams from diverse backgrounds.
  • Use a patient-centred approach, and be expert communicators, ensuring patient safety at all times
  • Promote health and wellbeing on an individual and population basis
  • Engage in reflective practice, work within the limits of their competence and engage actively in lifelong learning and professional development

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.



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In partnership with the University of Kent. *subject to validation. 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. Read more

In partnership with the University of Kent

*subject to validation

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.

Our Masters 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. The programme is in partnership with University of Kent.

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.

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/physician-associate-studies.aspx

Course detail

The 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 Postgraduate diploma 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.

Suitability

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'.

Content

Year one

Students complete all modules

• Clinical Medicine (1) (20 credits)

• Clinical Medicine (2) (20 credits)

• Clinical Medicine (3) (20 credits)

• Clinical Skills and Professional Development (20 credits)

If you are unsuccessful in completing all modules in Year One you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Studies (providing that you successfully complete 3 out of 4 modules).

Year two

Students complete all modules

• Advanced Clinical Medicine (20 credits)

• Advanced Clinical Skills and Professional Development (20 credits)

Total = 120 credits

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

• Paediatrics

• Hospital Operating Theatres

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Funding

-Masters Loans-

From 2016/17 government loans of up to £10,000 are available for postgraduate Masters study. The loans will be paid directly to students by the Student Loans Company and will be subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

For more information available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/funding-your-postgraduate-degree.aspx

-2017/18 Entry Financial Support-

Information on alternative funding sources is available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/2017-18-entry-financial-support.aspx



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Physician Associate (formerly known as Physician Assistant) is a rapidly growing healthcare role in the UK, working alongside doctors in hospitals and in GP surgeries. Read more

Physician Associate (formerly known as Physician Assistant) is a rapidly growing healthcare role in the UK, working alongside doctors in hospitals and in GP surgeries. Physician Associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including: taking medical histories, performing examinations, analysing test results, and diagnosing illnesses under the direct supervision of a doctor.

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.

We also run a flexible MSc Physician Associate programme for those who already have their Postgraduate Diploma from a UK or Irish institution.

Please note: the British Physician Associate programme does not qualify you to work in the USA.

Course details

The University of Birmingham has been training Physician Associates (formerly Physician Assistants) since January 2008.  As one of the longest running programmes in the country, we are delighted to offer this opportunity to graduates to make a valuable contribution to the nation’s health. We work in partnership with hospitals and practices in the Midlands and beyond.

The development of the profession has been led by the Department of Health and has involved the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of General Practitioners as well as the profession itself through the former UK Association of Physician Associates (UKAPA) which is now the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians. University of Birmingham staff have taken a key role in the development of the programme at a national as well as a regional level in response to need identified by local healthcare providers. Successful completion of the programme will qualify you to practise as a Physician Associate in the UK.

Please note: the UK PA training programme does not qualify you to work in the USA.

The course 

The course leaders regard integration of theory and practice as fundamental to clinical learning.

  • This course is two, full time, calendar years in duration, each lasting approximately 48 weeks, plus an additional month. You can expect to be studying 50+ hours per week.
  • Theory is learned mostly through case/problem based learning and you will experience medicine in both hospital and community attachments.
  • The rich ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the 5.5 million strong West Midlands population offers unrivalled opportunities for clinical learning, with placements seeking to optimise this.
  • Right from the beginning, you will have contact with patients, as during the first term, students are placed for up to five days of clinical experience within a General Practice in either the West Midlands or beyond.  
  • This is followed by a fourteen-week hospital attachment in the second term, and a further few days of General Practice in the third term. Students will use the cases collected during the second term as the basis of their learning within the third term.
  • The second year continues the problem-based learning approach and integrates further learning and placements in Acute and Emergency Medicine, Child Health General Practice, Mental Health, Reproductive Health and Surgery.
  • Throughout the course, you will receive teaching in a variety of forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work, and bedside demonstrations. 
  • Simulation is fundamental to this course, using simulated patients (who will teach you communication and examination skills, including gynaecological and urological examination). Simulation aims both to prepare you for the clinical world and to train you in a safe, non-threatening environment.
  • Progression exams are undertaken at the nine months mark, and again at twenty-three months into the course. Students are required to pass both sets of examinations prior to entry into the National Assessment. 
  • Assessment types will include Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) paper(s), Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), Case Write-Ups, Presentations and Professional Behaviour sign-offs. 

Regulation

All students will be registered with the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians. Graduates currently join a Managed Voluntary Register.

Learning and teaching

This is a very intense course with a large amount of knowledge and skills to acquire in a relatively short time. You will need to dedicate at least 50 hours each week to learning, much of it by yourself and with your learning set.

At the University of Birmingham we believe in very close integration between the theory learning (‘the hip is a ball and socket joints and the femur anatomy is as follows’ and clinical learning (‘when people fracture their hips it happens like this, they present like this, and your understanding of the hip anatomy enables you to understand why and how hips fracture’). You will also link theory and practice by learning, say, how to examine a hip on each other, on a simulated patient and (often) on a real patient before you see such a patient in a clinical environment.

Employability

Birmingham-trained Physician Associates have been very successful in the NHS jobs market with most of our graduates on NHS Agenda for Change Band 7 (starting at £31,383 p,a.) or higher.

Our graduates are working all across the UK (although about half have stayed in the West Midlands) and in a wide range of specialties including: general medicine, acute medicine, cardiology, paediatrics, breast surgery, trauma and orthopaedics, mental health, emergency medicine and General Practice. Many have also chosen to go into teaching and research (part-time while maintaining clinical duties), with five of our graduates currently teaching here at Birmingham.

The number of NHS Trusts and Practices seeking Physician Associates (and the average number working for each Trust/Practice) has increased rapidly throughout the last few years, and we would expect that number to continue to increase at a similar pace over the next few years.



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Train to be a Physician Associate – an innovative, professional healthcare role, that is growing within the NHS, with a starting salary from £30,000. Read more

Train to be a Physician Associate – an innovative, professional healthcare role, that is growing within the NHS, with a starting salary from £30,000.

A Physician Associate is a medical professional providing patient care under the supervision of a Consultant or General Practitioner. Their main focus is diagnosis and management. Consequently, their daily activities include interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and making decisions about patient management.

This postgraduate programme is taught at either our Preston city campus or our Westlakes campus near the Lake District. See below for more details.

We teach in small groups offering unrivalled student support and direct contact hours with staff; over 25 hours per week of direct, interactive teaching by staff experienced in the clinical sector.

The Masters dissertation is completed incrementally over the two years rather than as an additional module to at the end of the programme.

Approx. 50% of the programme is spent on clinical placement across a full spectrum of opportunities: urban, rural, specialised hospital and general practice. The geographical locations of UCLan campuses provide students with a rare opportunity to experience such a wide range clinical disciplines.

All of our course content is in line with the requirements of the Physician Associate Competence and Curriculum framework (2012) laid out by the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians.

INDUSTRY LINKS

Close relationship with the local NHS including East Lancashire Hospitals Trust; Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Morecombe Bay Trust; Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.

This course is run in partnership with Health Education England North West (HEENW) as part of the North West Physician Associate programme.

These organisations provide the clinical placement training which represent approx. 50% of the whole programme. They also offer the main employment opportunities in the NW. Hence graduates receive a training which is both nationally accredited and locally relevant. The latter ensures a smooth transition from student to graduate PA.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Our programme makes use of case-based learning, clinical and communication skills, role play and applied anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology teaching.

This course is offered at either Preston city campus or Westlakes campus near Whitehaven, close to the Lake District. Each applicant has the option to nominate their chosen campus. Both campuses offer affordable and attractive living compared to other city campuses. .

We teach in small groups offering unrivalled student support and direct contact hours with staff in state-of-the-art facilities. Our clinical skills laboratories have a vast range of equipment, to help develop clinical skills in hospital, home and GP surgery environments.

A comprehensive understanding of applied human anatomy is enhanced with our Human Anatomy Resource and Learning Centres (HARLCs) which provide a focal point for students to engage in learning about the human body. You will also have access to our Anatomage tables and a range of diagnostic imaging modalities.

Knowledge and understanding of the full range of applied biological sciences is taught through a range of lectures and practical activities by our experts in the full spectrum of disciplines required for the PA curriculum.

Approx. 50% of the course will be spent on clinical placements with our NHS clinical education partners across Lancashire and/or Cumbria. This will include rotations in General Practice and a variety of hospital specialties. All students will gain experience in the care of both adults and children. It follows therefore that you must be prepared to travel to clinical placement sites throughout Lancashire and Cumbria with travel of up to 90 minutes both ways.

Assessment is by a variety of methods including written assignments, practical and theoretical examinations, workplace-based clinical activity and portfolio content.

On completion of the course, students will be well prepared to take the National Exam and successful completion of this will allow them to refer to themselves as a Physician Associate and apply to join the profession’s managed voluntary register.

OPPORTUNITIES

There is currently around 100% employment of UK graduates of Physician Associate programmes.

Upon completion of the National Exam, Physician Associates have a wide range of choice of careers in both primary and secondary care.

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

The course prepares the candidate for the Faculty of Physician Associates, Royal College of Surgeons examination which is required to practice as a PA in the NHS. Successful completion of the MSc Physician Associate Practice (MPAP) enables the student to sit this national examination.



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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. Read more

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.

What the course offers

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.

Course Highlights:

  • This course offers the high-level of clinical knowledge and skills needed to achieve certification as a physician associate (PA) in the UK. To qualify to practice you’ll need to pass the National Certification Examination run by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP) and enrol on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR).
  • Developed in response to employer-led demand for the physician associate role in the Greater Manchester area, this course offers you the opportunity of qualify to work in medicine as part of a multi-professional team in just two years.
  • You don’t need prior experience in health care or health and social care qualifications to join this course – we also welcome applications from graduates in areas such as biology, chemistry, engineering, psychology and other social sciences so long as you have some prior higher education knowledge of human biology, and areas such as infectious disease, public health, molecular science or cell biology.
  • You’ll have access to facilities in the flagship £31 million Bolton One building, including our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites where you’ll be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment and simulators.

Key Features:

  • Our teaching team includes expert clinicians who are working in current practice in addition to supporting and teaching students on the course. This ensures your clinical learning is at the cutting edge of practice.
  • As well as in-class learning, simulated clinical experience and real-life clinical practice, this course includes time dedicated to supporting and preparing you for your first National Certification Examination.
  • Your highly-structured academic studies will be complemented by personalised work-based learning offered through placements in various clinical areas in primary and secondary care facilities.
  • Your Clinical Tutor will act as an advocate during your work-based placements, supporting you, your mentor and your assessors to agree on appropriate workplace activities that support your learning goals.
  • You’ll gain first hand clinical experience and have the opportunity to develop an invaluable network of professional contacts during your extensive time on clinical practice placements in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.


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This programme is intended for existing health care practitioners or graduates with a science background who wish to work as part of the anaesthetic team. Read more

This programme is intended for existing health care practitioners or graduates with a science background who wish to work as part of the anaesthetic team.

The Physicians' Assistant (Anaesthesia) is a health professional who will expand the anaesthetic service and make operating theatres work more efficiently. You will work alongside other members of the anaesthetic team and under the supervision of your anaesthetist.

Course details

The programme will develop a practitioner role that enables the anaesthesia team to have more staff working differently. Presently in the UK only doctors who have had specialist training in anaesthesia can administer anaesthetics.

The PA(A) is a health professional who will expand the anaesthetic service and make operating theatres work more efficiently. You will work alongside other members of the anaesthetic team and under the supervision of your anaesthetist. 

The programme is studied over 27 months full-time which includes 24 months of academic study and clinical training, followed by 3 months of supervised practice. 

Students who have satisfactorily completed the 120 taught credits of the Postgraduate Diploma: Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) will have the option of transferring to the Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) MSc Programme. Award of the MSc will require the completion of an additional 60 credit Dissertation module, which would take the form of a research project of their own choosing. The MSc is self funded costing £1980 in 2014/2015 (subject to change each year).

Related links

For further information about the role of PA(A)s, training and entry requirements please visit the Royal College of Anaesthetists website: http://www.rcoa.ac.uk

Although they have very similar names the Physicians' Assistant (Anaesthesia) and the Physician Associate programme are very different programmes. If you are interested in joining the Physician Associate Postgraduate Diploma please visit the web pages for more information.

Learning and teaching

The programme is made up of 12 two-month blocks of teaching. Each block lasts for approximately 35 days to allow for holidays and is broken down as follows:

  • Directed self study – 70 hours
  • Small group teaching – 14 hours
  • Clinical skills teaching – 21 hours
  • Workplace experience – 140 hours

A typical week may consist of:

  • 1 2-hour tutorial
  • 2-3 days in the clinical area
  • ½ day clinical skills training
  • 1½ days self-directed study, e.g. working through the e-lectures

The blocks are as follows:

  • Block 1 – Introduction to clinical practice (1)
  • Block 2 – Introduction to clinical practice (2)
  • Block 3 – Introduction to anaesthesia
  • Block 4 – Physics in anaesthesia
  • Block 5 – The anaesthesia machine and monitoring
  • Block 6 – The heart and circulation
  • Block 7 – The airways and lungs
  • Block 8 – The kidneys, liver, endocrine system and blood
  • Block 9 – The brain and nervous system
  • Block 10 –Clinical history and examination
  • Block 11 –Management of life-threatening emergencies
  • Block 12 –Advanced practice

Employability

This programme is part of a structred training programme for the role of Physicians' Assistant (Anaesthesia) or PA(A).



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Our course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a physician associate within the NHS. Read more
Our course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a physician associate within the NHS. You will gain skills in history taking, physical examination and diagnosis. You will also study clinical theory and undertake clinical placements.

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to qualify as a physician associate. Physician associates provide patient care within the National Health Service (NHS). They work under the supervision of doctors and health care professionals. The course will suit graduates of a bioscience discipline.

You will learn how to work to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base needed to deliver holistic care and treatment. You will develop your understanding of clinical practice through a combination of:
-Case based self-directed learning
-Clinical skills laboratory teaching
-Hands on experience in clinical settings

Additionally, you will develop core knowledge in preparation for the clinical workplace. This will include appropriate knowledge of:
-Anatomy
-Biochemistry
-Physiology
-Pharmacology
-Immunology
-Microbiology
-Neurology

On completion of the course you will be able to take the national physician associate qualifying exam. Satisfactory performance allows you to begin work as a physician associate within the NHS. The exam is overseen by the Faculty of Physician Associates within the Royal College of Physicians.

The course draws on Newcastle University’s considerable excellence in medical training. It was developed in association with Health Education North East.

Delivery

Year one runs over 46 weeks and includes:
-Six week training in clinical, communication and diagnostic skills using mannequin-based and role play simulations
-A 27 week team-based learning course introducing core clinical knowledge through clinical case studies
-One day a week in a primary care setting developing history taking skills
-A six week apprenticeship in a hospital based setting to introduce the role of the physician associate

Year two comprises rotations in the following areas followed by a two week assessment period:
-Eight weeks of emergency medicine
-Three weeks of mental health
-Six weeks of community medicine/primary care
-Three weeks of obstetrics and gynaecology
-Three weeks of paediatrics
-Eight weeks of general medicine
-Three weeks of general surgery

You will then undertake a ten week senior apprenticeship. Trainees will work as physician associates under clinical supervision.

Placements

Alongside learning basic clinical theory you will undertake clinical placements. You will spend at least 1600 hours in clinical placements within NHS trusts and primary care providers in the North East.

Facilities

Students benefit from a:
-Clinical skills laboratory for acquisition of clinical/procedural skills in a safe, monitored environment
-Simulation laboratory to practice emergency care scenarios on our simulation mannequins
-Unique virtual learning environment for access to high-quality online learning resources and pre-recorded lecture material

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The UCLan PGDip in Physician Associate Studies provides an exciting opportunity for graduates to become healthcare professionals and receive a salary whilst training. Read more
The UCLan PGDip in Physician Associate Studies provides an exciting opportunity for graduates to become healthcare professionals and receive a salary whilst training.

Physician Associates provide care to patients under the supervision of a Consultant or General Practitioner. Their role includes interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and making decisions about patient management.

Our course will provide you with a foundation of scientific and clinical skills, and the opportunity to build on and use these through a variety of clinical placements in Lancashire and/or Cumbria.

Our programme makes use of case based learning, clinical and communication skills role play and focussed anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology teaching. All of our course content is in line with the requirements of the Physician Associate Competence and Curriculum framework (2012) laid out by the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates.

Outside of the classroom environment, the provision of clinical placements includes a full spectrum of opportunities: urban & rural, specialised hospital & general practice; single-handed or multi-disciplinary. Teamwork is essential for every PA and these placements will enable working with a variety of groups whilst under the supervision of medical colleagues. The geographical location of UCLan is ideal to enable this amazing combination of clinical opportunities, of which we are very proud.

DBS CHECKS

This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

INDUSTRY LINKS

This course is provided in partnership with Health Education England North West (HEENW) as part of the North West Physician Associate Pilot programme.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

You will be taught using our state-of-the-art facilities within the School of Medicine. The University’s campus-based clinical skills laboratories have a vast range of equipment - including a number of high fidelity clinical human simulators - to help develop clinical skills in realistic hospital, home and GP surgery environments.

A comprehensive understanding of human anatomy is enhanced with our Human Anatomy Resource and Learning Centres (HARLCs) which provide a focal point for students to engage in learning about the human body. You will also have access to our Anatomage table; similar to a body sized touch screen computer. This allows for virtual sectioning of the human body, which is particularly useful when considering medical imaging.

Knowledge and understanding of the full range of applied biological sciences is taught through a range of lectures and practical activities by our experts in a range of disciplines within the medical science field.

Here at UCLan your learning will be enriched by our patient volunteer group who are involved in clinical and communication skills training.

50% of the course will be spent on clinical placements with our NHS clinical education partners across Lancashire and/or Cumbria. This will include rotations in General Practice and a variety of hospital specialties. All students will gain experience in the care of both adults and children.

The course is taught by a variety of clinical and academic staff so that students benefit from a wide range of medical knowledge and expertise.

Assessment is by a variety of methods including written assignments, practical and theoretical examinations and workplace based assessments. The students are expected to keep an E-portfolio to evidence their progression throughout their clinical placements.

On completion of the course, students will be well prepared to take the National Exam and successful completion of this will allow them to refer to themselves as a physician associate and apply to join the profession’s managed voluntary register.

You must be prepared to travel to clinical placement sites throughout Lancashire and Cumbria. This survival guide will be useful.

OPPORTUNITIES

There is currently around 100% employment of UK graduates of Physician Associate programs.

Upon completion of the National Exam, Physician Associates have a wide range of choice of careers in both primary and secondary care.

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This course is not yet available to apply for. We will update this page to confirm when it is available. This course aims to inform and equip the practitioner with the necessary skills to function in a modern clinical environment as a physician associate. Read more

This course is not yet available to apply for. We will update this page to confirm when it is available. This course aims to inform and equip the practitioner with the necessary skills to function in a modern clinical environment as a physician associate.

Course overview

The physician associate is a type of health professional whose development has been led by the Department of Health and has involved the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP), as well as the profession itself through the UK Association of Physician Associates (UKAPA). 

Why Study Physician Associate with us?

All of our courses involve using current and past research extensively. This course is delivered by a research-active group of academic staff, supplemented by a variety of Clinicians and Biomedical Scientists from local Hospital Departments.

You will receive training in the skills required in the reading and interpretation of the literature and translating that into evidence based practice. We will develop your research and writing skills so that you will be in a position to contribute to the scientific literature in an effective manner.

What will I learn?

A physician associate is a healthcare professional who works as a member of a medical team under the supervision of a doctor or surgeon in a wide variety of healthcare environments. Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients, and are trained to perform a number of roles.

We have developed our Physician Associate course in collaboration with our regional healthcare partners. This is an intensive course with theory, clinical skills and patient contact running in parallel from the beginning.

How will I be taught?

You will learn through formal lectures, case-based learning, seminars, clinical simulation and the clinical placements. 

The theory part of the course covers general medicine, and you will spend 1,500 hours on a clinical placement covering: community medicine; general hospital medicine; accident and emergency; mental health; obstetrics and gynaecology; and paediatrics (acute setting).

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be through coursework, reflective logs, examinations and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). You will sit a national exam at the end of the second year, including a Multiple Choice Question paper and an OSCE.

The Research Dissertation will be assessed through your production of two publishable scientific articles.



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About the course. Physicians Associates (PAs) are health professionals who see patients and address their health needs whilst working under the supervision of doctors. Read more

About the course

Physicians Associates (PAs) are health professionals who see patients and address their health needs whilst working under the supervision of doctors. Qualified PAs have direct contact with patients in their assessment: taking histories, performing examination, making diagnoses and considering management plans, supported by the new Faculty of Physician Associates.

The University has an excellent medical school and successful applicants to the course will benefit from our world-class facilities and expertise.

You will acquire a firm grounding in the knowledge and skills of generalist medical care to equip you to support doctors in ‘first contact’ health care, either in general practices or in hospitals. The modular course will be delivered in a systems-based, integrated way which places the patient at the centre.

The University is working closely with both Acute Trusts (hospitals) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (primary care) so that our graduates have the right qualities to meet the needs of potential employers and the public as a whole.

Our study environment

You’ll be based in teaching hospitals that serve a population of over half a million people and refer a further two million. We also have close links with the University’s other health-related departments.

Our research funding comes from many sources including the NIHR, MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, the Department of Health, EU, and prominent charities such as the Wellcome Trust, ARC, YCR, Cancer Research UK and BHF. Our partners and sponsors include Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Eli Lilly.

You’ll also benefit from our collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

How we teach

Classes are kept small (15–20 students) to make sure you get the best possible experience in laboratories and in clinical settings.

Our resources

We have a state-of-the-art biorepository and a £30m stem cell laboratory. The Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) opened in November 2010. We also have microarray, genetics, histology, flow cytometry and high-throughput screening technology, and the latest equipment for bone and oncology research.

At our Clinical Research Facility, you’ll be able to conduct studies with adult patients and volunteers. The Sheffield Children’s Hospital houses a complementary facility for paediatric experimental medical research.

Hepatitis B policy

If your course involves a significant risk of exposure to human blood or other body fluids and tissue, you’ll need to complete a course of Hepatitis B immunisation before starting. We conform to national guidelines that are in place to protect patients, health care workers and students.



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This course is the first of its kind and recognises the growing need for additional clinical experts in providing ward-based patient care. Read more

This course is the first of its kind and recognises the growing need for additional clinical experts in providing ward-based patient care. It provides career and professional development and thus the increasing confidence and better patient care which additional knowledge and training provides.

It is delivered in the real world setting of the modern NHS so students are able to fully understand their future role.

INDUSTRY LINKS

Close working with NHS, exposure to clinical research trials some Industry sponsored.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

There will be a varied menu of assessment methods used to reflect the experiential nature and learning outcomes of this course. Examples are:

  • Case study presentations
  • Case based discussions
  •  Practical demonstrations
  • Written assessments
  • Project
  • Portfolio submissions

Prof Gershan Davis is Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Central Lancashire/Consultant Cardiologist, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. He is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians (UK); Fellow of European Society of Cardiology; Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Physicians; Fellow of American College of Cardiology and Fellow of Higher Education Academy. He was previously Consultant Cardiologist, Director of CATH Lab and Lead for Cardiac CT, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool and Hon Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Liverpool. Before joining UCLan he was the Third Year Undergraduate Lead for Liverpool University Students at Aintree University Hospital; taught Cardiology to undergraduate and postgraduate students and undertook postgraduate supervision for MD, MRes and MSc students and was examiner for University of Liverpool undergraduate and final year medical students.

His research interests include molecular aspects of obesity and obesity-related arrhythmia and medical education.

Dr Iwan Fletcher is a GP at Seascale Health Centre and Academic Fellow in Rural Medicine, University of Central Lancashire. Throughout his medical career, he has been actively involved in teaching and mentoring colleagues, medical students, allied health professionals and work experience students. This has included teaching practical skills for medical students completing a wilderness medicine module; supervising and assessing a group of Third Year medical students through their essential junior rotation in Psychiatry and helping to organise and teach on a number of sixth form summer schools.

His research interests include inpatient antipsychotic prescribing and Hepatitis B surveillance.

Dr Catherine Rollinson is a GP at Seascale Health Centre and Academic Fellow in Rural Medicine, University of Central Lancashire. Throughout her medical career, she has been actively involved in teaching medical students and peers.

Her research interests are focussed on pharmacology, in particular hormone resistance associated with obesity.

OPPORTUNITIES

On successful completion of the MSc Hospitalist Medicine students may wish to progress to PhD or DProf study.



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Manchester Met is part of a city famous for sport and with a long history of medical education. The dense population of professional and amateur sports clubs, organisations and governing bodies enables many medical and physiotherapy professionals to work in the sport and exercise field on a full- or part-time basis. Read more
Manchester Met is part of a city famous for sport and with a long history of medical education. The dense population of professional and amateur sports clubs, organisations and governing bodies enables many medical and physiotherapy professionals to work in the sport and exercise field on a full- or part-time basis.

The University maintains strong collaborations with high profile sporting bodies in the region, City Football Services, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, English Institute of Sport, Manchester Institute for Health and Performance (MIHP), Sale Sharks RUFC, Warrington Wolves RLFC and British Water Polo amongst others.

The programme provides education for those already, or who are aspiring to support teams and individuals engaged in physical activity at all levels. It provides high quality specialist education and training in the prevention, diagnosis and management of sport- and exercise-related medical conditions and injury. It offers a wide range of units enabling doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths to specialise in the field of sport medicine. Alternatively, students may undertake study leading to a PgCert, or PgDip in Sport and Exercise Medicine.

The course content aligns with the Speciality Training Curriculum for SEM (2010) designed by the Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board and the Sports Physiotherapy Competencies and Standards Framework (2005).

Features and benefits of the course

As part of this exciting new programme, students will also have the opportunity to gain additional professional accreditation, qualification or membership with external professional bodies:
-Membership of the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM).
-Immediate Care in Sport Certificate (Level 3) approved by the Faculty of Pre-hospital Care, Royal College of Surgeons.
-On successful completion of the PEMHET unit (Promoting Excellence in Medical and Healthcare Education and Training) students will collate appropriate evidence to support an application for Fellowship of the Association of Emergency Educators (AoME) or Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

About the Course

Core and optional units on offer will depend on the route chosen by the student through the programme.

MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine requires successful completion of 180 credits, PgDip Sport and Exercise Medicine 120 units and the PgCert Sport and Exercise Medicine 60 credits.

Assessment details

Assessment will be undertaken via a range of assessment methods. A range of inclusive methods will be undertaken to ensure that all learning outcomes are met and that a wide range of learning styles are supported. These will include essays, practical examinations, oral presentations, poster presentations, written and oral exams, case studies, literature reviews, quizzes, portfolios and projects.

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