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Physician Associate - PGDip

Course Description

About the course:
-Essential programme for an exciting new career as a healthcare professional
-Training given in the medical model
-Suitable for life science graduates or those with significant healthcare experience
-Curriculum content delivered in close partnership with practising clinicians
-Strong emphasis on workplace-based learning in NHS Primary and Secondary Care environments


Year 1
There are two compulsory modules which cover all aspects of the PA competence and curriculum framework.
-Physician associate pre-clinical module
-Physician associate clinical module

Year 2
Your second year will comprise skills reinforcement and a wide variety of different placements broadening your skills and knowledge to take on this important and challenging role in the NHS.


A Physician Associate (PA) is a healthcare professional trained in the medical model who works as a member of a medical team under the supervision of a doctor or surgeon in a wide variety of workplaces (including GP practices, community health services and all types of hospital care). PAs support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients and are trained to perform a number of roles including:
-Taking medical histories
-Performing examinations
-Diagnosing illnesses
-Analysing test results
-Developing management plans

The PA role is flexible and is being developed across the NHS to meet major staffing strategies. A lack of trained PAs in the UK means that career prospects for graduates are excellent. The predicted growth of the PA role across the NHS to fill an important resource gap indicates strong continued employment prospects for graduates.

Visit the Physician Associate - PGDip page on the University of Reading website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Rachel Forbes-Pyman

Making the decision to study to become a Physician Associate (PA) after I completed a BSc in Anatomical Science was the best decision I ever made. It allowed me to gain new skills and knowledge to transform from a science graduate into a competent healthcare professional.


Entry Requirements

An upper second class honours degree (2:1) or better in a relevant subject in the life sciences (for example, biological sciences, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, pharmacy) from a UK university (or equivalent from a university outside the UK); or candidates with a good lower second class honours degree (2:2) combined with other relevant practical healthcare skills and experience; or qualifications and experience considered to be equivalent to the above. IELTS: 7.5 overall with no element less than 7.0 (or equivalent).

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Recipient: University of Reading

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