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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Nursing & Health

  • Start Date

    January, May

  • Course Duration

    25 months full-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    £9,000 (UK/EU), 19,890 (overseas)

  • Last Updated

    26 April 2017

Course content

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.

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.

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.

Open Evenings

Interested in studying the programme and want to find out more? Visit us on one of our Physician Associate Studies Open Evenings which take place within the Medical School from 7pm-9pm on the dates below. To register your interest please email us at with Open Evening as the subject:

Tuesday 25 October 2016
Thursday 19 January 2017
Tuesday 21 February 2017
Thursday 06 April 2017
Postgraduate Virtual Open Day - 17 November 2016

About the College of Medical and Dental Sciences

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is a major international centre for research and education, make huge strides in finding solutions to major health problems including ageing, cancer, cardiovascular, dental, endocrine, inflammatory diseases, infection (including antibiotic resistance), rare diseases and trauma.
We tackle global healthcare problems through excellence in basic and clinical science, and improve human health by delivering tangible real-life benefits in the fight against acute and chronic disease.
Situated in the largest healthcare region in the country, with access to one of the largest and most diverse populations in Europe, we are positioned to address major global issues and diseases affecting today’s society through our eight specialist research institutes.
With over 1,000 academic staff and around £60 million of new research funding per year, the College of Medical and Dental Sciences is dedicated to performing world-leading research.
We care about our research and teaching and are committed to developing outstanding scientists and healthcare professionals of the future. We offer our postgraduate community a unique learning experience taught by academics who lead the way in research in their field.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Physician Associate Studies Diploma page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!






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