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In Partnership with the University of Kent


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 speciality. 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.

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 anaesthesia 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.

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 speciality. 

It is designed for people with a strong science background. Please see more details under 'Further entry requirements'.


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 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.

Year one

Students complete all modules

  • Clinical Medicine in Practice 1 (20 credits)
  • Clinical Medicine in Practice 2 (20 credits)
  • Clinical Medicine in Practice 3 (20 credits)
  • Clinical Skills and Professional Development in Practice (20 credits)
  • Research Approaches and Methods (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 in Practice (20 credits)
  • Dissertation / Project (40 credits)

Total = 180 credits

On successful completion of the course, students will be eligible to sit the national exam. With successful completion of both the SBA and OSCE portions of the exam, candidates will be eligible to apply for membership of the Physician Associates Managed Voluntary Register (Royal College of Physicians).


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 admissions process for the Physician Associate programme is highly selective. 

Applicants must demonstrate that they are adequately prepared to undertake and succeed in the rigorous, accelerated postgraduate level curriculum.

Visit the website for further details.


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.


Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Government loans of up to £10,609 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can   or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Visit the Physician Associate Studies - MSc page on the Canterbury Christ Church University website for more details!




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