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    Division of Medical Education, Postgraduate Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    2 years full time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    07 February 2018

Course content

This innovative course provides students with the knowledge, professional and clinical skills to work as a PA. The integrated curriculum borrows from the successful undergraduate course at BSMS with augmentation through intensive discussion of clinical cases in small groups, and includes significant time in local clinical placements and simulation facilities.

The PA is a relatively new role in the NHS, working alongside doctors in hospitals and GP surgeries, supporting the diagnosis and management of patients.

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Key areas of study

  • Integrated curriculum with longitudinal clinical placements in primary care throughout Year 1
  • Anatomy delivered using prosection
  • Access to learning materials from the undergraduate medical course 
  • Simulated-based learning throughout the curriculum
  • Clinical reasoning strategies for diagnosis in case-based learning 
  • Rotational attachments in local NHS trusts in clinical specialities throughout Year 2

Course structure

Learning outcomes from the modules listed below are integrated so that students will learn about clinical medicine on a theoretical basis, practice relevant clinical skills in the classroom, followed by supervised practice on real patients in clinical attachments.

Year One

  • Biomedical and Clinical Science for PA (30 credits)
  • Case-based learning for PA (Foundation) (45 credits)
  • Clinical Practice for PA (Foundation) (45 credits)

Year Two

  • Case-based learning for PA (45 credits)
  • Clinical Practice for PA (Senior); a series of clinical attachments in local secondary care trusts and CCGs (60 credits)
  • Preparation for Practice; Student Selected Component within affiliated trusts (15 credits)

Career opportunities

Qualification with the PG Diploma in Physician Associate Studies and successful completion of the national examination will allow alumnae to work in a variety of healthcare settings including general medicine, paediatrics, and in community settings.

Following graduation from the PA course, and subsequent completion of the Physician Associate National Examinations, PAs can expect starting salaries of Agenda for Change Band 7. Progression thereafter will be dependent on competency, attributes and opportunities to progress to higher pay scales.

As the PA role has been identified as a key emergent profession within the NHS, it is envisaged a large number of job vacancies will become available locally and nationally in the coming years.

Visit the Physician Associate Studies - PGDip page on the Brighton & Sussex Medical School website for more details!




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Recipient: Brighton & Sussex Medical School

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