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Physician Associates work alongside doctors and GPs, providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. They are dependent practitioners working with a dedicated supervisor, but are able to work independently with appropriate support.

The Physician Associate plays an important role in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients. They work within a defined scope of practice and their roles and responsibilities include:

  • Take medical histories
  • Perform physical examinations
  • Request and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Diagnose illnesses
  • Manage patients with long term illnesses
  • Perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Develop and deliver appropriate treatment and management plans
  • Health promotion and disease prevention advice

Course structure

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Physician Associate Studies MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

This course will be delivered using a blended learning approach, combining lectures, tutorials, Self-Directed Learning (SDL), use of online materials, case based discussions, skills sessions, and seminars to facilitate deeper learning and allow for a range of student learning preferences.

Case-based learning supports you in integrating your growing knowledge with the real patients you meet.

Inter-professional learning ensures you develop good leadership and team-working skills with other professional groups.


A range of assessments are used to test your knowledge, understanding and clinical competence, these include: project presentations, group work, written assignments, and topic area passports or portfolios that describe placement performance, attendance and professionalism. Reflective accounts of early placement experiences and discussions on topics such as ethics and patient safety issues are entered on-line to a personal Progress File. Anatomy is assessed by regular MCQs (multiple choice questions)

End of year exams include written exams and OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations). The written exams assess core knowledge and understanding of the material taught in that year (and previously) and include multiple choice questions (MCQs), extended matching questions (EMQs).

OSCEs assess core clinical skills and their application in the clinical specialties relevant to that examination, and are held both years of study. They typically involve 16 or more clinical stations that require you to demonstrate a specific skill or consult with a patient. These patients are trained actors and their views on your behaviour also feed into the assessment.

Applying, fees and funding

Health and Disclosure and Barring Service Screening

Before starting the Physician Associate Studies course all successful applicants will also need to pass health and criminal record screening.

Any offer of a place to study Physician Associate Studies course is conditional upon a satisfactory confidential occupational health assessment, which will include a health questionnaire, and if necessary further telephone consultation and/or an appointment with an occupational health clinician. Screening for serious communicable disease, (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis) and a review of immunisation needs will also be arranged before beginning the course.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.5 overall, with no less than 7.5 in spoken English. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

How to apply

Application deadline: March 2019 - date tbc 

Application/ Selection Process

A successful application passes through several stages before we can make an offer:

Stage 1

All applications received on time are reviewed after the deadline. We assess your application, looking at your degree relevance and other academic evidence. The Personal Statement is scored by the admissions teams. These criteria’s are reviewed annually. Those ranked highest are invited to an interview.

Stage 2

We anticipate to invite about 80 candidates to interview, with only 30 places available each intake per year (September only). The MMI process allows us to further assess an applicant’s non- academic qualities. There are currently six interview stations, which applicants progress round. Each station lasts 7 minutes, with 1 minute reading time and to move to the next station. Each interviewer awards marks according to a pre-determined standardised scale. After the completion of all stations we calculate a ranked score for each candidate.

Stage 3

Those with the overall highest marks are offered places. We aim to make 30 offers with a reserve list of around 10-15. Those on the reserve list cannot be told where they are on the list or what their score was.

The decision to make an offer after interview depends entirely on your performance at interview, not on your achieved or predicted grades or work experience.

We are confident that our application process is thorough and unfortunately because of the nature and volume of applications and interviews we are unable to provide specific feedback, at any stage.


For more information please visit our website.

Additional cost information

You will need to purchase books and equipment, such as white lab coats, stethoscopes and pass cards. You will also have to meet travel costs whilst on placement. Placements will be throughout the Yorkshire region for both primary and secondary care placements, which have been approved and authorised by the School of Medicine.

To be registered on the managed voluntary register as a Physician Associate you need to pass the national qualifying exam after you have gained the Physician Associate Studies programme. This exam is not part of this programme and the cost of the exam is not included in your course fees. Find out more at the Faculty of Physician Associates website.

Career opportunities

After qualifying as a Physician Associate you can expect a starting salary of Band 6 or 7 in the NHS Agenda for Change pay rates. You will be part of a new and rapidly growing UK profession, supported by the NHS and the Department of Health, and will follow a career path with proven success in the United States.

While trainee doctors and surgeons rotate through different specialties, Physician Associates offer continuity of care for patients, as well as institutional memory for the team in which they work. Physician Associate support also provides cover so that trainee doctors and surgeons can attend training, clinic or theatre.

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




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