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Masters Degrees in Physician Assistant Studies

We have 23 Masters Degrees in Physician Assistant Studies

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Physician Associates are healthcare professionals that support doctors in diagnosing and managing patient treatment. The PG Dip in Physician Associate Studies in Swansea is one of the first courses of its kind in Wales. Read more
Physician Associates are healthcare professionals that support doctors in diagnosing and managing patient treatment. The PG Dip in Physician Associate Studies in Swansea is one of the first courses of its kind in Wales. Developed as a collaborative venture between Swansea University Medical School and the College of Human and Health Science this integrated two year course will teach students the knowledge and clinical skills they require to pass the National Certification Examination and start work as a Physician Associate.

Key Features of the Physician Associate Studies Programme

Students will spend the majority of Year 1 of the Physician Associate Studies course undertaking university based theory and practical sessions with some early clinical exposure to the working environment . Teaching will be divided into four week blocks according to body systems and Anatomy and Clinical Skills teaching will be integrated into this structure. Teaching will be case based and will involve a combination of lectures, seminars, project work and small group learning.

Year 2 of the Physician Associate Studies course is largely spent on clinical placements, with students applying their learning in the care of real patients under the supervision of a clinically qualified mentor. Students will have to work towards an agreed level of competence at a range of clinical skills and must be assessed as safe and competent in those skills. The “Competence and Curriculum Framework for the Physician Assistant (2012)” prescribes, to a large extent, the range of clinical environments in which students will spend their placements.

Physician Associate Studies students will be provided with the opportunities to:

1. seek out and recognise the clinical applications of their theoretical learning
2. apply learning within the practice setting
3. reflect on practice to identify their individual learning needs
4. develop clinical reasoning skills
5. develop a range of practical skills
6. recognise, in practice, those principles, assumptions, beliefs and theories which shape that practice
7. work effectively with patients and where appropriate with carers
8. work within a clear understanding of the limitations of their knowledge and skills

The modular structure for Year 1 comprises two 40 credit modules delivered by Swansea University Medical School ( SUMS) and three modules delivered by the College of Human and Health Science (CHHS) with a combined value of 40 credits. The knowledge based module (Foundations in Clinical Medicine for Physician Associates) will be assessed by two summative Progress Tests. The “Physician Associate Clinical Skills” module will be assessed by Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE's). The CHHS modules are “An introduction to Sociology and Psychology for Physician Associates” ( 10 credits), “An introduction to Health Care Law and Ethics for Physician Associates” ( 10 credits) and “An introduction to Research, Evidence based practice and Reflection for Physician Associates” ( 20 credits) The CHHS modules will be assessed by a combination of essays, a research presentation and a reflective portfolio.

The modular structure for Year 2 contains two 40 credit modules delivered by SUMS. The “Foundations in Clinical Medicine” module will be assessed by two summative Progress Tests. The “Clinical Skills” module will be assessed by two OSCE's as well as workplace based assessments (Mini-CEX) and satisfactory completion of the learning log. The CHHS modules are” Public Health and Epidemiology for Physician Associates” ( 10 credits), “Learning,Teaching and Assessing for Physician Associates” (10 credits) and “Critical reflection for Physician Associates” (20 credits) The CHHS modules will be assessed by a combination of an essay, a presentation, a written narrative and completion of a reflective portfolio.

The Physician Associate Studies course is designed so that all examinations and assessments, including supplementaries, will be concluded by the end of August allowing students to be ready to sit the National Certification Examination for Physician Associates in early September.

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The University of Birmingham runs the Physician Associate Masters programme as a top-up programme designed for students who have already graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Assistant/Associate Studies from a UK or Irish university. Read more
The University of Birmingham runs the Physician Associate Masters programme as a top-up programme designed for students who have already graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Assistant/Associate Studies from a UK or Irish university. This a distance learning programme so you can work professionally while studying for your Masters.

You will complete a research methods module (unless you have relevant previous research experience, in which you may be exempted) and then identify a research project in liaison with a Birmingham academic, probably from the core Physician Associate faculty.

Research Methods Module:

This distance learning module covers the techniques needed to critically appraise published research, and carry out a piece of original research. Topics include the scientific method applied to human services, literature search techniques, research design, sampling, the organisation of a research project, research ethics, measurement techniques, the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, the presentation of results, and dissemination.


Dissertation:

This module provides students with an opportunity to use the professional understanding they have developed through practice and through the taught component of the Physician Associate Programme as a foundation for planning and undertaking a major piece of scholarly work (usually but not exclusively a piece of research). The student is expected to demonstrate novel thinking in an area relevant to Physician Associate practice or to the development of the Physician Associate profession. Although academic supervision will be provided, the main impetus for the work and the critical thinking with regard to subject, approach and presentation must come from the student.

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

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This course aims to develop the skills required to become an effective physician associate. Physician associates first joined the NHS workforce nearly ten years ago and are now employed throughout the UK in increasing numbers. Read more
This course aims to develop the skills required to become an effective physician associate. Physician associates first joined the NHS workforce nearly ten years ago and are now employed throughout the UK in increasing numbers.

They are a new type of healthcare professional who are trained according to the medical model and are able to carry out many of the day-to-day activities that are normally performed by doctors, including the diagnosis and treatment of common and complex diseases, in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Physician associates are permanent members of the medical team and perform physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and recommend therapy.

The physician associate (or physician assistant) role was first developed in the US during the 1960s, and the profession has grown considerably in the last ten years to the point where there are now over 95,000 registered physician associates in the US.

Special features

Over 1,600 hours of clinical training, including placements across the full range of medical specialities at teaching hospitals and primary care providers.

Coursework and assessment

A structured programme of formative and summative assessments is provided to examine the knowledge and skills that you must develop. You will undertake written and OSCE examinations at the end of each year and will maintain a portfolio for personal and professional development (PPD).

Associated organisations

Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physician.

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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. Read more
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

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Your programme of study. Physicians Associates support doctors to diagnose and manage patients mostly in hospital settings but you may also work in busy GP practises. Read more

Your programme of study

Physicians Associates support doctors to diagnose and manage patients mostly in hospital settings but you may also work in busy GP practises. Currently PAs work in England and Scotland in a wide range of speciality areas. Physician Associates were brought into the medical profession to meet the demands of the NHS. They were introduced in 2015 to tackle workload pressures of GPs. The Faculty of Physicians Associates is currently working to gain statutory registration for PAs. The Secretary of State has mandated that there should be 1000 PAs working in Primary Care by 2020.

At Aberdeen you will be trained to provide a thorough range of PA duties and you will often diagnose, take medical histories, perform examinations, analyse test results and develop management plans. You will have the chance to choose general surgery, emergency medicine, reproductive health and paediatrics as a specialism. The university has a long established history in teaching medicine. It is ranked 7th in the UK for medicine (Guardian University Guide 2016).

The role of Physicians Associate is a relatively new area and it is designed to supplement the diagnostic needs within busy medical settings which involve specialist hospital doctors so that they could concentrate more on specialist consultancy and other areas of work. You have employment options across the UK. If you want to be a Physicians Associate this programme gives you the knowledge, skills and attitudes to practice in the UK in many different clinical settings as part of multidisciplinary healthcare teams. This programme is offered in partnership with NHS Grampian.

Courses listed for the programme

Year 1

  • Medical Sciences 1 and 2
  • Advanced Clinical Method 1
  • Anatomy (runs over both 1st and 2nd half sessions
  • Medical Sciences
  • Advanced Clinical Methods 2
  • Clinical Placements

Year 2

  • Clinical Placements
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Transitions to Practice
  • E-Portfolio Reflection in Practice

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You are taught by a university ranked 7th for medicine (Guardian University Guide 2016)
  • Aberdeen has a long established Chair in Medicine endowed at the University in 1497
  • You acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours and personal and intellectual attributes for lifelong professional development

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time
  • 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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Be part of a new and exciting role in healthcare in the UK, learning advanced assessment, diagnostic and clinical skills for a diverse group of patients in range of clinical settings. Read more
Be part of a new and exciting role in healthcare in the UK, learning advanced assessment, diagnostic and clinical skills for a diverse group of patients in range of clinical settings.

What is the Physician Associate?

The Physician Associate is a new role in the UK but is well established in North America. Physician Associates are not doctors, but adopt the medical model in the assessment and management of patient. They work in a team context with delegated autonomy and medical oversight.

Physician Associates are currently working in the UK in a variety of clinical settings such as:

• medicine for the elderly
• emergency departments
• mental health services
• trauma and orthopaedic surgery
• general practice
• medical and surgical assessment units
• clinical decision units

Overview

The programme is offered once per year commencing in September, with the first intake in September 2014 (subject to validation). This is a highly intensive course delivered over 27 months full time.
Year 1 is university based with a minimum of 1,610 hours of student effort. Year 2 is based in practice undertaking a variety of placements amounting to 1,610 hours. Followed by 12 weeks completing the dissertation.
All components of the programme are mandatory and a total of 180 level 7 credits being required to gain the award of MSc Physician Associate.

Employability

The Physician Associate is a relatively new role in the UK, but UK PA graduates are practising in a diverse range of clinical settings in many parts of the UK and in clinical areas including, but not limited to: general practice, urgent care, emergency care, medical specialities and surgical specialities. The difficulties in recruiting doctors in acute and primary care to meet emergency and urgent care needs makes the Physician Associate a highly sought after clinical professional in the health care sector. Local intelligence suggests that current employment opportunities outstrip the supply of Physician Associate graduates seeking these roles.

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This programme is intended for existing health care practitioners or graduates with a science background who wish to work as part of the anaesthetic team. Read more
This programme is intended for existing health care practitioners or graduates with a science background who wish to work as part of the anaesthetic team.

The Physicians' Assistant (Anaesthesia) is a health professional who will expand the anaesthetic service and make operating theatres work more efficiently. You will work alongside other members of the anaesthetic team and under the supervision of your anaesthetist.

The programme will develop a practitioner role that enables the anaesthesia team to have more staff working differently. Presently in the UK only doctors who have had specialist training in anaesthesia can administer anaesthetics.

The PA(A) is a health professional who will expand the anaesthetic service and make operating theatres work more efficiently. You will work alongside other members of the anaesthetic team and under the supervision of your anaesthetist.

The programme is studied over 27 months full-time which includes 24 months of academic study and clinical training, followed by 3 months of supervised practice.

Students who have satisfactorily completed the 120 taught credits of the Postgraduate Diploma: Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) will have the option of transferring to the Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) MSc Programme. Award of the MSc will require the completion of an additional 60 credit Dissertation module, which would take the form of a research project of their own choosing. The MSc is self funded costing £1980 in 2014/2015 (subject to change each year).

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

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Physician Associates will play a vital role in the future of the NHS, improving the lives of thousands of patients. Once qualified, you'll be set for a career as a versatile, dynamic healthcare professional. Read more
Physician Associates will play a vital role in the future of the NHS, improving the lives of thousands of patients. Once qualified, you'll be set for a career as a versatile, dynamic healthcare professional. Working under the supervision of a doctor, you'll be in constant contact with patients, making a difference where it counts.

Become a Physician Associate and be part of the UK's most innovative healthcare profession - Physician Associates will play a vital role in the future of the NHS, improving the lives of thousands of patients.

Once qualified, you’ll be set for a career as a versatile, dynamic healthcare professional. Working under the supervision of a doctor, you’ll be in constant contact with patients, making a difference where it counts.

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Are you a life sciences graduate wanting the opportunity to train for a new healthcare role? As a physician associate you’ll work in the NHS under the supervision of doctors and alongside other healthcare professionals, delivering care to patients. Read more
Are you a life sciences graduate wanting the opportunity to train for a new healthcare role? As a physician associate you’ll work in the NHS under the supervision of doctors and alongside other healthcare professionals, delivering care to patients. Our programme will equip you to pursue a career in the NHS that’ll be both rewarding and challenging.

Key features

-Sharpen your skills on this intensive programme which takes an inquiry-based learning approach
-Benefit from early patient contact from the first weeks, continuing and increasing throughout the programme, ensuring that your personal, practical and professional development is patient-centred
-Access highly-developed teaching resources
-Advance your understanding with fully integrated clinical skill development and clinical placements throughout the programme
-Spend some time learning with medical students and other healthcare professions.

Course details

Year 1
The first six months will typically be spent in the University, establishing the foundations of clinical medicine and developing your clinical, diagnostic and communication skills while spending one day per week in community placements seeing patients. Following this initial phase, while continuing your placement in General Practice and the community, you’ll commence clinical placements one day per week in the hospital.

Core modules
-PAS714 Evidence-Based Practice and Research Methods
-PAS711 Foundations in Clinical Medicine 1
-PAS712 Clinical, Diagnostic and Communication Skills 1
-PAS713 Personal and Professional Development 1

Final year
In your second year, you’ll be based predominantly in the clinical setting with specialty blocks in mental health, general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, emergency medicine and general adult medicine (both hospital and community based).

Core modules
-PAS721 Foundations in Clinical Medicine 2
-PAS722 Clinical, Diagnostic and Communication Skills 2
-PAS723 Personal and Professional Development 2

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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The MSc in Physician Associate Studies offers you the opportunity to train as a Physician Associate, a new, rapidly-evolving role within the NHS that opens up a diverse range of health-based work opportunities. Read more
The MSc in Physician Associate Studies offers you the opportunity to train as a Physician Associate, a new, rapidly-evolving role within the NHS that opens up a diverse range of health-based work opportunities.

A Physician Associate (PA) is defined as someone who is: a new healthcare professional who, while not a doctor, works to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision. The role is therefore designed to supplement the medical workforce, thereby improving patient access.

As a PA, you will work under a supervising doctor or surgeon, and be equipped to provide holistic care and treatment within the medical model. This a versatile role, that can cover the primary care setting such as general practice or the acute settings.

Course detail

This two-year course is intensive and clinically focused, and involves many aspects of an undergraduate or postgraduate medical degree, focusing on general adult medicine, rather than speciality care. You will learn to perform a number of roles, including taking medical histories, performing examinations, diagnosing illnesses, analysing test results and developing management plans.

Being based within UWE's specialist campus environment means you will get to study as part of a wider healthcare community and have access to state-of-the-art simulation facilities, where you can practise your skills in a realistic yet controlled medical environment.

The course also includes extensive placement opportunities, with the chance to gain experience across a range of acute and primary care settings.

Modules

• Clinical Sciences (30 credits)
• Applied Pharmacology (15 credits)
• Foundations in Clinical Medicine 1 (15 credits)
• Foundations in Clinical Medicine 2 (30 credits)
• Public Health and Health Promotion for Physician Associates (15 credits)
• Evidencing Contemporary Physician Associate Practice (15 credits)
• Health and Social Care Research: Methods and Methodolgy (15 credits)
• Dissertation (45 credits)

Format

This is a clinically focused course, delivered through a variety of taught lectures, small group sessions, problem-based learning, practical clinical skills, and simulated learning, with an underpinning clinical practice element that runs throughout the two years in both primary and secondary care.

The course will be led by an experienced Physician Associate and a team of healthcare lecturers and GPs. This ensures the strong 'real world' focus of this course and means you can expect the highest quality of teaching and learning.

Assessment

We will make use of a range of types of assessment on the course, including structured clinical exams, essays based on problem-based learning, presentations and a clinical portfolio of evidence.

Careers / Further study

On successful completion of the course, you will need to pass an additional national professional exam, to practise as a Physician Associate.

Healthcare courses at UWE have a very strong record of producing students who are quickly successful in gaining relevant work. Undertaking placements will mean you will have plenty of links into potential sources of local work when you finish.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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This programme of study, skills development and placement experience allows you to build upon a first degree in biosciences, life sciences or health sciences in order to function as a qualified physician associate. Read more

This programme of study, skills development and placement experience allows you to build upon a first degree in biosciences, life sciences or health sciences in order to function as a qualified physician associate.

The programme teaches you to assess, diagnose and manage medical problems competently, consulting with patients presenting with a variety of specified conditions on behalf of, and under supervision of, a senior experienced doctor.

By the end of the programme, you will be able to deliver holistic medical care and treatment to a standard defined by the National Examination for Physician Associates, which will enable you to work in either Primary or Secondary Care.

Programme structure

The programme consists of eight taught modules.

On successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Post Graduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies, but will also need to sit a National Examination comprising a written paper and OSCE examination, set by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians, in order to be able to practise in the NHS.

On passing the National Examinations, the graduate can be registered on the National Register (currently a Voluntary Register but awaiting accreditation and appointment of a Regulatory Body). The graduate can only work as a physician associate in the NHS if he/she is on this National Register.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

What is a physician associate?

Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. As a physician associate, you might work in a GP surgery or be based in a hospital, but wherever you work, you'll have direct contact with patients.

You’ll be trained to perform a number of day-to- day tasks including:

  • Taking medical histories
  • Performing examinations
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Analysing test results
  • Developing management plans

You can find further information on the role through the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP) or the NHS careers website.

To understand what a physician associate does on a day-to- day basis, Health Education England have produced this informative Day in the Life of a Physician Associate video.

Collaboration

This programme will be delivered through collaboration with Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex and engagement with Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), Canterbury and Christchurch University (CCU) and the University of Kent.

The majority of teaching, however, will be conducted by Surrey staff and local NHS clinicians. The four HEIs (including Surrey) may share facilities in areas of individual specialist expertise, although teaching will be conducted by Surrey staff.

Working with local NHS Trusts (primary and community care, acute, secondary care and mental health) will enable elements including work-based assessments and summative assessments (the clinical OSCEs).

Surrey Health Partners

The University of Surrey is part of the Surrey Health Partners Alliance, bringing together NHS Trusts in Surrey with the University to enhance learning and teaching, research and clinical practice.

The local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs, covering GP practices) and NHS Health Trusts (covering hospitals, community care and psychiatric care) are all represented fully within Surrey Health Partners.

Career opportunities

Following successful graduation from this Diploma course, you will need to sit the National Assessment for Physician Associates, set by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Passing the National Assessment will allow you to be put onto the National Register for Physician Associates, so that you can practise clinically in the UK.

Career prospects

The predicted growth of the physician associate role across the NHS to fill an important resource gap indicates strong continued employment prospects for graduates. Physician associates will pursue a profession that is supported by the NHS and the Department of Health: over 30 hospitals currently employ PAs across the UK and the numbers are growing fast.

Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex aims to produce PAs who can work in primary as well as secondary care.

Educational aims of the programme

The overarching educational aim of the programme is to train graduates with a first degree in Biosciences, Life Sciences or Health Sciences, or suitable approved programme, to Post Graduate Diploma level, to function as a qualified physician associate (on passing the National Examination).

Physician associates will be able to:

  • Deliver holistic medical care and treatment under defined levels of supervision, in acute and primary care settings in the National Health Service.
  • Work effectively with patients and multi-disciplinary healthcare teams from diverse backgrounds.
  • Use a patient-centred approach, and be expert communicators, ensuring patient safety at all times
  • Promote health and wellbeing on an individual and population basis
  • Engage in reflective practice, work within the limits of their competence and engage actively in lifelong learning and professional development

This training includes the necessary knowledge, skills and professional attitudes needed to work to the medical model, demonstrating safe medical practice, medical competence, compassion, reflective and critical thinking in diagnostic reasoning and clinical management.

Graduates will be able to assess, diagnose and manage medical problems competently, consulting with patients presenting with a variety of specified conditions on behalf of, and under supervision of a senior experienced doctor.

They will be able to understand and demonstrate the principles of safe and effective prescribing.

Graduates will be trained to a standard defined by the National Examination for Physician Associates that will enable them to work as physician associates in the National Health Service, with appropriate accreditation and regulation once these have been decided and implemented.



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Our course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a physician associate within the NHS. Read more
Our course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a physician associate within the NHS. You will gain skills in history taking, physical examination and diagnosis. You will also study clinical theory and undertake clinical placements.

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to qualify as a physician associate. Physician associates provide patient care within the National Health Service (NHS). They work under the supervision of doctors and health care professionals. The course will suit graduates of a bioscience discipline.

You will learn how to work to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base needed to deliver holistic care and treatment. You will develop your understanding of clinical practice through a combination of:
-Case based self-directed learning
-Clinical skills laboratory teaching
-Hands on experience in clinical settings

Additionally, you will develop core knowledge in preparation for the clinical workplace. This will include appropriate knowledge of:
-Anatomy
-Biochemistry
-Physiology
-Pharmacology
-Immunology
-Microbiology
-Neurology

On completion of the course you will be able to take the national physician associate qualifying exam. Satisfactory performance allows you to begin work as a physician associate within the NHS. The exam is overseen by the Faculty of Physician Associates within the Royal College of Physicians.

The course draws on Newcastle University’s considerable excellence in medical training. It was developed in association with Health Education North East.

Delivery

Year one runs over 46 weeks and includes:
-Six week training in clinical, communication and diagnostic skills using mannequin-based and role play simulations
-A 27 week team-based learning course introducing core clinical knowledge through clinical case studies
-One day a week in a primary care setting developing history taking skills
-A six week apprenticeship in a hospital based setting to introduce the role of the physician associate

Year two comprises rotations in the following areas followed by a two week assessment period:
-Eight weeks of emergency medicine
-Three weeks of mental health
-Six weeks of community medicine/primary care
-Three weeks of obstetrics and gynaecology
-Three weeks of paediatrics
-Eight weeks of general medicine
-Three weeks of general surgery

You will then undertake a ten week senior apprenticeship. Trainees will work as physician associates under clinical supervision.

Placements

Alongside learning basic clinical theory you will undertake clinical placements. You will spend at least 1600 hours in clinical placements within NHS trusts and primary care providers in the North East.

Facilities

Students benefit from a:
-Clinical skills laboratory for acquisition of clinical/procedural skills in a safe, monitored environment
-Simulation laboratory to practice emergency care scenarios on our simulation mannequins
-Unique virtual learning environment for access to high-quality online learning resources and pre-recorded lecture material

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The HYMS MSc in Physician Associate Studies is a two year intensive professional Master’s programme. Academic theory is blended with clinical placements, so that students get first-hand clinical experience from the outset. Read more
The HYMS MSc in Physician Associate Studies is a two year intensive professional Master’s programme. Academic theory is blended with clinical placements, so that students get first-hand clinical experience from the outset. It is medically led by HYMS but with multi-professional input delivered in partnership with the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of Hull and the NHS. This programme has been especially developed to meet the requirements of the National Competence and Curriculum Framework for Physician Associates.

Campus teaching will be delivered by staff from HYMS and the Faculty of Health and Social Care, at the University of Hull. Clinical placements will take place at our NHS partners in the Yorkshire and Humber region in GP practices and hospitals.

Why choose HYMS?
•Build your career on our intensive, two year professional Masters programme.
•Work alongside doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in hospitals, GP surgeries and other settings.
•Thrive in our lively and interactive problem-based learning (PBL) environment.
•Experience a broad range of high quality learning opportunities made available by a strong partnership between HYMS, the Universities of Hull and York and the NHS.
•Develop your knowledge, clinical skills and research skills in a student centred and patient focused environment.

Course Structure

This programme combines six taught modules and a quality / service improvement research project which are delivered alongside clinical placements in hospitals and in the community.

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The second year of study is funded. The course is ideally suitable for life science graduates, nurses, allied health professionals or anyone interested in pursuing a challenging and exciting career in healthcare. Read more
The second year of study is funded.

The course is ideally suitable for life science graduates, nurses, allied health professionals or anyone interested in pursuing a challenging and exciting career in healthcare.

This is an intensive and innovative programme delivered by a leading UK medical school - Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, a faculty of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The programme has been designed to give students the skills and knowledge required to become an effective physician associate (PA). Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. As a PA you might work in a GP surgery or be based in a hospital, but wherever you work, you'll have direct contact with patients. PAs are required to maintain their generalist skills, in contrast to doctors, this allows them to move between different specialties and areas of practice enabling the PA to have a varied ‘portfolio’ career with a strong patient focus.

Course highlights:

- Funded second year
- Excellent employment opportunities
- Opportunities for student exchange in the USA with Duke University
- A leading UK medical school ranked second in the UK for Medicine – Guardian University Guide 2017
- A Russell Group university
- Fast-paced and highly rewarding 27-month course
- Excellent collaborations with Trust partners to facilitate high quality placements
- Early exposure to clinical environments
- Taught by academics who are leaders in their respective field
- Innovative course delivery

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This course is suitable for graduates with a life science degree or similar qualification. It enables you to build on your previous studies and gain a healthcare professional qualification. Read more

This course is suitable for graduates with a life science degree or similar qualification. It enables you to build on your previous studies and gain a healthcare professional qualification.

Physician associates are a growing group within the UK and are seen as one of the solutions to recruitment challenges within medicine, particularly in general practice. There are excellent job prospects for qualified physician associates as the role continues to evolve in response to changing healthcare needs.

The course provides you with opportunities to develop expert medical knowledge and skills in taking medical histories, examining patients, providing a diagnosis, analysing results and developing management plans and pathways. The course meets the expectations of Competence and Curriculum Framework for the PA (DH 2006, revised 2012) (CCF).

Learning takes place in the classroom, in simulated clinical learning suites and whilst on clinical placement. We give you the unique opportunity to work with students on other healthcare professional courses, such as nursing and physiotherapy.

You complete over 1,600 hours of clinical placements during the two year course. You learn in general hospital settings in medicine and surgery, as well as specialised areas such as paediatrics and mental health, and in primary care in GP surgeries. You attend clinical placements within a month of starting the course, and placements are integrated throughout the two years so that you are able to apply theoretical learning to the real world of practice and the care of patients. Your first and final placement take place in the same GP surgery and you are able to maintain a relationship with your GP supervisor throughout the two years for mentoring and support. A final three month placement in general practice also provides you with an ideal environment to prepare for the National Examination at the end of the course.

After successfully completing the course, you are able to apply for innovative roles throughout the UK, joining a growing body of physician associates in rich and varied employment.

Course structure

Full-time – typically two years

Starts January 2018. You are required to attend a compulsory study day in November 2017 (date to be confirmed).

Course content

The course meets the expectations of Competence and Curriculum Framework for the PA (DH 2006, revised 2012) (CCF)

The curriculum content is structured into modules which develop your skills in professional practice, clinical assessment and treatment and underpinning knowledge. Learning takes place in the classroom, in clinical simulation suites and in the real world of healthcare.

In addition you have access to online/distance learning resources to support and enhance your learning experience.

Assessment

  • coursework
  • clinical assessment whilst on placement
  • objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
  • multiple choice examinations. If you are successful in all the university assessments and pass the course, you will be put forward for the National Examination. This may incur a fee of around £500 and may take place outside of Sheffield. 

Employability

It is expected that graduates from this course will have access to a wide range of healthcare roles, working under the supervision of a medical practitioner. For example, there are physician associates employed in GP surgeries in the Yorkshire region, in medicine and surgery settings in acute healthcare and in specialised areas of medicine.

Typically, graduate physician associates are employed on band 7 in NHS posts and can progress to band 8. For more information about a career as a physician associate visit the NHS Careers website.



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