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Physician Associate Studies

Course Description

This programme will provide the opportunity for life science graduates to train as a Physician Associate, a new healthcare role in the NHS, working under the supervision of doctors alongside other healthcare professionals in delivering care to patients. Our programme will equip you to pursue a career in the NHS that will be rewarding and challenging.

This is a very intensive programme of study, using an inquiry-based learning approach, with fully integrated clinical skill development and clinical placements throughout the programme.

If you join the programme 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, whilst continuing your placement in General Practice and the community, you will commence clinical placements one day per week in the hospital.

In the second year, you will 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).


Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip in Physician Associate Studies)

Year 1
• Foundations in Clinical Medicine 1 (20 credits)
• Clinical, Diagnostic and Communication Skills 1 (20 credits)
• Interpersonal Professional Development 1 (10 credits)
• Evidence Based Practice & Research Methods (10 credits)

Year 2
• Foundations in Clinical Medicine 2 (20 credits)
• Clinical, Diagnostic and Communication Skills 2 (30 credits)
• Interpersonal Professional Development 2 (10 credits)

Total for award: 120 credits

Masters (MSc in Physician Associate Studies)
As above plus
• Project Design (20 credits)
• Dissertation (40 credits)
Total for award: 180 credits

The programme facilitates early patient contact from the first weeks, continuing and increasing throughout the programme. This ensures that your personal, practical and professional development is patient-centred. Being based in our thriving Medical School, you will have access to highly-developed learning resources and will spend some time learning with medical students and other healthcare professions.

Postgraduate Diploma/Masters

Entry level to employment as a Physician Associate is currently a University award of a Postgraduate Diploma together with successful completion of the National Assessment (applied medical knowledge exam and objective structured clinical examination) administered by the UK and Ireland University Board of Physician Associate Education (UKIUBPAE).
Currently Physician Associates are not nationally licenced. Graduates are encouraged to join the Managed Voluntary Register administered by the UK Association of Physician Associates (UKAPA).

Entry Requirements

• Normally a first degree (2:1 or above) in a life science subject or current healthcare professionals educated to degree level• Work experience, substantiating your career aspirations, in a social or clinical setting• Chemistry A’ Level is desirable

Course Fees

Please contact [email protected] for details

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Recipient: Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry
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