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Physician Associate (MSc)

Course Description

Physicians’ Associates are in demand because of a shortfall in the number of doctors. Physician Associates learn vital skills to diagnose, treat and care for patients in a variety of specialist settings. If you have a first degree in life or health sciences, our MSc as a Physicians' Associate will train you in a wide range of clinical skills.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/physician-associate

As a physician associate, you’ll fill an important clinical role. You’ll be able to take a patient’s history, perform physical examinations and request and interpret diagnostic test results. You’ll be able to diagnose illnesses; develop treatment and management plans; perform therapeutic procedures; prescribe medication (subject to legislation); and undertake patient education, counselling and health promotion.

Our Masters degree will help you develop a range of skills relating to the cardiovascular, respiratory and gastro-intestinal systems; the eyes, ears, nose and throat; the skin; and the renal, genitourinary, male and female reproductive systems. You’ll learn to become a caring, capable, knowledgeable and research-aware physician’s associate, with high-level clinical and communication skills.

Your study will be divided equally between theory and practice. Besides lectures, tutorials, practical workshops, role play and simulated skills work on campus, you’ll complete a programme of clinical placement rotations in hospital wards, outpatient settings and general practice across the East of England in the following clinical specialties (minimum hours in brackets):

•obstetrics and gynaecology (90 hours)
•paediatrics in an acute setting (90 hours)
•community-based medicine (180 hours)
•general surgery (90 hours)
•general hospital medicine (350 hours)
•mental health (90 hours).

This is an intensive and challenging course – but one which offers its own, significant rewards.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/physician-associate


The UK physician’s associate scheme builds on 40 years’ proven success of a similar system in the USA. Physician associates fill an emerging and increasingly important role in the UK, not least because they help to mitigate the UK shortfall in medics as well as contributing to the general efficiency of improving health are delivery for all NHS patients.

There are increasing opportunities for employment in the NHS acute and primary healthcare service sector across the East of England. Graduate physician associates are frequently appointed to roles in general practice, cardiology, neurosurgery and other specialties.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules:
Principles of Basic and Clinical Medicine
Family Welfare and Child Healthcare
Clinical Pharmacology for Practice
Research Studies

Year two, core modules:
Applied Practice and Professional Development for the Physician Associate
Major Project


We use a range of assessment methods to check your progress during your studies and then to make sure that you meet the required standards to register for practice as a Physician Associate.

Although they vary, our assessment strategies are all carefully designed to challenge you so that you expand your critical and creative thinking as well as your problem-solving and skills for clinical practice. The assessments will let you synthesise existing knowledge and accumulate new knowledge in order to evidence the development of your professional practice.

Your progress and achievements will be assessed through theoretical essays, simulated clinically orientated objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), multiple-choice exams, clinical practice-based observations and an exam set by the professional UK & Ireland Universities Board for Physician Associate Education.

Your faculty

The Faculty of Medical Science, opened in 2014, is founded on the strong international reputation of our flagship Postgraduate Medical Institute. Based on our riverside campus in Chelmsford and Young Street campus in Cambridge, we deliver innovative and clinically relevant teaching and research across two departments:

- Department of Allied and Public Health
- Department of Medicine and Healthcare Science.

Thanks to our close relationships with the major clinical-care providers in the east of England, there are significant opportunities for collaboration and student placements across a variety of clinical sites.

We offer exciting opportunities for research and education in the allied health professions. We also translate science and epidemiology into health education and primary care, and deliver taught Master’s programmes to qualified medics. We have a flourishing community of PhD and MD(Res) students across all of our research fields.

Our advanced learning facilities include state-of-the-art clinical skills laboratories and simulation suites, which mirror real-life clinical situations. We also have a fantastic, modern library and a wide range of science labs and ICT suites.

Visit the Physician Associate (MSc) page on the Anglia Ruskin University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first degree in life sciences (such as human biology, biochemistry, medical science, nursing or physiotherapy) with at least a 2:1 classification or an equivalent qualification. Health experience in a clinical setting is preferred. We will consider applicants who possess a relevant Diploma in Higher Education or equivalent if this is accompanied with significant health experience, for example as a nurse or operating department practitioner.

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Recipient: Anglia Ruskin University
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