Physician Associate Studies PGDip

Physician Associate Studies PGDip

Full time: 24 months


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.


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.

Related Degrees

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  • Education (Clinical) MPhil, PhD

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Fees & Funding

2018-2019 fees

The fees displayed here are per year. If your studies last longer than one year your fee may be subject to an annual inflationary increase.



Full time £9,200


Full time £9,200


Full time: £18,400

Health Education England North East (HEENE) will support students enrolled onto the PgDip in Physician Associate Studies course with an education bursary of £9,000 for each year of study and a contribution to travel costs.

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a bioscience or related subject.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.5 overall (with a minimum of 7.0 in all sub-skills).

Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

How to Apply

Use our Applicant Portal to apply for your course. We have a step-by-step guide to help you.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 30 May 2017.


If you are short-listed you will need to attend a 25 minute interview. This is to confirm that you have the aptitude, motivation and personal qualities to succeed as a student and physician associate.

Two selectors from a wide pool of clinicians, educators and non-practitioners conduct the interview. They will assess you on six categories:

  • preparation and motivation for study
  • effective learning skills
  • team working
  • personal qualities/resilience
  • interpersonal and communication skills 
  • empathy, sensitivity and integrity

Selectors will not have access to your personal statement or reference before or during the interview. Your interview performance is the sole basis on which they make their decision.

Interviews will take place between January and June 2017. If you have limited availability for interview please contact us.


If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.


Hayley Clark
Course Administrator
School of Medical Education
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6616

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