Postgraduate

Physician Associate Studies MSc

Physician Associate Studies MSc

Full time: 24 months

Profile

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 (PA) 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 (PA). PAs are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education who work alongside doctors, physicians, GPs and surgeons to provide medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team.

PAs are dependent practitioners working with a dedicated consultant or GP supervisor, but are able to work autonomously with appropriate support. The course will suit graduates of a bioscience discipline.

PAs, while not doctors, work to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment with the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision.

Our programme will teach you how to work to the medical model including:

  • how to consult with patients effectively
  • taking medical histories
  • performing physical examinations
  • requesting and interpreting tests
  • diagnosing illness or injuries
  • developing treatment and management plans
  • counselling on preventative healthcare 

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 PA 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.

To learn more about what a PA does in practice, read ‘An employer’s guide to physician associates’.

Delivery

Year one runs over 46 weeks and includes:

  • six weeks 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 and examination skills
  • a six week apprenticeship in a hospital based setting to introduce the role of the PA
  • introduction to research methodologies and preparation for undertaking the dissertation element in Year 2

Year two comprises 34 weeks of essential 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 of which the placement in the last four weeks can be selected by the student to meet any specific needs they may have as they move towards employment. Trainees will work as PAs under clinical supervision.

During the second year you will complete a 7,500 word dissertation which will represent audit or research to support patient safety and/or quality improvement.

Related Degrees

  • Medical Education MMedEd, PGDip, PGCert

    Our course allows medical educators to enhance their educational practice and knowledge. You'll gain expertise in effective medical education in the context of your practice.

  • Education (Clinical) MPhil, PhD

    Research in the School of Medical Education focuses on how we better understand and improve education within the classroom and clinical context. We especially welcome MPhil and PhD applications that are innovative and creative.

All related programmes

Fees & Funding

2018-2019 fees

Fees per course

MSc

UK

Full time £9,600

EU

Full time £9,600

International

Full time: £18,600

Your fees will be paid entirely in the first year.

For 2018 entry Health Education England North East (HEENE) will support eligible students enrolled onto the MSc Physician Associate Studies course with an education bursary of £9,600 to cover the fees for the course and a contribution towards travel costs.

In May 2018 we received confirmation from Health Education England (HEE) that if you are applying for the MSc Physician Associate Studies and are eligible for the education bursary, you will also be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master's Loan for 2018 entry.

 

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

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 and 2019 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.

Some examples of degrees we regard as generally suitable are:

  • anatomy
  • biology
  • biochemistry/medical biochemistry
  • biomedical science
  • dentistry
  • human biology/physiology/pharmacology
  • medical sciences
  • Operating Theatre Practitioner
  • pharmacy
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry
  • psychology (with a biological orientation)
  • radiography
  • zoology

If you have a Health Sciences Diploma (eg Nursing) with extensive clinical experience, we may also consider you. We do not consider applications from candidates who have previously commenced a medical degree and failed to progress for any reason.

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: international.recruitment@ncl.ac.uk 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

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 30 April 2018. We have one intake per year with students beginning their studies in early September each year. 

Interviews

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

Interviews will take place in January, February, March, April and May. We will not issue any offers to successful candidates until all interviews have been completed. Therefore, you will be notified by email or through the Applicant portal of the outcome in mid-late May. If you have limited availability for interview please contact us.

Our previous two cohorts have been between 20-25 students. Our numbers for 2018/19 have not been confirmed, we will update you in due course. 

Deposit

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.

Contact

Course Administrator
School of Medical Education
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6616
Email: pgpas@ncl.ac.uk

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