Our Physician Associate master's will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a Physician Associate (PA). It is a new and dynamic role within the NHS.
Physician Associates (PAs) are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education. They work alongside doctors, physicians, GPs and surgeons. PAs provide medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team.
PAs are dependent practitioners working with a dedicated consultant or GP supervisor. They also work alone, with appropriate support. The course will suit graduates of a bioscience discipline.
While not doctors, PAs work to the medical model. They use skills and knowledge to deliver holistic care and treatment. They do this with the general medical and/or general practice team. Physician Associates work under defined levels of supervision.
The course draws on Newcastle University’s considerable excellence in medical training. This is in association with Health Education North East.
You'll develop core knowledge in preparation for the clinical workplace. This will include appropriate knowledge of:
- communication skills
- clinical examination skills
- clinical reasoning
- data interpretation
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
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How you'll learn
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
- Observation of professional practice
- Written examination
- Written exercise
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
Assessments will include:
- 7,500 word dissertation which will represent audit or a literature review to support patient safety and/or quality improvement
- written exam - comprised of single best answer questions
- clinical exams - consisting of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE's)
- written skills - assessing your ability to request diagnostics
- professionalism- is assessed throughout the course
Your teaching and learning is also supported by Canvas. Canvas is a Virtual Learning Environment. You'll use Canvas to submit your assignments and access your:
Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to support from:
- our University Student Services Team
You'll also be assigned an academic member of staff. They will be your personal tutor throughout your time with us. They can help with academic and personal issues.
Emma McAllister - Degree Programme Director
Dr Graham Dark - Assessment Lead
Alice Fitzpatrick - Year 2 Lead
Lana Shakespeare - Year 1 Lead
Jo James - Course Administrator
This 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
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.
On completion of the course, you'll 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.
Graduates from this course have undertaken various roles including:
- primary care
- emergency care
- pbstetrics and gynaecology
- mental health
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2020 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
Students benefit from:
- Clinical Skills Laboratory with access to simulation labs
- consultation rooms
- a unique virtual learning environment. You'll have access to high-quality online learning resources and lecture material
- access to regional healthcare trusts and primary care settings
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
For 2022 entry Health Education England North East (HEENE) will support eligible students enrolled onto the MSc Physician Associate Studies course with an education bursary of £2,500 in each year of study.
Eligible students will also be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master's Loan.
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
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The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold open days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
- explore our beautiful campus
- find out about our vibrant city
- discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
We also hold various online and virtual events.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
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