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Physician Associate Studies MSc

Prepare for the National Physician Associate entrance exam with our Physician Associate Studies MSc.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year:

Start date(s):

  • September 2024
PG virtual open day. Wednesday 15 May, 13:00-18:00 (BST). Book your spot


Physician Associates are part of the medical team and are a new and dynamic role in the NHS.

Physician Associates (PAs) are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education who work alongside physicians, GPs and surgeons and 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. 

While not doctors, PAs work to the medical modelThey use skills and knowledge to deliver holistic care and treatment. They do this with the medical team in secondary or primary care. 

Physician Associates work under defined levels of supervision.

The course draws on Newcastle University’s considerable excellence in medical training and is in association with Health Education North East.

This course would suit those with a minimum of an upper second class degree from a bioscience discipline or from a health care background

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
  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • pharmacology
  • ethics 
  • professional standards

Our MSc in Physician Associate Studies course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the national exam allows you to work as a Physician Associate (PA).

Learn more about the Royal College of Physicians' Faculty of Physician Associates


Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

How you'll learn

Your development

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.

Your future

On completion of the course, you'll be able to take the National Physician Associate qualifying exam (PARA Physician Associate Registration Assessment). 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
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Mental health
  • Older peoples medicine
  • Respiratory medicine
  • Neurology and stroke medicine
  • Breast surgery
  • Musculo-skeletal care

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.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


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 2024 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Find out more about:

Search for funding

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Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB)
Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

How to apply

Open days and events

You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:

  • campus tours
  • on-campus open days
  • virtual open days
  • webinars

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

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Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

Course Administrator
School of Medical Education


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

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