Physician associates are in demand because of a shortfall in the number of doctors. If you have a first degree in life or health sciences, our Physician Associate Masters degree course will train you in a wide range of clinical skills vital to the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients in primary and secondary care.
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; and undertake patient education, counselling and health promotion. From year one you’ll undertake integrated primary care placements in GP surgeries. In year two you’ll be on placement for the entire year as well as producing a Quality Improvement Plan for the NHS.
Our Physician Associate 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 Associate, with high-level clinical and communication skills.
At ARU, your study will be divided equally between theory and practice, employing the medical model of teaching, learning and assessment. Besides lectures, tutorials, practical workshops, role play and simulated skills work on campus, you’ll complete a programme of clinical placement rotations in general practice, hospital wards and outpatient settings across the East of England in the following clinical specialties (total hours, over 2 years in brackets):
This is an intensive and challenging course – but one which offers its own, significant rewards.
Contact course leader Jade Moore.
The UK Physician Associate scheme builds on 60 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 care delivery for all NHS patients.
There are increasing opportunities for employment in the NHS primary and acute healthcare service sector across the East of England. Graduate Physician Associates are frequently appointed to roles in general practice, cardiology, neurosurgery and other specialties.
In order to be registered on the FPA Managed Voluntary Register as a Physician Associate you’ll need to pass the PA National Exam after graduating from the MSc Physician Associate. The National Exam is not part of the Masters and the cost of the exam is therefore not included in your fees. Find out more at the Faculty of Physician Associates website.
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 questions (MCQ) and single best answer (SBA) exams. Your placement will be assessed by a Practice Assessment Document (PAD).
This is a two year programme
Please note that you will need to complete all of the above core modules, as well as be successful on all your placements. This is intensive and taught full-time over two years, 5 days a week. This course is longer than a traditional postgraduate programme, teaching takes place for 45 weeks and full attendance is expected for all elements of the course.
The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.
We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.
We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.
We are Health Education England’s (HEE)‘Preferred Provider’ for Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. HEE have indicated that they may be subsiding the tuition fee for Home/EU students, this fee subsidy does not require an application. More information on annual fees will be available at interview.
Associated travel costs
Up to £500 depending on equipment required
Certificate from The Resuscitation Council (UK)
This is a requirement to attend placement.
The National Exam is not part of the Masters and the cost of the exam is therefore not included in your fees. Find out more at the Faculty of Physician Associates website.
It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email email@example.com for further information.
This course is open to UK and EU applicants only, as the availability of work placements in the UK health service is limited.
Read this institution's report