Postgraduate Diploma and Masters Degree in Physician Associate Studies

Applications are now open for entry in September 2019.

The University of Sheffield is offering entry to both the Postgraduate Diploma and Masters* Degree in Physician Associate Studies for enrolment in September 2019 within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. Physicians Associates (PAs) are a developing professional group within the Health Service who work closely with their supervising Doctors, supporting the delivery of health care. They are supported by the Faculty of Physicians Associates under the umbrella of the Royal College of Physicians and study a nationally agreed curriculum available here PA Competency Framework.

Sheffield University has an excellent medical school and reputation for undergraduate medical studies. Successful applicants to the course will benefit from this experience and expertise, acquiring the knowledge and skills required to support diagnose and management across a broad range of general medical problems, including working with children, mental health, primary care, medicine, surgery, emergency care.

The Sheffield courses are designed to provide its graduates with a firm grounding in the principles of generalist medical care to equip them to support Doctors in ‘first contact’ health care, both in the community and hospital setting. This will include emergency care of acute and serious illness as well as well as more complex, less clear presentations of illness.

Parts of the curriculum will be delivered with a multidisciplinary approach with other students within the Faculty to foster a greater understanding of the different health care roles and how they come together to provide an effective team. Students’ skills in clinical problem solving and communication will be developed and an approach to clinical management that focuses on shared-decision making with patients will be adopted.

In developing these courses in Physician Associate Studies, the University aims to support the NHS workforce in the region. It is therefore working closely with both Acute Trusts (Hospitals) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Primary Care) in the region so that graduates have the right qualities to meet the needs of employers and provide a lasting service to the public within our region. Additionally we are working with universities regionally and nationally to promote and support the development of this new role.

Applications are open for entry in September 2019. Applications are currently being considered for interview in April.

More information on the developing role of the Physician Associate can be accessed at the faculty website .

And you can follow these exciting development of our unique course on twitter @ShefUniPA

Lead Academic: Dr Ben Jackson

Clinical Lecturer: Dr James Gray

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 or higher in a life sciences degree (such as Biochemistry, Physiology or Biomedical Science) with BBB grades at A level (or equivalent), and a keen interest to to develop practical skills related to health and illness, and to work with the public in the health sector. Selection will be by application and interview.
English Language requirements: Overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each components, or equivalent.
Applications at this stage will be a course to Diploma level but the University is exploring the option of providing a ‘top-up’ Masters in due course.

Teaching and Assessment

The modular course will be delivered in a systems based, integrated way which places the patient at the centre.

Students will have contact with patients throughout the course, both on placements in GP practices and local hospitals and through our excellent Patients as Educators programme. Clinical problem solving and clinical communication skills will be developed from day one, along with an approach to clinical management that focuses on shared decision making with patients. Interprofessional learning activities with students from other healthcare professions within the Faculty will foster a greater understanding of the different health care roles and how they work together as an integrated team to meet the needs of patients.

Assessment will take place throughout the course, with ongoing feedback on performance. Assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviours will be in the form of written assessments, multiple choice tests, objective structure, clinical examination and workplace based assessments.

Physician Associates are required to pass a national exam in order to practice in the UK. This exam is taken at the end of the course. Students may be required to fund this examination which is run externally to the University.

Funding (for 2019)

A training grant of £5,000 per student, per programme will be offered to all student PAs undertaking training in England. This payment will be paid 2.5K per annum.
Students should be able to utilise this payment against course fees, travel or similar costs incurred during the programme.

Contact information

Dr James Gray -

Clinical Lecturer - Physician Associate Studies

Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, University of Sheffield, Samuel Fox House, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, S5 7AU

General Practitioner - Meadowgreen Health Centre, Sheffield

Tel: 0114 222 2082 (Department)

Mob - 07588 659 106

Follow @ShefUniPA for information on our course and health partners

* Masters Degree subject to approval - currently running as PGDip