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    2023 start September 

    Physician Associate Studies

    The Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

    Our course gives you a solid grounding in the knowledge and skills you'll need to support doctors in ‘first contact’ health care, either in general practices or in hospitals. Our integrated, systems-based approach places the patient at the centre of care and helps your skills as a rounded clinician. The course is designed to give you a solid foundation of knowledge to take into clinical placements and allow you to maximise the two years spent here.
    Image of postgraduate student working with medical equipment (pipette)

    Course description

    This course is now closed to new applications for 2023 entry.

    Physicians Associates (PAs) are health professionals who see patients and address their health needs while working under the supervision of doctors. Qualified PAs have direct contact with patients in their assessment: taking histories, performing examination, making diagnoses and considering management plans as part of the wider clinical team.

    The role is supported by the Faculty of Physician Associates as it works toward the profession becoming registered with the General Medical Council.

    A career as a Physician Associate is a great option if you're passionate about working in a frontline clinical environment within a multi-disciplinary team.

    Students benefit from our world-class facilities and expertise. You will acquire a firm grounding in the knowledge and skills of generalist medical care to equip you to deliver ‘first contact’ health care, either in general practices or in hospitals. The course will be delivered in a systems-based, integrated way which places the patient at the centre with a first stage mainly based in the University and a second stage in our partner hospitals and General Practices.

    The University is working closely with local Acute Trusts (hospitals) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (primary care) so that our graduates have the right qualities to meet the needs of potential employers and the public as a whole. The course has an excellent success rate in the National PA examinations and is predominantly led by the profession as tutors and academic tutors.  For more information please contact the course director.

    At present, the UK Physician Associate qualification does not allow you to work as a Physician Associate in other countries.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Upcoming open days and campus tours


    2 years full-time


    You’ll study a rounded based upon the Physician Associate Competency and Curriculum Framework whilst taking you into more detail in key areas and developing you as an all-round clinician.

    During the course, you’ll have contact with patients, initially in clinical seminars within the Patients as Educators programme, where you’ll hear first-hand from patients about their experience and then on placements in GP practices and local hospitals. Clinical skills will be developed in simulation and then in practice with the course assessment structure designed to support both your academic and practical progression.

    A mixture of lectures, small group sessions and practical teaching sessions will be supported by the course teams, and the wider Medical School, to ensure that you are set up to be successful in both our examinations but also the national examination.


    Assessment takes place throughout the course in the form of written assessments, multiple-choice tests, clinical examinations and workplace-based assessments. These are run in well-established formats with experienced assessors with the final examination mirroring the national examination (see below) to best prepare you for this. 

    Physician Associates are required to pass a national exam in order to practice in the UK. Students take this exam after completing the course and are required to fund the exam as it isn’t run by the University.

    Your career

    After successfully completing your course, you can apply for Physician Associate roles and employment after completing the PA National Examination.

    Past students have gone on to work in GP Surgeries, Acute Hospital Trusts such as A&E and respiratory medicine, as well as Mental Health Trusts.

    For further information on becoming a Physician Associate, please visit the Royal College of Physicians official website.

    Entry requirements

    You'll require at least a 2:1 undergraduate honours degree including a substantial element of human or animal biology. In addition you will require BBB at A-level (or equivalent appropriate qualification).

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    This course is now closed to new applications for 2023 entry.

    To be guaranteed equal consideration with other applicants you needed to have submitted your application by 25 January 2023.


    Dr James Gray

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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