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MSc Physician Associate Studies

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Medical Assistant Skills (Hospital)

Course type


Course Summary

Course overview

  • Train to work as a core member of the medical team and perform physical examinations, take histories, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and recommend therapy.
  • Undertake over 1,600 hours of clinical training, including placements across the full range of medical specialities at teaching hospitals and primary care providers.
  • Have the opportunity to undertake an overseas elective in Year 2.
  • Receive financial support during training.
  • Study at a university ranked among the top 40 in the world for Medicine (QS World University Rankings 2021).

Course description

Physician associates first joined the NHS workforce over ten years ago and are now employed throughout the UK in increasing numbers.

Physician associates are permanent members of the medical team, responsible for performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests and recommending therapy. The role of physician associates is increasingly important within the healthcare workforce and individuals with this qualification are in demand.

Our PGDip/MSc in Physician Associate Studies aims to develop the skills required to become an effective practitioner through a combination of teaching and practical placements.

You will be trained according to the medical model and will work in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage a wide range of common and complex diseases. Students registered for the Masters programme will also undertake a clinically relevant research project in their second year of study.


You will develop:

  • intellectual skills in problem solving and enquiry, critical analysis, logical thinking, clinical reasoning and reflection;
  • your knowledge and understanding of relevant principles and practical approaches in the clinical, behavioural and social sciences;
  • patient-centred consultation skills;
  • advanced clinical skills;
  • a detailed knowledge of pharmacology and prescribing safety (in anticipation of changes to legislation to allow physician associates to prescribe).

Coursework and assessment

We use a structured programme of formative and summative assessments to examine the knowledge and skills that you must develop. You will undertake written and OSCE examinations at the end of each year and will maintain a portfolio for personal and professional development (PPD).

Career opportunities

The physician associate role was first developed in the United States during the 1960s, and the profession has grown considerably in the last ten years to the point where there are now over 95,000 registered physician associates in the US.

Physician associates first joined the NHS workforce over ten years ago and are now employed throughout the UK in increasing numbers.

The government has set regional targets to increase the number of physician associates working in the sector and there is considerable demand for newly qualified physician associates within the NHS. Some physician associates also undertake work in the private sector.


The unit aims to: Deliver training in the identification, formulation and implementation of a specific research project.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Applicants should hold or be predicted an Upper Second class degree (2:1). This may include the life sciences (e.g. biomedical science, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, healthcare science) or allied health professions (e.g. pharmacy, audiology, nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy). Although we encourage applications from other healthcare professionals, we do not accept applications from candidates with medical degrees or those who have previously studied for, but not completed, a medical or healthcare degree. All applicants should hold GCSE qualifications in Maths and English at grade B or equivalent. Applicants with equivalent or non-standard qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.