MSc Physician Associate Practice

Our Physician Associate Master's course has been designed for those who are interested in meeting the challenges of the changing healthcare landscape and have a desire to work as part of a medical team in all areas of medicine.


You will develop skills and knowledge to enable you to be an integral part of the medical team in a diverse range of clinical environments, by managing patients and providing high quality medical healthcare support. On successful completion of the course, you will become eligible to sit the national qualification of the Faculty of Physician Associates (a part of the Royal College of Physicians) registration examination, which will give you formal registration as a Physician Associate, enabling you to practise. This registration will be transferred to the General Medical Council in the coming years.

 

Please note that currently this course is only available to UK students.
 

Course type
Full-time

Course format

Integrated placements

Duration

2 years

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Discover what it's like to study at Aston
philip

"Physician Associates have existed in many countries across the world for decades. The profession first started in the UK in the late 1990's and has grown ever since. The NHS has ever increased demands and has to deliver services in the right place at the right time, with highly qualified high quality clinical staff, so innovation in the delivery of healthcare is paramount. 

The Physician Associate is that innovation and has become one of the fastest growing healthcare professions in the NHS. Working as part of the medical team, alongside other great clinical staff, PAs get the opportunity to practice medical healthcare in almost every specialty across the NHS. From Orthopaedics, to ENT, Dermatology, Oncology, Neurology, Women's Health, Surgery, Transplantation and every conceivable specialty PAs are working in these teams. 

Aston Medical School's new Physician Associate programme, developed in partnership with outstanding NHS colleagues, will offer you the opportunity to train with leading experts in Physician Associate education, in a nurturing environment and join this team of innovators, to make a difference to the lives of countless patients every day and to have one of the most fulfilling careers you can imagine."

Course Director, Philip Begg

philip

"Physician Associates have existed in many countries across the world for decades. The profession first started in the UK in the late 1990's and has grown ever since. The NHS has ever increased demands and has to deliver services in the right place at the right time, with highly qualified high quality clinical staff, so innovation in the delivery of healthcare is paramount. 

The Physician Associate is that innovation and has become one of the fastest growing healthcare professions in the NHS. Working as part of the medical team, alongside other great clinical staff, PAs get the opportunity to practice medical healthcare in almost every specialty across the NHS. From Orthopaedics, to ENT, Dermatology, Oncology, Neurology, Women's Health, Surgery, Transplantation and every conceivable specialty PAs are working in these teams. 

Aston Medical School's new Physician Associate programme, developed in partnership with outstanding NHS colleagues, will offer you the opportunity to train with leading experts in Physician Associate education, in a nurturing environment and join this team of innovators, to make a difference to the lives of countless patients every day and to have one of the most fulfilling careers you can imagine."

Course Director, Philip Begg

Course outline

What is a Physician Associate?

A Physician Associate is a key healthcare role that works collaboratively with patients and clinical colleagues to diagnose, investigate and manage clinical cases competently and safely; provide emergency care to adults and children; draw up care plans in collaboration with other healthcare professionals; recognise complex and uncertain situations and seek appropriate supervision and support in a timely manner.  

This role works collaboratively with a variety of multi-disciplinary professional teams in a clinical healthcare environment such as hospitals and general practices. The Aston Physician Associate Practice MSc programme is designed to ensure you achieve all key competencies specified by the Faculty of Physician Associates in order for you to be fit for practise as a Physician Associate.

You will develop key skills to be able to support clinical specialists, be trained in the medical framework, and learn how to formulate patient healthcare management plans. Students will engage in collaborative learning both at Aston Medical School, and within your clinical placement environments. You will develop professional development reflection skills, identifying the development of your clinical practice, developing lifelong learning.

Students will develop knowledge of integrated healthcare and practice, the principles and values of integrated care, and the complex interaction of physical, psychological and social considerations of the patient, and sustainable healthcare to improve the health of the patient, and access patient vulnerabilities and needs. Students will also develop knowledge of the principles and values of holistic and integrated healthcare relating to the management and prevention of disease, identify and respond to patient vulnerability. On the course you will also plan and develop an independent healthcare project of your choosing, negotiated with your Course Director, over the period of the two years of learning.


Clinical Placement

On clinical placement you will work collaboratively with your clinical supervisor and other healthcare professionals to manage patient care.

Clinical placements will vary. You will support medical professionals by identifying patient medical histories, understanding patient treatment plans, formulating management plans, monitoring medications, and gaining knowledge of patient safety and ethics, working in a collaborative medical environment with medical staff.

You will develop key interpersonal skills with patients and colleagues and in clinical placement working with a professional multi-professional, and multi-disciplinary teams in a variety of clinical environments, to prepare you for professional practice on graduation.

Modules

Core Modules (120 credits per module)

Year 1
Foundation Clinical Sciences
Clinical Placement 1
Practice of Medicine
Health Improvement Project - Research Methods

Year 2
Advanced Clinical Sciences
Clinical Placements 2 and 3
Elective Clinical Placement
Health Improvement Project

Entry requirements

  •  An undergraduate degree qualification in human life sciences or healthcare-related subject at the level of 2:1 or above.
  • GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics and English at grade 4 or above.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country.
  • Find out more about our English language requirements.

Or

  • Have considerable health related experience or comparable qualifications, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

 

Successful applicants will need to:

  • Hold an acceptable enhanced DBS certificate.
  • Take part in occupational health screening and undertake to adhere to changing requirements for healthcare students.

 

Please note that this course is capped at 20 student spaces.

Fees and Scholarships

Fees

(2023/2024): £10,620 per year - UK

Health Education England will also provide a training grant of £2500 per year which you do not have to apply for and which will be used to discount your fees. 

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

Why choose us?

  • You will be learning in a nurturing environment with clinical academics who have vast experience in teaching and training Physician Associates in the UK.
  • You will engage in patient environment from year 1, term 1, to work with clinicians and general practice experts to get an understanding of the healthcare environment. You will always be supervised by a clinical practitioner.
  • As the study develops you will become part of a key clinical support, working as an independent practitioner, working with patients, supporting medical professionals in a collaborative working way.
  • On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply to sit the national qualification of the Faculty of Physician Associates (a part of the Royal College of Physicians) which will give you formal registration as a member of the Physician Associates Register, the qualification clinical practices are looking for.
  • Extensive partnerships with NHS regional trusts in the wider West Midlands area ensures you are best placed to get the most beneficial clinical placements throughout the course, gaining real-world, first-hand experience which is key to a successful future career as a Physician Associate.
  • You will also be able to enhance your skills in real life scenarios using our new, £1.5m state-of-the-art healthcare simulation facilities in our Aston Medical School; including our high-fidelity manikins, which allow students to simulate treating patients with acute health conditions, and our clinical skills simulation room, where students can practice in emergency settings in a safe learning environment.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Your learning will include a mixture of lectures, seminars, face-to-face tutorials, skills lab training, communication skills, and clinical placements.

Group learning will include medical case-based learning to encourage collaborative learning and group discussions.  There will also be elements of personal independent study.

Teaching will be a mixture of on campus learning and clinical placements.  Your clinical placement experience will start from year 1, term 1, one day per week, supported by a high proportion of on-campus skills lab learning in Aston Medical School. 

From term 2 of the first year your clinical placements will expand to periods of 6-8 weeks at a time, returning to the campus skills lab to develop further training on medical sciences.


Assessment

You will be assessed through a mixture of practical assessments, your healthcare clinical placement assessment, and your ongoing professional development.

Career prospects

On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to sit the national qualification of the Faculty of Physician Associates (a part of the Royal College of Physicians) registration examination, which will give you formal registration as a Physician Associate, enabling you to practice.

There is a significant demand for Physician Associates within the healthcare workforce.  The NHS is moving towards a multidisciplinary team of Physician Associates, advanced nurse practitioners, and paramedics, to support clinical workload.

Register your interest form