Physician Associate Studies MSc
MSc Physician Associate Studies
Physician associates are a new type of healthcare professional, who – while not doctors – work to the medical model. As a physician associate, you'll have the attitudes, skills and knowledge to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and general practice team, under supervision.
This MSc Physician Associate Studies degree course is the perfect next step to take a relevant undergraduate degree further, and work towards becoming a physician associate. You'll get the skills and knowledge to become a confident medical professional, working and learning under the guidance of experienced staff and assisting patients in real healthcare settings.
While fairly new in the UK, the number of physician associates is increasing and the Government wants to have 1,000 physician associates working in general practice by 2020. When you finish the course, you'll be in a strong position to work in this important role.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Access facilities that include the latest simulation training equipment, representative of the healthcare environment you'll experience in your career
- Experience practice-based learning opportunities
- Observe, examine, assess and engage with patients
- Be trained to take medical histories, perform exams, diagnose illnesses and analyse results
Values and the NHS Constitution
We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.
Careers and opportunities
This programme will prepare you to complete the Physician Associate National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and take on the role of a physician associate in the healthcare environment.
As a physician associate, you can look forward to a career supporting doctors with diagnosing and managing patients, whether in a hospital setting or GP surgery.
In the future, other areas you could work in include leadership, service development, research, mentorship and practice education.
You'll be able to get advice and support from our Career and Employability Service for 5 years after you leave the University.
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, you'll get experience of working in real and simulated health settings. Our Careers and Employability service can also help you find relevant work experience that complements your studies.
What you'll study
The structure of this programme reflects the requirements of the Faculty of Physician Associates Competence and Curriculum framework. Your time will be split between practice and simulation-based learning and academic learning.
Practice-based learning includes placements in environments including community medicine, general hospital medicine, front door medicine, mental health, general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, and paediatrics.
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits. In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 90 credits.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
This course provides a balanced structure of lectures, tutorials and practical work. Many elements are delivered via practice and simulation-based learning methods. Learning materials are designed and delivered by qualified staff with both industry-based and academic experience.
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1 (formative)
- January to July – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- July – assessment period 2 (summative)
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. Some clinical placements may require shift pattern attendance. You’ll normally get a timetable 4 weeks before the start of a teaching block.
You’ll get a timetable 4 weeks before the start of a teaching block.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- work-based learning
- clinical examinations
- written works
- a project
You'll be able to test your knowledge and skills informally before submitting assessments that count towards your final mark.
You'll get plenty of feedback, to help you improve in the future.
- A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a Master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.5 with no component score below 7.0.
- Applicants are subject to interview.
- All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £10,200 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
This course isn't open to students from outside the UK and EU.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 3 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Elements of this programme which are delivered via distance learning will require access to/use of suitable IT equipment.
Further costs may be incurred for:
Travel and accommodation
Please note that your course fees do not cover the fees for the National Examination. In January 2018, this was £150 for the written paper and £350 for the OSCE examinations.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
If you're an EU student, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
This course isn't open to students from outside the EU and UK.
All our courses go through a rigorous approval process to make sure they’re of the highest quality. This includes a review by a panel of experts, made up of academic staff and an external academic or professional with specialist knowledge.
This course is in the final stages of this process and is open for applications. If any details of the course or its approval status change after you apply, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and will be here to discuss your options with you.