MSc Physician Associate Studies

Year of entry: 2022

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Overview

Degree awarded
MSc or PGDip
Duration
2 years FT
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.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Applications for entry in February 2023 must be made through the UCAS website. Please ensure that you refer to the application process guide before making your application through UCAS for this course.

The deadline for submitting the UCAS form for the Physician Associate course is 18:00 (UK time) on 15 January every year for entry in February of the following year. Applications received after this date will still be considered, but we reserve the right to close once we reach capacity.

On receipt of your application you will receive a confirmation email. Please do not contact us to re-check this.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y N N N
PGDip Y N N N

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).

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our upcoming open days.

If you wish to be added to our mailing list and receive information on upcoming open days, please contact us at pgtaught.medicine.pa@manchester.ac.uk .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £9,250
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,250
  • PGDip (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £9,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Student support available includes a £5,000 travel grant, spread across the two years of your studies. This covers the cost of travel to placements. Students registered on the MSc programme may also be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan, there is no further funding available and you would be required to partly self-fund this programme.

In partnership with Health Education England across the North West we are also able to offer the following enhancements to student support:

  • Access to a hardship fund (up to a maximum, means tested amount of £1,000 per student).
  • Free Resuscitation Council accredited ILS training and certification.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 543 4695
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/medicine/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

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.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS - 7.0 overall (with 6.5 in all components)
  • TOEFL: 100 overall (with 22 in each component)

See further information about requirements for your country.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Relevant work experience

An understanding of the healthcare environment is essential. Work experience involving adults or children with illness or disability is therefore considered highly desirable.

Application and selection

How to apply

Applications for entry in February 2023 must be made through the UCAS website. Please ensure that you refer to the application process guide before making your application through UCAS for this course.

The deadline for submitting the UCAS form for the Physician Associate course is 18:00 (UK time) on 15 January every year for entry in February of the following year. Applications received after this date will still be considered, but we reserve the right to close once we reach capacity.

On receipt of your application you will receive a confirmation email. Please do not contact us to re-check this.

Advice to applicants

Information about the application process for this course can be found on our website: Application process.

How your application is considered

Applications are first screened according to whether or not they meet our standard academic threshold as published on our website.

Those applications that do not meet the appropriate academic criteria will not progress to the next phase of the screening process, and will receive notification that their application has been unsuccessful through UCAS in due course.

Applicants who pass the initial screening will be shortlisted by a panel of academic staff members. All components of your application will be taken into account at this stage, but the most crucial part will be your Non-Academic Information Form (NAIF). Please take your time and carefully consider every answer when completing the NAIF.

See more information about the application process.

Interview requirements

We do not make any offers without interview. Please see our interviews page for more information.

Interviews are likely to take place between April and July. If you are shortlisted for an interview we will contact you by email. Unsuccessful decisions and offers will be made via UCAS.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening. The health screening is based upon the Higher Education Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS) standards of medical fitness to train for medical students [PDF, 71KB].

A potential student may be concerned that their health or disability may affect their ability to fulfil the competency standards of the course. Any such applicants are encouraged to contact the Occupational Health Service and/or The Disability Advisory and Support Service at an early stage in order to explore the situation in depth and consider the feasibility of making reasonable adjustments. Hopefully the process will prove helpful to the student in deciding whether to pursue an application.

The health screening requires the completion of a detailed health questionnaire by the applicant and a possible appointment with the University's Occupational Health Department. In order to be admitted and continue on the programme, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. You will be required to comply with any viral screening as requested by the Department of Health.

General enquiries about health screening should be addressed to Student Occupational Health, Tel +44 (0)161 275 2858, Fax +44 (0)161 275 3137.

Please see also the Procedure for Admission to Courses Requiring Medical Fitness Assessment [Word, 59KB].

Disclosure and Barring Service check

You will be required, as part of the non-academic conditions of your offer, to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In the UK, this takes the form of an Enhanced Level search by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and will reveal any criminal convictions, spent or unspent, as well as any police cautions, warnings or reprimands.

Regulations and record systems in other countries vary. If you receive an offer from us, you will receive a link to further information.

Anyone who considers it possible that a criminal record or other disclosure may reveal any offence must contact the Admissions Team before applying.

Deferrals

You may apply for deferred entry for a year, although we would generally recommend that you apply with up-to-date academic information and work experience. Please note that receiving an offer in the current admissions cycle does not guarantee you a place in the following year.

Please also be aware that the funding model is subject to change and may not be available in future years. Students deferring a place will receive a funding scheme (if available) applicable to the year in which they start the course, rather than the year of application.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

Please contact us.

Policy for applicants who take their examinations in more than one sitting

Please contact us.

Re-applications

Please contact us.

Transfers

Transfers are not normally considered.

Course details

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.

A range of benefits are provided by the University to support your career development:

  • you may be eligible to receive some financial support during the course;
  • Year 2 provides you with an elective period and the opportunity to develop your skills through working abroad;
  • develop your skills with the help of our excellent tutors and state-of-the-art clinical teaching facilities;
  • integrated training in prescribing safety (in anticipation of prescribing rights for physician associates) and communication skills is provided;
  • the University will provide iPads with access to a range of online resources, which are essential during placements;
  • at the end of the course, our 'preparation for practice' placement allows you to specialise in a specialty of your choice.

Aims

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).

Special features

Extensive clinical experience

You will receive over 1,600 hours of clinical training, including placements across the full range of medical specialities at teaching hospitals and in community settings. Placement time is split between the first and second years of the programme and you'll spend 24 weeks on placement during year one rather than having to wait until the second year to get hands-on clinical experience.

Work abroad

You have the opportunity to develop your skills by working abroad in Year two. Travel bursaries are available to support this.

Specialist course

This course has been developed as a stand-alone postgraduate taught programme with a graduate-entry ethos and a fully integrated course structure based on clinical presentations rather than body systems.

Excellent teaching

We use a combination of problem based learning (PBL) tutorials, small group teaching and lectures to deliver a course with very high levels of staff-student contact time and excellent student satisfaction. The curriculum is delivered through a mixed methods approach incorporating early clinical skills training, reflective practice, clinical immersion, a short elective, distance learning, and a dedicated 'preparation for practice' block.

Whole Body Anatomy

You will learn about the intricacies of the human body through whole body prosection teaching in our anatomy facilities.

Excellent reputation

We have an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, including close links with the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre - the only academic health science centre outside of the south-east.

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).

Course unit details

The course is non-modular, providing you with an opportunity to develop and consolidate skills throughout each year of the course.

Taught content is delivered in blocks of study of increasing complexity alongside the two longitudinal themes of Personal and Professional Development (PPD) and Consultation Skills (CS), with assessment periods at the end of each year. Each taught block feeds seamlessly into the next and all components of the programme are compulsory.

You have the option of spending an elective period in a speciality of your choosing.

Course content for Year 1

The first year of the course begins with a four-month period of intensive study where you will develop your understanding of the essential basic and clinical sciences that facilitate safe and effective practice.

After this 16-week taught block, you will rotate through a series of medical and surgical placements, each incorporating a short period of university-based teaching.

The curriculum is built around a core content of common clinical situations that are then organised according to their relative complexity. The content of each taught block is delivered using a problem-based learning (PBL) approach through the study of clinical cases/scenarios.

Each case integrates elements of the taught content and you will learn about and reflect upon the related biomedical, behavioural and population sciences appropriate to the case.

PBL is supported by small group teaching, lectures and workshops to form a truly integrated curriculum with very high levels of contact time.

Course content for Year 2

The second year of the course provides more advanced specialist instruction in the core medical and clinical sciences alongside a comprehensive programme of clinical reasoning to prepare you to sit your national postgraduate examinations.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Physician Associate - Quality and Evidence MEDN60030 30 Mandatory
Quality and Evidence Project MEDN60040 30 Mandatory

Course collaborators

This course is part of a wider collaboration across the north-west. We work in partnership with Health Education England and other universities across the region.

Facilities

You will have access to medical facilities at the University (similar to students studying the Medicine MBChB course) with a focus on clinical teaching and highly advanced clinical simulation.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

CPD opportunities

Elements of the course will be available as CPD, including our revision package for OSCE and MCQ examinations. These opportunities may be of interest to those sitting the national examinations for recertification or those sitting for the first time. Please contact us for further information.

Careers

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.

Accrediting organisations

Associated organisations