Physician Associate Studies (Postgraduate) at University of Leeds - UCAS

University of Leeds

Degree level: Undergraduate

Physician Associate Studies (Postgraduate)

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Course summary

Physician associates (PAs) are medically trained, generalist healthcare professionals who work alongside doctors to provide medical care. PAs are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team and work under the supervision of a named senior doctor (a General Medical Council registered consultant or general practitioner), to provide high quality care to patients in primary, secondary and community care environments. Do and be more Physician associates work within a defined scope of practice and limits of competence. Their roles and responsibilities include:

  • Taking medical histories.
  • Performing physical examinations.
  • Requesting and interpreting diagnostic tests.
  • Diagnosing illnesses.
  • Managing patients with long term illnesses.
  • Performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  • Developing and delivering appropriate treatment and management plans.
  • Health promotion and disease prevention advice.
Why consider being a Physician Associate? As a PA, you’ll work with a wide range of healthcare professionals to provide health and social care to a diverse patient population. This will require you to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to be able to respond and adapt to different situations, be an effective team player with problem-solving skills and have a commitment to providing healthcare that is underpinned by the NHS Constitutional values. The MSc in Physician Associate Studies is an intensive and challenging two-year course that requires commitment, discipline and organisation to juggle the demands of your academic studies with your clinical placements. You will be encouraged to learn autonomously and devise your own learning and support strategies. Our course has been carefully developed to address local demand. It will equip you for clinical practice with early clinical exposure and cadaveric anatomy. You’ll have close support from personal and academic tutors throughout the course, whilst also developing your independent learning and research skills. This course offers a high-quality learning experience where you have the opportunity to:
  • Learn from leading professionals whose teaching is underpinned by world-class research.
  • Gain experience from a diverse range of placements within Yorkshire and Humber, including major teaching hospitals, district general hospitals and general practices.
  • Develop professionally with the support of personal tutors, course tutors, support staff and peer mentoring.
  • Work with students from other healthcare related professions.
  • On our course, you’ll work with patients and carers from the Patient Carer Community (PCC). The members of the PCC support the teaching throughout the curriculum, through small group sessions in communication skills, workshops and assessments.
You can also undertake training in basic ultrasound techniques through the Resuscitation Council’s Immediate Life Support course. More information After successfully completing this programme you must take the national qualifying examination (which you are prepared for throughout the course) in order to practise as a Physician Associate in the UK. More information can be found at the Faculty of Physician Associate website. The University does not cover the cost of these exams.

Assessment method

A range of assessments are used to test your knowledge, understanding and clinical competence, these include: project presentations, group work, written assignments, and topic area passports or portfolios that describe placement performance, attendance and professionalism. Reflective accounts of early placement experiences and discussions on topics such as ethics and patient safety issues are entered online to a personal Progress File. This accumulates over your years of study both in the accounts of your work and experiences and in the feedback from tutors. Anatomy is assessed by regular MCQs (multiple choice questions) End of year exams include written exams and OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations). The written exams assess core knowledge and understanding of the material taught in that year (and previously) and include multiple choice questions (MCQs), extended matching questions (EMQs). These methods of assessment are used throughout the UK in undergraduate and post-graduate medicine. They follow a single best answer (SBA) rather than true-false approach, recognising this better reflects real-life medical decisions. OSCEs assess core clinical skills and their application in the clinical specialties relevant to that examination and are held both years of study. They typically involve 16 or more clinical stations that require you to demonstrate a specific skill or consult with a patient. These patients are trained actors and their views on your behaviour also feed into the assessment. To pass, candidates are required to achieve the overall pass mark, pass a minimum number of stations. Both the OSCE and written exams have criterion-based pass marks, set by examiners.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

All applications for MSc Physician Associate Studies must be made via UCAS. Bachelor degree with a minimum 2:2 (hons) in a biomedical science, health-related science or equivalent qualification. For example, but not limited to- Anatomical Science, Applied Medical Science, Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, Anatomy and Human Biology, Healthcare Science (EG Audiology and Cardiac Physiology), Nursing, and Allied Health Professions such as Radiography, Physiotherapy and Paramedic Studies Human anatomy and physiology is key to providing a foundation of learning for this course. Degrees such as Neuroscience, Pharmacy and Psychology will be reviewed for suitable levels of human anatomy and physiology content. We will consider alternative academic qualifications on a case-by-case basis, and where necessary, ask for additional details of course and module content to review for suitable human anatomy and physiology content. We encourage applications from candidates already working in healthcare and can demonstrate/evidence (usually through continuing Professional Development – CPD) the ability to study at Masters Level. This will apply to candidates who have not studied in the last 5 years. Ideally, you should have recent experience of volunteering or employment in a healthcare setting/environment. However, we are also looking for transferable skills from other similar activates, such as voluntary work or paid employment. Due to the limited biology content, a number of Nursing Degrees are not appropriate for consideration for entry onto the course. If in doubt, please email the Admissions Team with details of the modules and content of your degree.

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

Heath and Disclosure and Barring Service Screening Before starting the Physician Associate Studies course all successful applicants will also need to pass health and criminal record screening. The University has a policy statement on students with criminal records. Read the current Criminal Records policy and Guidance for Applicants with Criminal Convictions here. For the vast majority of students who are resident in the UK the record will be checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service. For students who do not have a 5 year UK address history: The DBS check can only include background checks on your time in the UK. If you have been resident in the UK for less than 3 years, then a criminal record check from your home country is required in addition to the UK DBS check. This may be referred to as a "Certificate of Good Conduct" (CoGC), but the name varies.

Health checks

Any offer of a place to study Physician Associate Studies is conditional upon a satisfactory confidential occupational health assessment, which will include a health questionnaire, and if necessary further telephone consultation and/or an appointment with an occupational health clinician. Screening for serious communicable disease, (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and a review of immunisation status and needs, which includes COVID-19, will also be arranged before beginning your studies.


English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)7.5with no less than 7.5 in spoken English.

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Student Outcomes

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Fees and funding

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Physician Associate Studies (Postgraduate) at University of Leeds - UCAS