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.
MSc Physician Associate Studies Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent, and demonstration of the ability to study at postgraduate level (typically applicants who have graduated within the last 3 years) or equivalent professional experience. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a good level of Biomedical Science knowledge, and applicants with Arts and Humanities will need to undertake Biomedical Studies in order to apply. Applicants who have started or completed degrees in Medicine are not accepted.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.5 with no component score below 7.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
- Applicants are subject to a selection process which will include individual interview.
- All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.
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.
What jobs can you do with a Physician Associate Studies degree?
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 on this MSc Physician Associate Studies degree course
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.
Modules currently being studied
Core modules include:
- Consultation Skills 1
- Core Skills Training Framework
- Foundations of Clinical Medicine 1
- Introduction to Primary Care1
Core modules include:
- Consultation Skills 2
- Core Skills Training Framework
- Foundations of Clinical Medicine 2
- Health Improvement Projects
- Introduction to Primary Care 2
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.
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:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin 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:
- August 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 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.
Tuition fees (2021 start)
UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £10,700 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £10,700 a year (may be subject to annual increase) (including Transition Scholarship)
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 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
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.
Further costs may be incurred for:
- Personal equipment
- Travel and accommodation
- Library fines
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.
Elements of this programme which are delivered via distance learning will require access to/use of suitable IT equipment.
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.
You can apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – BB96
- our institution code – P80
If you're an EU student, you can apply directly to us (above) 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.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
This course isn't open to students from outside the EU and UK.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.