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Physician Associate Studies MSc

Become part of a skilled new workforce, with the knowledge and practical experience to improve patient access to care. This course will train you to support doctors with the diagnosis and management of patients across general practice, hospitals and community healthcare.

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Overview

Physician associates perform an integral and skilled role in healthcare, supporting medical supervisors in performing physical examinations, formulating differential diagnoses, interpreting diagnostic tests, and recommending treatment plans. 

Designed and delivered in collaboration with practitioners from local healthcare providers, this course will equip you with the experience and expertise required to practice as a physician associate. You will develop transferable skills that are invaluable in both the healthcare sector and across industries. 

We deliver teaching through tutor-led sessions and clinical placements, reinforcing your knowledge through self-directed study. We will develop your ability to work as part of a multi-professional team and provide contemporary and informed insight thanks to input and guidance from experienced clinical colleagues.

During the course you will cover a range of modules, gaining comprehensive understanding of clinical human anatomy and physiology, diseases and health conditions associated with major organ systems, an in-depth view of community health, and key clinical and professional skills such as history taking, physical examination and ethics. You will also complete an independent supervised practice-related project.


Key features

  • This programme is designed and delivered by dedicated academic staff and healthcare professionals who have a wealth of knowledge in the field.
  • Benefit from mandatory placements in general practice, community and acute hospital settings to equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career as a physician associate
  • Purpose-built clinical skills areas will allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment
  • Improve your critical thinking skills and your ability to design, execute and present findings of practice-based research
  • Study a range of modules including; Anatomy and Physiology, Community Health, General Medicine and Speciality Medicine 
  • There is currently a high demand for physician associates in the East Midlands NHS workforce

 

  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: Two years full-time

Start date: September 2022

Attendance: This is an intensive course; you should expect to attend university/placement full-time (e.g. 9am-5pm Mon-Fri) and complete self-directed study in your own time. Placements may include shift work outside of these hours.

Location of study: All academic studies take place at De Montfort University, Leicester. Placements may take place at locations across the East Midlands (please note that you may be required to travel to attend placement).

Application deadline: The application deadline for the next intake is Monday 31 January 2022. Due to limited number of places on the course, applications received after this date cannot be guaranteed an interview or place on the programme for an Autumn 2022 start.

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £9,480 per year 

Find out more about postgraduate course fees and available funding.

The Physician Associate Studies MSc is not eligible for the VC2020 scholarship.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Not available to international students

Entry criteria

  • Minimum of a 2:1 BSc Hons, or equivalent, in a life sciences or health-related subject (anatomy, biology, biochemistry, biomedical science, healthcare science, medical science, medical engineering, nursing, paramedic, pharmacy, physiology, etc.)
  • Alternatively, applicants with a 2:2 or equivalent and significant experience (6months) within a patient-facing healthcare/clinical role may be considered on an individual basis if the above requirement is not met.
  • Equivalent international qualifications will be reviewed with the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of at least 7.0 in each domain (speaking, listening, reading, writing), with an overall score of at least 7.5, is essential. This must be achieved in a single sitting and within 24 months of the time of application to this course.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

 

Interview

Applicants will be required to attend a two stage interview as part of the selection process. Stage 1 is a virtual structured interview, if successful you will then be invited to stage 2, an MMI (multiple mini interview).

As part of the application you will be required to write a personal statement outlining your motivation for becoming a Physician Associate, and your relevant experience and personal qualities. We will review personal statements to select candidates for interview.

Non-academic requirements

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 

You must complete a declaration form and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) application form before starting the course, which needs to be cleared in accordance with DMU’s admission policy.

Applicants must also complete a satisfactory health screening.

Covid-19 vaccination requirements*

There is a mandatory requirement for those working in a health and social care setting to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This includes students on placement (unless medically exempt). As this course includes compulsory clinical placements, you will be required to evidence full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to successfully complete the programme.

You can find out how to book your vaccinations here. You can also check the UK government’s definition of full vaccination here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination

Please note that it is not currently possible for Physician Associates who have trained in the UK to practice outside of the UK.

*On the 31 of January 2022 the Health Secretary announced that the policy of vaccination as a condition of deployment in England is being reconsidered. The government’s decision is subject to parliamentary process and will require further consultation and a vote to be passed into legislation. We are now in the process of reviewing our advice and guidance following the announcement and will update the webpage shortly. 

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Accreditation

 

Anatomy & Physiology (15 credits): This module will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Clinical anatomy will be taught using a combination of lectures and hands-on workshops using 3D anatomical models. The knowledge gained on anatomical structure will be complemented with functional knowledge through teaching on medical physiology topics.

Community Health (15 credits): This module provides an in-depth view of community health, with a focus on populations and communities rather than individual patients. Content includes primary care, mental health and public health, with discussion on the impact of significant health issues upon local and national health services. 

Clinical & Professional Skills (30 credits): In this module, you will develop key clinical and professional skills related to working as a Physician Associate. For example; research methods, clinical skills, history taking, physical examination, ethics, communication skills, professional guidelines and regulation, evidence-based medicine, inter-professional education. 

General Medicine  (30 credits): This module provides a systemic approach to learning about organ systems and clinical pharmacology.  Content will include diseases and health conditions associated with major organ systems (e.g. muscular, skeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, endocrine, urinary,  and digestive), and how they are treated. The role of the Physician Associate in therapeutics and prescribing will also be discussed.

Specialist Medicine  (30 credits): This module will equip you with a sound knowledge of different areas in the clinical setting, and the role of such specialisms in primary and secondary care. Content includes: Dermatology, Ophthalmology, ENT (ears, nose and throat), Haematology, Neurology and Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Practice-Related Project (60 credits): This module involves completion of an independent (but supervised) evidence-based, practice-related project. The project will develop your ability to relate research concepts and topics to a clinical setting.

You, in conjunction with a clinical supervisor, will identify a research question or area for development and then design an original project to highlight potential solutions.

You will also complete a clinical portfolio – this module is not credit-bearing, but essential for a qualification which enables eligibility to sit the Physician Associate National Exam administered by the Royal College of Physicians and once passed, allows practice as a Physician Associate. The cost for sitting this exam is borne by the applicant.

All modules are compulsory and all modules must be passed in order to complete the qualification of MSc in Physician Associate Studies.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching typically includes lectures, group seminars, practical skills sessions and workshops. You are encouraged to become an independent and proactive learner, and we will recommend reading and electronic resources for independent study to help develop the breadth and depth of your knowledge.

The majority of your studies will take place at the university but we also incorporate hospital and community-based learning experiences on your placement activities.

Learning activities are designed to help you develop your teamwork, presentation and problem-solving skills, plus more traditional academic skills such as synthesis, evaluation and application. We also help you to develop your skills and understanding in professional areas such as ethics and reflective practice.

You will benefit from the support of a personal academic tutor, who you are encouraged to meet with regularly. We also offer a range of additional support services to help you develop the skills required for MSc level study.

Assessments include a variety of forms, including written and practical exams, case study reports and presentations. You will also be expected to undertake formative assessment, such as self-reflection and peer-review of fellow students. Bespoke guidance materials are provided for all forms of assessment on the course.

Year two of the course is largely placement based, however students will still be expected to attend university for revision sessions and engage in personal study

Accreditation

Physician Associate courses in the UK are not currently subject to formal accreditation; however this is going to change in the near future, as Physician associates will be regulated by the GMC. The course is working to meet the General Medical Council standards.  

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilities

Substantial investment has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you expand your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.

Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff to ensure that you develop a precise and accurate practical ability in the clinical skills suites.

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

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Placements

The first year of this programme will include some short clinical placements. The second year is predominantly placement-based, and you will spend approximately 41 weeks on clinical placement.

Placements will be provided in general practice, community and acute hospital settings. Placements will be across the east midlands and it will be your responsibility to arrange travel to placements.

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Graduate careers

This programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career as a Physician Associate.

Take your next steps