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Physician associates are increasingly important in the health care workforce, supporting doctors and medical teams to diagnose and manage a wide range of common and complex diseases. This stimulating master’s course offers you the clinical skills and knowledge required to provide high-quality care under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Mode of Study:
The University of Bolton
The physician associate (PA) is one of the newest allied medical professions and presents a unique and exciting route to clinical care for graduates. Physician associates play a key role working as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside doctors, nurses and the wider health care team to deliver care to patients of all ages. As a physician associate, you’ll take medical histories, perform clinical examinations, order and interpret test results, participate in clinical reasoning and diagnosis, and develop evidence-based patient management plans.
Working in partnership with local NHS Trusts, our experienced and dedicated academic staff will support you to achieve clinical learning and skills development. We’ll guide you as you gain the theoretical knowledge that underpins the physician associate role and integrate this knowledge into your practice during your clinical placements.
Initially, you’ll focus on developing a thorough understanding of the academic knowledge underpinning the physician associate role. We’ll also support you to gain core clinical skills, developing your confidence and practical knowledge in the safe confines of our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites before you’re exposed to primary and secondary care environments and practice through short placements.
In the second year, you’ll have longer clinical placements in these areas, as well as gain experience in emergency care, paediatrics, mental health, and obstetrics. As a graduate, you’ll have competence in the core clinical skills of the physician associate and possess practical experience of health care procedures, ready for a career in this demanding and rewarding profession.
Physician associate courses in the UK are not currently subject to formal accreditation; however, this is likely to change in the very near future. In anticipation of this change the course will meet the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates draft accreditation standards.
All students will be registered with the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP).
On completion of the programme and passing of the National Certification Examination, you’ll be required to register on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR) held by the FPARCP. This will incur an additional cost.
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Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.
Physician associates are highly sought-after clinical professionals in the health care sector. This generalist role works under medical supervision, assisting doctors in a variety of health care settings. The physician associate profession is supported by the Department of Health, the Royal Colleges of Physicians and General Practitioners, and particularly by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP).
The UK’s population is increasing and ageing. The demand for physician associates who can support GPs, hospital doctors and medical teams in acute and primary care is rapidly expanding. The role was developed in the United States in the 1960s, and is now a well-established health care profession. Introduced to the UK in 1993, the role has proved so valuable that the UK government has set targets to increase the number of physician associates working in the NHS.
Many parts of the UK offer promising employment opportunities, and some physician associates also work in the private sector.
Please note: the British Physician Associate programme does not qualify you to work in the USA.
A graduate of our MSc Physician Associate Studies degree registered on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR) can apply to NHS Trusts and Practices for physician associate roles (which are often advertised at NHS Agenda for Change Band 7 or higher). Physician associates may work in a wide range of specialisms, such as acute or emergency medicine, cardiology, trauma and orthopaedics, mental health, paediatrics, and General Practice.
Alternatively, you might consider teaching and research posts or further study towards a PhD.
Graduates can also use this qualification as a stepping stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Career areas include:
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Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2022-2023 policy on www.gov.uk for information.
The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.
For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:
Unfortunately, due to the limited number of places available for this course, we cannot accept direct applications from home students at this time. Please visit www.ucas.com to see details of the next available start date and learn how to apply for a place. We encourage you to apply as soon as applications open.
The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.
How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:
Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email email@example.com
Apply online: University of Bolton MSc Physician Associate Studies-20 September 2021 (Intake not currently accepting international applications)
This full-time course is two years in duration, involving at least 106 weeks of learning (92 weeks of this is structured learning). This includes time dedicated to supporting and preparing you for your first National Certification Examination. This is a highly demanding course, so please be aware that you’ll be expected to complete at least 50 hours of learning per week.
We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods. You can expect lectures, seminars, clinical simulations, service user simulations, work-based learning, seminars and group discussion, tutorials, guided study, and using virtual learning environments (VLE) and e-learning packages. Problem-based learning is an essential element of the course and allows you to identify your individual learning needs and develop critical thinking. You’ll also need to undertake a significant amount of personal study, including general background reading, preparing for seminar activities, working on assignments and revising for examinations.
Your studies will start by developing your underpinning knowledge of core medical science and the professional standards of a physician associate. You’ll learn clinical skills in our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites at the University – these are simulated clinical environments complete with simulated patients that allow us to mimic emergency clinical scenarios in a safe and supportive environment. This allows you to learn how to manage such situations and gain experience of the procedures and personnel involved before you further develop these skills in genuine clinical environments under supervision during your work-based practice placements. You’ll also begin to build a portfolio to demonstrate your development of competence in these clinical skills.
Your studies will involve a significant proportion of work-based learning at practice placements with our partner NHS Trusts (please note that travelling to various locations will be required). These will be woven into each learning block, and you’ll begin to apply your developing knowledge, skills and behaviours from your earliest weeks of the course. Your clinical placements will start in your first learning block, and your exposure to the clinical setting and differing specialisms will grow to reflect your increasing knowledge and skills. Most placements will be in Greater Manchester. However, please be aware that some may be in the Lancashire area, and it will be your responsibility to arrange travel to placement locations.
Once you have developed the key underpinning medical science knowledge, you’ll learn how to make safe clinical decisions and interpret the investigations and imaging you have ordered to further a patient’s diagnosis and care – this will prepare you for your role as a physician associate. Throughout the programme, you’ll be closely supported in both the University and clinical settings, and our focus will be on helping you achieve your individual learning needs.
In addition to learning how to diagnose and care for adults in hospital and other care settings, you’ll also learn to practice in different clinical specialisms, including paediatrics, General Practice, mental health, and emergency medicine. Other placement opportunities based on local health needs, your interests or learning needs may also be available.
You can expect a range of assessment methods, including essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, set exercises via multiple-choice questions, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), traditional examinations and assessment of practice within the practice setting. As well as completing the assessments set by the University of Bolton, you’ll develop a clinical portfolio and sit the Physician Associate National Certification Examination at the end of the course – the National Certification Examination is run by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP) and incurs an additional cost. All students who qualify from UK physician associate programmes are required to pass the National Certification Examination before they can be declared fit to practice in the UK and must then undergo recertification every six years.
The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.
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The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.
The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.
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