A team from St George’s, University of London has won a Prospects Postgraduate Award, which recognises and rewards excellence and innovation in postgraduate education.

More than 150 students, universities and businesses from across the UK entered the awards across eight categories. The Postgraduate Diploma Physician Associate Studies Teaching Team at St George's competed against teams from the University of Glasgow, University of Bradford and Cranfield University to win the title of Best Teaching Team (Science, Technology and Engineering).

St George’s has been training physician associates (PAs) for longer than any other university in the UK and the sixth cohort of students has just begun training. The two-year postgraduate course is for students who already have a science undergraduate degree, and the training is often followed by a one-year internship. Historically, 100 per cent of SGUL graduates have gained employment within a few months of graduation. The pass rate for SGUL graduates on the PA National Exam is also 100%.

PAs support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. With ever increasing demands on the NHS, the role of the PA is designed to supplement the medical workforce and improve patient access.

St George’s PAs have gone to work in general practice and in different specialities, such as plastic surgery, dermatology, accident and emergency and orthopaedic surgery. Many graduates continue to work locally and have secured jobs at South West London NHS trusts such as St George’s Healthcare and Kingston.

The awards launched for the first time this year and are the only annual event solely dedicated to celebrating best practice and the most exciting developments in UK postgraduate education. The awards took place in Manchester on Tuesday 19 November and are run by Graduate Prospects, the UK’s leading postgraduate education publisher, which also operates prospects.ac.uk and the official postgraduate course database.

Karen Roberts, PA course director, said: “As a faculty, we feel honoured not only to have won this award, but also to be involved in this education process. Transitioning science graduates into safe and competent clinicians in two years requires dedication from both students and faculty, and it is immensely rewarding to see our students succeeding, both in the programme and in this new and exciting healthcare role.”