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Duration

Two years full-time

Application Deadline

25 January 2023

Location

St George's, University of London

Start dates

August 2023

Apply via UCAS

St George’s shares its campus with one of the largest teaching hospitals, making it the ideal place to study the Masters' in Physician Associate Studies (MPAS). With unrivalled access to clinical resources and working professionals, the course will fully equip you with all the skills and knowledge required to support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients.

On the UK’s longest running Physician Associate Studies programme you will learn how to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, request and analyse investigations, diagnose illnesses and develop treatment and management plans. It is a very challenging but incredibly rewarding experience. The course has an outstanding pass rate on the Physician Associate National Exam and fantastic graduate employment.

Read more information about our courses and university services terms and conditions.

What is an MPAS (Masters' in Physician Associate Studies)?

A postgraduate-level qualification for life science graduates who wish to become Physician Associates.

To find out more about the course, watch the Physician Associate Studies Course Talk 2020.

Course highlights

Our Physician Associate Studies course offers students:

  • a shared site with one of the largest NHS teaching hospitals

  • an outstanding pass rate on the Physician Associate National Examination

  • the longest running Physician Associate course in the UK

  • a highly experienced Physician Associate as full-time Course Director

  • a regular timetable of esteemed visiting lecturers from the UK and the USA

  • a Year 1 student to staff ratio of approximately 9:1

  • a mix of Physician Associates and Doctors within the teaching team.

  • a strong history of staff involvement on the board of the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians

  • partial scholarships for students on the Physician Associate Studies MPAS, with a value of £3,000 paid in your first year of study. 

Want to know more?

Find out more about postgraduate study at St George’s, University of London by clicking the button below to receive our free intro email series.

2023 Entry

To be eligible for the Physician Associate Studies programme, you must meet the requirements outlined under entry qualificationsother academic requirements and non-academic requirements below.

Please note, we do not accept applications for deferred entry.

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Our admissions process

At St George’s, we strive to ensure our admissions process is fair and transparent. In order to make sure every applicant is treated equally, we use a process based on objective measures.

The steps below outline our general admissions process and the way by which we determine which applicants will receive an offer to study the Physician Associate Studies MPAS at St George’s.

  1. Each applicant that meets our entry criteria (see below) is ranked by their UCAT score.
  2. The number of interviews we run each year will vary. Our UCAT cut-off scores will be determined by the number of available interviews.
  3. If, as a result of the number of MMIs we plan to offer, the cut-off score falls at a point where a number of applicants have achieved the same UCAT score, we may increase or reduce the number of MMIs we conduct to accommodate all applicants who have received that score.
  4. Applicants will then be invited to attend an MMI which is a values-based recruitment process and reinforces objectivity.
  5. Once all of our interviews are conducted, we rank MMI scores and the highest performing applicants within each group are made an offer to study the Physician Associate Studies MPAS at St George’s. Decisions from St George’s will be entered onto UCAS Track and applicants will be contacted via email.

Entry Qualifications

To be eligible for this programme, your degree should have been awarded within the past five years (e.g. no earlier than summer 2018). If your degree was awarded before this time, please click on the Recent Engagement in Education heading below.

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Undergraduate Degree

You should have or be expected to achieve, a minimum of a second class degree (2:2). For healthcare graduates, a pass is required. All degrees must be awarded before 1 August on the year of entry.

Human Physiology is a necessity for all applicants. Please see below for a list of degree titles that are considered to contain suitable levels of Human Physiology content.

If your degree does not contain Human Physiology, you will need to complete some Physiology study in order to be eligible for the course. Alternative evidence of recent Physiology academic study (NVQ Level 4 and above) will be considered.

Examples of degrees that are considered suitable are:

Biomedical Sciences and Life Sciences

- that include human physiology modules

Anatomical Science

Applied Medical Sciences

Biochemistry*

Biological Science

Biomedical Science

Human Anatomy

Human Biology

Human Physiology

Microbiology

Neuroscience*

Pharmacy*

Psychology*

Health Sciences

Allied Health Professions, inc. Audiology

Diagnostic Imaging

Physiotherapy

Paramedic Studies

Radiotherapy

Dentistry

Health Sciences

Midwifery

Nursing

Optometry*

Sport and Exercise Science*

*Transcripts will be reviewed to ensure adequate levels of human biology and human physiology have been covered in these degrees. Those not meeting the requirements will not be interviewed.

Please note that at present graduates of UK Physician Associate Studies programmes are not eligible to work as Physician Associates in other countries.

International Degree

Please find the UK equivalent of your qualification(s) by visiting the UK ENIC website. Your qualification(s) will need to be equivalent to the requirements outlined above.

Please note that at present graduates of UK Physician Associate Studies programmes are not eligible to work as Physician Associates in other countries.

Other Academic Requirements

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UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test)

Both the section scores and the overall cut-off score must be met.

Section score

Minimum 500 in each individual section

Overall score

Minimum overall UCAT score (calculated every year)

Additional information

We will not consider any extenuating circumstances in relation to UCAT test scores.

Additional information

Applicants will need to meet our UCAT requirements (below). UCAT results may be used to select applicants invited to interview and to rank a post-interview waiting list.

UCAT scores do not need to be included on your UCAS application as we will be informed of your scores directly by Pearson and UCAS. Please ensure that the name you use to register for UCAT is the same as that used on your UCAS form so results can be matched. We will receive any annotations UCAT include with your scores, however we are unfortunately unable to consider these as part of your application.

Below are some key dates that you may find useful. These are correct as of February 2022, however please do check the UCAT website for the most up to date information.

  • Registration opens: 24 May 2022
  • Testing begins: 11 July 2022
  • Final booking deadline: 22 September 2022
  • Last testing date: 29 September 2022
  • UCAS application deadline: 15 October 2022

Test preparation

UCAT has developed practice tests and a toolkit to support your test preparation.

View the information on the UCAT Candidate Preparation Toolkit page.

Details of the exam and how to register to sit the test can be found on the UCAT website.

English Language

If you are applying with a degree from outside of the UK, you will need to meet the English language requirements here.

This is a Group 3 course.

Non-academic Requirements

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Personal Statement and References

You will be asked to submit a personal statement with your application. This statement should outline your reasons for applying to the MPAS, demonstrating evidence of experience and the transferable skills you gained from this.

You will need to provide one reference. This should be an academic or professional reference. See the “apply” tab for more information.

Work Experience and Insight

We understand the challenges for our prospective applicants applying for healthcare course trying to gain work experience at this time, particularly in clinical settings.   

In response to the government’s social distancing guidelines, which have a significant impact on all areas of life, we have chosen to relax our clinical experience requirements for prospective applicants for our courses which would normally require these.   

Despite the relaxed requirements, we still require our applicants to understand the realities of working as a healthcare professional and to show they have the necessary skills and attributes for their chosen career.

Occupational Health Check

Should you receive an offer to study at St George’s, you will be required to complete a health check and be declared fit to study and practise by the Occupational Health (OH) department before you begin your studies.

The following vaccinations are mandatory for all healthcare students before you begin your studies:

  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)

  • Meningococcal meningitis

  • Diphtheria

  • Pertussis (whooping cough)

  • Poliomyelitis

  • Tetanus

As part of the process, you will also be screened by the OH team for Chickenpox, Tuberculosis, HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

We do not currently require you to have been vaccinated against Covid-19, but we strongly recommend that you get double vaccinated before the start of your studies, unless medically exempt.

When admitting candidates to study and practice as a health practitioner, we have an obligation to both patients and to the individual student. Candidates who are concerned about a health issue are advised to contact us.

Disclosure and Barring Service Check and Additional Declarations

This course will include work with children and vulnerable adults, so you will be required to submit a series of declarations.

If you are invited to an interview, we will request some additional information from you, regarding your criminal record, educational history and employment history. You will also have the opportunity to make any other declarations that you’d like us to be aware of. We may not able to consider applicants who were suspended from previous study/work due to fitness to practise issues or failure in assessments/examinations.

If you are made an offer, you will be required to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. More information about this is sent to applicants as part of the admissions process.

Previous Studies in Physician Associate Studies, or a Clinical Course

If you studied but did not complete a Physician Associate Studies, or another clinical course, please provide formal evidence as to why you withdrew when you apply, and no later than 1 February in the year of application. Please email the team ensuring you include your UCAS personal ID number and programme name in the subject line. Applicants will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Recent Engagement in Education

Due to the demanding nature of the Physician Associate Studies programme, it is important that applicants can demonstrate recent engagement in education, and so your degree should have been awarded within the last five years However, we are able to accept degree results from more than five years ago if you have been working within healthcare since graduating. Please ensure this information is included in the Employment section of your UCAS application.

We operate a modular system for this course which means the qualification is obtained by a process of credit accumulation – a model used on courses throughout the UK and Europe.

The course is designed to cover all aspects of the Physician Assistant Competence and Curriculum Framework to ensure that graduates are able to succeed in the National Examination at the end of the course and work as physician associates in primary or secondary care.

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Year one

The first year is dedicated to ensuring you have a good grounding in the sciences underpinning health care. Communication and clinical examination skills are a key part of the first year curriculum. These small group sessions draw on and incorporate the clinical medicine and pharmacology teaching. Teaching will be delivered across 4 days using a blended learning approach with a mixture of online remote and on campus sessions.

In addition to that you will spend one day per week on clinical placement, which will be organised in a GP practice.

Year 1 teaching is system- or theme-based, following a brief introductory period. We begin with the ‘big three’ systems: cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal. Most themes are covered in two to four-week blocks, with a large amount of information delivered in each block.

Information is often delivered across multiple modules (see below).

Year two

In the second year you will begin with special topics weeks covering skills such as ECG interpretation and suturing, before beginning your hospital placements. You will then be on campus approximately one day every month as the emphasis shifts towards clinical work and placements, with 36–39 weeks spent in hospital and nine weeks spent on a GP placement.

Modules

The modules for this course are integrated; your learning throughout one module will significantly inform and influence your learning in another module. The course consists of eleven modules totalling 180 credits at level seven.

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Applied Pharmacology (15 credits)

This module lays the basis for future prescribing activity and ensures you have a good understanding of common drugs and their effects. (Please note that PAs do not yet have prescribing rights in the UK. However, strong pharmacology knowledge is essential for PA practice.)

Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare (15 credits)

This module enables you to locate and evaluate evidence underpinning decision-making in healthcare and to develop your skills in critically appraising this evidence.

Foundations of Clinical Medicine (Year 1: 30 credits; Year 2: 15 credits)

This module covers integrated body systems, pathology, differential diagnosis skills, models of decision-making, and applications of the underpinning sciences to patient conditions. It also provides an overview of the clinically relevant elements of human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology and pathology.

Investigations in Clinical Medicine (Year 1: delivery; Year 2: delivery and assessment: 15 credits)

This module runs across both years of the course and addresses the common and pertinent investigations relating to the clinical practice of a Physician Associate. You will learn about the role of clinical investigations and their relevance in relation to common and important presentations in clinical practice. It will involve analysis of common investigations performed in primary and secondary care.

Personal and Professional Development for Physician Associates (Year 1: 30 credits; Year 2: 15 credits)

This module runs throughout the two years. Your achievement of core clinical competencies, procedural skills and work with specific clinical conditions will be documented.

Physician Associate Applied Clinical Knowledge and Skills (Year 1: 15 credits; Year 2: 30 credits)

This module facilitates the application of clinical knowledge and examination skills with appropriate supervision from suitably qualified and skilled clinicians in real clinical environments, preparing you for entry into professional practice.

PA as A Professional Evaluation Report (Year one: Pass or Fail Year 2 Pass or Fail; 0 Credits)

The PA as Professional Evaluation Report assesses your progress in developing appropriate attitudes, behaviours and skills and your ability to apply them in the academic and clinical environment. As a PA student you are expected to demonstrate the same standard of professionalism as any qualified healthcare professional. This module runs across both years of the programme.

Teaching at St George’s is delivered through a compelling and engaging variety of methods including lectures, problem-based learning, self-directed learning, small group discussions, clinical and community placements, role-playing, and presentations.

On the MPAS programme we use a 'blended learning' approach to support the delivery of the educational content. This is a mixture of 'live' online face-to-face teaching, self-directed and directed learning and also on-site teaching and clinical placements.

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Teaching and learning methods

Blended learning enables students to interact directly with patients in a variety of settings and collaborate with other students on a variety of healthcare- and science-related courses, creating a diverse learning community where knowledge is shared across disciplines. Blended learning also reflects real medical practice, with many clinicians and patients using IT solutions to consult.

Sharing our campus with one of the UK’s most renowned teaching hospitals allows us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching.

Problem-based learning

Given a clinical problem, you will use self-directed research to make a diagnosis and suggest an appropriate course of action. Problem-based learning encourages learning in context, self-motivation, and deep rather than surface understanding.

Self-directed study

This course requires a significant amount of self-directed study, outside of teaching hours. In the first year, lectures are complemented by group work, designed to develop clinical and communication skills. You are allocated a clinical supervisor who is a General Practitioner and will support you in developing your skills development throughout your GP placement.

In the second year, you'll continue community placements, as well as rotating through a number of acute clinical placements, including:

  • general medicine

  • paediatrics

  • obstetrics and gynaecology

  • emergency medicine

  • mental health

  • geriatric medicine.

Assessment methods

Assessments are designed to prepare you for the PA National Examination and will be a mixture of written papers, written examinations and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations.

You are expected to acheive the core clinical skills and competencies as set by the programme. These are monitored throughout both years and are submitted at the end of each year for review and approval. Written coursework assignments and/or presentations are set for the modules in PA Applied Knowledge and Skills and Foundations of Clinical Medicine.

While the St George’s programmes are recognised by many different countries, applicants are advised to check with their own individual national authorities if they wish to practise in their chosen country.

When you graduate with a Masters' in Physician Associate Studies from St George’s you open a world of opportunities. The sheer breadth of experience that you will gain on the course means you are assured of a varied and exciting career. 

We are proud to boast an outstanding employment record upon graduation. Our unrivalled reputation for excellence means you can expect to secure rewarding positions in GP practices and acute trusts throughout the UK.

The course is very demanding but incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Our multidisciplinary approach means that by the end of it you will be able to:

  • safely practice in a wide variety of clinical settings within your scope of practice and under agreed supervision

  • be an excellent communicator who is empathic in a manner appropriate to a healthcare professional

  • critically examine health inequalities and the challenges of working in a multicultural environment

  • be aware of the limits of your competence and committed to acting within these limits

  • critically evaluate the context of multi-professional working in a team environment

  • be adept in the use of communication and information technology skills for healthcare

  • critically appraise the evidence underpinning your practice

  • be a capable and motivated lifelong learner who is continually engaged in active professional development

  • understand the need to maintain and promote health, as well as to cure or palliate disease, and be aware of your obligations to the wider community, as well as to individuals

  • integrate theoretical and clinical learning.

You may find these links helpful in exploring the Physician Associate role:

Apply for this course through UCAS (the University and College Admissions Service) by the last Wednesday in January in the year of entry. There are no upper age limits, and we welcome applications from mature students.

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Application checklist

You must provide:

  • a personal statement (more information about this is available on the UCAS website)

  • an academic reference from your current or most recent institutions with predicted grades.

After submitting your application to UCAS:

  • log in to UCAS Hub and check your application to make sure all your academic details have been included
  • if any subjects or predicted results are missing, email the Admissions Officer with your UCAS number and missing subjects and grades.

Deferred entry

The Physician Associate Studies MPAS does not accept deferred applications. Applications must be submitted by the January of the year in which you are applying to enrol.

After application

Acknowledgement emails and letters are sent out on receipt of applications. Please ensure that your email account is able to accept communications from St George’s as we will mainly communicate with you by email. Selected applicants will be invited to attend interview. Decisions from St George’s will be entered onto UCAS Track and direct applicants will be contacted via email.

At the moment there are no changes to our programmes due to Covid-19.

If you start at St George's in 2023 your course will be delivered in the normal way and you can expect the full university experience from us.

If you started prior to this and would like to see the changes that were made to your programme, please visit this webpage.

In this tab you will find the financial information for this programme of study, including available financial support and scholarships.

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Tuition fees

Academic year

UK

EU/International

2022/23

MPAS: £10,750 

MPAS: £23,000

For more information, see our fees and funding pages.

In order to be registered on the FPA Managed Voluntary Register (MVR) as a Physician Associate you will need to pass the PA National Exam after successful completion of the MPAS. The National Exam is not part of this programme and the cost of the exam is not included in your course fees. Find out more at the Faculty of Physician Associates website.

Regulation

The General Medical Council have been chosen to become the regulator for PAs. When statutory regulation for PAs comes into effect, the PA MVR will cease to exist.

Additional costs

The table below highlights the additional course-specific costs related to this degree. Visit the additional course-related costs for more information on general costs to consider alongside your studies.

Additional cost

Description

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

DBS - £40
Post office verification - £6 
Administration fee - £9

Equipment

Stethoscope - £50

PA National Exam

You will need to pass the Physician Associate national exam to practise which is independent of the University award or programme. The cost will be £595 from September 2021 and then go up to £790 in September 2022.

 Travel to placements

The maximum cost of travel to placement is based on the cost of an 18+ student weekly travelcard for Zone 1 to 9 (2021) for the 45 weeks of placement across the year. The cost is based on students using public transport.

Travel costs will vary depending on where students live and if placements sites are located outside of London.

Suggested maximum of £3,037 per year.

Funding your study

We have a range of funding opportunities available for students. You may be eligible for the following.

  • Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government of up to £11,570
  • other funding for Postgraduate Study
  • an alumni discount– if you're a former St George’s student you can qualify for an additional 10% discount from this course.
  • for students on the 2022 intake there is a training grant available from HEE of £5000 over the 2 years of the programme.

Find out more on the fees and funding webpage.

Apply now

Duration

Two years full-time

Application Deadline

25 January 2023

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