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Duration

Two years full-time

Application Deadline

26 January 2022

Location

St George's, University of London

Start dates

August 2022

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

Covid-19 updates

We won’t be making any significant changes to the content of our programmes, but there will be some changes to the way they are delivered. Please see the Covid-19 updates tab for further details of how this may affect this course for September 2021.

Highlights

  • Shared site with one of the largest NHS teaching hospitals.

  • Outstanding pass rate on the Physician Associate National Examination.

  • Longest running Physician Associate course in the UK.

  • Highly experienced Physician Associate as full-time Course Director.

  • Regular timetable of esteemed visiting lecturers from the UK and the USA.

  • Year 1 student to staff ratio approximately 9:1.

  • Mix of Physician Associates and Doctors within the teaching team.

  • Strong history of staff involvement on the board of the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians.

Fees and funding

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Home (UK) tuition fees

Academic year

UK

2021/22

MPAS: £10,500 per annum

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 update

In July 2019, it was announced that the General Medical Council will become the regulator for PAs. When statutory regulation for PAs comes into effect, the PA MVR will cease to exist.

International (including EU) tuition fees

Academic year

International (including EU) tuition fees

2021/22

MPAS: £22,000 per annum

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 earning 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 update

In July 2019, it was announced that the General Medical Council will 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.

Find out more about fees and funding.

Find out more 

Learn more about what it’s like to study at St George’s, University of London.  

Sign up for our free intro email series. 

2022 entry

To be eligible for the Physician Associate Studies programme, you must meet the requirements outlined under Entry Qualifications, Other 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. For example, while we take the time to read your personal statement, it is not used formally assessed (until the interview stage) or used to determine whether you will be invited for a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI).

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. As this is the first year the Physician Associate course is using UCAT we will be accepting the top 250 candidates to be invited to interview. In future 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. This means that all eligible applicants with the same UCAT score are considered equally.

  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 2017). If your degree was awarded before this time, please click on the Recent Engagement in Education tab 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*

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

UCAT results are used to select applicants invited to interview and may be used 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 April 2021, however please do check the UCAT website for the most up to date information.

  • Registration opens: 2 June 2021

  • Testing begins: 26 July 2021

  • Registration and online booking closes: 22 September 2021 at midday

  • Final booking deadline: 28 September 2021 at midday

  • Last testing date: 29 September 2021

  • UCAS application deadline: 15 January 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 for the course, demonstrate evidence of experience and what transferable skills you learnt from this experience. The personal statement will be considered at various stages in the application process including if you are invited to interview.

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.

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. If your degree was awarded more than five years ago. 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.

2021 entry

To be considered for this course, you will need to:

  • meet the entry criteria
  • write a personal statement
  • provide one suitable reference.

All qualifications must have been awarded no more than five years before the start date of the course you are applying for. If your degree was awarded more than five years ago, the academic team may require suitable candidates to complete an academic qualifying essay. The Physician Associate Programme is unable to accept request for deferred entry. For further information, please email pgadmissions@sgul.ac.uk.

Selected applicants will be invited to attend interview. Decisions from St George’s will be entered onto UCAS Track and applicants will be contacted via email.

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Undergraduate degree or equivalent

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

Physiology is a necessity for those not holding a life science degree. If your degree is not a life sciences or health- related subject, you will need to complete some Physiology modules in order to be eligible for the course. Alternative evidence of recent Physiology academic study (NVQ Level 4 and above) will be considered.

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

International qualifications

We accept equivalent qualifications gained in other countries and use UKNARIC to assess. Please see our International Student Support pages for more information. If you have any questions, you can contact us at pgadmissions@sgul.ac.uk

English language

For details on English Language requirements, please see here. This is a Group 3 course.

Personal statement and references

You will be asked to submit a personal statement with your application. This statement should outline your reasons for applying for the course. You will also need to provide one satisfactory reference. See the ‘Apply’ tab for more information. 

Other essential criteria

Health screening

Candidates accepted into clinical healthcare courses are required to pass an occupational health screening. When admitting a candidate to study and practise as a healthcare practitioner, St George’s has an obligation to patients and students. If you are concerned about a health issue, we strongly advise you to contact us prior to applying. All offers of places at St George’s are subject to satisfactory health clearance and an agreement to undergo appropriate blood tests and immunisations.

All candidates will be asked to be immunised against Hepatitis B for personal safety. If you firmly accept an offer made to you by St George’s you will be sent a confidential health questionnaire and further information about the Hepatitis B screening process.

Police screening

This course will include work with children and vulnerable adults so you are required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, and an in-country police check if you have lived outside of the UK for longer than a 6 months period. More information about this process will be sent to you as part of the admissions process.

Professional registration

If you are a current healthcare professional or a member of a registered professional body, we ask that you provide details of your registration. If you have had your professional registration suspended or revoked, or undergone a disciplinary/fitness to practise investigation, you will be required to provide further information if selected for an interview. You may also be asked to provide full copies of related documentation.

Work experience

You need to have experience of paid or voluntary work, preferably in a health or social care context

Previous enrolment on a clinical course

If you have previously enrolled on a Physician Associate Studies or another clinical course which you did not complete, you must declare this on your application and provide information about the circumstances.

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. 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. Developmental reviews support the practical learning achieved during this module.

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.

Having risen to the teaching challenges posed by COVID-19 since March 2019, and following review and feedback on using the online virtual learning platforms at the university,  we are going to continue over the next academic year with a 'blended learning' approach. This will be a mixture of online face to face teaching, self directed and directed learning and also on site teaching and clinical placements.

Blended learning will still enable 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.

This approach will continue to be reviewed over the next academic year and may be subject to change in line with Government guidance.

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

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, presentations, and post-mortems.

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Teaching and learning methods

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:

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How to apply

Apply for this course through UCAS.

Please ensure that you have completed all tabs, including personal statement and reference details.  

References

When completing your application, you will be asked to provide contact details of one referee. Please ensure these details are accurate. As soon as you have submitted your application, your referee will be contacted by the university asking them to upload a reference to your online application. 

Your referee can be an academic reference if you are still in academia, or a current employer. Your referee should know you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If your referee is not deemed appropriate, your referee will be rejected. We do not accept references from family, friends, partners, ex-partners or yourself. 

We will send reminder emails to your referee, but it is your responsibility to ensure that contact details are correct and referees are available to submit a reference. References should be uploaded within two weeks of making your application. 

Please note that we will not be accepting deferrals.  

 

Covid-19 safety guidelines

  1. Get your shot 
    • Get vaccinated as soon as you can to protect yourself and others.
    • Vaccinations services are available in the Atkinson Morley Wing of St George's hospital.
  2. Wear a mask
    • Use a face covering when in communal or crowded areas to protect our community.
    • Type II masks are required on campus and available on site.
  3. Make space
    • Keep your distance when possible to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
  4. Take a test
    • Get tested twice a week to keep our community safe.
    • LFD test kits are available from the University reception Mon-Fri 10am-4pm. 

Our priority is to keep our students and staff safe and support their wellbeing, while protecting our community from the risks of Covid-19 on our site, based inside a hospital. We have listened to feedback and preferences from our student community about St George’s as a place to study.

We won’t be making any significant changes to the content of our programmes, but there will be some changes to the way they are delivered. Please see below for further details of how this may affect this course.

If government advice changes, we may need to update our plans, but our approach is designed to make it possible to continue with much of the on-campus teaching planned. If we do need to make changes, we will update this information, and will keep current students and offer holders informed by email.

We will also continue to update our frequently asked questions page for applicants and offer holders and current students as more information becomes available.

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Location of study

All face-to-face teaching will take place on the campus that we share with St George’s Hospital in Tooting, with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

Course content

We are not making any changes to the content of the programme.

Overall, the course in structure and content will be the same as advertised.

How the course is being delivered

The existing learning outcomes for the programme and the modules will remain in place.

For the academic year 2021/2022 students will access their learning, including learning materials, via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Canvas. In addition to this it is anticipated that year one students will attend campus twice a week for small group work, including problem-based learning, communication and clinical examination skills. Hands-on practical teaching and learning activities will be delivered on campus with appropriate social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) measures put in place, and with controls on the number of people in each location. It is anticipated that we will also be able to deliver some lectures on site too. Please be aware that some communication skills sessions may be delivered live online. The above information may be subject to change in line with government guidance.

The online components of the course will continue to be designed to balance interactive real-time sessions with lecturers and other students, with self-paced independent study. Students will have clear learning pathways through the activities they are expected to engage with, and there will be opportunities to check learning and progress.

We cannot deliver anatomy and dissection room sessions on-site as we normally would, due to restrictions on room numbers. These will be delivered online, via a combination of live, pre-recorded and Q&A sessions.

Personal tutor support and all other student support, such as the Academic Success Centre, may be accessed either face to face or online. A range of methods for staying in touch, such as telephone, email and the University’s web conferencing systems BigBlueButton and MSTeams are available.   

To get the most from online study, hardware requirements have been established and communicated to all existing students and offer holders. Students will need their own personal computer or laptop and an internet connection in their place of accommodation. This needs to be in place at the start of the course. Once enrolled, students will have the ability to use Office 365 as part of our institutional licence, and access software required for their modules/courses via AppsAnywhere. In addition, we offer Office for Mac via Ofice365, but only the following applications are available for Mac: Teams, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote. Web-based Office applications are available on Mac. Full details are available here.

There is a provision for students who may struggle to meet the hardware requirements to contact our IT Hardship team.

Course length

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through the programme and graduate without delay.

Assessments

We assess the knowledge, skills and attributes of our students in a variety of ways. These include formal written examinations, clinical examinations and coursework assessments which include case histories (case histories are for current year 2 students only) and oral presentations. Professionalism is monitored throughout the course.

Examinations are spread out over the year. At this stage, we expect to deliver these as planned.

Our assessments (written and clinical) are designed to be taken on-site, and we plan to hold all of our assessments onsite (with the exception of formative written assessments which will be undertaken online remotely). However, where this may not be possible we have developed online assessments so that these can go ahead regardless of whether students can attend site in the coming months.

For written assessments, tasks are not changing, but will be delivered online. The impact will be limited because, although the way in which the assessment is being delivered is different, the assessment tasks, the learning outcomes that are being tested and the assessment criteria are the same.  The assessments are therefore consistent with the way they were intended to be delivered.

The online assessments are also the same in terms of the challenges they present to students. The assessments are therefore consistent with the way they were intended to be delivered. 

In order to maintain an inclusive and equitable approach that recognises, for example, challenging domestic circumstances and poor home internet connections, we recognise that students will need to find an appropriate environment in which to take the assessment and make sure that they have IT equipment and a reliable internet connection. This may not be possible for all students.

Our aim is to lend equipment to students if their own facilities are inadequate. We are also allowing students to apply to take their exam on-campus using a networked computer or laptop with WIFI connectivity. Students can request assistance by contacting examonsite@sgul.ac.uk ideally 4 weeks before their exam if they think you will have difficulties meeting.

For clinical assessments, (where students are directly observed performing a practical or clinical skill by an examiner), these can only be delivered on campus. Assessments of a student’s ability to communicate appropriately with a patient or simulated patient can also only be delivered on-site.

At this stage, we expect to be able to deliver assessments of this kind on site. However, if government advice changes and the campus is closed, we will not be able to deliver clinical assessments as planned. In that case, it might be necessary to delay these assessments until the following academic year to protect student and staff safety. However, this could mean that graduation and subsequently entry to the PA National Examination for some final year students are delayed until they are able to complete all assessments. We have an obligation to the Faculty of Physician Associates to confirm that our students have met the clinical and practical outcomes for the programme before they apply to sit the PA National Examination.

Student support

Students undertake formative examinations in preparation for summative assessment. This provides the student with the opportunity to engage with the assessment, Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and processes in advance of a high stakes examination. Students are also offered a practice assessment in using the VLE to familiarise themselves in a relaxed situation.

I.T, exams and administrative support are available on the day of every examination.

There is also guidance and advice online for students to engage with prior to and in preparation for assessments.

Placements and essential hands-on learning

For clinical programmes, placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in the previous years.

Their capacity to offer placements may change if, in the event of a further outbreak of Covid-19, delivering care to affected patients becomes the overriding priority for our partners.

If that happens, we will limit the impact on students where possible.

We will rotate students through the sites that are continuing to accept students. However, there is a possibility that graduation for some final year students may be delayed until they are able to complete all placements.

A delay to placements may also impact when students can sit the PA National Examination.

Health Education England (HEE) have however stipulated that students are classed as critical workers and as such placements are expected to continue as planned for both years of the programme.

All students going on to or on placement will be expected to undertake a risk assessment, and where possible have had at least the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and adhere to local Trust and General Practice working patterns and guidance.   

You will be required to undertake a personal risk assessment before you can attend any placement that is part of your course (or undertake certain other activities, such as those which include the practice of clinical skills or require the use of PPE).

Where a health concern arises, every effort will be made to identify alternative placement arrangements, but your health and safety will be the first priority, and alternative arrangements may not be possible. This may have implications for the continuation of your study. If you are clinically vulnerable or have been shielding, we strongly encourage you to contact the Disability Advisor now to undertake an assessment.

Students with pre-existing illnesses or disabilities, or who are shielding

If you suffer, or have suffered, from a serious illness (physical or psychological) or have a disability, or have been required to shield due to Covid-19, please let us know. St George’s is committed to supporting our students and will explore all reasonable adjustments to support you to thrive on your course.

Please contact our Disability Advisor as soon as possible with details to help us establish whether your health history or disability is likely to affect your ability to study or practice.

This will also give us sufficient time to carry out a detailed assessment, obtain reports and organise additional expert assessments if required.

Additional costs

We do not expect students to incur any extra costs over and above those that we have advertised on the course page.

Additional cost items

Cost

Notes

PA National Examination

£595 (Sept 2021)

The cost will go up to £685 for Jan and May 2022 and then £790 Sept 2022 – students need to pass the PA national exam to practice. It is independent of the University award or programme.

Course timetable

We have planned for year one students to be onsite Tuesdays and Fridays for face to face teaching and in General Practice Placement on a Wednesday. Mondays and Thursdays will consist of online face to face, pre-recorded lectures and self-directed study.

Current students

Year 2 students will be onsite as far as possible for all of their year 2 days for face to face teaching (typically one day per month but may be more) which are published on Canvas at the start of Year 2.

For some of the days this may be online face to face teaching. Students will be made aware of this in advance. Otherwise students will be in clinical placement.

Term dates

Consenting to these changes

At enrolment or re-enrolment you consented to the changes we anticipated as a result of the pandemic, which were outlined on the ‘Covid-19 updates’ tab of your course page at: www.sgul.ac.uk/study/courses.

The changes that we are making are the consequence of current public health advice and our need to anticipate changes to that advice. Our capacity to offer alternatives is therefore limited. We do not feel that the changes will adversely affect students.  

If you wish to avoid these changes (e.g. by taking a year out from your studies) please discuss this directly with your course team in the first instance.

We remain, as always, focused on the best experience and outcomes for our students.  

Making a complaint

If you have concerns about the quality of course delivery, please raise these with your course team in the first instance.

If you wish to take a more formal route, guidance is available to you in our student concerns and complaints procedure.

“I have found online studying to be quite successful for me. You can interact with your peers and lecturers as you usually would, but all from the comfort of your home. ”

- Jennifer, Medicine (MBBS) student, 4th year

Apply now

Duration

Two years full-time

Application Deadline

26 January 2022

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