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.

physician associate students in a lecture

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

Year one

The first year is dedicated to ensuring all students have a good grounding in the sciences underpinning health care. Communication and clinical examination skills are a key part of the first year curriculum. You will spend four days a week on campus and one day on clinical placement, which will be organised in a GP practice.

Theme Modules
Introduction Evidence Based Practice and Service Improvement in Healthcare; Personal and Professional Development A; Foundations in Clinical Medicine A; Applied Pharmacology.
Ear Nose and Throat/ Ophthalmology
Renal and GU Personal and Professional Development A; Foundations in Clinical Medicine A; Applied Pharmacology; Evidence Based Practice and Service Improvement in Healthcare.
Female Health
Male Health
Sexual Health
Care of the Elderly Personal and Professional Development; Foundations in Clinical Medicine; Applied Pharmacology.
Mental Health
Infectious Disease

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 one day every three weeks as the emphasis shifts towards clinical work and placements with 40 weeks being spent in hospital and six weeks being spent on a GP placement.

Weeks Theme Modules Placements
3 Special Topics Personal and Professional Development B; Foundations in Clinical Medicine B; PA Applied Clinical Knowledge and Skills; Service Improvement Project. Hospital (40 weeks) and General Practice (six weeks)
37 All themes covered in year one

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 eight modules totalling 180 credits at level seven.

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.

Evidence Based Practice and Service Improvement 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.

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.)

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

This module runs throughout the two years and 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 (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.

Service Improvement Masters Project (30 credits) 

This module will help you design and implement a research project which may change practice procedures and have a positive impact on patient outcomes. You will undertake service improvement project as part of your clinical placement, collecting your own data, analysing and reporting on your results.


Last Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2017 11:31