Physician Associate MSc

Postgraduate (2 years full-time)

Chelmsford, Cambridge

September 2018, September 2019

Applications for Cambridge 2018 intake have now closed.

Apply online now for Cambridge 2019 or Chelmsford 2018 and 2019.

Please note: this course is open to UK and EU applicants only, as the availability of work placements in the UK health service is limited.

Overview

Physician Associates are in demand because of a shortfall in the number of doctors. If you have a first degree in life or health sciences, this course will train you in a wide range of clinical skills vital to the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients in primary and secondary care.

Full description

Careers

The UK Physician Associate scheme builds on 60 years’ proven success of a similar system in the USA. Physician Associates fill an emerging and increasingly important role in the UK, not least because they help to mitigate the UK shortfall in medics as well as contributing to the general efficiency of improving health care delivery for all NHS patients.

There are increasing opportunities for employment in the NHS primary and acute healthcare service sector across the East of England. Graduate Physician Associates are frequently appointed to roles in general practice, cardiology, neurosurgery and other specialties.

In order to be registered on the FPA Managed Voluntary Register as a Physician Associate you’ll need to pass the PA National Exam after graduating from the MSc Physician Associate. The National Exam is not part of the Masters and the cost of the exam is therefore not included in your fees. Find out more at the Faculty of Physician Associates website.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Medical Practice & Patient Care I
    This is the first of three modules in Medical Practice and Patient Care which is aligned to the National Curriculum published by the Faculty of Physician Associates. Develop a critical understanding of pathophysiology in named physiological systems. This module will provide you with core knowledge of basic medical sciences in the fields of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology/histology, microbiology and genetics. You’ll develop a critical understanding in the following topics, considering children, adults and elderly care, including an appreciation of the applied pharmacology of disease, patient considerations and management of the associated diseases; Cardiovascular system, Respiratory system, Endocrine system, Skin & Infection and Mental Health It’ll be summatively assessed by an in-class test and an end-of-module exam. To support you to prepare for these assessments, formative assessment will include weekly self-directed assessment and class discussion.
  • Medical Practice & Patient Care II
    In this module you’ll build on knowledge gained in Medical Practice & Patient Care I. It’ll support you to develop the assessment skills necessary to undertake patient assessment and engagement. You’ll be given the opportunity to develop your skills in the application of this knowledge in clinical reasoning and the planning of management strategies. You’ll develop a critical understanding in the following topics, considering children, adults and elderly care, including an appreciation of the applied pharmacology of disease, patient considerations and management of the associated diseases; Musculoskeletal systemm, Gastrointestinal system, Neurological system, Haematology, Renal & Genitourinary, Female reproduction and Sexual Health It’ll be summatively assessed by an in-class test and an end-of-module exam. To support you to prepare for these assessments, formative assessment will include weekly self-directed assessment and class discussion.
  • Medical Practice & Patient Care III
    This module will build upon the knowledge and skills of the previous two modules. You’ll develop a critical understanding in the following topics, including an appreciation of the applied pharmacology of disease, patient considerations and management of the associated diseases; Paediatrics, Ears, nose and throat (ENT), Care of the elderly, Diseases of the eye andObservation and judgement in children and young people’s development. It’ll be summatively assessed by an end of module exam. To support you to prepare for the exam, formative assessment will include weekly self-directed assessment and class discussion.
  • Policy, Practice & Governance
    Explore the broader context of clinical practice, recognising that practitioners should have core knowledge, skills and values that promote equality, diversity and respect when working with patients, carers and families. In addition, the role of research, clinical governance and management of risk to underpin safe and effective practice are explored. The module will cover the following; Patient information sharing, Patient rights, Equality & diversity, Ethical & legal issues impacting patient care, carers and society, Safeguarding (adults and children), Accurate medical records including timeliness and relevance, Clinical audit and Research approaches and design. It'll be summatively assessed by two written think pieces. To support you to prepare for these assessments, formative assessment will include weekly self-directed assessment and class discussion.
  • Primary Care Practice
    This module supports your clinical development in line with the role of a Physician Associate (PA). It supports the learning of module one and two and comprises clinical placement coupled with the clinical skill development. It’ll support you to develop the procedural (clinical) skills necessary to undertake patient assessment and engagement with a focus of disease presentation and patient interaction. You’ll be given the opportunity to develop your skills in the application of your clinical knowledge as part of the community placement, including GP Practices. It’ll be summatively assessed by a Clinical Skills Passport (CSP) and the completion of a practice assessment document (PAD).

Year two, core modules

  • Quality Improvement in the NHS
    Introducing the concepts and approaches of delivering a quality improvement plan for the NHS. It focuses on the rationale and approaches to continuous review and reflect and the importance for patient care. Specifically, following the development of best practices and process, you’ll be required to identify, plan and undertake an appropriate quality improvement project whilst in practice. Data authenticity and suitability will be explored and suitable methodologies for collection and analysis discussed. Descriptive statistics and data presentation will be employed. It’ll be summatively assessed through the synthesis of a quality improvement project using primary data.
  • Medical Practice in Primary & Secondary Care
    Building on the theoretical, procedural and clinical learning developed in year 1, it comprises clinical placement coupled with clinical skills development. You’ll complete clinical hours in a range of specified areas of clinical speciality both within primary and secondary care. It’ll support you to further enhance your patient assessment and management skills, develop procedural skills and engage with the wider multi-disciplinary team. You’ll be able to engage with patients in a wide variety of clinical settings in order to develop your skills in the application of clinical knowledge and enhance your communication skills in order to meet the needs of patients from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. It’ll be summatively assessed SBA (single best answer) exam, OSCE and the completion of a Practice Assessment Document (PAD).

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods to check your progress during your studies and then to make sure that you meet the required standards to register for practice as a Physician Associate.

Although they vary, our assessment strategies are all carefully designed to challenge you so that you expand your critical and creative thinking as well as your problem-solving and skills for clinical practice. The assessments will let you synthesise existing knowledge and accumulate new knowledge in order to evidence the development of your professional practice.

Your progress and achievements will be assessed through theoretical essays, simulated clinically orientated objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and single best answer (SBA) exams. Your placement will be assessed by a Practice Assessment Document (PAD).

This is a two year programme

Please note that you will need to complete all of the above core modules, as well as be successful on all your placements. This is intensive and taught full-time over two years, 5 days a week. This course is longer than a traditional postgraduate programme, teaching takes place for 45 weeks and full attendance is expected for all elements of the course.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support or students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Chelmsford
Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)

£9,200

International students starting 2019/20 (part-time, per year)

£9,700

We are Health Education England’s (HEE)‘Preferred Provider’ for Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. HEE have indicated that they may be subsiding the tuition fee for Home/EU students, this fee subsidy does not require an application. More information on annual fees will be available at interview.

Additional costs

Travel to placements

Associated travel costs

Medical equipment

Up to £500 depending on equipment required

Immediate Life Support Certificate

Certificate from The Resuscitation Council (UK)
This is a requirement to attend placement.

National Exam

The National Exam is not part of the Masters and the cost of the exam is therefore not included in your fees. Find out more at the Faculty of Physician Associates website.

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

International students

This course is open to UK and EU applicants only, as the availability of work placements in the UK health service is limited.

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