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What makes the Physician Associate MSc at Worcester special?

Learn the skills and knowledge required to support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients.

At Worcester you will be specially trained to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, request and analyse test results, diagnose illnesses, and develop treatment and management plans.

Key features

  • Earn a Master’s degree in Physician Associate studies
  • Intensive, demanding, fast-paced 24-month course
  • Community based clinical placements from year 1
  • Rigorous evaluation and high standard of professionalism
  • Help meet the challenges of the modern NHS

What is a physician associate?

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

We require applicants to be able and motivated, capable of sustaining the considerable effort required to complete this challenging course, and willing to be present for teaching sessions outside of traditional classroom hours.

If you meet the entry requirements set out here, you will be considered for interview.

  • BSc in a Life or Health Science (list of relevant degrees) at 2:2 or above
  • BSc/BEng/BA in physical science, engineering or social science at 2:1 or above. Plus the following two Open University Modules: S294 Cell Biology and SK277 Infectious disease and public health, with an overall mark of 60% in each module.
  • Diploma of Higher Education in a healthcare profession (ODP, Adult Nursing, Paramedic) at 50% overall. Plus a minimum of two years experience in a professional role

In addition, all applicants are required to have GCSE Maths and English at grade A-C or equivalent (please contact us for a list of equivalents), alternatively, the University of Worcester offers an equivalence exam in each of these subjects.

Other essential criteria
  • Demonstrated relevant work experience in healthcare or an allied health profession. The relevance of work experience will be assessed during the admissions process.
  • Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement as part of the application.
  • Two satisfactory references must support the application, both dated within the last year. One must be a recent academic reference and the other should be either a second academic reference or a relevant professional/employer reference. These can be sent after making the initial application.
  • If English is not your first language, then you must have IELTS with a 7.5 in each element.
  • Satisfactory health clearance and an agreement to undergo appropriate blood tests and immunisations against hepatitis B, MMR meningitis, TB and chicken pox.
  • You will be required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally a Criminal Records Bureau check).
  • If you are or have been a member of a registered professional body please provide details with your application submission.

International students

There are a limited number of places for international applicants to the course, but please note that the UK Physician Associate qualification is not accepted outside of the UK and therefore you will not be able to work outside of the UK with this qualification.

This is an initial qualification for those aspiring to become Physician Associates and is not intended as a course for professional development for those in Physician Associate or equivalent roles. There is no funding available for international students and fees are greater than for UK/EU applicants.

As with UK/EU applicants, international applicants must meet the entry requirements above (please contact Admissions to check the suitability of your qualifications as equivalent to UK qualifications). If shortlisted will undergo an online interview.

If English is not your first language, you will require an average IELTS score of 7.5 with no less than 7.5 in any band. This must be completed before application to the course and evidence uploaded with your application. Applications without this evidence will be rejected as incomplete. 

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an indicative overview of the modules and placements that may be available on this course.

Full-time route

Pre-Clinical Year

This consists of six core modules, which are taken over 45 weeks. A typical week will consists of classes Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.

Term one will include clinical skills and simulation and students will undertake a day per week in clinical placement from January to August.

  • Clinical Science & Pharmacology: 20 credits Provides the scientific grounding that underpins practice, clinical decision making, and therapeutics.
  • Evidence Based Practice & Research Methods: 20 credits Enables an understanding of the public health agenda in contemporary health care practice. Students develop research skills and approaches to using evidence to support their practice. Your final assignment will develop your dissertation proposal for completion in year two. This module is delivered completely online.
  • Emergency Medicine & Critical Care: 20 credits Teaches the skills and knowledge needed to assess and safely manage patients with emergency and urgent care needs.  
  • General Internal Medicine: 40 credits Enables students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to assess and safely manage adult patients across the age range.  
  • Maternal & Paediatric medicine: 20 credits Enables students to develop the skills and knowledge to assess and safely manage conditions in children and in pregnancy
  • Behavioural Medicine: 20 credits Enables students to develop the skills and knowledge to assess and safely manage patients with psychological and mental health conditions

Clinical Year

The clinical year consists of 46 weeks of clinical placements, Monday to Friday, returning to University every third Friday for formative assessment, clinical simulation, and dissertation supervision.

  • Clinical Practice: Pass/Fail - Enables students to translate their knowledge and skills into practice. Placements are in a variety of settings and there are a set number of hours to complete is specific areas.
  • Dissertation: 40 credits - Students gain mastery of research skills by undertaking an independent (but supervised) evidence based project, and submit a 10,000 word original report.
  • Electives
  • Preparation for the National Certification Examination

Part-time route

Pre-Clinical Phase

The part-time route uses the same pre-clinical modules as the full-time option, with part-time students taking Clinical Science & Pharmacology; General Internal Medicine; and Evidence Based Practice & Research Methods in year one.

In Year two they take Emergency Medicine & Critical Care; Maternal & Paediatric Medicine; and Behavioural Medicine.

This represents a time commitment of three days per week in both years.

Clinical Phase

Part-time students have the choice of either undertaking the clinical phase full-time in 12 months, or part-time over two years, at three days a week, which will include attending academic in-days every third Friday. Students will also complete their dissertation during this phase.

Example schedules can be found in the Part-time brochure.

Placements are in a variety of settings and there are a set number of hours to complete is specific areas

Physician Associate Course on the BBC

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?


The course uses a combination of formal lectures small group and practical work, including clinical simulation as well as the clinical placements which allow the integration of theory and clinical learning.

Clinical learning  will be across multiple specialities in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and South Birmingham.

Physician Associate FAQs

For more information about the role of Physician Associate see our frequently asked questions.

Meet the team

Here are a few of the current members of the department who teach on this course:

  • Neil-Howie-cropped

    Neil Howie

    Neil started life as an archaeologist but moved to healthcare. He graduated from the University of Wolverhampton Physician Associate Programme  and has since worked in A&E and acute medicine and Primary Care.

  • Janina-Iwaszko

    Dr Janina Iwaszko

    Janina has a background in scientific research with a PhD in Medical Biophysics. Then followed several busy years as a Head of Department for Science at Manchester Adult Education College. She then followed her heart and qualified in medicine in 1991 and has worked in emergency and adult medicine before specialising in Medical Education.

  • Adam-Ryder

    Adam Ryder

    Adam graduated as a Physician Associate in January 2012 following his Biomedical Science degree. He has subsequently spent three years working in Acute Medicine clinically, working in three different NHS Trusts thus far traversing the east and west midlands.

  • Kate-Straughton

    Kate Straughton

    Kate Straughton graduated as a physician associate (PA) from the first cohort at the University of Birmingham. She is working at the University of Worcester as lecturer and Clinical Placement Lead, and has an honorary role at Wye Valley NHS Trust, Hereford in acute medicine. Kate has worked in acute medicine since qualifying in 2009 in both a busy university teaching hospital and also rural district general hospitals.

  • Drew_Garcia

    Drew Garcia

    Drew began working in medicine as a Volunteer EMS provider in Central California in 1986. Enlisting in the US Navy, he was trained as a Hospital Corpsman and over 11 years worked in Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, the US Marine Corps, and as a flight paramedic. When he left the service – he was accepted to the University of Washington, MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant training program.


Where could it take you?

Difficulties in recruiting doctors in acute and primary care make the Physician Associate a highly sought-after clinical professional in the health care sector. Local intelligence suggests that current employment opportunities outstrip the supply of Physician Associate graduates.


A Day in the Life of a Physician Associate


How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

The annual full-time fee for 2016/17 are £9,250 per year. 2017/18 TBC.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

As with other Physician Associate courses in the UK, if you accept an offer of a place on the MSc Physician Associate you will need to pay a £500 non-refundable deposit at the point of accepting an offer. The deposit is put towards payment of fees when students join the course.

Part-time tuition fees

The standard part-time fees for 2016/17 are £1850 per 20 credits module. 2017/18 TBC.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

Some support may be offered for home students from Health Education England, but this cannot be guaranteed. Details will be provided to you when your application is confirmed, and you would not normally need to apply for this separately. This is not available for international students.

The Government will provide a loan of up to £10,000 per student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs. For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Please note: The MSc Physician Associate course will receive student support allowances from Health Education England West Midlands for September 2017 entry. These will be discussed at interview days.

Additional costs

You will be required to pay an additional fee in order to undertake the National Assessment at the end of the course.

This fee is set and charged by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians. If students are required to repeat the National Assessment they may be required to pay a further fee for each attempt. 


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls, 358 of which were new in 2009. We offer halls of residence to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £94 per week to the £153 per week 'En-suite Extra'.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Please make your application via our online application forms below. As part of the application you will need upload the following as supporting evidence:

  • completed personal statement form
  • copy of degree certificate
  • copy of degree transcript
  • copy of GCSE English and Maths certificates (or equivalent)

Applications without the required supporting evidence will be rejected as incomplete.

Apply for full-time September 2017 enrolment

Apply for this course

Apply for part-time September 2017 enrolment

Apply for this course



Applicants who are invited to progress to the selection day will be required to attend the university for a half day of activities. Selection is values-based and does not include any tests of knowledge.

Previous applicants that were unsuccessful may apply for a second time in the following academic year, however, further applications are not permitted.

For further information, in the first instance, contact For additional information or an informal discussion please the admissions tutor.


Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Admissions tutor

Neil Howie

Course Director

Dr Janina Iwaszko