Physician Associate Studies
Course subject to validation
This means the course is in development and the details of the course are in the process of being finalised by the university. The majority of new courses with this status are approved; however, this is not guaranteed and should the course not go ahead you will be informed by the university and assistance will be provided to those who have been offered a place to find a suitable alternative course either at Keele or at another provider.
Students who need a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK will not be issued with CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) for courses that are Subject to Validation. A CAS would also not be issued if a student was intending to take a Pre Sessional English programme prior to the intended degree course which was Subject to Validation.
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Duration of Study
- 2 years to obtain PGDip (full-time) plus 1 year (part-time) to obtain additional MSc
- Medicine and Health Sciences
- Course Director
- Subject Area
This course will enable you to develop the skills and knowledge to be part of a clinical workforce delivering excellent patient care. A tailored combination of clinical placements and innovative teaching, delivered by PAs, scientists and clinicians, provides the ideal educational environment for learning and skills development.
About the course
Physician Associates (PAs) are healthcare professionals, trained in a generalist medical model to deliver care and treatment within hospital and community environments. A PA works independently, under the supervision of a senior doctor, to diagnose, manage and treat a range of patients as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Once qualified, PAs may also develop a specialist area of practice.
Keele’s PA course utilises a diverse range of teaching faculty including PAs, clinicians, scientists and researchers to maximise students’ learning potential. Further, Keele’s placement providers are committed to developing PAs for recruitment into their organisations. Postgraduate medicine is closely affiliated to the North Staffordshire PA Internship Programme and is actively involved with the development of PA education nationally.
Watch the Royal College of Physicians video to find out about the role of the physician associate - where they work, what they do, and why they are of benefit to the team. Hear why their role is valuable for consultants as well as trainees, how they can increase access to care for patients, and why the job is 'really rewarding' from the physician associate student perspective.
Watch Health Education West Midlands video on A Day in the Life of a Physician Associate.
Aims of the course
This course will equip you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to work effectively in a fast-paced clinical environment. Successful completion of this university course allows students to take the UK Physician Associate national examination. Passing the examination permits students to be entered onto the PA Managed Voluntary Register (PMVR) at the Faculty of Physician Associates within the Royal College of Physicians. PMVR registration is mandatory in order to practise as a PA.
Please note that applications close at 11.59 (BST) on Friday 31st August 2018
- 2:1 honours degree in a biomedical or health science related subject (e.g. biomedical science, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, healthcare science, pharmacy, audiology, nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy).
- All applicants should hold GCSE qualifications in Maths and English at grade B or equivalent. Applicants with equivalent or non-standard qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.
- Applications would be welcomed from serving or ex members of Armed forces including those that have served in Nursing/Allied health roles. Along with Medical support roles such as: Combat Medical Technicians/ Medical Assistants who would be considered on a case for case basis and entry the PA programme would follow a suitable period of foundation study.
- Where English is not offered as a first language, applicants are required to achieve a minimum IELTS score no less than 7.5 (no less than 7 in any sub-set).
- Please note all applicants will be required to submit a Roles & Responsibilities (R&R) form. The R&R form is an opportunity for candidates to evidence their communication and people skills. Download PA Roles & Responsibilities form here and upload as part of the Application Process.
- Shortlisted applicants will be called to interview, to be held in the David Weatherall (School of Medicine) building on the University campus. Each candidate will undertake a structured multiple mini-interview (MMI). Interviews are likely to be held week commencing 17th September 2018 and week commencing 15th October 2018, 9am to 4pm; candidates will be expected to attend on one day only
- Before starting the Physician Associate Studies Programme all successful applicants will need to pass health and criminal record screening.
The PGDip course is a full-time; two year programme of experiential learning where students engage with a range of teaching methodologies linked to clinical cases and associated skills. Both years follow a programme of clinical teaching with integrated placements in primary and secondary care with hospitals and GP practices committed to recruiting graduates from our Physician Associate course.
Our focus is to prepare students for the national exam and their future careers with a structured programme of speciality teaching. Students will gain a broad understanding of clinical environments including a range of general medical areas (Respiratory, Cardiology, and Gastroenterology), Acute Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Mental Health.
A flexible approach to the research project ensures that students have a positive learning experience and are able to meet the demands of the course. This flexibility recognises the intensity of the course and maintains a focus on the national exam by allowing students an additional 12 months to submit the completed MSc project.
Teaching and assessment
The focus of the course is experiential learning where students engage with a range of teaching methodologies linked to clinical cases and associated skills. There will be regular assessment and supportive feedback throughout the course to ensure students are progressing through the modules and developing the required skills and competencies to pass the national exam and practise as a Physician Associate.
All students are allocated a personal tutor to support them throughout their studies.
Clinical placements will take place across a range of healthcare providers in Staffordshire and South Cheshire.
In direct preparation for the national exam, course assessments consist of Single Best Answer (SBA) questions and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). Reflective practice and recorded clinical placement hours are required elements of the course.
The course will involve travel expenses between hospital sites during placement periods.
Students will be required to pay an additional fee in order to sit the National Assessment at the end of the course. This fee is set by, and paid directly to, 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.
Fees and funding
Information on postgraduate taught course fees can be found here within School of Medicine table.
Keele graduates may be eligible for The Keele Alumni Discount which is a 20% discount of the tuition fee.
Student support allowance
Since September 2018, Health Education England, has launched a national funding strategy for all Physician Associate courses in England. Keele students will receive in the region of £4,500 towards such items as tuition fees and travel costs, split across the two years of the course.
Students may be eligible for a postgraduate loan for Master’s study. It can be used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.
Career Development Loans are also available from certain high street banks.