Physician Associate Studies PGDip

Physician Associate Studies PGDip

School of Medicine


Post- graduate




Preston and Westlakes

Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Two Years. Half of the time is dedicated to University studies and half of the time to clinical placements.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Campus:

    Preston and Westlakes

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The UCLan PGDip in Physician Associate Studies provides an exciting opportunity for graduates to become Physician Associates – an innovative, professional healthcare role that is growing within the NHS, with a starting salary from £30,000.

Physician Associates provide care to patients under the supervision of a Consultant or General Practitioner. Their main focus is diagnosis and management. Consequently their daily activities include interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and making decisions about patient management.

Our programme is taught at either our Preston city campus or our Westlakes campus near the Lake District. See below for more details. We teach in small groups offering unrivalled student support and direct contact hours with staff.

Applications for this programme for 2018 are now closed. For 2019 applications please register your interest via emailing


Entry Requirements

This programme is open to candidates with a first degree, minimum 2:2, or equivalent, in an appropriate discipline.

Suitable first degrees include (but are not limited to) the life sciences (biomedical science, biochemistry, physiology and healthcare science), sports science or allied health professions who hold a first degree (pharmacy, audiology, nursing, physiotherapy, radiotherapists, Advanced Paramedics, ODPs) as examples. A postgraduate qualification (at merit or distinction) may be considered for admission in cases where the applicant’s first degree is lower than 2nd class award.

Successful applicants will need to meet the academic qualifications above and be successful at interview; meeting the requirements of both the university and the health sector including demonstrating the NHS’s required values and behaviours.


Programme at a Glance

Year 1

  • Integrated Clinical Sciences
  • Medical Skills and Patient Care
  • Medical Therapeutics and Prescribing
  • Professional placement I

    Year 2

    • Evidence based Practice
    • Medicine through Clinical Practice
    • Professional placement II

    Postgraduate Advice Event

    Find out more about Postgraduate courses at our Postgraduate Advice Event on 7 March 2018

    Further Information

    Our programme makes use of case based learning, clinical and communication skills role play and applied anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology teaching. All of our course content is in line with the requirements of the Physician Associate Competence and Curriculum framework (2012) laid out by the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates. We are currently in the process of validating an optional Masters programme, to which students can enhance their qualifications at a later date.

    Outside of the classroom environment, the provision of clinical placements includes a full spectrum of opportunities: urban & rural, specialised hospital & general practice. Teamwork is essential for every PA and these placements will enable working in a variety of medical specialities whilst under the supervision of medical colleagues. The geographical location of UCLan provides students with a rare opportunity to experience such a wide range clinical disciplines.

    If you have any queries regarding the course, the UCLan course team below....

    Peter Driscoll (Course Director) :

    Jane Rutt-Howard (Senior lecturer) : Tel: 01772 895557

    Helen Davis (Lecturer): Tel 01772 895942.

    How to Apply

    Applications for this programme for 2018 are now closed.  

    For 2019 applications please register your interest via emailing


    For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

    For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


    Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

    Contact Us

    Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


    Fees 2018/19

    Full-time: £9,250 per year

    Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

    For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

    DBS Checks

    This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

    Industry Links

    This course is provided in partnership with Health Education England North West (HEENW) as part of the North West Physician Associate programme. For more information visit the following

    Learning Environment and Assessment

    This course is offered at either Preston city campus or Westlakes campus near Whitehaven, close to the Lake District. Each applicant has the option to nominate their chosen campus. Both campuses offer affordable and attractive living compared to other city campuses.

    You will be taught using our state-of-the-art facilities. Our clinical skills laboratories have a vast range of equipment, to help develop clinical skills in hospital, home and GP surgery environments.

    A comprehensive understanding of applied human anatomy is enhanced with our Human Anatomy Resource and Learning Centres (HARLCs) which provide a focal point for students to engage in learning about the human body. You will also have access to our Anatomage table and a range of diagnostic imaging modalities.

    Knowledge and understanding of the full range of applied biological sciences is taught through a range of lectures and practical activities by our experts in the full spectrum of disciplines required for the PA curriculum.

    Over 50% of the course will be spent on clinical placements with our NHS clinical education partners across Lancashire and/or Cumbria. This will include rotations in General Practice and a variety of hospital specialties. All students will gain experience in the care of both adults and children. It follows therefore that you must be prepared to travel to clinical placement sites throughout Lancashire and Cumbria with travel of up to 90 minutes both ways.

    Assessment is by a variety of methods including written assignments, practical and theoretical examinations, workplace-based clinical activity and portfolio content.

    On completion of the course, students will be well prepared to take the National Exam and successful completion of this will allow them to refer to themselves as a Physician Associate and apply to join the profession’s managed voluntary register.


    There is currently around 100% employment of UK graduates of Physician Associate programs.

    Upon completion of the National Exam, Physician Associates have a wide range of choice of careers in both primary and secondary care.


    Physician Associate Career Information

    For further information about the Physician Associate programme and a career as a Physician Associate please visit the Faculty of Physician Associates website.

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