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 healthcare professionals and receive a salary whilst training.

Physician Associates provide care to patients under the supervision of a Consultant or General Practitioner. Their role includes interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and making decisions about patient management.

Our course will provide you with a foundation of scientific and clinical skills, and the opportunity to build on and use these through a variety of clinical placements in Lancashire and/or Cumbria.

Our programme makes use of case based learning, clinical and communication skills role play and focussed 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.

Outside of the classroom environment, the provision of clinical placements includes a full spectrum of opportunities: urban & rural, specialised hospital & general practice; single-handed or multi-disciplinary. Teamwork is essential for every PA and these placements will enable working with a variety of groups whilst under the supervision of medical colleagues. The geographical location of UCLan is ideal to enable this amazing combination of clinical opportunities, of which we are very proud.


Entry Requirements

This programme is open to candidates with a first degree, minimum 2:2, or equivalent, in a related 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 plus 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 our Postgraduate courses. Book onto our Postgraduate Advice Event on 12 June 2017

    Further Information

    For further information about Health Education England North West (HEENW) and the North West Physician Associate Pilot programme please visit .

    If you have any queries regarding the course, please contact HEENW on or the UCLan course team below:

    Peter Driscoll (Course Director) : Tel: 01772 895425

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

    How to Apply

    Application to the January 2017 course is now closed. The opportunity to apply for 2018 will be advertised on the Health Education England website most likely sometime in semester 1 of 2017 academic year.

    Course Specification and Handbook

    For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
    For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

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


    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 2017/18

    Full-time: Non-standard fees apply to this course of £9,000.

    Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

    Home/EU fee
    The cost of the course is £9,000 per year. Students receive a salary during training.

    International fee
    N/A (Home and EU students only for 2015/16 entry due to NHS funding and visa restrictions).

    Application to the January 2017 course is now closed. The opportunity to apply for 2018 will be advertised on the Health Education England website most likely sometime in semester 1 of 2017 academic year.

    For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

    UCLan students, both in Preston and Cumbria, have the fantastic opportunity to benefit from our partnership with Health Education England North West. All students are employees of our lead employer and receive a salary throughout the 2 years. In 2017, this salary is approximately £14,500 in first year and £15,500 in second year.

    For 2016/17 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 Pilot programme. 

    Learning Environment and Assessment

    You will be taught using our state-of-the-art facilities within the School of Medicine. The University’s campus-based clinical skills laboratories have a vast range of equipment - including a number of high fidelity clinical human simulators - to help develop clinical skills in realistic hospital, home and GP surgery environments.

    A comprehensive understanding of 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; similar to a body sized touch screen computer. This allows for virtual sectioning of the human body, which is particularly useful when considering medical imaging.

    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 a range of disciplines within the medical science field.

    Here at UCLan your learning will be enriched by our patient volunteer group who are involved in clinical and communication skills training.

    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.

    The course is taught by a variety of clinical and academic staff so that students benefit from a wide range of medical knowledge and expertise.

    Assessment is by a variety of methods including written assignments, practical and theoretical examinations and workplace based assessments. The students are expected to keep an E-portfolio to evidence their progression throughout their clinical placements.

    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.

    You must be prepared to travel to clinical placement sites throughout Lancashire and Cumbria.


    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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