Physician Associate Studies

Physician Associate Studies MPAS (Hons)

This is our undergraduate Physician Associate training programme. We also have a postgraduate course.

The integrated Masters in Physician Associate Studies provides an exciting opportunity for undergraduates to become medical Physician Associate  professionals, combining university study with practical work-based placements. 50% of the final two years of the programme is spent in clinical environments.

Physician Associates (PA) 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.

UCLan was the first university to offer undergraduate Physician Associate training in this growing area of undergraduate medical education. The programme will provide you with a solid 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. All of our course content is in line with the requirements of the Physician Associate Competence and Curriculum framework (2012) laid out by the Faculty of Physician Associates, Royal College of Physicians.

Nathalia Ogechukwu Mbaegbu

Nathalia Ogechukwu Mbaegbu, Physician Associate Studies, MPAS (Hons) student

"The life of a student in UCLan’s Medical School is varied, fast-paced and exciting. We have the opportunity to use some brilliant facilities at UCLan, such as the Anatomage tables, where we learn all about the anatomy of the human body and get hands on in our classes. The clinical skills labs are a realistic environment to practise in, which further gives us the confidence to translate what we have learned into the working world, with medical equipment and the opportunity to hone our skills on human simulators."

Read Nathalia's case study


Key Information

  • Duration:

    4 Years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    MPAS (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Train to be a Physician Associate, combining academic study with significant clinical placement time.
  • Develop a career in the medical team, providing direct medical patient care.
  • A unique programme, the first of its kind in the UK, that leads to an integrated undergraduate master’s.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • UM1010 - Integrated Science and Clinical Medicine 1
  • UM1020 - Evidence Informed Practice of Medicine
  • UM1030 - Medical Skills and Quality Care 1

Year 2

  • UM2010 - Integrated Science and Clinical Medicine 2
  • UM2030 - Medical Skills and Quality Care 2
  • XY3040 - Research Project

Year 3

  • UM4001 - Medical Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours for Patient Care I
  • UM4602 - Professional Placement (Physician Associate Studies) I
Year 4
  • UM4002 - Medical Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours for Patient Care II
  • UM4702 - Professional Placement (Physician Associate Studies) II

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for those taking A Levels or international equivalent:

  • A Levels: Minimum grades ABB including Chemistry, a further science & an academic subject
  • Students must be able to provide evidence of sustained academic achievement (GCSE or equivalent to include English Language B or higher) with a broad study of Science and Mathematics up to the age of 15-16. UK applicants not meeting the English Language requirement should read the detailed entry requirements via the link below. English as medium of instruction will not be accepted for any student.
  • If English is not first language: English language IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent)

Entry Requirements for those on Foundation Programmes (from a foundation programme provider who works in partnership with SoM, UCLan)

A minimum of 65% possibly with some modules to be passed at 70%, following review of the individual programme content. E.g. UCLan BMedSci Foundation Year – overall 65% pass and must have 70% or above in XYC002 Body Systems

Entry requirements for those on Access to Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy programme (only)

128 points, including 15 level 3 credits in Chemistry at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits in a second science at Distinction

Supporting Information

  • All applications must be accompanied by an academic reference.
  • All students will be required to submit a Transferable Skills Statement as part of the application process. A copy of the form is available using the link below.
  • 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
  • All successful applicants will need to undergo occupational health screening (including tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C and HIV) prior to enrolment.
  • Weighting will be given to UK Widening Participation students. Applicants may make reference to their personal circumstances in their personal statement. Additionally, during the application process, all UK applicants will be invited to complete a WP form if they wish to be considered against these criteria. An example of that form showing the criteria which will be considered can be provided on request.


International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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Personal Statement Advice

It's never too early to start working on your personal statement. We've got some useful hints and tips to help you make a great first impression.

Advice & Guidance

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Further Information

Human Anatomy Resource Centre

Paediatric Clinical Skills Lab

Our programme teaches the fundamentals of medical sciences in interactive small groups practical sessions and lectures. These are supported by case-based learning, providing an opportunity for you to consolidate and contextualise your knowledge. From the start of the course clinical and communication skills are taught using our state-of-the-art facilities, volunteer patients and simulated role players. During the first two years of the programme, you will be learning alongside students who are enrolled onto the MBBS programme. The final two years will employ a spiral curriculum principle to enable continuation of developing confident and competent students to begin their career in the healthcare arena.

Outside of the classroom environment, the provision of clinical placements includes a full spectrum of opportunities: urban and rural, specialised hospital and general practice; single-handed or multi-disciplinary. Teamwork is an essential quality of being a PA. As a new member of the health care team you will be able to influence teamwork, within the support framework of your clinical supervisor, to enhance patient outcomes. The clinically based placements will help to illustrate how teams work within the NHS. The geographical location of UCLan is ideal to enable this amazing combination of clinical opportunities, of which we are very proud.


Year 1:

UM1010: In this module you will learn the fundamentals of medical sciences, studying subjects including anatomy, physiology, microbiology and immunology. An integrated systems-based approach is taken with lectures, small group demonstrations and practical sessions.

UM1020:  Year 1 looks at how health and illness are shaped by factors outside the human body. You will cover topics including psychology, sociology and public health, beginning to develop the critical appraisal skills underpinning evidence-based medicine.

UM1030: In Year 1 you will learn the basic skills required for a clinical consultation. You will learn core examination skills, how to take a medical history and how to perform fundamental practical procedures. Alongside these, concepts of continuing professional development and reflection are explored and developed.

Year 2:

UM2010: In Year 2 you will continue to develop your knowledge of underlying medical sciences, however the focus moves to abnormal structure and function in relation to disease processes. You will also further develop your understanding of therapeutic interventions relevant to specific body systems.

UM2030: This module builds upon the skills developed in Year 1 to prepare you for the clinical placements in Years 3 and 4 of the programme. Existing skills are applied to more specific and advanced examinations, procedures and consultations through small group practical sessions in the clinical skills laboratory.

XY3040: A double module which will enable you to be able to evaluate primary research by critical assessment of original data or published literature through applying a series of research methodologies. There will be the opportunity to apply previously learnt research and practical skills to the completion of an independent research assignment and examination. This module, consisting of lectures, seminars, and independent assignment work, will give you a thorough grounding in a variety of aspects of medical research, further enhancing your development as an evidence-based medical professional.

Year 3:

UM4001 This is a year long, 60 credit module which will provide you with an opportunity to apply biomedical scientific knowledge to the subject of medicine. There will be ongoing development of the attributes and behaviour that are expected of a safe and effective PA who can demonstrate the concept of professional practice within the healthcare team. You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to be able to demonstrate competence in the practical procedures and clinical skills required of a PA in training. Alongside the above, in order to be able to begin completing an episode of medical care for the patient, you will develop the knowledge of therapeutics and practical procedural skills in prescribing. To complement the medical model of healthcare delivery, you will also explore through the disciplines of population health, psychology and sociology, how these influence delivery of patient care, patient uptake of care and concordance with health management.

UM4602: This module will equip you with the practical experience of working in a variety of clinical settings and within multi-professional working environments, which will enable you to build on and apply the clinical skills studied during the taught element of the course and to integrate your theoretical and professional skills. These opportunities will help you to appreciate the challenges of health inequalities and patient diversity in professional clinical settings.

Year 4:

UM4002 takes place in the fourth year and is a 60 credit academic component of the PA curriculum where skills, knowledge and behaviours commensurate with the specialist areas of medical practice (e.g. obstetrics, paediatrics and mental health) will be learnt and refined. It will help you to consolidate your diagnostic and analytical skills which will help you to make judgements around effective patient centred care.

UM4702: Similar to UM4602 with a focus towards more specialised skills in assessment, diagnostics and clinical decision making within the spheres of obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatric, mental health, surgical speciality and emergency medicine the application of theory to clinical placements will be clearly evident.


Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors,

Please note that the MPAS (Hons) Physician Associate Studies is an undergraduate Integrated Masters and therefore lasts 4 years (whereas traditional undergraduate degrees last 3 years). Also, the final two years are not traditional university semesters rather a 46-week teaching programme with 6 weeks holidays a year only.

Whilst there is much traditional teaching as would be expected at university, the teaching and learning strategy is more than just this. You will have access to state-of-the-art Human Anatomy Resource Centres with a virtual dissection table (anatomage) and to modern clinical skills areas; simulation, typical ward environments, single consultation rooms, paediatric facilities, operating department areas.

Regular cases help to frame each sub-module area of learning, eg respiratory focus, or neurological. Whilst developing teamwork and leadership skills through these sessions, you are directed to focus your learning in a thoughtful and intelligent manner. The assessment strategy for the programme is varied and includes examinations (eg MCQ and SAQ), written assignments and clinical examinations (eg OSCE and DOPS) as examples of our different approaches.


Employability in the NHS for qualified PAs, once you have passed the National Exam as well as the programme at university, is currently 100% as demand is far in excess of supply. As a generalist practitioner, jobs typically are in acute medicine (AMU/AED), surgery and GP practices along with some more specialised areas such as paediatrics and elderly health.

The NHS, teaching with excellence, and provision of clinical placements, ensures rich and fulfilling relationships across the sectors from the full geographical area. These relationships can facilitate clinical practitioners from the NHS coming into the classroom to help deliver front line, up to date health care materials which is essential in training future Physician Associates, enabling them to enter straight into work on successful graduation.

Physician Associate Studies Brochure

Download our brochure (.pdf) 2.33mb

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
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Important Information

This course is based in the School of Medicine

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.