Physician Associate Practice MSc

Physician Associate Practice MSc

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

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Campus:

    Preston and Westlakes

  • Start Date:

    February 2021 (Westlakes) September 2021 (Preston)

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Train to be a Physician Associate, a rapidly growing, in-demand role within the NHS with a rewarding starting salary. If you’re interested in supporting and working alongside doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients, analysing results and developing treatment and management plans then this could be a rewarding career for you.

A Physician Associate is a medical professional providing patient care 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. This postgraduate programme is taught at either our Preston city campus commencing September each year from 2021, or our Westlakes Campus near the Lake District, commencing from February 2021 each year.

Approx. 50% of the programme is spent on clinical placement across a full spectrum of opportunities: urban, rural, specialised hospital and general practice. The geographical locations of UCLan campuses provide students with a rare opportunity to experience such a wide range clinical disciplines.

In the university setting we teach in small groups offering unrivalled student support and direct contact hours with staff. You will be timetabled to have over 25 hours per week of direct, interactive teaching by faculty highly experienced in the clinical sector.

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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. Applicants must have GCSE English and Maths at grade Level 4 / Grade C or equivalent. 

Non-standard applicants may be considered.

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. This will include demonstrating the NHS’s required values and behaviours a satisfactory DBS disclosure and occupational health check.

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Programme at a Glance

Year 1

  • UM4001 Medical Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours for Patient Care
  • UM4600 Professional Placement (Physician Associate Studies)

Year 2

  • UM4002 Medical Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours for Patient Care II
  • UM4700 Professional Placement (Physician Associate Studies) II

Further Information

The master's academic component is directed towards the clinical competencies required of a graduate PA. This is completed incrementally over the two years in a series of steps rather than as a single additional module at the end of the programme. 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 at the Royal College of Physicians.

This course is offered at either Preston city campus in September 2021 or Westlakes Campus near Whitehaven, close to the Lake District, in February 2021. The Cumbrian programme is an established training programme, enhanced by Pre-Hospital Emergency Care;  IT solutions in rural medicine and exposure to national and international experts in field.

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.

How to Apply

Preston Campus, Lancashire - Apply Now via UCAS
Course commences September 2021

Westlakes Campus, Cumbria – Apply Now
Course commences February 2021
Application for Westlakes is currently via the North West Physician Associate Consortium, you can select UCLan from within the application process.


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 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250 per year (UK/EU)

Health Education England, in line with the new national funding model, will pay students £2,500 per annum. In the North West this is paid is aimed at assisting students with travel costs to their required clinical placements.

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

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.

Industry Links

Close relationship with the local NHS including East Lancashire Hospitals Trust; Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Morecombe Bay Trust; Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.

This course is run in partnership with Health Education England North West (HEENW) as part of the North West Physician Associate programme.

These organisations provide the clinical placement training which represent approx. 50% of the whole programme. They also offer the main employment opportunities in the NW. Hence graduates receive a training which is both nationally accredited and locally relevant.  The latter ensures a smooth transition from student to graduate PA.

Professional Accreditation

The course prepares the candidate for the Faculty of Physician Associates, Royal College of Physicians examination which is required to practice as a PA in the NHS. Successful completion of the MSc Physician Associate Practice (MPAP) enables the student to sit this national examination.

Royal College of Surgeons
Centre accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons


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

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


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