Taught course

Physician Associate Studies

University of Bradford · Faculty of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

A 2:2 (or above) in a Life Science, Biomedical Science, or Healthcare subject from a UK University or overseas equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is suitable for graduates from life sciences or health courses and is designed to prepare students to enter the professional role of Physician Associate (PA). The Physician Associate role is an emerging role within the NHS and is defined as someone who is:

"A collaborative healthcare professional with a generalist medical education, who works alongside doctors, providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. Physician Associates are dependent practitioners working under medical supervision, but who are able to work autonomously with appropriate support."

(The UK Physician Associate Curriculum and Programme Standards, FPA 2018)

Physician Associates are trained to recognise, diagnose and manage common conditions under the supervision of a doctor. Physician Associates can work in a wide range of general and specialised areas of clinical practice within both primary and secondary care settings, and across integrated care pathways.

The programme is intensive. It is delivered over two years and leads to the award of a professional Master’s degree. Students are expected to attend full time for 45 weeks of each year, with approximately 50% of this time spent on clinical placement in local hospitals and GP practices. Students graduating with a Master of Physician Associate Studies are eligible to sit the National Examinations, which must be passed in order to practice as a Physician Associate.

The requirements of a competent Physician Associate are not just based on theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Newly qualified Physician Associates need to be reflective practitioners with appropriate professional attitudes and attributes, able to critically reflect on their practice at a personal and organisational level and have the confidence and ability to instigate change. The Masters academic component of this course is focused on achieving the competencies required of a graduate PA and provides the challenges of enhanced knowledge synthesis, audit and service improvement to produce academic Physician Associates with the ability to lead and develop the profession.

Key features

  • Fully-integrated two-year professional Master's course
  • Early exposure to clinical practice with a longitudinal GP placement beginning in week 7 of the first year
  • A range of primary and secondary care placements in the diversely-populated Bradford district and across the Yorkshire area
  • A focus on patient safety and improving quality of care delivered in collaboration with expert researchers from NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre
  • Opportunity to be actively involved in development, innovation and research of service provision
  • Part of a university that has a long established and successful history in Health Professions education and that supports new and innovative ways of improving health and health care delivery

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Masters
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details