Taught course

Physician Associate

University of Reading · School of Biological Sciences

Entry requirements

  • An upper second class honours degree (2:1) or better in a relevant subject in the life sciences (for example, biological sciences, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, pharmacy) from a UK university (or equivalent from a university outside the UK); or
  • candidates with a good lower second class honours degree (2:2) combined with other relevant practical healthcare skills and experience; or
  • qualifications and experience considered to be equivalent to the above.

Deadlines for applications are normally in May. Please get in contact for more information.

Months of entry


Course content

Our PGDip Physician Associate programme has been developed in partnership with the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Berkshire Healthcare Trust. It is taught by practising healthcare professionals alongside academics, offering you an insight into current practice.

Your training will consist of intensive evidence-based academic work and hands-on workplace experience. You will have considerable interaction with patients from early on in your studies. The degree is designed to meet the requirements of the Department of Health’s Competence and Curriculum Framework for the Physician Associate. This has been designed to maximise the sustainability and transferability of the role across the NHS.

  • Essential programme for an exciting new career as a healthcare professional.
  • Training given in the medical model.
  • Suitable for life science graduates or those with significant healthcare experience.
  • Curriculum content delivered in close partnership with practising clinicians.
  • Strong emphasis on workplace-based learning in NHS Primary and Secondary Care environments.

A Physician Associate (PA) is a healthcare professional trained in the medical model who works as a member of a medical team under the supervision of a doctor or surgeon in a wide variety of workplaces (including GP practices, community health services and all types of hospital care). PAs support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients and are trained to perform a number of roles including:

  • taking medical histories
  • performing examinations
  • diagnosing illnesses
  • analysing test results
  • developing management plans.

The PA role is flexible and is being developed across the NHS to meet major staffing strategies. A lack of trained PAs in the UK means that career prospects for graduates are excellent. The predicted growth of the PA role across the NHS to fill an important resource gap indicates strong continued employment prospects for graduates.

Information for international students

IELTS: 7.5 overall with no element less than 7.0 (or equivalent).

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Physician Associate