Skip to content

What makes the Physician Associate MSc at Worcester special?

This Physician Associate Master’s degree is open to those passionate about meeting the challenges of our modern healthcare sector.

We specially train our Physician Associate graduates to support doctors and medical teams in a demanding and fast-paced clinical environment. We will support you as you gain the clinical skills necessary for diagnosing illnesses, managing patients and providing high quality medical care.

Key features

  • 100% graduate employability after completing our course.
  • 95% student satisfaction on all modules last year.
  • Our programme was the first MSc in Physician Associate Studies in the UK.
  • Available as a full-time (2 years) or part-time Master’s degree.
  • The opportunity to complete a clinical placement in your local community.

What is a physician associate?

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

We require applicants to be able and motivated, capable of sustaining the considerable effort required to complete this challenging course, and willing to be present for teaching sessions outside of traditional classroom hours.

If you meet the entry requirements set out here, you will be considered for interview.

  • BSc in a Life or Health Science (list of relevant degrees) at 2:2 or above
  • BSc/BEng/BA in physical science, engineering or social work at 2:2 or above. Plus the following two Open University Modules: SK277 – Human Biology; SK320 – Infectious disease and public health; S377 – Molecular and cell biology (with 50% in each module).
  • Diploma of Higher Education in a healthcare profession (ODP, Adult Nursing, Paramedic) at 50% overall. Plus a minimum of two years experience in a professional role

In addition, all applicants are required to have GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4 and above or equivalent (please contact us for a list of equivalents), alternatively, the University of Worcester offers an equivalence exam in each of these subjects.

If English is not your first language, you will require an average IELTS score of 7.5 with no less than 7.5 in any band. You must provide evidence of your IELTS score with your application. We will reject incomplete applications without this evidence. 

Other essential criteria

Demonstrated relevant work experience in healthcare or an allied health profession. The relevance of work experience will be assessed during the admissions process.

Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement as part of the application.

Two satisfactory references must support the application, both dated within the last year. One must be a recent academic reference and the other should be either a second academic reference or a relevant professional/employer reference. These can be sent after making the initial application.

Satisfactory health clearance and an agreement to undergo appropriate blood tests and immunisations against hepatitis B, MMR meningitis, TB and chicken pox.

You will be required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally a Criminal Records Bureau check).

If you are or have been a member of a registered professional body please provide details with your application submission.

International Students

Due to recent changes in funding from Health Education England, we are no longer able to accept applications from international students.

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Course content

What will you study?

Here is an indicative overview of the modules and placements that may be available on this course.

Full-time route

Pre-Clinical Year

This consists of six core modules, which are taken over 45 weeks. A typical week will consists of classes Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.

Term one will include clinical skills and simulation and students will undertake a day per week in clinical placement from January to August.

  • Clinical Science & Pharmacology: 20 credits Provides the scientific grounding that underpins practice, clinical decision making, and therapeutics.
  • Evidence Based Practice & Research Methods: 20 credits Enables an understanding of the public health agenda in contemporary health care practice. Students develop research skills and approaches to using evidence to support their practice. Your final assignment will develop your dissertation proposal for completion in year two. This module is delivered completely online.
  • Emergency Medicine & Critical Care: 20 credits Teaches the skills and knowledge needed to assess and safely manage patients with emergency and urgent care needs.  
  • General Internal Medicine: 40 credits Enables students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to assess and safely manage adult patients across the age range.  
  • Maternal & Paediatric medicine: 20 credits Enables students to develop the skills and knowledge to assess and safely manage conditions in children and in pregnancy
  • Behavioural Medicine: 20 credits Enables students to develop the skills and knowledge to assess and safely manage patients with psychological and mental health conditions

Clinical Year

The clinical year consists of 46 weeks of clinical placements, Monday to Friday, returning to University every third Friday for formative assessment, clinical simulation, and dissertation supervision.

  • Clinical Practice: Pass/Fail - Enables students to translate their knowledge and skills into practice. Placements are in a variety of settings and there are a set number of hours to complete is specific areas.
  • Dissertation: 40 credits - Students gain mastery of research skills by undertaking an independent (but supervised) evidence based project, and submit a 10,000 word original report.
  • Electives
  • Preparation for the National Certification Examination

Part-time route

Pre-Clinical Phase

Year 1

  • Clinical Science & Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice & Research Methods (20 credits)
  • General Internal Medicine (40 credits)

Year 2

  • Emergency Medicine & Critical Care (20 credits)
  • Maternal & Paediatric Medicine (20 credits)
  • Behavioural Medicine (20 credits)      


Clinical Phase

  • Clinical Practice: Pass/Fail - Enables students to translate their knowledge and skills into practice. Placements are in a variety of settings and there are a set number of hours to complete is specific areas.
  • Dissertation: 40 credits - Students gain mastery of research skills by undertaking an independent (but supervised) evidence based project, and submit a 10,000 word original report.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

Full-time route

Our full-time Physician Associate Msc programme consists of six core modules, studied over 45 weeks. A typical week consists of classes Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.

During the pre-clinical year, you will study clinical skills and simulation in term 1. You will also undertake a clinical placement for a day per week from January to August.

The clinical year consists of 46 weeks of clinical placements from Monday to Friday, as well as a dissertation project. You will return to University every third Friday for formative assessment, clinical simulation and dissertation supervision.

Part-time route

In the pre-clinical phase of our part-time programme, you will study the same pre-clinical modules as the full-time option. You will attend classes on 3 days per week and complete these modules over 2 years. For module descriptions, please read the full-time course content table.

Part-time students have the choice of either undertaking the clinical phase full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years).

If you choose to complete your clinical phase on a part-time basis (2 years), you will complete your placement on 3 days per week. You will also attend academic in-days every third Friday.

Placements are in a variety of settings and there are a set number of hours to complete in specific areas.

Part-time students will also complete their dissertation during the clinical phase.

You can download our MSc Physician Associate Part-time Route brochure for more information, including example schedules.


The course uses a combination of formal lectures small group and practical work, including clinical simulation as well as the clinical placements which allow the integration of theory and clinical learning.

Clinical learning  will be across multiple specialities in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and South Birmingham.

Physician Associate FAQs

For more information about the role of Physician Associate see the Faculty of PA's frequently asked questions.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • Neil-Howie-cropped

    Neil Howie

    Neil started life as an archaeologist but moved to healthcare. He graduated from the University of Wolverhampton Physician Associate Programme  and has since worked in A&E and acute medicine and Primary Care.

  • Janina-Iwaszko

    Dr Janina Iwaszko

    Janina has a background in scientific research with a PhD in Medical Biophysics. Then followed several busy years as a Head of Department for Science at Manchester Adult Education College. She then followed her heart and qualified in medicine in 1991 and has worked in emergency and adult medicine before specialising in Medical Education.

  • Adam-Ryder

    Adam Ryder

    Adam graduated as a Physician Associate in January 2012 following his Biomedical Science degree. He has subsequently spent three years working in Acute Medicine clinically, working in three different NHS Trusts thus far traversing the east and west midlands.

  • Kate-Straughton

    Kate Straughton

    Kate Straughton graduated as a physician associate (PA) from the first cohort at the University of Birmingham. She is working at the University of Worcester as lecturer and Clinical Placement Lead, and has an honorary role at Wye Valley NHS Trust, Hereford in acute medicine. Kate has worked in acute medicine since qualifying in 2009 in both a busy university teaching hospital and also rural district general hospitals.

  • Drew_Garcia

    Drew began working in medicine as a Volunteer EMS provider in Central California in 1986. Enlisting in the US Navy, he was trained as a Hospital Corpsman and over 11 years worked in Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, the US Marine Corps, and as a flight paramedic. When he left the service – he was accepted to the University of Washington, MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant training program.


Where could it take you?

Physician Associates are highly sought-after clinical professionals in the health care sector. Our Physician Associate MSc graduates have achieved a 100% employment record to date.

Due to difficulties in recruiting doctors, your role will improve access to healthcare for our increasing and ageing population. You will support the growing demand for assistance needed by GPs, hospital doctors and medical teams in acute and primary care.

Our University trust partners provide clinical placements on this programme. Following successful training, placement mentors often employ our graduates.

Physician Associates are currently working in many parts of the UK. Jobs currently exceed the supply of Physician Associate graduates, providing promising opportunities for graduate employment.

Please note: This is an initial qualification for those aspiring to become Physician Associates. This course is not open to healthcare professionals seeking professional development opportunities.


A Day in the Life of a Physician Associate


How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

The annual full-time fee for students registering in the academic year 2018/19 is £9,560 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

As with other Physician Associate courses in the UK, if you accept an offer of a place on the MSc Physician Associate you will need to pay a £500 non-refundable deposit at the point of accepting an offer. The deposit is put towards payment of fees when students join the course.

Part-time tuition fees

The standard part-time fees for students registering in the academic year 2018/19 is £2,120 per 20 credits module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

For September 2018 entry, Health Education England, has launched a national funding strategy for all Physician Associate courses in England. Students will receive £5,000 towards tuition fees, split equally across the two years of the course.

You may be eligible for a postgraduate loan for Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs. For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Career Development Loans are also available from certain high street banks.

Additional costs

You will be required to pay an additional fee in order to undertake the National Assessment at the end of the course.

This fee is set and charged by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians. If students are required to repeat the National Assessment they may be required to pay a further fee for each attempt. 


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Please make your application via our online application forms below. As part of the application you will need upload the following as supporting evidence:

  • completed personal statement form
  • copy of degree certificate
  • copy of degree transcript
  • copy of GCSE English and Maths certificates (or equivalent)

Applications without the required supporting evidence will be rejected as incomplete.

Apply for full-time September 2018 enrolment

Apply for this course

Apply for part-time September 2018 enrolment

Apply for this course



We will invite shortlisted applicants to attend a selection day at the university. The selection process involves a half day of values-based activities. Selection does not include any tests of knowledge.

Previous applicants that were unsuccessful may apply for a second time in the following academic year. We do not permit further applications if your second application is unsuccessful.

For further information, in the first instance, contact For additional information or an informal discussion, please contact the admissions tutor.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Course Director

Neil Howie