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PgDip Physician Associate Studies In partnership with the University of Kent

Year of entry

The University is currently working with health sector partners, both acute and community, to offer a route to enable students with a PgDip in Physician Associate Studies to complete further study and gain a full Masters.

Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician. Training as a Physician Associate allows you to develop and direct your healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty. This flexibility is unique to the Physician Associate role and makes it an exciting new career choice. Physician Associate training is based on a ‘fast track’ medical school model that was developed in the U.S in 1965.

UK/EU Physician Associate students may be eligible for a bursary to cover a proportion of their fees. Find out more under 'fees and additional costs'.

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences at the Medway campus where students have the added benefit of training in a specialist facility with qualified medical practitioners engaged in postgraduate education and research.

You will spend a significant portion of the first year in the simulation suite learning hands on skills. The simulation suite is equipped with mock wards as well as a surgical suite with anesthesia and laparoscopic equipment. Highly sophisticated human simulation models will be used in the teaching of hands on skills to prepare you for your second year clinical based modules. 

The Physician Associate role was introduced in the UK in 2003. Physician Associates are now recognised as skilled and valued members of the health care profession. The newly qualified Physician Associate post has been evaluated under the NHS Agenda for change at Band 7 with potential to advance to Band 8 with experience and advanced education.

Physician Associates can perform medical history and physical examinations, screen and interpret results of diagnostic studies, diagnose patients, implement treatment plans, counsel patients regarding illness and preventative medicine and facilitate access to appropriate health care resources.

As with many types of medical providers, duties of a Physician Associate will depend on the medical setting where they work, their level of experience, their specialty and their supervising physician.

Physician Associates may provide care to individuals across the age spectrum in a variety of healthcare settings. More information on the Physician Associate profession and salary may be found on the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty web page. 

The course is aimed at people interested in pursuing a healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty. 

It is designed for people with a strong science background. Please see more details under 'Further entry requirements'.

The Physician Associate curriculum begins with a year of rigorous medical science, pharmacology and clinical reasoning taught by a qualified team of specialist physicians and Physicians Associates. One day per week in the first year is spent in a general practice clinical setting.  The second year is comprised of six specialist clinical placements and intensive classroom teaching in advanced skills and concepts.

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies, you are eligible to take the National Exam for Physician Associates and be part of the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Registry (PAMVR) which allows you to be employed by the NHS.   The profession is currently working towards regulation in the UK and is overseen by the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty.

All modules are taught using a combination of teaching methods, including lectures, problem based learning, short case review and hand on/skills practice.

Lecture, practice based learning, case review and skills application are incorporated in each module to ensure students assimilate clinical knowledge and skills in all areas.

Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies

Year one

Students complete all modules

  • Clinical Medicine (1) (20 credits)
  • Clinical Medicine (2) (20 credits)
  • Clinical Medicine (3) (20 credits)
  • Clinical Skills and Professional Development (20 credits)

If you are unsuccessful in completing all modules in Year One you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Studies (providing that you successfully complete 3 out of 4 modules).

Year two

Students complete all modules

  • Advanced Clinical Medicine (20 credits)
  • Advanced Clinical Skills and Professional Development (20 credits)

Total = 120 credits

On successful completion of the course, students will be eligible to sit the national exam. With successful completion of both the SBA and OSCE portions of the exam, candidates will be eligible to apply for membership of the Physician Associates Managed Voluntary Register (Royal College of Physicians).

Physician Associates in the UK work in a wide variety of healthcare settings which include:

  • GP surgeries
  • Accident and Emergency departments
  • Inpatient medical and surgical wards
  • Trauma and Orthopaedics
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Hospital Operating Theatres
  • Surgical Specialities

Fees

2018/19 tuition fees for this course

 UK/EUOverseas

Year 1

TBC

TBC

Year 2

TBC

TBC

Students are required to pay a £250 non-refundable deposit when they accept a place on the course. The deposit is deducted from the first year tuition fee upon enrolment.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students on courses are expected to meet. 

In order to be registered on the managed voluntary register as a Physician Associate, you will need to pass the national qualifying exam after successfully completing the programme. The exam is administered by the Faculty of Physician Associates and is not included as part of the programme. To find out more about the exam including costs, visit www.fparcp.co.uk

Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Course specific costs

All students will be expected to pay for travel expenses to attend GP placements.

UK/EU students
Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) Advantage Package

Our aim is to ensure that there are no hidden initial costs when commencing your Health and Wellbeing course. Any additional costs should be kept to a minimum, therefore, we will be providing all our UK/EU Physician Associate Studies students commencing in September 2017 with extra funding support as part of your course fees.

The CCCU Advantage Package covers:

  • Disclosure & Barring Service check costs
  • Occupational Health costs, including immunisation
Overseas students

Overseas students will be responsible for the full cost of their Disclosure & Barring Service check and Occupational Health costs, including immunisation.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) at the Medway campus which has a growing reputation for expertise in medical education and research.

The Institute houses a fully equipped clinical simulation suite enabling clinicians to develop skill and expertise using specialised endoscopic surgical equipment, cardiology diagnostics or otorhinolaryngological techniques and procedures.

The teaching team is comprised of specialists in Cardiology, M.H, Endocrinology, Ear Nose and Threat (ENT), Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics, GU, GI, WH, SH, Anaesthesia/Pain, GP, Neurology and Genetics.

The admissions process for the Physician Associate programme is highly selective. 

Applicants must demonstrate that they are adequately prepared to undertake and succeed in the rigorous, accelerated postgraduate level curriculum.

The ideal preparation for this programme is an honours level 2:1 bioscience degree, however, candidates with other backgrounds will be considered if they have equivalent sciences training.  Academic record, personal character, motivation and an understanding of Physician Associate role will all be essential in the selection process.

  • An upper second class Honours degree (2:1) or better in a relevant subject in the life sciences (e.g. Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Sports Science, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, etc.); or
  • A good lower second class Honours degree (2:2) combined with substantial other relevant practical healthcare skills and experience; or
  • Applicants with an unrelated (non-science) bachelor's degree will be welcomed and considered for interview if they can show that they have successfully completed university level courses in the following subjects: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Organic or Bio Chemistry, Statistics, Microbiology.

In addition, candidates will be required to have:

  • GCSEs (or equivalent) grades A-C in maths and English
  • Preferably, some experience of health care (if not in employment then for example through voluntary activity such as St John Ambulance, etc.)

Where English is not a student’s first language, the university will require an overall score of 7.5 in IELTS with no element score less than 7.0 (or the appropriate level in equivalent acceptable English Language qualifications).

Due to the nature of the placements and the profession, successful candidates will also require an acceptable enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and satisfactory occupational health clearance.

Candidates with a strong written application will be invited to interview.  Completion of recommended coursework with a strong academic record, essays, letters of recommendation and an interview are each scored for consideration in admission.

To apply, please send the following to medicalsciences@canterbury.ac.uk:

  • A completed application form
  • A completed reference form from your referee
  • A copy of ID (passport/visa)
  •  A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts

Please see the application deadline dates below.

International Events
DeadlineDetails 
Opens 1 October 2017

Applications open for admission to the September 2018 start date

 
31 January 2018 First interview day for September 2018 start  
20 July 2018 Last day to apply for September 2018 intake Only applications that are fully complete by 17:00 on this day will be reviewed for consideration for an invitation to interview
3 August 2018 Final interview day to be considered for September 2018 start  

The Physician Associate Studies programme is full time, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm for 45 – 47 weeks per year.

The programme is very challenging and demanding, therefore we caution students who plan to work while enrolled on the course.

Fact file

Length

  • 2 years full-time

Entry requirements

    • An upper second class Honours degree (2:1) or better in a relevant subject in the life sciences (e.g. Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Sports Science, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, etc.); or
    • A good lower second class Honours degree (2:2) combined with substantial other relevant practical healthcare skills and experience; or
    • Applicants with an unrelated (non-science) bachelor's degree will be welcomed and considered for interview if they can show that they have successfully completed university level courses in the following subjects: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Organic or Bio Chemistry, Statistics, Microbiology.
    • GCSEs (or equivalent) grades A-C in maths and English
    • Preferably, some experience of health care (if not in employment then for example through voluntary activity such as St John Ambulance, etc.)
    For more information, please see 'further entry requirements'

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"...a new healthcare professional who, while not a doctor, works to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision."

— The Department of Health's Competence and Curriculum Framework for the Physician Associate

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Last edited: 17/08/2017 13:55:00