MSc in Physician Associate Studies

About the course

In this intensive two year course, you will develop your medical knowledge, clinical skills and experience as you progress between classroom learning and clinical placements within our partner GP practices and hospitals.

The programme is medically led by Hull York Medical School, with multi-professional input delivered in partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull and the NHS.

This programme has been developed to meet the requirements of the National Competence and Curriculum Framework for Physician Associates.

You will be registered at the University of Hull, but you will have access to facilities and support at both our parent universities – Hull and York. All of our degrees are awarded by both the University of Hull and University of York.

On completion of this programme you will be eligible to sit the National Licensing Examination, administered by the Faculty of Physician Associates, in order to gain entry into the profession and begin practice. The national exam costs are not included in the MSc course fees.

Modules and clinical placements

The programme combines six taught modules and a quality / service improvement research project which are delivered alongside clinical placements in hospitals and in the community.


Introductory Medicine for Physician Associates

This module has been specifically designed to introduce and prepare you for your first experiences of clinical practice. In particular, it will emphasise the role, identity and what it means to be a PA. It will also consider the expectations, demands and challenges of being a new healthcare professional in the NHS, working alongside doctors within a multi-professional team. Early clinical experience in a healthcare setting is a fundamental feature of this programme and this will commence in this first module, supported by clinical and educational supervisors.

Clinical Science and Practice I

During this module you will increase your knowledge and develop skills and achieve basic competencies in a range of generalist patient presentations that PAs will frequently encounter in clinical practice. This will be complemented by clinical placements in General Practice and General Hospital Medicine. In this way, this module will build on the basic skill-set acquired in the Introductory Medicine for PAs module and establish a foundation of core competencies before exploring a broader range of more specialist presentations in subsequent modules.

Clinical Assessment and Examination (Theory)

You will begin to develop an understanding of advanced physical health assessments related to each of the main body systems. You will learn to evaluate a patient’s physical condition and develop the ability to make reasoned judgements relating to the investigation, interventions, treatments and referral of patients. Within both Clinical Assessment modules you will be taught alongside advanced practice NHS clinicians.

Clinical Assessment and Examination (Practice)

During this module you will develop more advanced knowledge, skills and competence in a range of core physical health assessments. You will learn how to critically evaluate evidence to support advanced decision making and apply high level clinical knowledge and skills to support all aspects of patient management in a variety of clinical presentations building on a systems based approach.

Clinical Science and Practice II

This module will focus on medical and surgical specialities and will enable you to acquire knowledge and develop a standardised range of clinical skills to enable you to effectively assess and manage a range of more specialist clinical presentations. This will be complemented by clinical placements in Mental Health, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgery and Community Medicine. This will be integrated with an extended placement in General Practice. During this module you will also gain a specific understanding of the research methods used in health and social care.

Clinical Science and Practice III

This module will focus on Acute Care and you will learn how to assess and manage a range of emergency presentations, supported by clinical placements in Emergency Medicine, Acute Medical and Surgical Units. This module will also include a clinical placement ‘elective’ which will be chosen by the student in consultation with faculty. PA students will continue to develop their research skills during this module, in particular the application of principles of evidence-based healthcare.

Quality / Service Improvement Research Project

This module provides the opportunity to undertake a prolonged period of independent study and complete a substantive quality / service improvement research project which will be chosen by you in consultation with your supervisor. You will use your experiences on clinical placements to identify an issue for improvement, analyse the problem and identify potential solutions informed by the relevant scientific literature, information gathering and analysis using relevant theory and research methodologies.
Clinical placements

Clinical placements take place across the Yorkshire and Humber region in hospitals, GP practices and other healthcare settings, including:

  • General practice
  • Community medicine
  • Mental health
  • Paediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Surgery
  • Emergency medicine
  • Acute care
  • General medicine


We are working closely with our regional NHS partners to develop excellent employment opportunities within the Yorkshire and Humber Region. Our local NHS Hospital Trusts, CCGs, GPs and other NHS providers are actively exploring how Physician Associates can meet the challenges of a modern day health service.

Typically, graduate Physician Associates employed by the NHS start at Band 7 on the Agenda for Change pay scale (currently from £31,696) and can progress to Band 8 with experience and career development.

For more information about a career as a Physician Associate visit the NHS health careers website.

Entry requirements

All applicants must have at least a 2:1 in a relevant Biosciences Degree (for example, Biomedical, Biological or Medical Sciences, Biochemistry, Sports Sciences, Pharmacology), or be predicted to achieve this at the time of application. Applicants must have GCSE Mathematics and English at Grade B or above, or equivalent. Alternative entry qualifications may also be considered.

You will need to demonstrate a sufficient grounding in Chemistry either through your degree, or A-levels to successfully engage with the pharmacological aspects of the programme. If you are unsure whether you meet this criterion, please upload your degree transcript when you submit your application which will then be reviewed by the Programme Director.

You will also need to demonstrate your commitment to the role of a healthcare professional and have excellent communication skills. Evidence of work experience in a clinical or healthcare setting (e.g. healthcare assistant or care home) is desirable but not essential.

All applicants whose first language is not English will need to have evidence of their proficiency, with an IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in every component, obtained within the last two years.

Tuition fees

  • Home/EU students: £9,250 per annum
  • International students: £20,910 per annum