Physician Associate

MSc Physician Associate

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2023
If you have a scientific background and enjoy being with patients, a role working in the healthcare profession as a Physician Associate can be both inspiring and rewarding.
The MSc Physician Associate programme is in alignment to Physician Associate Curriculum Framework to ensure that the graduates succeed in the National Examination and work as physician associates in healthcare.
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

A career as a Physician Associate (PA) will mean that you will support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. This might be in a hospital or a GP surgery. You will be part of a growing profession in the NHS where vacancies currently exceed the supply of skilled professionals.

Health Education England, has launched a national funding strategy for all Physician Associate courses in England and students will receive a training grant of £5,000 per student; it is not expected that you will be required to make an application for this allowance. More information can be found in the HEE Physician Associate document.

By the time you complete the course, you will have learnt how to request and interpret test results, diagnose illness and develop treatment and management plans. All vital skills that will enable you to become an effective Physician Associate.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

At BNU, we have great links with several partnerships within the local community such as Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, so you’ll add exceptional work experience to your CV.

The programme has a strong employability focus to enable you to become an effective Physician Associate.

BNU has a number of well-established partnerships with health organisations in South-East England, which includes Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to enhance your experience and promote practice based learning.

Therefore, you will be equipped with the experience and expertise that will give you an excellent start to your career as a Physician Associate.

Upon graduation you can progress to work as a Physician Associate in a range of clinical environments in Primary and Secondary care.

What facilities can I use?

We have invested in state-of-the-art, simulated clinical skills areas. Students regularly spend time in these areas, to practise their technical skills, and use the newest technologies, in a safe and supportive environment.

What will I study?

Our experienced lecturers will prepare you with all the skills you need to provide care and treatment to patients. You will learn to carry out a range of medical activities such as physical examinations, medical histories, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Taught lectures and seminars are led by industry specialists, with the aim of creating an ambience where you can express yourself in any form and understand the nature of working in the industry.

A range of learning and teaching methods are utilised. You will learn through:

  • lectures
  • seminar
  • workshop
  • group work
  • tutored classroom sessions
  • independent learning through individual learning plans
  • case studies (skills and simulations)
  • presentation
  • problem-based learning.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods such as single based answer (SBA), OSCE and case study.

MSc Physician Associate Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Achievement of a first degree, minimum of a 2:1, in a life science, e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Medical Science, Nursing, Physiotherapy or equivalent qualification or health-related subject from a UK university or an equivalent overseas qualification.

All applicants are expected to have recent academic study (within the last five years before the start date of the course you are applying for). If your degree was awarded more than five years ago, this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Advice on equivalent status of overseas awards will be obtained from the UK ENIC.

Have experience of working with people, preferably for example, in a health or social care context in the UK.

  • A-level Chemistry Grade C or equivalent
  • GCSE Maths and English Grade B or above
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the English language, e.g. achieve an IELTS score of at least 7.5 in all sections or equivalent (in line with the General Medical Council requirements). This must have been awarded no more than two years before the start date of the course you are applying for.

Demonstrate appropriate personal qualities such as; motivation, good communication skills and understanding of the PA role during the selection process.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

A successful interview, satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and occupational health assessment will be required by all applicants prior to acceptance on the course. Candidates who fail the interview, DBS check and/or occupational health assessment will not be given entry onto the course.

The DBS in the United Kingdom does not currently conduct overseas criminal record checks. Therefore, International applicants, those without British Citizenship and British Citizens with a significant period of overseas residency require a criminal records check or certificate of good conduct from their home/overseas country prior to entry onto the course. A UK DBS check will be required after enrolment. Should the DBS and/or occupational health assessment be unsatisfactory the student will be referred to the Fitness-to-Practise panel.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

General and Adult Medicine as a Physician Associate: Theory and Practice

Generating Knowledge

Year 2 Modules


Specialist and Acute Medicine as a Physician Associate: Theory and Practice

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£10,400 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£16,750 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects? 

Upon graduation you can progress to work as a Physician Associate in a range of clinical environments in Primary and Secondary care, including GP surgeries, hospital inpatient wards, and A & E departments.

Your varied clinical placements will prepare you for the working world and give you great employment opportunities after graduation. During placements, you will have the opportunity to work in the following areas: Accident and Emergency, General Practice, Mental Health and other clinical departments.

The relationships you will make on your placements can sometimes lead to the offer of permanent employment on completion of your MSc.

Course leader

A head shot of a smiling Ajay Gupta looking directly into the camera
Ajay Gupta
  • Programme Lead
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Samantha Bautista
  • Senior Lecturer
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Nancy Chuchu
  • Senior Lecturer
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Janine Qasim
  • Senior Lecturer
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