MSc Physician Associate Studies

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

Are you a recent graduate or mature student with a science or healthcare background or experience? Do you want to develop the “cognitive dimension” of clinical decision making and directly contribute to people’s health? If so, this course may be for you.

If you successfully complete the course and pass the national exam, you will be able to start a career in healthcare and medicine that will provide you with the opportunity to deliver person-centred, quality, patient care.

This course is a two-year intensive, clinically-focused course designed to emulate medical training at basic foundation level and is unlike any other Masters course in the mode of delivery.

Why choose this course?

The current major healthcare workforce challenges have led to the emergence of Physician Associates as the new rapidly evolving role within the NHS. Physician Associates support the workforce in the delivery of quality holistic care and treatment for patients, and the role is high on the agenda for commissioners and healthcare organisations. Therefore, opportunities for employment and development in the future is immense and far-reaching in breadth and scope.

As a Physician Associate, you will work autonomously under a supervising doctor or surgeon to deliver medical care to patients. The versatility of this role is such that the PA can deliver care in almost all settings within the healthcare environment, and is able to pursue and develop their area of passion and interest further upon qualification.

Why University of Hertfordshire?

Our Trainee Physician Associates (TPA) have access to a whole range of benefits by studying with us. This includes:

  • An engaging blended learning environment including:
  • Problem-based learning opportunities
  • Practical, clinical and procedural skills training equivalent to medical students
  • Variety of lectures delivered by senior level clinicians and consultants
  • Utilisation of a nationally recognised state-of-the-art simulation centre
  • Exposure to local healthcare environment providing hands-on practical training and experience through placements to maximise the chances of local employment opportunities on qualification
  • A programme led by an experienced faculty team with a combined knowledge and experience of Physician Associate training and implementation of over 25 years.
  • Excellent teaching and learning at a university with a strong record of training quality health and social care students for the local system
  • Interest from both local hospitals and GP practices, who are committed to recruiting graduates from our Physician Associate course
  • A strong, positive student experience and bespoke support to diverse range of students to ensure they can achieve their best
  • A two-year course, unlike some other universities, to minimise the cost to the student and support those who are unable to commit to a lengthier programme

What will I study?

This is a clinically-focused course, delivered through a variety of taught lectures, small group sessions, problem-based learning, practical clinical skills, and simulated learning in our state-of-the art simulation centre which is the biggest in the UK. The underpinning clinical practice element  runs throughout the two years in both primary and secondary care.

Key staff

Admissions tutor: Dr Oluyinka Idowu


On successful completion of the course, you will need to pass an additional national professional exam, to practice as a Physician Associate.

Healthcare courses at the University of Hertfordshire have a very strong record of producing students who are quickly successful in gaining relevant work. Undertaking placements will mean you will have plenty of links into potential sources of local work when you finish. Both local hospitals and GP practices have expressed an interest and are committed to recruit from the our physician associate graduates.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.