• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Start Date: September 2020

Course Overview

The role of Physician Associate is a new position within the healthcare sector. The demand for qualified associates in the UK is rapidly growing, making it a great career choice.

As a Physician Associate you will work alongside GPs and doctors to provide high quality care. You'll provide support with assessment and diagnosis, managing patients in both hospitals and the community.

As the NHS faces more challenges, Physician Associates play a vital role in supporting the healthcare workforce. Working in a variety of settings, their role improves access to healthcare and patient experience. Although Physician Associates are not trained doctors they work to the medical model to deliver holistic care under supervision.

This PGDip is designed for students who have already completed a degree in a science or health related subject. However this course also attracts individuals already in health professions such as nursing and midwifery.

What will this course cover?

We will give you the knowledge and skills you need to feel confident in the role of Physician Associate. You'll be able to make a positive impact on the lives of others and have an important role within the healthcare community.

You'll benefit from community-based placements and the support of a team of experienced teachers. In year one you will study general and adult medicine and complete clinical placements typically at GP practice and within general medicine. In year two you will study specialist and acute medicine alongside a clinical placement.

Course Details

You will be taught in our Society and Health Faculty which has a number of Healthcare trust partners in North West London and the Thames Valley region. We're a leader in healthcare education and have made significant investments to make sure our students have access to excellent teaching facilities at both Uxbridge and High Wycombe campuses.

Community based placements

We've made sure this course offers a balance between theory and practical learning. You'll learn the foundation of medicine and also benefit from hands on clinical placements.

Supportive community

At Bucks we encourage you to share experiences and knowledge with your peer group. You will be part of a strong community of healthcare students who all share the goal of providing excellent care. We'll also take your feedback seriously so we can continue to develop and improve the programme.

Our NHS partnerships

At Bucks, we have a range of partnerships within the local community, particularly with NHS trusts.

We have partnerships with:

  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

We value the relationships between professionals and public health users. We'll make sure by the end of the course you share our vision of improving the access to high quality services within the NHS and local communities.

Settings a Physician Associate may work in include:

  • general practice
  • emergency departments
  • mental health services
  • medical and surgical assessment units.

This PGDip course includes the national examination, allowing you to register to practice as a Physician Associate in the UK. Working as a Physician Associate you can expect to begin on a Band 6 Agenda for Change salary.

As you gain experience you may be able to progress in your career and specialise in management, research or teaching.

What are the course entry requirements?

To meet entry requirements you are required to hold an undergraduate degree, with a minimum of a 2:1 classification in the following subject, Life science, e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Medical Science, Nursing, Physiotherapy or equivalent qualification.

We accept equivalent qualification of health-related subject from the overseas. Advice on equivalent status of overseas awards will be obtained from the National Academic Recognition and Information Centre for the UK (NARIC™). Certified translation of any certificates not in the English language must be provided.

English language

If your native language is not English, you need to 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.

Other essential criteria

  • A satisfactory occupational health assessment will be required by all applicants prior to acceptance on the course.
  • A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required prior to acceptance on the course. The DBS in the UK 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.
  • Candidates who fail the DBS check and/or occupational health assessment will not be given entry onto the course.
  • Have experience of working with people, for example, in a health or social care context.
  • Demonstrate appropriate personal qualities, motivation, communication skills and understanding of the Physician Associate role during the selection process.

Course Modules

Year 1 Modules

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

Year 2 Modules

  • National Physician Associate Examination
  • Specialist and Acute Medicine as a Physician Associate: Theory and Practice


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2020-2021: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, Academic Year 2020-2021: £13,000 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

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

By the end of the course you will feel confident working within a team of healthcare professionals. You'll be able to support medical staff to assess, diagnose and manage patients.

From documenting medical histories to developing management plans, you'll have a varied career with no two days being the same. As a Physician Associate you'll work as a team member under the supervision of doctors in a variety of clinical settings. This course aims to give you leadership skills and strive for excellence. You will finish the course with a strong sense of understanding of the importance of efficiently treating individuals within hospital and community settings. You'll be motivated to contribute to improving the quality of professional care and support within the UK.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2019). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.