Physician Associate Studies

Ulster University - Magee Derry-Londonderry Campus

Physician Associate Studies

This is a full-time, two-year intensive medical training programme. It is designed to educate and produce knowledgeable and competent Physician Associates (PAs), who can practice medicine and support the medical team in the diagnosis and management of patients and provide high quality medical care across a range of medical specialties.

The first year of the programme is mainly theoretical and university-based (five days per week), with one day per week in a clinical setting (from the middle of year one). In second year, the majority of time is spent on clinical attachment, with one day every ten weeks in university for formative or summative assessments. You will learn to take medical histories; perform physical examinations; request and analyse test results; diagnose illnesses; and develop treatment and management plans.

Work placement / study abroad
Clinical placement is a core element of this programme and is delivered over both years. It is fundamental ensuring that students are able to practice application of their newly acquired clinical medical knowledge and skills.

These placements will be based in and around Northern Ireland and students will be required to travel distances to their placements.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page".

Subjects taught

Year one
Clinical & Professional Competence in Physician Associate Studies 1
Foundations in Clinical Medicine & Pharmacology 1
Research Methods & Evidence-based Medicine 1

Year two
Developing Professional Practice & Clinical Placements
Foundations in Clinical Medicine & Pharmacology 2
Clinical & Professional Competence in Physician Associate Studies 2
Research Methods & Evidence-based Medicine 2

Entry requirements

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

Applicants must be graduates with at least a 2:2 degree classification (or equivalent overseas qualification) in a life science or health-related subject (which must contain significant elements of basic medical sciences), normally obtained within the last five years. Applicants must also have experience of paid or voluntary work with people, preferably in a health or social care context; a pass in GCSE Maths and English Language grades A-C; evidence of English language attainment if English is not the first language.

Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications which do not meet all the above criteria may be considered for entry at the discretion of the Course Committee. These potential applicants may be asked to submit a transcript from their undergraduate degree programme or asked to take some further modules in basic medical sciences at level 4 or equivalent, to meet the required levels of sciences required for application to the PA programme.

Offers are made on the basis of the written application and an interview/assessment process held on the Magee campus in Northern Ireland. You will also be required along with your application to submit a short personal statement outlining why you are applying for the course. Due to the nature of the programme you will be expected to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, police checks in line with NI law and occupational health screening. Offers are conditional, based on the successful completion of these processes.

Applicants must declare if they have been on another PA programme or a medical/healthcare professional register as per the application form and reasons for leaving the programme or register (where applicable). Failure to declare this will result in termination of the application or place on the programme. If you are already a registered healthcare professional you will be required to provide details of your registration.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink").


2 years full-time.

Attendance is full time and based on the Derry~Londonderry Campus with clinical placements throughout Northern Ireland. Students are expected to attend all scheduled lectures, problem based learning sessions, clinical skills sessions and clinical placement.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: January 2025.

***Applications for the January 2025 intake will close on Friday 21st June 2024. Shortlisting and interviews will be scheduled to take place in August 2024. ***

Post Course Info

Career options
Once a PA student has graduated from the course and passed the Physician Associate Registration Assessment (National Examination that all PAs in UK must pass to enter practice), PAs can work across a range of specialities throughout medicine. There are also opportunities to work in education and develop as potential future leaders of the PA profession. Newly qualifed PAs working in the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland will usually complete a new graduate year (NGY), paid at Band 6, before progressing onto Band 7 positions. The agenda for change salary (afc) range does not apply to PAs working in primary care.

Graduates of the Ulster University MSc in Physician Associate Studies course are currently working in specialities such as primary care, emergency medicine, acute medicine, paediatrics, mental health, care of the elderly, haematology, cardiology, respiratory medicine, stroke, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedic surgery, urology, gynaecology and neurosurgery.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider