Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Physician Associate placements

Study to take on an important new role in patient care. Learn vital skills to diagnose, treat and care for patients in a variety of specialist settings.

Placement areas

In your first year you’ll undertake weekly GP placements in and around Essex, whilst studying in Chelmsford. In your second year you’ll be out on placement for the majority to the year on clinical rotations, returning to University for 2 week block teaching. You could be placed in the following hospitals:

  • Basildon Hospital, Basildon
  • Princess Alexandra, Harlow
  • Southend Hospital, Southend
  • Colchester Hospital, Colchester
  • Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford
  • Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Cambridge
  • Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough

Whilst on clinical rotations, you'll be responsible to and supervised by a medical practitioner, with an emphasis on becoming proficient in a wide range of medical procedures. You'll be supported by an extended multidisciplinary health care team. Below outlines the minimum placement required in each area, by the Royal College of Physicians, Faculty of Physician Associates.

  • General Medicine
  • Community Medicine
  • Front Door Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • General Surgery

All Physician Associate students are allocated a personal tutor for the duration of the course.

You'll be taught using self-directed and tutor directed enquiry based learning methods, teamwork, problem-solving and independent thinking, as well as applying small-group research. You'll investigate and resolve patient scenarios to develop your clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills. Learning will also include lectures, role play and observed clinical practice amounting to 1,400 hours, in addition to 200 hours within our newly developed and fully furnished skills labs. Part of your training may require you to attend a hospital-based post mortem.

You'll be trained how to:

  • Support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients
  • Take patients' medical histories
  • Perform different examinations
  • Diagnose illnesses
  • Analyse variable test results