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MSc Physician Associate

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Introduction to Physician Associate Masters

Train to become a physician associate and gain the clinical skills vital to the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients in primary and secondary care.

Physician Associate student Meet our Physician Associate students

Studying MSc Physician Associate at ARU

Find out more about how our course is structured, and where you'll study.

A Physician Associate is part of a rapidly growing medical profession in the UK. If you have a first degree in life or health sciences, our MSc Physician Associate course will equip you to fill an important clinical role.

We’ll train you to diagnose illnesses, develop treatment and management plans, perform procedures and deliver patient education, counselling and health promotion. In our Physician Associate degree, you'll be able to take a patient’s history, perform physical examinations and procedures and request and interpret diagnostic test results.

This Physician Course Associate is an intensive and challenging two-year postgraduate course offering significant rewards.

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Key facts

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Entry Requirements


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Fees and Paying for University

Facilities and accreditation

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Hands-on learning

As a Physician Associate student at ARU you will:

  • spend 50% of your study time out on placement
  • complete clinical placements in hospital wards, outpatient settings and general practice
  • develop a range of important clinical skills, alongside high-level communication skills
  • study in our state-of-the-art School of Medicine in Chelmsford.

You’ll spend the majority of your second year in rotational hospital placements, and you can choose to be placed in Essex, or Peterborough with Northwest Anglia Foundation Trust (NWAFT) which includes Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City hospitals. When applying to your MSc Physician Associate, in your personal statement please let us know your preference for Year 2 placements.

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Outstanding student support

Join our postgraduate student community and:

  • benefit from award-winning learning facilities, including extensive library and IT resources
  • learn from expert staff who will guide your research interests and career development
  • receive full support from our Employability Service, while you're studying with us and after you graduate
  • access support, should you need it, with study skills, health and wellbeing, and more.


When you graduate from your Physician Associate course, you’ll be ready for nomination to the Physician Associate national certification exam. This is a professional entry exam and is external to ARU. Only students who graduate from recognised UK courses are eligible for nomination. ARU is a recognised provider and by graduating from our course, you’ll be eligible for nomination.

Once you have passed the professional entry exam (national exam at the Faculty of Physician Associates – Royal College of Physicians), you’ll be able to register as a physician associate and practice in the UK.

Physician associates fill an emerging and increasingly important role in the UK. They provide continuity of care in medical specialities and general practice and are a stable member of the team who does not rotate.

There are increasing opportunities for physician associates to work in the NHS primary and acute healthcare service sector across the East of England. Graduates from the Physician Associate course are frequently appointed to roles in general practice, emergency medicine, cardiology, surgery and other specialties.

Physician Associate graduates may use their qualifications as a springboard into other careers including:

Apply now for MSc Physician Associate

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

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If your application to study MSc Physician Associate is successful, we'll invite you to an interview day. Here’s how to get prepared.

Your Physician Associate interview
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Improve your employability, progress in your career, and take on an intellectual challenge with our flexible postgraduate degrees.

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