University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen

Physician Associate Studies

This course trains students to become innovative new health professionals, who work with the clinical team to provide quality health care across the National Health Service (NHS). The programme has been designed to train a new generation of healthcare professionals to support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. Physician Associates are trained to perform a number of roles including taking medical histories, performing examinations, diagnosing illnesses, analysing test results and developing management plans.

Entry requirements

2.1 or 1st Class Honours degree in a medical science or health related subject; higher (or A level) grade C or above in chemistry; standard (or O level) grades B or above in English and mathematics (experience in health care may contribute and compensate if the above requirements have not been fully met); a personal statement and 2 referees must be submitted with each application. 1 of these should provide an academic reference and the other should be able to comment on the student's suitability to enter a health caring profession. Applicants who have been educated in the medium of English are still required to meet the English language requirements (certain countries may be exempted from this requirement). This programme requires that applicants meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. Applicants who are in doubt about their proficiency in English should contact the British Council office or its equivalent in their country. For applicants whose 1st language is not English, it is important that their proficiency in English is good in order for them to study successfully at the University.

Course modules

Year 1: basic medical sciences; foundations of clinical method; foundations of clinical medicine; clinical method (intermediate); clinical placements A. Year 2: clinical placements B; national assessment.

Assessment methods

Assessment is continuous ensuring that basic skills are mastered before moving on to more advanced topics. Since medicine is not simply a theoretical subject, teaching and learning covers knowledge, skills and attitudes and assessment must therefore do the same. A variety of assessment methods are used: written exams test factual knowledge, but can also test clinical reasoning/diagnostic skills and, to a lesser extent, attitudes. The format includes single best answer questions and extended matching questions; clinical exams test clinical skills which include history taking, communication skills and examination technique. Diagnostic skills, knowledge of disease management and a wide range of professional skills including ethics are also encompassed within clinical exams; summative assessments are degree exams, usually at the end of a year. These are the "official" assessments that determine whether a student is good enough to proceed to the next year of the course, or to graduate at the end of the course. Students normally have two opportunities to pass such assessments. Physician Associates must undergo a re-certification assessment, which is held at 6-yearly intervals. Successful completion of these six-yearly reassessments ensures PAs remain on the PAMVR.

Sponsorship information

There are various sources of funding to support you during your period of study. We have a number of scholarships and bursaries available to our students, and external sources of funding available.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PgDip Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,000 per Year 1 (EU) 24 months
PgDip Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,000 per Year 1 (England) 24 months
PgDip Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,000 per Year 1 (International) 24 months
PgDip Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,000 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 24 months
PgDip Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,000 per Year 1 (Scotland) 24 months
PgDip Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,000 per Year 1 (Wales) 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Foresterhill Health Centre Aberdeen AB25 2AY Scotland

Get in touch

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Key information

Postgraduate Admissions
Telephone number: 
01224 273506