Physician Associate Studies

Postgraduate Diploma


The University of Liverpool has currently suspended any new recruitment to the Physician Associate Programme for the foreseeable future.

Health Education England are currently seeking a new provider/providers to deliver this programme across the Cheshire and Merseyside region and can assure students that a course/s will run in 2019.

You are advised to monitor the situation on Health Educations website where information will be posted as soon as it is available – this is anticipated to be in early July 2018.

This full-time, two year Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies offers a unique opportunity to become a Physician Associate, which is a rapidly expanding role in healthcare in the UK. Physician Associates work alongside doctors in hospitals and primary care settings, supporting them in the diagnosis and management of patients, including:

  • Medical history taking
  • Clinical examination
  • Analysis of test results
  • Clinical reasoning and diagnosis
  • Development of evidence based patient management plans.

The programme is supported by Health Education England and is offered through a consortium of universities and care providers across the region. You will receive generous financial support from Health Education North West (HEENW) while you are studying and will be prepared to apply for Physician Associate jobs, on successful completion of the course.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to apply, you must have an honours degree (minimum of 2:2 classification) in a Health or Life Science related subject area.

Suitable first degrees include, but are not limited to, the life sciences (e.g. biomedical science, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, healthcare science) and nursing/allied health professions (e.g. pharmacy, radiography, physiotherapy, paramedics).

All applicants should hold GCSE qualifications in Maths and English at grade B or equivalent. Applicants with equivalent or non-standard qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

Relevant work experience

An understanding of the healthcare environment is essential. Work experience in healthcare is therefore considered highly desirable.

Health screening, and Disclosure and Barring service check

Successful applicants will be required to comply with any viral screening as requested by the Department of Health. Your offer of a place will be conditional on occupational health and Enhanced DBS clearance.

Disclosure and Barring Service check is required (Enhanced). 

Career Prospects

The Physician Associate (formerly Physician Assistant) role was first developed in the United States during the 1960s. The profession has grown considerably in the last ten years, with some 95,000 registered Physician Associates in the US.

Physician Associates first joined the NHS workforce nearly ten years ago and are now employed throughout the UK in increasing numbers. The government has set national and regional targets to increase the number of physician associates working in the healthcare sector; consequently, there is considerable demand for newly qualified physician associates within the NHS in both acute and primary care. Some physician associates also undertake work in the private sector. Physician Associates work under the direct supervision of a doctor.