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Physician Assistant Studies PgDip/2013

This course aims to equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge required to support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. You will be trained in how to: take medical histories; perform physical examinations; request and analyse test results; diagnose illnesses; and develop treatment and management plans.


 elcome to St George’s, W University of London.

We are the only independent medical and healthcare higher education institution in the UK. We share our campus with a hospital, so a single step is all it takes to bring students into contact with patients and to begin interacting with one of the busiest healthcare systems in London. Our history stretches back over 250 years. Alumni include John Hunter, also known as the father of modern surgery, and Edward Jenner, creator of the first smallpox vaccine. In the fields of infection and immunity, heart disease and stroke and cell signalling (amongst others) our aim is still to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We also work to deepen understanding of public health and epidemiology, clinical genetics, and the social care sciences. Our compact size lends a genuine sense of community, and enables students to move quickly and easily from clinical teaching room to hospital ward, laboratory or clinic. Through inter-professional education, students from all disciplines come together to learn as an integrated team. There is no better way to enrich a healthcare education, encourage exemplary communication skills and optimise patient care. We also believe there is no better way to master the human anatomy than through the pro-section or dissection of cadavers in our extraordinary on-site facility. St George’s is a five minute walk from Tooting Broadway tube station, and it takes 25 minutes to get into central London. One of the world’s most exciting cities is right on our doorstep. If you want to get involved in student life, our Student Union delivers hours of oncampus entertainment. Whether you start your own club or society or just become a member, it’s a great way to make friends, pursue your favourite sport, or try a new activity; whatever it takes to make the most of your time at St George’s, University of London.

Postgraduate Diploma Physician Assistant Studies

Two years, full time Apply direct to St George’s, University of London Application deadline 31 May 2013 UK, EU and internationals citizens may apply Highlights

> Shared campus with one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK

> Clinical placements from year one

> Graduates will become future leaders in this new and exciting profession

> Access to postgraduate learning centre

> Only higher education institution offering the course in England

Learning Teaching is delivered through a variety of methods such as lectures, problem based learning, self-directed learning, small group discussions, clinical & community placements, role playing, presentations and post mortems. Problem based learning Given a clinical problem, you use self-directed research to make a diagnosis and suggest an appropriate course of action. Problem based learning encourages learning in context, self-motivation, and deep rather than surface understanding.

In first year lectures are complemented by small group work which is designed to develop clinical and communication skills. Students are allocated a Clinical Supervisor, who in all cases is a General Practitioner (GP) and will provide clinical skills development support throughout your GP placement in both years.

In second year, students will continue their community placements as well as rotating through a number of clinical placements in acute trusts. Placements include;

> general medicine

> paediatrics > obstetrics and gynaecology > accident and emergency > mental health Degree Structure

The course is designed to cover all aspects of the Physician Assistant Competence and Curriculum Framework to ensure that graduates are able to take the National Examination at the end of the course and work as a physician assistant in acute or community care. Full details of the framework can be found at the Department of Health website.

Year One

The first year is dedicated to ensuring all students have a good grounding in the sciences underpinning health care. You will spend four days a week on campus and one day on clinical placements, which will be organised in a GP practice

Weeks Theme


4 Introduction Evidence based practice in Healthcare; 4 Cardiovascular Personal and Professional Development; 3 Respiratory Foundations in Clinical Medicine; Applied 3 Gastrointestinal Pharmacology 2 ENT/ Ophthol 2 Renal & GU 2 Endocrine 2 Neurology 2 Infectious Disease

2 Musculoskeletal 2 Dermatology 2 Haeme/ONC

2 Care of the elderly Child and Family Health; Foundations in 2 Mental Health Clinical Medicine; Personal and Professional 3 Paediatrics Development; Applied Pharmacology 2 Female Health 1 Male Health 1 Sexual Health

Personal and Professional Development; Foundations in Clinical Medicine; Applied Pharmacology

Year Two

In the second year you will begin with Special Topics weeks before beginning your hospital placements. You will then be on campus one day every three weeks as the emphasis shifts towards clinical work and placements with 40 weeks being spent in hospital and 6 weeks being spent on a GP placement. Weeks Theme 3 37


SP Topics All themes Personal & covered in Professional year 1 Development;


40 weeks Hospital and 6 weeks General Practice

Foundations in Clinical Medicine Modules The modules for this course are integrated; your learning throughout one module will significantly inform and influence your learning in another module. The course consists of six modules totalling 120 credits. Foundations of Clinical Medicine  This module runs throughout both years and covers integrated body systems, pathology, differential diagnosis skills, models of decisionmaking and applications of the underpinning sciences to patient conditions, including overviews of the clinically relevant elements of human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, genetics and pathology. Evidence Based Practice in Health Care This module enables students to locate and evaluate evidence underpinning decision-making in health care and to develop their skills in critically appraising this evidence. Applied Pharmacology This module lays the basis for future prescribing activity and ensures that students have a good understanding of common drugs and their effects.

Child and Family Health This module covers specific issues related to work with children and families, including the clinical placements associated with this kind of work.

Personal and Professional Development for Physician Assistants This module runs throughout the two years and docments students’ achievement of core clinical competencies, procedural skills and work with specific clinical conditions. Developmental reviews every three months support the practical learning achieved during this module. Assessing your progress Assessments are designed to prepare you for the National Examination and will be a mixture of written papers, written examinations and Objective-Structured Clinical Examinations. A portfolio of your development of the core clinical skills and competencies is monitored throughout both years for the Personal and Professional Development module, and submitted for final assessment at the end of the course. Written coursework assignments and/or presentations are set for the modules in Evidence Based Practice in Healthcare, Child and Family Health, Personal and Professional Development and Foundations of Clinical Medicine. Your future This role is relatively new in the UK but well-established in the US. Some US-qualified PAs are working in the UK in acute and community settings, as are graduates from UK training programmes. St George’s Healthcare Trust Hospital is the largest single employer of qualified PAs, with over 20 PAs working in the Trust. All of our graduates have found roles working as PA’s in GP or Hospital settings across the UK with several taking on leadership roles in the profession. We are working hard to open up job opportunities for our graduates, and doctors and the medical community continue to express a keen interest. The NHS is also supporting the programmes and encouraging the creation of PAs in the UK. So, driven by their determination to act as passionate ambassadors for the role, we expect our graduates to secure challenging positions in GP practices and acute trusts throughout the UK.

For further information about the physician assistant role, please see our web site: All physician assistants are strongly recommended to register on the PA Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR) until such time that the profession achieves statutory regulation.

Entry Requirements

If you meet the minimum entry requirements set out below, you will be considered for interview. All qualifications must be complete within a five-year period including year of application.

Undergraduate degree or equivalent


English language if first language is not English


Other essential criteria > Work experience > Personal statement > Reference > Health/police screening > Professional registration

Undergraduate degree or equivalent*

Undergraduate degree


2:2 honours minimum


Life science or other health related subjects

*Must be completed, awarded and certified by 1 August 2013. Failure to comply with this may result in withdrawal of offer by St George’s. Non-standard entry  Alternative professional qualifications may be considered and applicants may be required to submit supplementary details such as transcripts and asked to complete a short qualifying essay. International qualifications 1. Determine the UK equivalent of your qualification by visiting UK NARIC website ( 2. If your qualification meets our entry requirements you are eligible to apply. 3. Provide a copy of your qualifications and a copy of the UK NARIC certificate of comparability at application.  If you would like an Admissions Officer to review your qualification, please send a copy of your qualification to Please ensure that the qualification is translated into English (if not already in English), by a certified translator.

English language

If English is not your first language while studying, evidence of your proficiency must be dated within the last two years. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Applicants must achieve a minimum overall score of 7.0, with no section less than 6.5 *Applicants who have sat the examination more than twice in one year will not be considered. Exceptions to this requirement can be found on our English language web pages,

Other essential criteria

Work experience Applicants need to demonstrate evidence of relevant work experience within healthcare or allied healthcare professions and/ or environments. Work experience should be dated within the last 3 years (from date of application). The relevance of your work experience will be assessed during the admissions process. Personal statement

Applicants will be required to attach a written statement which addresses the following two questions;

Describe how you think the role of the physician assistant fits into the UK healthcare system.

Explain what motivates you to become a physician assistant, highlighting details of the experience, qualifications and personal qualities you will bring to the course. Reference Applicants will be expected to provide two satisfactory references to support their application, both dated within the last year (from date of application). One of these must be a recent academic reference and the other should be EITHER a second academic reference or a relevant professional/employer reference. Health screening

Satisfactory health clearance and an agreement to undergo appropriate blood tests and immunisations against Hepatitis B, MMR Meningitis, TB and Chicken Pox.

Police screening

All applicants will be required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally a Criminal Records Bureau check)

Professional registration

If you are or have been a member of a registered professional body please provide details at interview.


Applications open 28 February 2013 and close on 31 May 2013. The application form for 2013/14 entry is available to download from our website The application form and supporting documentation should be returned to:

Postgraduate Admissions Officer Admissions, Registry, St George’s, University of London Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE

Or, emailed directly to:

Applicants will be required to submit additional documents to support their application form, without which, the application will be considered incomplete. Documents are highlighted in the document check list, which can be downloaded from our website International applicants Applicants applying from outside of the UK and EU should visit the following link for further application advice, including guidance on: immigration, English language requirements, accommodation, UK fees and finance and international student support. For more information please check our international section Selection Selection events for the course will take place in June 2013. Successful applicants will be invited to attend either a morning or afternoon selection event based at St George’s. Applicants will engage with a number of different selection activities, designed to explore the following five competencies:

> Professionalism

> Working in a team

> Interpersonal communication

> Decision making

> Self-awareness

Admissions Timeline

4 February 2013

Open evening (Book a place:

28 February 2013

Applications open

11 March 2013

Open evening (Book a place:

1 May 2013

Open evening (Book a place:

24 May 2013

Application reminder; one week until applications close, complete yours without delay

31 May 2013 Applications close; last minute applications sent to June 2013

Selection events held

September 2013

Semester starts


Home/EU students

£8,200 p/a*

International students

£16,500 p/a*

*2013 entry fees are subject to annual review and change

 Applicants may also be eligible for career development loans administered by banks. For further information visit:

Open Evenings We hope this brochure opens a window onto who we are and what we do. In short, you can undertake a specialist postgraduate qualification, on a hospital site in a thriving London location, leading to an extraordinary future as a Physician Assistant. The best way to get a real sense of the culture at St George’s, its proximity to the Hospital and how that will impact on your studies is to come to one of our Postgraduate Open Evenings. At our Open Evenings you can expect us to: > give you a feel of the St George’s community > tell you about our courses > give you a tour of the facilities > provide you with real insight into student life > give you a taster of clinical practices > offer you advice about financing your degree For more information and to register onto an Open Evening please visit www. E T +44 (0)20 8725 2333

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The material contained in this brochure is a guide only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that its content is correct and up-to-date at the time of printing, St George’s, University of London reserves the right, without prior notice, to cease to offer programmes of study, or to amend curricula, methods and modes of teaching and assessment, entry requirements and any other details. St George’s, University of London confirms its commitment to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities and endeavours to avoid discrimination against any person on the grounds of religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status or politics. We strive to ensure that all members of the institution behave with courtesy towards each other and that students and staff can work in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We encourage applications from members of groups that are currently under-represented.

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