PMM1PA-Physician Associate Pre-Clinical Module

Module Provider: Pharmacy
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Simone Magee


Summary module description:
The initial module in the Physician Associate (PA) programme is to provide the core knowledge necessary for students to undertake the subsequent clinical module.

Students will be supported to exercise personal responsibility, undertake decision-making in simple situations and develop the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

This module aims to provide students with a systematic understanding of the basic medical sciences (anatomy, biochemistry, histology, genetics, microbiology, pathology, physiology) together with the principles of patient consultation. The module will also ensure students have a thorough understanding of the NHS and the role of different clinical teams, and the relevant legal and ethical principles.

Assessable learning outcomes:
1.Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the guiding principles and current developments in the NHS, including legal and ethical principles.

2.Obtain and critically interpret evidence from a patient consultation (history, physical examination and mental state examination), determining the requirement for additional information or further investigation in order to determine appropriate patient management.

3.Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of pharmacologic action, the therapeutic indications, side effects and contraindications for medicines used in clinical medicine.

4.Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical knowledge and subject areas covered in the PA core syllabus and critically apply it to relevant case scenarios.

5.Exhibit professional behaviour & probity

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
The module will be based around the PA core syllabus (, to ensure that students are adequately prepared for their clinical placements

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The PA programme will recognise that students are undertaking post-graduate study as adult learners. Methods to encourage an appropriate level of learning will include flipped classroom, scenario based discussions, problem based learning. Students will undertake work-based learning within General Practice and general medicine to familiarise themselves with fundamental clinical practice and assessment. Learning will begin to be contextualised according to the placements that the students are undertaking. Annex 1 indicates the core clinical skills to be covered in PMM1PA (and to be continued during PMM2PA).

The term in which the contact takes place will vary according to the start of the programme and the spread of the modules across terms, since it is a full time programme, so for simplicity all hours are currently divided evenly across the three terms.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 40 40 40
Tutorials 40 40 40
Practicals classes and workshops 40 40 40
Supervised time in studio/workshop 14 14 12
Work-based learning 30 40 30
Guided independent study 40 30 30
Total hours by term 204.00 204.00 192.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Practical skills assessment 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be required to maintain a portfolio of learning which includes a log of reflective learning. Students will also have in-module assessment of knowledge and its application to clinical scenarios.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy. 

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;

  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:

    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work

Please refer to page 3 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Students will be required to sit a 150 question multiple choice paper and a ten station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Requirements for a pass:

Students must obtain a mark of at least 50% in both the MCQ and OSCE components of summative assessment and must demonstrate competency in the OSCE assessment by passing at least 7 out of 10 OSCE stations. Students are also required to submit a portfolio that is a compulsory pass/fail element of this module. The portfolio assessment will not contribute to the overall module mark for grading purposes but submission of a portfolio that meets the pass criteria is a requirement to pass the module.

The pass mark of examinations are based on current pass requirements for the National Examination.


Reassessment arrangements:

Students are normally permitted one further attempt at any failed assessments.  If a student is deemed to be a potential risk to clients in a practical examination, re-assessment of the practical OSCE may not be allowed. Students who fail written and practical examinations at their second attempt are not permitted a further attempt and are required to leave the University.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: A wide variety of text books is available from the library. Students are advised to purchase own copies of some core texts at varying costs.
2) Specialist equipment or materials: Professional standard stethoscope
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Students will need to travel to placements in the community and this could incur additional travel costs if they visit venues geographically further away.

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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