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Our degree

Our four-year undergraduate integrated master’s degree in Physician Associate Studies provides you with the training to become a fully qualified physician associate with direct patient contact.

This programme has been designed in partnership with our local NHS partners to respond to career needs within the NHS. We are one of the first institutions in the UK to introduce an integrated master's programme in Physician Associate Studies allowing students to study to be a PA straight after A-levels.

View the 2023/24 MPAS Physician Associate programme


The path to becoming a Physician Associate

This programme enables you to graduate with a master’s level integrated degree in Physician Associate Studies, it will also prepare you for sitting the national exam. All graduates who pass the national exam will be able to immediately practice as a Physician Associate within the NHS.

The programme includes competency assessment steps, where specific professional skills must be passed to continue on the programme at year two and three. However, our flexible programme structure does give you the option to move to a medical science degree during years one and two, and an opportunity to leave at year three with a BSc in Clinical Science.

Find out what you will need to pass your interview for this course

How you'll study

You will learn how to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, diagnose illnesses, request and analyse test results, and develop treatment and management plans.

Lectures and seminars

You'll learn through a range of lectures and seminars, taking a range of modules that provide core medical sciences knowledge whilst also introducing you to the physician associate workplace and its place within a multidisciplinary team.


Practical sessions put the theory learned from your course into practice. Practical sessions can take place in our clinical skills suite or in our simulated consulting rooms.


In your third and fourth years, a large portion of your training is in the workplace. Placements cover all areas of medical practice in a variety of hospital and community settings.

Working in clinical studies

Our MPAS programme begins with a strong grounding in medical science whilst introducing you to professional skills and clinical environments. We build on this foundation to enable you to develop your clinical skills in the later years.

Our teaching includes case-based learning and patient-focused case studies, and inter-professional teaching and activities to model NHS practice.

During the final two years of the degree, you will spend a significant time in placements. You will be supported by our well-established network of clinical partners, including the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and local GP practices.

The world of healthcare is changing, and patient needs are changing with it. Physician Associates have an integral and fundamental role to play as an integrated,frontline, generalist clinician. We are educated, trained and equipped with the skills and competences needed to provide excellent patient medical care. The role is both varied and rewarding,and is certainly an exciting profession to enter.
Samantha Bautista, PGDip Physician Associate graduate

Why study with us?

Your future in mind

Qualified Physician Associates from Reading are in high demand across the country.

Quality of teaching

All of our teaching staff are medical science experts and include former and current NHS staff.

Clinicians from our partners at Royal Berkshire Hospital and the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust also deliver some of our lectures.

A winning formula

Our first cohort of postgraduate students graduated in 2017 and their pass-rate at the national exam has been exceptional so far.

We are market leaders in Physician Associate training, to meet the growing demand for fully qualified Physician Associates within the NHS.


Our staff

Meet our teaching and academic staff, and find out who might be teaching you on our various courses.

Our research

97% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy).


Find out more from our students and staff about what it's like to study and work in the University of Reading School of Pharmacy.