Diploma in Physician Associate Studies

This online chat event is designed to inform prospective postgraduate students, applicants and offer-holders about the Physician Associate Studies Diploma (formerly known as Physician Assistant).

Physician Associate is a rapidly growing healthcare role in the UK, working alongside doctors in hospitals and in GP surgeries. Physician Associates will support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including: taking medical histories, performing examinations, analysing test results, and diagnosing illnesses under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Dr Laura Rickett (Admissions Lead for Physician Associate Studies) will be available for the Live Q&A between 12:00 and 13:00 to answer your questions about the programme.

Four of our postgraduate studied on the Physician Associate Studies programme. You are welcome to ask them any questions you have about what it’s like to study in the School via our online mentor scheme.

More information about the programmme

View related Virtual Tour

Speaker profiles

  • Dr Laura Rickett

    Dr Rickett is Admissions Lead for the Physician Associate programme. (Live Q&A 12:00-13:00)

Q&A Archive

These were the questions asked during the Diploma in Physician Associate Studies live event.
Stewart Aitken asked:

Hello. To follow up on my previous question. My VTCT diploma covered the following modules. Skeleton & Joints; Blood & Lymphatic Systems; Muscles & Nervous Systems; Skin & Hair; Digestive & Excretory Systems; Respiratory & Olfactory; Endocrine & Reproductive Systems. Would you still recommend I support this with the OU Human Biology module which I notice does cover additional areas? Thanks

Dr L Rickett replied:

I would suggest any additional modules to show a more solid foundation in biological sciences would be beneficial


Dr L Rickett

We’ve come to the end of our Q&A session today. Thank you very much to everyone who took part – I hope we managed to be of assistance and provide the information that you were looking for.

We will hold many more of these online chat events over the coming months so please check www.pg.bham.ac.uk now and again to see what we’ve got lined up for the future. If you’d like to visit our campus (in real life!), our next Postgraduate Open Day will take place on Saturday 23 November 2019. We also run bespoke campus tours throughout term time and Cafés at which you can meet current students.

Stewart Aitken asked:

Am 52 years old and seeking a career change as an associate physician. Would my age be a deterrent in terms of my application for the diploma course at Birmingham?

Dr L Rickett replied:

Hello there

Thank you for your email and for your interest in our course here at Birmingham. I am the current admissions lead for the programme

Age would not be a discrimatory barrier to application. As a University we cannot reject applicants on the basis of age at the time of application


Dr L Rickett

Stewart Aitken asked:

I have a 2.1 degree in mech eng and a VCTC Level 3 diploma in Anatomy & Physiology. I am also currently volunteering at my local Mind centre supporting mental health patients. Would that meet the entry requirements?

Dr L Rickett replied:


Thank you for your interest in the PGDip in Physician Associate Studies course.

I am the admissions lead for the programme.

We ideally look for a BSc (First Class honours/2:1) in a life science i.e. biomedical science/biology/medical science. Although I can see you have undertaken a VCTC diploma, without knowing the specific modules undertaken it would be difficult to advise. As the diploma is not equivalent to an undergraduate degree, I would say at this stage you would not be eligible unfortunately.

Other modules we recommend applicants undertake (particularly if they have a limited life science background) are:

OU Human Biology (SK299) and OU Infectious disease and public health (SK320). These are e-modules completed by The Open University.


Dr Laura Rickett

Welcome to this Live Q&A about the Diploma in Physician Associate Studies. Dr Laura Rickett (Admissions Lead for Physician Associate Studies) is now online until 13:00 to answer your questions.

Your question will be posted on this feed once it has been answered, which might take a little time if we receive a lot of questions. Please don’t worry if you don’t see your question and its answer immediately – you only need to submit each question once and keep an eye on the feed for when the answer is posted.