Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Course details

The course leaders regard integration of theory and practice as fundamental to clinical learning. Theory is delivered via blended learning with a mix of lectures, small group tutorials, problem-based learning and you will experience medicine in both hospital and community attachments.

What can you expect during the MSc in Physician Associate Studies programme at RCSI?

  • Focus on patient care
  • One-to-one mentoring and advice
  • Blended learning and peer-to-peer teaching
  • Excellent simulation facilities
  • Working across healthcare environments
  • Career enhancement
  • Becoming a vital member of a multidisciplinary team
  • Variety and scope within your role as PA
Physician Associate Studies Curriculum
Year Module Qualification

1 and 2

  • Foundations of Clinical Medicine. This module explores the foundations of clinical medicine using a systems approach and includes anatomy dissection and prosection. Students will need to draw on their previous science/health sciences qualification to relate to the underlying pathology and microbiology of diseases.
  • Clinical Medicine and Practice. The focus of this module is the application of theory to practice. Emphasis is placed on ensuring PA competency in clinical skills and in using a problem-solving, decision-making approach in case-based learning. Students will participate in small group clinically-based simulated scenarios at the state-of-the-art RCSI simulation centre.
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Physician Associates need to have detailed knowledge of pharmacology and the related clinical sciences to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. This knowledge applied in the clinical domain will enhance their ability to assess and manage patients/clients presenting with acute health problems and/or complex long term conditions.
  • Personal and Professional Development. The aim of this module is to develop the self-awareness and leadership skills of the PA student, to equip them to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. It will include an understanding of human factors in patient safety such as clinical judgement, the development of clinical expertise and underlying causes of medical error.
  • Evidence-based Practice in Healthcare (dissertation). Physician Associates will be involved in evidence-based practice on a day-to-day basis, whether it is part or a team implementing a change or as a professional leading an initiative. To this end their dissertation will focus on a Quality Improvement Project Plan which will have an impact on patient outcomes.
  • Clinical Practice. Students will complete up to 50 weeks of clinical practice during the programme (across years 1 and 2) with a minimum number of weeks in the following areas: General Medicine, Community Medicine, General Surgery, Specialty Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine and an elective rotation of the student's choice.
MSc in Physician Associate Studies

You will now be qualified to practice as a PA