Placement dates

Academic year 2023/24

Physician Associate placement dates for all cohorts are below.

Year 1 students (August 2023 intake)

  • Primary Care 1:  06 November to 24 November 2023 (3 weeks total).
  • Secondary Care 1:  27 November to 15 December 2023 (3 weeks total).
  • Primary Care 2:  04 March to 22 March 2024 (3 weeks total).
  • Primary Care 3:  17 June to 05 July 2024 (3 weeks total).
  • Secondary Care 2: 08 July to 26 July 2024 (3 weeks total).

Year 2 students (August 2022 intake):

  • Secondary Care 1:  29 August to 03 November 2023 (11 weeks total).
  • Secondary Care 2:  02 January to 16 February 2024 (7 weeks total).
  • Secondary Care 3:  22 April to 10 May 2024 (3 weeks total).
  • Secondary Care 4: 20 May to 05 July 2024 (7 weeks total).
  • Primary Care:  08 July to 26 July 2024 (3 weeks total).

Supervision and assessment

Find out more about supporting, supervising and assessing students in practice.

In lieu of the upcoming General Medical Council (GMC) registration of Physician Associates, the Physician Associates (PA) student placement portfolio is undergoing review. As a result of this there may be differences between the portfolios being used by students in year one (cohort 2023/24) versus those in year two (cohort 2022/23). Electronic communications regarding this will be sent to all appropriate practice partners/placement providers accordingly.

UWE Bristol and the Physician Associate programme team encourage all practice educators and placement supervisors to undertake training in supporting students whilst on placement. Additionally, it will soon be a GMC requirement to evidence that practice educators and placement supervisors are appropriately trained in the PA pedagogy and clinical assessments utilised on their clinical placements. Practice educators and placement supervisors are recommended to complete the online self-study UWE Bristol course Supporting Students in Practice. The aim of the Supporting Students in Practice course is to provide an understanding of the principles of supporting students in practice.

This course is suitable for all healthcare professionals supporting students in practice. You will be directed to profession-specific material during the course.

This course is self-directed learning which you can undertake over a period of three to four months. There are no specific times or dates to undertake this course but you must apply for a specific start date to be enrolled.

Programme information

View programme information:

Course dates: Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Term 1: 29 August to 16 December 2023.
  • Term 2: 2 January to 28 March 2024.
  • Term 3: 15 April to 26 July 2024.

Other important dates

Please note: on these dates students may be expected to attend events which take place on campus for their learning and development.

  • National PA Conference: 8 December 2023 (Further information from Royal College of Physicians)
  • Major incident simulation day: Date to be confirmed

Whilst on placement all students are expected to adhere to the standards as outlined in GMC's Good Medical Practice.

Find more information on GMC's Education for Physician Associates.

Assessment dates

Assessment dates 2023/24

Year one

Month  Deadline Assessment
January 2024 Wednesday 10 January Summative Viva Online presentation
  Wednesday 31 January Formative Critical Reflection hand-in
March 2024  Wednesday 27 March  Summative OSCE face-to-face exam
  Thursday 28 March Summative SBA online exam 
June 2024  Wednesday 12 June  Resit Summative OSCE face-to-face exam
  Wednesday 19 June  Resit Summative Viva online presentation

Year two

Month Deadline Assessment
December 2023  Monday 11 December Formative Critical Reflection hand-in
February 2024 Thursday 29 February Summative Viva online presentation
April 2024 Wednesday 17 April SBA online exam
  Tuesday 30 April Summative Dissertation Project hand-in
May 2024 Tuesday 14 May Summative OSCE face-to-face exam
  Thursday 16 May Summative OSCE face-to-face exam
June 2024  Wednesday 19 June Resit Summative SBA online exam
  Wednesday 19 June Resit Summative Dissertation Project hand-in
July 2024 Tuesday 2 July Resit Summative OSCE face-to-face exam
  Wednesday 3 July Resit Summative Viva online presentation
  Monday 22 July Summative Placement Practice Portfolio hand-in
October 2024  Thursday 10 October Resit Summative Placement Practice Portfolio hand-in

ARC Placement Information

Student Learning Objectives

Whilst on placement, students will be expected to develop their knowledge and understanding of the medical and surgical specialties as outlined below. 

Please follow the hyperlinks to find quick guide summaries of the specific placement requirements for each specialty:

Student Appearance

Whilst on placement students will be expected to adhere to the following guidance on appearance:

  • UWE student Physician Associate name badge and either UWE-branded or Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) branded lanyard.
  • UWE branded ‘Caribbean blue’ scrubs. If these are unavailable, then students are permitted to wear trust/placement provider-approved scrubs, or smart professional attire (when working in primary care).
  • Comfortable, clean, work appropriate footwear.
  • Professional standards of personal hygiene are expected at all times.

Reporting Concerns

From time-to-time staff including clinical staff, academic staff, support staff and administrative staff may have concerns about individual students. Concerns may vary in nature - from students who become withdrawn and about whom a member of staff is worried, to students whose attitude or behaviour is inappropriate. Placement providers should contact the programme team as soon as is possible to inform them of concerns, and complete a yellow “Notification of Concern” form.

This process is intended to be supportive to students. Our aim is to help those who are in difficulty. We have access to a number of avenues of support for students. Notifying the programme team of concerns via the “Notification of Concern” form offers staff the opportunity to “flag” students to the welfare system. We do not expect major concerns to be highlighted in this way. We anticipate that if there is a potentially serious problem staff will contact us by telephone, email or letter as soon as is possible.

Completed forms will not be accepted unless they are signed by the completer. We would also encourage completers to discuss the contents of the form with the student so that students understand the intention is to help rather than to punish them. We find that students respond positively to the reporter speaking to them. Completed forms should be submitted to On receipt they will forward to the relevant academic personal tutor who will meet with the student to discuss the nature of the concern. Tutors will then inform completers of the outcome of the discussion with the student and any actions that have been taken.

Regardless of the outcome of any discussions – all forms will be retained on the student file and will be kept during their entire academic career, in order for any patterns to be recognised. There is no “tariff” of concern forms that leads to disciplinary action. If a student disagrees with any part of the concern form they may summarise their argument to be filed with the form. The student’s Clinical Mentor will be notified that a form has been raised but will not receive a copy without the written permission of the student. If a form is issued in a Trust or Practice the relevant Head of Academy will be informed.

Programme support

If you have any queries or questions about the Physician Associate Studies programme or require placement related support, please contact PPO Allocations in the first instance.

Programme Contacts

Placement team

Dr. Lara Menon

James Willis

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