The course runs in two parts:
Research Methods Module
This distance learning module covers the techniques needed to critically appraise published research, and carry out a piece of original research. Topics include the scientific method applied to human services, literature search techniques, research design, sampling, the organisation of a research project, research ethics, measurement techniques, the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, the presentation of results, and dissemination.
Please note: students with significant relevant previous research experience may be exempted from being required to complete this module.
This module provides you with an opportunity to use the professional understanding you have developed through practice and through the taught component of the PGDip Physician Associate programme as a foundation for planning and undertaking a major piece of scholarly work (usually but not exclusively a piece of research). You are expected to demonstrate novel thinking in an area relevant to physician associate practice or to the development of the physician associate profession. Although academic supervision will be provided, the main impetus for the work and the critical thinking with regard to subject, approach and presentation must come from you.
The following are examples of previously submitted dissertations for the MSc Physician Associate programme:
- “The Safety of a Physician Associate Led Virtual Outpatient Department in Colorectal
and General Surgery”
- “Are Physician Associates in Scotland satisfied in their roles?”
- “When to suspect cauda equina syndrome in patients presenting to the Emergency Department with back pain: a retrospective case notes study”
- “The contribution of physician associates (PAs) in general
practice in the United Kingdom (UK): A qualitative study”
- “The effectiveness of a low-carbohydrate versus a low-fat diet on the blood glucose and anthropometric measurements of overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis”
- “Does surgical technique benefit lower back pain in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis following decompressive surgery.”