Published: 19 February 2021

A week in the life of a physician associate studies student

From case-based learning to clinical placements, discover what a typical week looks like as a PGDip Physician Associate Studies student at Surrey.

How you'll learn

Your day-to-day teaching will be delivered through a combination of: 

  • Group work (e.g. discussion groups) 
  • Lectures 
  • Online learning 
  • Practical simulation classes and clinical skills scenarios 
  • Role plays 
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops.  

Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays and reading. 

We’ve also introduced hybrid learning, a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When you’re on placement, your teaching will be delivered through a combination of: 

  • Demonstration  
  • Discussion groups 
  • Observation  
  • Practice under supervision  
  • Reflective dialogue  
  • Role modelling  
  • Shadowing.

"We get taught how to examine someone in practical sessions, then consolidate this knowledge when seeing a patient on placement."
Claire Bowman, PGDip Physician Associate Studies

A typical week

As a full-time course, a lot of your teaching will take place throughout an entire day (approximately 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday) and your timetable will vary from week-to-week dependent on the cases you’re learning about.


  • 10:30am to 12:30pm – Chest x-ray interpretation
  • 1:30pm to 5pm – Self-directed case-based learning


  • 9:30am to 12:30pm – Group case-based learning workshop
  • 2pm to 4:30pm – Consultation skills practical session


  • 9:30am to 12:30pm – Electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac monitoring and defibrillation practical session
  • 2pm to 5pm – Self-directed case-based learning


  • 9am to 5pm – GP placement


  • 10:30am to 12:30pm – Cancer epidemiology workshop
  • 1:30pm to 4:30pm – Arterial blood gas (ABG) test and mini Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) practical session

Find out more about our physician associate studies course


The timetable and modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.

Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, our hybrid learning model is under continuous review. See the latest information on all changes.

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