Advancing Assessment and Reasoning Skills

Key Facts

  • Level

    Post RegistrationPO

  • Duration

    2 semesters Part-time

  • Starting

    February, October

  • Fees UK 24/25

    Part time: £1,840 per 40 credit module

  • Location

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772


Using problem-based learning and simulation, you will be encouraged to explore the key factors that drive clinical reasoning and the decision-making process, challenging them to be innovative in your approach to care.

Using a body system approach, you will develop the advanced assessment skills required to undertake a comprehensive health assessment of a service user.

Knowledge and understanding of diagnostic procedures and the use of data analysis to support risk management and uncertainty will also be explored

Updated 09/05/2024


  • Interactive and clinically focused module content developed to support advanced development of clinical skills
  • Sessions facilitated by experienced practising clinical staff
  • Holistic systems-based approach to assessment developed.

Course Content

  • During the module you will develop the skills required to undertake a comprehensive and holistic health assessment of service users including history taking, physical examination and psychosocial assessment. Relevant anatomy and pathophysiology will be applied to aid in the analysis and interpretation of the data gained from the assessment.

    Consideration will be given to differential diagnoses, service user risk assessment, diagnostic tools utilised in practice and the management of common conditions. Theories and methods underpinning clinical reasoning and decision-making in healthcare, advanced communication strategies, legal and ethical issues of advanced assessment and evidence-based practice will be explored.

    Using an active-blended learning approach teaching approaches are varied and include lectures, interactive group work, online learning activities, enquiry based learning and practical simulation sessions within the clinical skills laboratory at the University.

    Students will be taught and have access to tutor support over two semesters. The module will have approximately 12 taught days at the University which includes both face to face and online teaching and 1 assessment day.

    You will take a structured approach to holistic health assessment with the opportunity to develop skills to enhance their practice.

    There are two items of assessment which must be successfully completed to pass the module, each with a 50% weighting to the overall mark:

    1) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) 

    The OSCE assessments will be used to assess competency, based upon objective testing through direct observation. Areas to be evaluated include communication, general and focused history taking, physical examination, investigations, patient advice and documentation.

    2) Reflective Case Study 2 x 2000 words

    Students will be asked to write 2 x 2,000 word critically ‘reflective cased-based analyses’ of their advanced clinical assessment, decision making and management of two patients within their area of clinical practice.

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 24/25. The modules relating to the academic year 25/26 will be available from June 2025.

    1. Applicants must hold an appropriate healthcare or bachelor’s degree with honours or have evidence of recent level 6 study.
    2. Current professional body registration (UK registered).
    3. Employment within a relevant health and social care related environment.

    Nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and pharmacists with current professional body registrations are encouraged to apply.

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Part time: £1,840 per 40 credit module
    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Part time: £1,780 per 40 credit module

    Please contact Karen Edwards for further information about fees for this module.

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

  • Who can I contact for more information?

    For further information on the module please contact Laura Elliott, Module Lead on


Laura Elliott, Senior Lecturer in Practice Development - Nursing
Laura Elliott

Senior Lecturer in Practice Development - Nursing

Faculty of Health, Education and Society


Further Study Opportunities

It can be taken as a stand-alone module or part of MSc Advancing Practice award; PGDip in Advancing Practice; PGCert in Advancing Practice or MSc Advancing Practice (Top-Up).

There is opportunity for those who wish to continue educational study and work at academic Level 8 on completion of the MSc Advancing Practice award, to register for the Doctor of Professional Practice in Health and Social Care or a PhD programmes which are also offered at the University of Northampton.