Skip to main content
Short courses
Nursing, Midwifery & Health Professions

Communicating Effectively through Advanced Communication Skills
University Certificate in Professional Development


Course overview

This award is for you if you are a healthcare professional in contact with patients and their families at any point in their illness trajectory, across all services. You examine how effective communication skills have a critical role in improving patient outcomes. 

Using a blended learning approach, face-to-face and online resources centre on the knowledge and understanding of skills and awareness of how attitudes and emotions impact on communications. Practical application gives you the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on your own communication style and approach. 

The award is 10 weeks long and is a mix of both theory and practice. You have three and a half days of face-to-face seminars and five days of online learning. You are also expected to take part in independent learning, including essential reading, assignment preparation and completion. 

Where you study

Centre for Professional and Executive Development, Teesside University Darlington Campus


Course details

What you study

You develop effective professional and interpersonal communication in a wide range of situations. Advanced communication skills focus on assessing and anticipating the needs of others and reflexivity in providing the right information at the right time, packaging information in ways that are practical and relevant, and being mindful of different perspectives and knowledge. 

How you learn

Your module leader delivers a series of introductory taught sessions. These sessions prepare you to develop advanced communication skills, which you achieve through practice and supervision of key skills and behaviours in a safe and supportive environment.

Academic guidance is available on the day of induction and throughout the module in the form of individual and group tutorial - tutorial sessions are timetabled on some contact days.  During the induction guidance will be provided to the student  with regard to the required academic level of attainment for the module

You identify your own learning needs and apply the skills and principles to specific contexts such as breaking bad news, advanced care planning, handling anger or distress and challenging colleagues. You perform a SWOT analysis and develop a learning contract following a half-day of induction and clinical supervision with your academic supervisor.  

You attend three and a half days of face-to-face seminars, giving you the opportunity to rehearse your skills through simulation of a chosen fictitious scenario and clinical supervision. You are also supported by five days of online learning. You are expected to take part in independent learning, including essential reading, assignment preparation and completion.
You are also supported with e-learning. You are encouraged to use the virtual learning environment (VLE) to access resources and continue academic discussion with the class using discussion boards, facilitated by the academic supervisor.  

How you are assessed

You are assessed using formative feedback and summative assessment.

Formative feedback is provided following a video-recorded rehearsal of a chosen fictitious scenario once during the course, and self-assessment through planned clinical supervision and written feedback. 

The summative assessment is 100% and submitted in week 35.

You complete a 3,000-word assignment, critically analysing and evaluating the chosen fictitious scenario of a critical incident involving a complex communication interaction. Un-ratified results are available in week 39.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants should be working in a health care or social care setting and hold a relevant professional qualification.



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants:

  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Credits: 20, Level: Master's

Apply online