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Short courses
Nursing & Health

Advanced Pathophysiology
University Certificate in Postgraduate Continuing Education


Course overview

This award is specifically for practitioners employed in advanced practice roles to advance their competence in the clinical reasoning required for diagnostics by drawing on pathophysiological principles to support diagnostic analysis.

The award is relevant to the Physical Assessment Skills, Advanced Physical Assessment Skills, and prescribing awards as these help guide clinical judgement for clinical skills and prescribing in providing the rationale for common signs and symptoms of disease and helping formulate differential diagnosis within the scope of advanced practice. The award can also be undertaken as a single award in its own right, as can the Physical Assessment skills modules and prescribing awards. Clinical skills mastery is more about finding out what the patients symptom burden is, what the pathology is, the extent of the pathology and comorbidity, and so the prognosis for the patient. Given this information the best treatment option in the circumstances can be decided upon in order to help the patient as best we can as health care professionals.

Safe and effective practitioner practice at this level demands a thorough understanding of common disease processes and the dynamics of treatment at cellular, organ and multisystem levels in order to deliver good patient centred care. Focus is on the common mechanisms by which cells, tissues and organs are injured and on the structural changes that underlie these disease processes with strong emphasis being placed on the context in which they might appear in the realities of clinical practice. This award explores pathophysiology from an advanced practitioner perspective, offering the scientific knowledge and practical guidance a practitioner needs to refine diagnosis and make optimal treatment decisions for patients in any setting. Key mechanisms of disease are examined to advance the practitioners knowledge of pathophysiological principle alongside current scientific research in the context of the diagnostics and therapeutics.


Course details

What you study

The module encompasses the exploration of the following concepts as they relate to advanced practitioner practice: :

  • Application of pathophysiological principle to minimise/avoid risk and reduce patient morbidity and mortality to improve patient outcomes
  • The role of the clinical method in establishing differential diagnosis, pathology and aetiology
  • Homeostatic disturbance and disease trajectories in the acute and chronic spectrum of disease
  • Pathophysiological principles applied to all body systems (cardiac, respiratory, renal, urinary, reproductive, haematological, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and skin
  • Cellular changes, adaptations, cell damage and death
  • Inflammation/immunity/sepsis
  • Haemodynamic dysfunction
  • Neoplasms
  • Fluid, electrolyte and acid base imbalances

How you learn

The award is delivered by short lecture and case based diagnostic analysis sessions to illustrate the multisystem nature of the pathophysiology of common diseases. Practitioners are also able to access additional learning materials from e-learning@tees.

How you are assessed

You are assessed by a 3000 word case study applying pathophysiological knowledge, presented within the construct of the clinical method. The focus of the case study is an established common general pathology and/or complex multi-pathologies as evidenced in the practitioners everyday practice. The case study enhances the development of the practitioner's capacity to deal with complexity, multipathology and comorbidity.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You must be a qualified health care professional and have had evidence of recent study at degree or master’s level.



Career opportunities

Given the current developments in health care and the ever increasing burden of disease, the need for advanced practitioners with diagnostic and therapeutic capacity is increasing quickly. With the knowledge provided by this award and that combined from the Physical Assessment Skills, and Advanced Physical Assessment Skills awards there are now many opportunities for advanced practitioners from all professions to evolve their roles in primary care, acute care and specialist care in delegated aspects of the clinicians role to support health care teams to meet the demands of the 21st century.



2021/22 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: 12 weeks
  • Start date: September
  • Level: Master's
  • Credits: 20

Apply online