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Short courses
Nursing & Health

Physical Assessment Skills (Adult)
University Certificate in Professional Development

  • Note: this course is full. Applications for the 2021/22 academic year will open in July.

Course overview

The module is an opportunity for practitioners who are expanding their roles to practice autonomously in their chosen field of expertise.

You expand your role to practice more autonomously in your chosen field of expertise, and learn history taking and examination of body systems.

There are two routes to study this module: a face to face route and an online route. The face-to-face route comprises five full-day contact sessions delivered every other week. The online route comprises both synchronous and asynchronous sessions which are released week by week so every student is on the same topic. For both versions a workbook facilitates your learning in practice to support a systems-based approach to the development of physical assessment skills.

You are required to identify a practice facilitator for the duration of the module. This will be a clinician or an appropriately skilled practitioner (a nurse or AHP in a practitioner role) who provides you with supervised practice and assists completion of the workbook.

  • HEENE-funded places are available for eligible applicants.
  • Standard University fee applies once all funded places have been allocated.

The module comprises five full-day online sessions delivered bi-weekly, with online support via Microsoft Teams / Blackboard. Online lectures and skills video sessions develop knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, and your history-taking and examination skills. Peer group assessment is encouraged, although this will be in practice, these will be augmented with regular Microsoft Teams/Blackboard meetings to discuss progress held to provide formative feedback regarding your progress. You are expected to practice the skills you have learned as often as possible.

To facilitate this you are provided with a practice workbook which can be used to evidence your skills development. All learning materials will be available on the Blackboard site, including example demonstrator videos of the examinations you are expected to learn.

Students who successfully complete the module find that it enriches their practice in many ways, greatly enhancing their patient assessments and giving them important underpinning knowledge, and improving their confidence and competence when undertaking clinical examinations.


Course details

What you study

Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology as applied to the diagnostic process. Each system is taught separately. Practice based supervision will develop your application of clinical skills in the practice setting which is supported with a practice workbook.

How you learn

If you study online or face-to-face the lectures and skills demonstrations will develop your knowledge of anatomy, pathology and physiology as applied to the diagnostic process.

Practice-based supervision develops your application of clinical skills in the practice setting. A practice workbook is used following a systems approach to enhance learning and our online learning environment supports interactive online learning.

Assessment is a 90-minute online MCQ examination which comprises 30 multiple choice questions based on the module content. You complete a practice assessment workbook which will be signed off by your supervisor within your workplace.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The module is open to all registered healthcare professionals. For patient safety reasons you must be a practitioner currently employed in an area of practice in a clinical role requiring a level of autonomy in diagnostics and case management, with appropriate access to advanced practitioners.



2021/22 entry

Fee for applicants:

Limited funded places available

  • Start date: TBC
  • Level: Degree
  • Credits: 20

Apply online