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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare nurses, midwives and allied healthcare practitioners who seek to practice enhanced clinical assessment with enhanced autonomy with the additional comprehensive skills in History Taking and Physical Examination across major body systems. When combined with Fundamentals of clinical method and decision making (II), the skills are the foundation for Advanced Practitioner education for those undertaking roles such as Advanced Practitioner, Specialist Practitioner, Consultant Practitioner or Emergency Care Practitioner. They are also essential skills for anyone undertaking Non-Medical Prescribing.

The skills and knowledge gained through this course are also of value to many clinical community based and hospital staff who, as part of their current professional clinical role, are seeking to enhance the quality of the assessments that they undertake on patients in their care. The course is designed to enhance relevant knowledge of anatomy and physiology as they underpin clinical assessment.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Mrs Helen Gray

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will equip you with:

  1. a deeper level of knowledge, ability and critical awareness in relation to patient history taking, and the ability to differentiate normal vs abnormal findings.
  2. a foundation level of skills and critical awareness in relation to the systematic physical assessment of adult patients/clients, and the ability to differentiate normal vs abnormal findings.

On completion of this course you will understand and be able to demonstrate performance of methods of undertaking a systematic, comprehensive health history across all the major body systems in an adult using a range of different assessment tools and formats. The body systems will include: cardiac, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, nervous system, genito-urinary, head and neck, diabetes and endocrine, and musculoskeletal. This will Include the role of the ‘general survey’ as part of the core clinical assessment and how this supports integration of the physical examination. You will develop your practice of the examination skills of inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation and how to interpret findings to differentiate between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’.

 You will learn the relevant anatomy and physiology for this, particularly ‘surface anatomy’ of the major body systems.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 6 - 9, 12 - 13, 19 - 20
  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 10 - 11, 14, 16 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

OSCE (100%).

Formative Assessment

A series of formatives including class quizz, video with reflection, practice for OSCE exam.


Feedback will be given in line with UoA gudiance on timely feedback, but usually within 2-3 weeks of exam.

There will be immediate feedback on the formative assessments.

Course Learning Outcomes


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