Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning

University of the West of England, Bristol
Delivery Method: Face-to-face

To apply for this course you must be a registered practitioner.

This course is offered at Level 3 (Degree) and Masters level and is delivered at our Glenside Campus.

Course content includes:

  • Skills:
    • Systematic history taking
    • Use of assessment tools for recognising normal and abnormal findings
    • Introduction to use of frameworks for clinical reasoning
    • Introduction to differential diagnosis and patient risk assessment.
  • Scientific Knowledge:
    • Foundations of relevant anatomy and pathophysiology
    • Introduction to clinical findings related to head to toe physical assessment with application to related disease processes.
    • Cardiovascular examination
    • Head, neck, skin, ears, eyes, nose and throat examination
    • Respiratory examination
    • Abdominal examination
    • Neurological examination
    • Musculoskeletal examination
    • Rationale for diagnostic investigations and relevance to practice.
  • Context of physical assessment and clinical reasoning:
    • Legal/ethical principles
    • Clinical governance
    • Evidence based practice
    • National and local initiatives for changing roles in practice
    • Health promotion.


Study time will include 48 contact hours. These will take the form of lectures, group activities, case study presentations and practical practice sessions. A variety of learning approaches will be used, including e-learning, lectures, practical sessions, seminars, experts from practice and analysis of case studies. Formative OSCEs undertaken throughout the module will contribute to your learning strategy for physical assessment.

Please note: Priority will be given to applications received through our funded educational contracts. Unfortunately no places will be available on this module for applications received outside of this funding. Please check with your employer as a funded contract place may still be available to support your learning.

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