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Health Assessment - Level 6 - 20 Credits - Module

  • Course Code: LBR6519
  • Level: CPD
  • Starting: September 2020, January 2021, April 2021
  • Study mode: Short Course (6 days)
  • Location: City South
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Today, nurses and allied health professionals are encouraged to expand their skill set. This course is for Health Care professionals who will be required to undertake basic physical or mental health patient assessment, usually as first responders in hospital or community clinical settings, reporting your findings to the senior clinician with whom you work, or to underpin non-medical prescribing. Birmingham City University has strong partnership links with regional NHS Trusts and Community Education Provider Networks.

What's covered in the course?

Through a combination of lectures, skills workshops, online clinical learning resources, work with your clinical mentor and other health professionals, plus your own self-directed study, you will be able to apply the principles of history-taking and physical/mental health examination to assess patients in your care. You will be taught the techniques to assess the human nervous system, cardio-vascular, respiratory, gastro-intestinal and musculo-skeletal systems, plus the issues of which to be aware when caring for someone with mental health problems. In addition, there is teaching on the genito-urinary system, laboratory blood tests, tissue viability and wound care. Students work in primary and community care, emergency care and rapid response teams, hospital wards or specialist services/clinics.

The module leader has 25+ years experience in acute care (Minor Injury Units, ED, Urgent Care, GP Out of Hours Care) and other lecturers are from their specialist clinical environment, providing a window of opportunity for students to access their specific area of expertise.

Lectures are held at City South Campus in either Bevan House or Seacole Building – the latter has a state-of-the-art library with superb electronic resources. You will also be able to access the Skills Practice and Care Enhancement (SPACE) facility in order to hone your newly-acquired skills.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our Health and Life Science Faculty has lecturers with a wide range of contemporary clinical expertise including that of defence medicine
  • We understand and respond to the needs of local healthcare workers, shaping programmes that empower students to develop their skills in the workplace
  • We have well-established links with local employers and Health Education England (West Midlands) which enable alignment of manpower development and the training and education required to underpin a high-quality workforce
  • Once enrolled, your student status allows you to access our resources for many months after completion of your module, supporting you in the principle of life-long learning
  • Having  achieved  successful completion of one module with us, you will be able to easily continue in post-qualifying study and practice in order to gain a BSc, BSc(Hons) or MSc award


This course is worth...

20 credits

This course is not open to International students
Midwifery and social work

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  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: Module

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • 6 days
  • £800 per 20-credit module

Award: Module

Starting: Jan 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • 6 days
  • £800 per 20-credit module

Award: Module

Starting: Apr 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • 6 days
  • £800 per 20-credit module

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

How to apply

Complete the online application form via the link above, including the name of the module you are enrolling onto. 

Level 6

Module Description
20 credits

The module is designed for registered practitioners who are looking to develop knowledge and skill in health assessment of the individual patient. This module aligns with the Professional Practice Programme philosophy and is designed to be flexible and practice-led. You will have the opportunity to develop skills of enquiry, reflection and problem solving.

A blended learning approach is taken (incorporating both classroom and online activities via Moodle) in line with the University’s learning and teaching strategy. You will be encouraged to think critically and share practice experiences with your fellow students, as well as engaging in both directed and self-directed learning activities. Students will have access to the university library facilities plus the Skills Practice and Care Enhancement (SPACE) lab at the City South campus. Though not mandatory, the student will benefit from identifying a medical or advanced practice mentor who will supervise them to practice the skills learned in the classroom and assist in completion of a formative clinical log.

You will be an active partner in your own learning that runs over six taught days at university, plus suggested self-directed study/supervised practice. Taught sessions are delivered by experienced clinicians who are often specialists in their own field. The assessment is a summative Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – for which the student may have two attempts. This module strengthens the assessment skills of the clinician who works as part of a multi-disciplinary team, but is not adequate to prepare you for true advanced (autonomous) practice. However, this module does provide the foundation on which to progress to independent non-medical prescribing training, the achievement of which is valued by employers in diverse health care domains.

This module aligns with the Professional Practice programme philosophy and is designed to be flexible and practice-led. You will have the opportunity to develop skills of enquiry, reflection and problem solving.

Course breakdown

  • Taking a History
  • Common cardiac conditions
  • Cardiovascular assessment
  • Respiratory assessment
  • Abdominal Assessment
  • Assessment of the Genito-Urinary Tract
  • Musculo-skeletal assessment
  • Cranial nerve assessment
  • Peripheral Nervous System assessment
  • Interpretation of Blood Results
  • Principles of Mental Health assessment
  • Wound assessment and care
  • Record-keeping
  • Review of top-to toe assessment

Course dates

Download the course dates for all of our Professional Practice modules here. 

Download 2020/21 course dates

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Alison Simons

Senior Lecturer

Alison was a cancer nurse for 18 years looking after patients with a variety of cancer and receiving a variety of treatments. She was the junior sister of a mixed oncology ward within a large teaching hospital. Alison then went on to become a professional development sister responsible for the educational needs of 200 oncology and haematology nurses.

Module Leader

For any enquiries about this course please contact the course leader, Lorraine Marsons on:

Professional Navigators

Our Professional Navigators, Adele Millington and Nicola Clarke, are also on hand to offer guidance and will help you to choose which modules are best for you, taking into account your aims, professional or clinical experience, KSF requirements and your academic achievements.

Call Adele and Nicola on +44 (0)121 331 6162.

Professional practice routes

Have a look at all of our Professional Practice Healthcare routes available.

Professional Practice Routes