Professional/Short course Pathophysiology and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advancing Practice

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Ten days of sessions
Course Director
Jillian Wood

20 credit level 7 module

Due to the places required from our partnership organisations outweighing the actual places available on this module, it will not be opened up to general applications until six weeks before the start date. Please contact your employer to see if you are eligible to apply, they will supply you with the relevant links to undertake this process.

Page last updated 12 October 2023


The multi-professional 20 credit Pathophysiology and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advancing Practice (PDRAP) module will build on knowledge to improve understanding and critical evaluation of the pathophysiology and diagnostics of common diseases seen in clinical practice.

This level 7 (Masters level) module explores the links between the pathophysiology of disease processes and the diagnostic testing process with emphasis on learning to discriminate between different diagnostics modalities and the evaluation of results.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • critically appraise the aetiological factors and relevant risk factors which contribute to processes of disease.
  • critically evaluate current theories relating to a series of pathophysiological states.
  • construct a rationale for diagnostic reasoning, using knowledge of the pathophysiological basis of the signs and symptoms associated with a range of disease processes.
  • obtain, interpret and synthesise information from a range of sources and use it to generate a critical understanding of the specific disease and pathophysiological processes.
  • use clinical argument to enhance critical evaluation of diagnostic findings, including clinical haematology, radiology, immunology, microbiology and biochemistry.
  • debate personal and organisational accountability related to the process of diagnostic reasoning.
  • critically apprise ethical and legal issues which impact on diagnostic reasoning and the inter-professional team.

See further information about this module and how it is delivered.

Entry requirements

You must be a registered professional in a position of Advanced Practice or aspiring to such a position.

Careers / Further study

This module can contribute towards:

  • MSc Specialist Practice (District Nursing)
  • MSc Advanced Practice
  • Professional Development Awards




The course syllabus typically includes:

  • frameworks and tools for diagnostic reasoning skills to develop and improve autonomous decision making
  • the development of skills to critically evaluate the evidence, critically interpret test results and synthesise findings
  • diagnostic reasoning skills
  • common ethical, legal and practical challenges of requesting investigations in clinical practice with reference to referral pathways, expert sources, risk assessment
  • clinical governance and national guidelines exploration
  • critical evaluation and appraisal of pathophysiology and diagnostic test/clinical reasoning around a disease process within your own specialist area
  • the introduction and development of your understanding, critical evaluation, and complex thinking around the processes related to (but not limited to) clinical mechanisms and investigations of cell biology; inflammation; inflammatory processes including atheroma and sepsis, infection and associated normal/abnormal responses; thrombosis and associated disease, the genetic contribution to disease, etc.


Learning and Teaching

A variety of approaches will be used which may include:

  • e-learning including Blackboard
  • webinar lectures
  • videos
  • experts from practice
  • analysis of case studies.


Assessment will be by an online exam with a 24 hour submission window, and two-hour suggested completion time.


Study facilities

The College of Health, Science and Society has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the facilities it provides.

Get a feel for the Health Professions facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Please visit full fee information to see the price brackets for our modules.


Please click on the Apply Now button to view dates. 

How to apply

How to apply

Please click on the Apply Now button to apply for your CPD module, which you can take as a stand-alone course or as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

Please note: Priority will be given to applications received through our funded educational contracts.  Places on this module will be limited 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.

Extra information

If the course you are applying for is fully online or blended learning, please note that you are expected to provide your own headsets/microphones.

For further information