Professional/Short course Acute Medical Assessment: Theory and Practice

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
University Hospitals Bristol
Six weeks
Online (content) and face-to-face (simulation)
Course Director
Dr Rebecca Hoskins

20 credit level 7 module

Page last updated 12 October 2023


The Acute Medical Assessment: Theory and Practice is a 20 credit level 7 (Masters level) module, co-delivered with University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW). The module content is delivered online and on-site in the simulation centre at UHBW.

The overall aim of this module is to provide Band 5 nurses working in an acute medical assessment unit (AMU) the knowledge, skills and behaviours to provide initial assessment and management of patients in an acute medical assessment unit setting.

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
  • construct a rationale for diagnostic reasoning, using knowledge of the pathophysiological basis of the signs and symptoms associated with a range of disease processes
  • critically apprise ethical and legal issues which impact on diagnostic reasoning and the inter-professional team
  • critically apply the knowledge and skills in the acute medical assessment clinical setting to devise a clear initial management plan and evaluate this against pre determined parameters
  • demonstrate the ability to consider appropriate theoretical principles as part of the decision making process
  • critically reflect on and use an evidenced based approach to clinical practice
  • critically appraise own learning needs and demonstrate the ability to develop a development plan.



The module syllabus covers:

  • common acute medical emergencies and presentations including chest pain, breathlessness, sepsis, gastro, hepatology disease, and neurological conditions such as stroke.
  • a systems based approach to explore the normal and abnormal physiology underlying the most common signs and symptoms
  • developing clinical decision making skills and holistic assessment skills in this speciality
  • advanced communication skills (difficult conversations, breaking bad news)
  • associated pharmacology and the application in clinical practice
  • interpretation of clinical signs and symptoms in the context of abnormal pathophysiology.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods include problem-based learning approaches, simulation interactive lectures, self-directed learning and peer assessment.


An online portfolio with a variety of evidence measured against a competency framework developed by the Society for Acute Medicine for healthcare professionals working in acute assessment units.

Opportunities for formative assessment will take place in classroom and online settings during the module delivery.


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 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.


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.

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