Managing clinical complexity (masters level)

Key features

Entry on to this 20 credit masters-level module must follow on from the successful completion of module APP710 - Advanced assessment for clinical practice.

This module takes your skills in history taking and clinical examination and applies them to diagnosis and management of patients. We deliver this from a symptom-based approach covering all body systems and apply focus on how to use all the information that you have available from taking and receiving a focused structured history, clinical examination, plus or minus other investigations and tests, to make a safe sound informed diagnosis on which to develop a management plan for your patients and clients.

Many ACP roles involve seeing and managing patients with undifferentiated and undiagnosed conditions and this module will support you in understanding the theory that underpins everyday practice and learning the skills with which to undertake these assessments.

We focus on the underlying principles of Clinical Decision Making, equipping you with the ability to confidently take any patient with any presenting complaint and work with them to develop a diagnosis, test this with clinical examination and investigations and then develop a holistic management plan. 

The module will develop your clinical reasoning skills to support your decision-making in practice.

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 7 – masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery in Plymouth

Course details

The successful achievement of the learning outcomes of this module will enable you to:

  • critically examine the concept of managing clinical complexity demonstrating extensive critical knowledge and understanding to inform the decision making process
  • obtain, analyse and interpret the patient history, presenting symptoms, physical findings and diagnostic information to develop appropriate differential diagnosis justifying the findings in relation to relevant anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology
  • demonstrate critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills in decision making; interpreting investigations to determine a diagnosis
  • promote and use an evidence-based approach to patient management that critically evaluates and applies research and guidance negotiating complex pathways that are required when integrating critical thought and ethical considerations relevant to management of patient/ client needs
  • evaluate the context of risk and development of quality, patient/client safety and clinical governance agenda critically reflecting upon student’s individual development.

Module dates

Delivery 1

18, 25 October, 8, 15, 22, 29 November 2021, 24 January, 7 March and 11 April 2022. 

Delivery 2

21, 28 March, 25 April, 9, 16, 23 May, 13 June and 11 July 2022. 

(Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change – always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit).

Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers. In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date. Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers – for further information please contact the Professional Development Unit.


There are two parts to the assessment for this module:

1. a written case study

2. an OSCE.

(Please note that these assessment details are provisional – if you require further information please contact the module lead or the Professional Development Unit).

This module can be studied as a standalone module or towards the following programmes:

Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information.

COVID-secure module delivery

The University is adhering to government guidance relating to COVID-secure operation. For this reason, modules are being delivered in a variety of formats, with much content delivered online, either in an interactive manner (i.e. requiring participation at the allotted times), or sometimes in a passive manner (i.e. you may be able to conduct some of the study outside of the typical taught hours of 09:00–17:00).

Some sessions, particularly clinical assessments, will continue to be delivered face-to-face with appropriate risk-mitigating measures in place. Others may allow you the option of attending face-to-face or synchronously engaging online with peers who attend face-to-face.

When you receive confirmation of your enrolment on a module, you will be granted access to our Digital Learning Environment (DLE or Moodle). You should access this prior to the start of your module to determine the teaching format of the module’s sessions.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.

Access to: 

  • application forms 
  • change of name forms
  • pre-course information
  • downloadable guides
  • student card.

Visit our admissions homepage for full details.

Our students say...

  • A “The combination of expert input into the clinical component and the opportunity to focus on a wide range of systems has been invaluable.”

Entry requirements

To be considered for a place on this module you must:

  • a registered health and social care practitioner or health and social care worker
    • ideally be in possession of previous study at degree level.

    Individuals without a degree may be eligible to apply providing they have appropriate practice-related experience relevant to the programme. Each student will be considered and advised individually (where required) by the programme team and Professional Development Unit. Please contact the PDU or programme lead if you have any queries regarding your situation.


    Please see our professional development module fees page.