Managing clinical complexity (masters level)

Key features

This 20 credit masters-level module follows on from the successful completion of module APP710 - Advanced assessment for clinical practice.

It will develop your clinical reasoning skills to support your decision-making in practice. We cover all body systems and 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.

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery in Plymouth

*This module was previously known as MCH506 - Clinical decision making and disease management

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

The taught dates for this module are 23 and 30 January, 6, 13, 20 and 27 February, 22 May and 26 June 2018.

(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.

Module lead - Catherine McDougall

“This module builds on the 'Advanced assessment for clinical practice' module and is the second year core module in the MSc Advanced Professional Practice ( Clinical Practitioner). The focus is on developing clinical reasoning to inform your clinical decision making when seeing patients. The module content is interactive and taught by practising clinicians to bring theory alive; practice in your clinical area under the supervision of a mentor will cement what you learn in the classroom and through your own self-directed study.

I look forward to seeing you and sharing your journey of learning”

Find out more about Catherine McDougall  

Catherine McDougall RN MSc AHCP, Senior Lecturer

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.

    Funding and fees


    This module is commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) and you may therefore be eligible for funding through your employing trust.

    Please contact your Trust’s Educational Co-ordinator who will guide you through the application process.

    If you work in the private, independent and voluntary sector, please contact your employer who will advise you.

    Fees for 2017/18 academic year

    For those who are self-funding, please see our professional development module fees page.