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Minor Illness Assessment Module (Level 6 and Level 7)

Module code Level 6: NSA 3514 (15 credits)
Level 7: NSA 4504 (30 credits) 
Start Autumn term
Duration One day every two weeks over four months
Attendance Part-time
Fees See the Fees and funding below
Course leader Harriet Oliver


These modules are offered at Introductory level (level 6) and Advanced level (level 7) for those undertaking autonomous practice. They have been designed for nurses working in emergency departments, walk-in centres and primary care settings who are developing their role towards emergency nurse practitioner, or autonomous practice who will see, treat, refer and discharge patients with minor illnesses.

The aim of these modules are to act as an introduction and advanced assessment to the management of patients with minor health problems or recognise more major health issues that need referral to other health care professionals. It aims to develop your proficiency in the skills of assessment through history taking and clinical examination. It will provide you, the experienced clinician, with advanced knowledge, communication skills and safe clinical examination skills to equip you to make more confident evidence-based patient care decisions.

You will develop your knowledge and skills to start facilitating a safe holistic patient assessment, and apply your knowledge of anatomy and physiology in conjunction with physical assessment to each body system. Using advanced communication techniques, evidence based knowledge and critical thinking, you will be able to identify patient needs, presenting complaints and synthesise findings from physical examination and assessment, and relate these to underlying pathophysiology. You will also use history taking and clinical findings in order to aid with differential diagnosis.

Additionally, you will reflect on prior professional experience to aid with decision making.

It is essential to have a clinical placement and mentor organised in order to be offered a place.

For further details and timetables please contact H.Oliver@mdx.ac.uk

Course content

This module will cover the following:

  • Anatomy and physiology review
  • History taking and documentation
  • Physical assessment skills- inspection, auscultation, percussion and palpation
  • Systems covered- Respiratory, Cardiovascular (optional), Abdomen, Neurology and ear, nose and throat
  • Recognition of abnormalities within these systems as well as common health problems with skin, eyes, and children
  • Advanced communication and decision making
  • Role of the multidisciplinary team.

For further module information please look at our FAQ document.

Teaching dates

Autumn module 2024

  • Induction half day 18th Sept
  • 25th and 27th September
  • 10th, 16th, 23rd (24th optional CVS assessment) October
  • 6th, 8th and 15th November
  • 20th November Practice OSCE
  • 18th December Final OSCE

Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching will have a problem orientated focus through guided study and case scenarios in order to develop and reinforce lifelong learning perspectives for clinical skills. This will be done through guided on line learning supported by narrated presentations and online demonstration videos for the student to access at any time. Students will attend study days to access face to face clinical assessment skill demonstrations and supervision from teachers.  Students will then be given the opportunity to develop these learnt assessment skills in their own practice setting but application of skills will not be assessed

Study days will give the opportunity for development, application and reflection of clinical examination skills to aid with diagnosis and plan care/ referral.


Assessment will be 100% OSCE based for level 6 and a mix of OSCE and Clinical portfolio for level 7. The OSCE is based on all the clinical examination skills learnt as well as history taking and a written paper based on anatomy, physiology and clinical scenarios.

How to apply

To be eligible for this module, you must have current employment and support to practice in an appropriate health care setting. You should also be able to provide details of an allocated clinically experienced (in that field) supervisor who will support your clinical practice.

Please visit our CPD page to download an healthcare and social work application form and for more information on the application process.

Fees and funding

Level 6:

Per credit: £63
15 credits: £900

Level 7:

Per credit: £63
30 credits: £1,890

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

There are several funding options available:

  • receiving course fees via CPPD contracts between NHS trusts and Middlesex University
  • paying your own fees
  • sponsorship by your employer (but not under a CPPD contract).

For more information for any of these options, including fee rates for self-funding/employer-sponsored students, please visit our dedicated funding page.

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