MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Paediatrics) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced Paediatric Diagnostic Skills (A)

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS60081
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit aims to prepare the student for advanced clinical practice and by so doing contribute to excellent Heath & Social Care Service delivery through the provision of robust clinical skills training utilising a range of teaching methods in a supportive learning environment.
It will use a blended learning approach that combines access face-to-face theory , problem based learning, simulation, independent and online learning and skills development in advanced clinical practice with input from expert practitioners in the field.  
The unit will critically analyse and evaluate advanced practice in healthcare  using application and reflection in relation to their own practice.


This unit aims to evaluate and synthesise the skills and knowledge needed by practitioners to assess children and young people across health and social care settings.  
By the end of the course unit Level 7 students should be able to:
Demonstrate an advancing  working knowledge of paediatric anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology in relation to their work with children, young people and families
Justify and defend the approaches used to conduct a clinical assessment and the subsequent application of findings to the development of potential differential diagnosis.
Critique and synthesise contemporary evidence based practice, research, guidelines, protocols and care pathways informing the care, management and treatment of children and young people in their care.
Critically reflect upon their personal development needs in order to meet the required paediatric clinical competencies through the use of critical reasoning and reflection, effective communication and the use of logical and systematic approaches to clinical decision making at advanced practice level.

Teaching and learning methods

Key learning and teaching strategies include key lectures delivered by expert practitioners with opportunity for discussion and reflection via problem based learning; simulation and demonstration of skills in the classroom and in practice; case study analysis
Small group work will support reflection and case study analysis, including scenarios providing an opportunity to explore issues related to the specific dynamics of the age continuum.
All learning will be supported by Elearning and access to online resources i.e.  videos, podcasts and related web site links.
Service user and carer support will be used where appropriate in teaching and assessment to support clinical work and engage with users in a guided and meaningful manner

Knowledge and understanding

  • Critically analyse, synthesise and develop a systematic understanding of key concepts and theories related to history taking, assessment  and clinical decision making
  • Apply in-depth knowledge, understanding and comprehension of paediatric anatomy and physiology, including embryological development and its relationship to congenitally acquired anomalies, to their advancing clinical practice.
  • Develop expert understanding of the ways in which illness affects the child and young person

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate  current health care practice as a health care practitioner to improve  the quality of health and social care delivered to children, young people and their families.
  • Identify and critically appraise information from a variety of sources to develop a coherent critical evaluation of issues relating to advanced healthcare practice
  • Analyse clinical findings to derive appropriate differential diagnosis to   decide on relevant diagnostic testing.
  • Develop a deeper insight into the significance of   laboratory information and radiological findings to confirm/refute clinical diagnosis and guide further clinical management.
  • Develop a robust management plan which is current, evidence based and within practice guidelines and articulate this plan to a wide multidisciplinary team.
  • Recognise and distinguish the unique and individual health needs and concerns of children with complex care issues and sensitively manage expectations of parents/carers, making appropriate referrals to external agencies as required
  • Demonstrate initiative in analysing problems and critically evaluates current practice   
  • Recognise how their practice enables the safeguarding of children and young people in their care

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate competence in a range of practical procedures relating to their clinical field of practice within the limits of their professional codes and limits of competence.
  • Ability to Take a thorough medical, social and family history appropriate to the presenting complaint
  • Complete a thorough top-to-toe paediatric clinical examination, correctly identify and interpret clinical signs, document finding.
  • Integrate health assessment and promotion into consultations and practice

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Critically reflect on own academic  and clinical performance and utilize a range of strategies to improve these and overcome challenges
  • Further develop and enhance skills in advanced communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings
  • Demonstrate effective multiagency and professional working in classroom and clinical practice
  • Utilise skills in systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex clinical and non-clinical issues to advance clinical practice in relation to their own professional group
  • Act professionally at all times  and be able to recognise the boundaries and limits to their own practice 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Oral assessment/presentation 50%
Practical skills assessment 50%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 150
Tutorials 50
Independent study hours
Independent study 200

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Helen Hardy Unit coordinator

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