Advanced Health Assessment PgCert

The PGCert in Advanced Health Assessment aims to provide the knowledge, skills and leadership abilities necessary for clinical practitioners to undertake a range of advanced health assessments commensurate with the role of Advanced Clinical Practitioners and integrate positive service developments into their clinical setting.


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Course format

No placements


9-12 months

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Mode of Delivery: Part-time, distance learning, in-university and in-practice learning

Duration: 9-12 months

Start date: October 1, 2024

Application deadline: September 1, 2024

Intake: Up to 24 students

Study days: Online blended learning, in-practice learning and attendance at university in module 2 for face-to-face practical week – 5 days. Exact dates to be confirmed.

Fees (2024/25): £3,720

Scholarships: If you are a West Midlands pharmacist, nurse or AHP you can apply to Health Education England (HEE) for possible funding for this course, as the course fully meets their curriculum requirements.

Entry Requirements:

We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications and experience.

You must be a registered healthcare professional with an appropriate professional accreditation, i.e. pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or an allied health professional registered with the Health Professionals Council (HCPC)

  • You must have a minimum of 1-2 years post-registration experience within a patient-facing role.
  • Ideally, you should be currently employed in a patient-facing role.
  • Able to access an appropriately qualified/experienced mentor to support training in practice.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case.

*This course is subject to minimum cohort sizes and applicants in years where the cohort threshold has not been met will be offered deferrals to the next academic year.

    This course is part of the Aston Pharmacy School which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.

    Course outline

    The NHS Five Year Forward View published in October 2014 sets out a positive vision for the future, based around new models of care. Health Education England (HEE) is working to support the development of the workforce that is required to deliver those new models of care. Health Education England working across the West Midlands (HEE WM) is focusing resources on supporting workforce development and transformation in order to ensure the local workforce has the right skills in the right numbers and at the right time to fulfil the future vision for service delivery. It is widely recognised that Advanced Clinical Practitioners have an increasingly important role within the healthcare workforce, particularly considering national supply and skills shortages in the medical and non-medical workforce.

    Advanced Health Assessment can be taken standalone or as part of the PgDip in Advanced Clinical Practice (120 credits). Taken together with the Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing programme and Nurse Independent Prescribing (approval pending) programme, AHA covers the Advanced Clinical Practitioner curriculum approved by Health Education England.

    This is a clinical course involving advanced health assessment of patients. You must be prepared to physically examine patients, models and fellow students.

    By the end of the course you should be able to:

    • Understand the role and responsibilities of an advanced health practitioner; be aware of their own limitations; work within the limits of professional competence; know when and how to refer / consult / seek guidance from another member of the health care team.
    • Work effectively within a clinical partnership. Demonstrate a shared approach to decision making by assessing patient’s needs, taking account of their wishes and values and those of their carers when making clinical decisions. Develop effective communication with patients, carers, other ACPs, prescribers and members of the health care team. Write accurate, effective and timely records to ensure that other health care staff are appropriately informed.
    • Recognise, evaluate and respond to influences on clinical practice at individual, local and national levels. Demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to clinical decision making.
    • Identify and assess sources of information, advice and decision support and demonstrate how they use them in patient care taking into account evidence-based practice and national/local guidelines where they exist.
    • Be able to undertake audit and self-audit of their own clinical practice and personal development.
    • Demonstrate competence in assessing a range of clinical cases and applying advanced health assessment skills to:
      • Describe the condition being treated
      • Recognise the signs and symptoms of illness
      • Take an accurate history
      • Use relevant diagnostic aids
      • Inform a working diagnosis
      • Formulate a treatment plan
      • Carry out a checking process and manage patients safely, appropriately and cost effectively Monitor response
      • Review the working differential diagnosis and modify treatment or refer

    Speak to our Admissions Team

    If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


    Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm)

    Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

    What you will study

    The course comprises four Level 7, 15-credit modules that has designed in line with the HEE Framework for Advancing Practice (2018).

    The study of 60 credits is equivalent to 600 learning hours. The learning hours will include but are not limited to lectures, seminars, tutorials, clinical training sessions, online activity, reading, other independent study, feedback on assignments and work placements.

    This generic course has been designed to expand students’ existing knowledge and develop advanced health assessment skills to support effective clinical care of patients in a patient-facing role. This course is suitable for all clinical specialties.

    • Module 1. Health Assessment - Fundamentals of Health Assessment
    • Module 2. Health Assessment – Clinical Skills School
    • Module 3. Health Assessment – Clinical Application
    • Module 4. Health Assessment – IPL 

    Learning, teaching and assessment

    Learning and Teaching Methods

    • Self-Directed online study blocks
    • Experiential learning
    • Face-to-face and hands-on learning and teaching

    The Programme will be assessed through a combination of oral clinical assessment (OCA) (Module 2), online SAQs and critical reflection assignment (Module 1 and 3) and portfolio (Module 4) – in keeping with national guidance and HEE expectations.

    Study Dates

    Online blended learning, in practice learning and attendance at university in module 2 for face-to-face practical week – 8 days. Exact dates TBC.

    Course Director and Teaching Staff

    • Moortooza Puttaroo - Progamme director (Certificate in Independent Prescribing)
    • Gagandeep Degun, Teaching Fellow in Pharmacy.
    • Professor Raj Gupta is the Programme Medical Director. He is also Head of Specialist Clinical Teaching Academy / Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
    • Ramandeep Sandhu, Module Coordinator and Teaching Fellow in Pharmacy. 


    • An established Virtual Learning Environment for teaching and course-organisation materials and communications, such as lecture notes, presentations and videos.
    • New clinical training facilities including a new 'ward' area.
    • Modern lecture theatres and classrooms, equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and technology.
    • Hard-copy and electronic access to publications, journals and large scientific databases. 
    • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.

    Your future career opportunities

    Students can also complete a research dissertation which can be taken after Advanced Health Assessment and Independent Prescribing enabling the upgrade of the award to a MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice. Graduates may seek employment as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) - recognised across a range of healthcare professions.

    Contact us

    Register your interest form