Advanced Health Assessment


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: Online learning

Application deadline: June 30th. *Application results will be communicated after this date*

Course type
Part-time / distance learning
Entry requirements

9-12 months

Start date

Course overview

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

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.

Why Advanced Health Assessment at Aston University?

Develop your understanding of the role of an advanced health practitioner with this curriculum approved by Health Education England
Learn from experts from the field with our experienced teaching staff
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Excellent access to facilities, from our new clinical training ‘ward’ area to an established Virtual Learning Environment for online learning

Course description

Advanced Health Assessment PgCert

Learn the skills to work as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner with the knowledge, skills and leadership abilities necessary to undertake a range of advanced health assessments commensurate with the role.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you, fantastic facilities that will bring your course to life through hands-on, practical experience; years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. 

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understanding that intelligence and success comes from applying yourself.  You must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
Our Advanced Health Assessment PgCert at Aston will enable you to demonstrate competence in assessing a range of clinical cases and applying advanced health assessment skills including the ability to describe a 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, and review the working differential diagnosis and modify treatment or refer.

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Career prospects
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.

How you will learn

Learning and Teaching Methods

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

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.

What you will learn

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. 

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.


  • 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.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with opportunities to realise your academic potential through a range of learning experiences.
  2. Encourages you, through a practical approach, to have a passion for health assessment and an enthusiasm for learning.
  3. Provides an in-depth and high level of scientific knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of health assessment, and how this knowledge is being applied in the wider field.
  4. Enables you to to undertake a range of advanced health assessments commensurate with the role of Advanced Clinical Practitioners.
  5. Provides the knowledge, skills and leadership abilities necessary for clinical practitioners to be able to integrate positive service developments into their clinical setting.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Health Assessment – Fundamentals of Health Assessment15
Health Assessment – Clinical Skills School15
Health Assessment – Clinical Application15
Health Assessment – In Practice Learning15

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.

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.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.



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 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£3,720

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


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.



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.

Course Director and Teaching Staff

Career prospects

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.


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