AC6728 - Health History & Physical Assessment

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn knowledge and skills for undertaking a general approach to health history and clinical examination of patients. You will cover biological systems in order to provide a systematic approach to history and clinical examination. The systems covered in your learning are as follows:

• Cardiovascular system
• Respiratory System
• Gastrointestinal system
• Neurological system
• Selected serious conditions

You will learn to review clinical data in order to construct clinical decisions and produce management plans. You will learn specific techniques for examination of the body for accuracy and safety. Learning will be research led by current clinical evidence including local, national and international guidelines e.g. NUTH/Northumbria Guidelines, NICE, SIGN and European clinical guidelines.

How will I learn on this module?

There are a range of approaches employed for your learning. There will be lectures based upon the systems and common clinical conditions. You will be expected to learn as a group and be involved in groups work to solve problems. There will be demonstrations of clinical skills of which you will be required to practice in class as well as in the clinical environment. On-line material will be available to support your learning throughout the module via the University’s eLearning Platform (eLP) Blackboard Ultra.
You will also learn by practicing new skills development in practice under supervision
You will have access to 24/7 generic IT support and access to a full range of student administration and support services offered by Northumbria University which includes library and learning support outlined in the module handbook.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During this module you will be supported in a number of ways. Firstly, you will be supported by the module tutor who will guide you through the requirements of the module. The module tutor will provide you with academic advice, guide you through the module examinations, and provide individual tutorials, as well as individual progress reports and feedback. You will have the opportunity to practice your skills under supervision within the scheduled module hours.
In order to support your learning in practice, you will also need to identify a person who is suitably qualified to supervise you and assess your clinical skills in practice. Your supervisor can be a doctor, or any allied health practitioner (e.g. Nurse, Advanced Clinical Practitioner, Paramedic) who is qualified to perform these clinical skills themselves.
Should you have any additional or specific learning needs, these can be discussed with the module tutor as and when they arise. If you have an existing disability which affects your learning or may believe you have a disability that impacts upon your ability to learn, you may be eligible to access help from the university student support team. The student support team will liaise with the module tutor to ensure you are offered appropriate support to help you get the most from your studies.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate a structured approach to the completion of a thorough and concise clinical history and develop mastery of targeted physical examinations.
2. Reflect on clinical decisions and clinical actions in relation to role and professional regulations.
3. Demonstrate achievement of clinical competence through objective structured clinical examination and unseen examination.

Intellectual / Professional Skills & Abilities:

4. Communicate effectively with service users and clinical colleagues.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. You will work collaboratively with peers in a learning community, this will help you to develop professional networks and peer support opportunities, professional goals as part of a strategy for lifelong learning and professional learning.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
• You will receive verbal feedback throughout the module from the module lead, through in-class work and direct supervision of practice in class (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Summative Assessment
The summative assessment for this module has two parts:

1. You are required to undertake 8 clinically focused examinations within your area of practice. Three examinations are health history elicitation and the remaining five are physical examinations relating to different physical systems. You will require a clinical supervisor who can help you develop your skills and assess your competence. You will submit your completed portfolio of evidence for review.
2. Unseen written examination. Duration 2 hours. A multi-question examination paper aimed at evaluating your knowledge and understanding related to the module content (MLO 1, 2 & 4).


“ To undertake this module you must hold a valid current professional registration” (i.e.: NMC / GMC / HCPC)



Module abstract

This module has been designed to enable you to become competent in the history and examination of patients. The module has been designed to provide an essential foundation for development of skills regardless of your clinical professional background. Teaching and learning methods will include lectures, demonstrations, practical application, classroom-based supervised practice, use of clinical evidence and personal reflection. You will be assessed in two ways; 8 clinically-based examinations to demonstrate competence and safety in the assessment of patients, and a written examination all focused upon module content as applied to the clinical context.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years part-time

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy