AC6759 - Sexual Health Advisor: Principles of public health and partner notification

What will I learn on this module?

The module focuses on three key elements:
• Analysis of the core public health principles, models and approaches to assessment and motivational interviewing to develop a robust formulation of evidence to underpin partner notification practice
• Evaluation of the core elements that constitute safe, ethical and person-centred partner notification
• How to undertake client partner notification processes informed by appropriate legal, ethical and professional frameworks and guidance, and articulate and document your evidence-based decision making for any partner notification interventions you provide or refuse.

The module introduces you to the existing evidence base which informs your practice; enables you to understand and critique the evidence and apply it to your own practice. You will learn how to; find and critique evidence directly related to the module using online library and skills plus services, develop your writing, referencing and presentation skills at graduate level enabling you to build upon and further develop your current academic skills. The module develops your ability to understand how to undertake partner notification with your client, based upon current legal, ethical and professional guidance and advise the client on possible preventative and treatment options including the risks and benefits. This will require you to articulate and document evidence based defensible decision making related to partner notification practice. It also helps you to evaluate your own practice setting in terms of what constitutes safe and ethical practice.

How will I learn on this module?

The focus of this module is critical reflection on your own professional learning and practice. The module will commence with an analysis of your own prior skills and abilities in public health, sexual health assessments and partner notification through blended learning, which is a mix of eLearning and face-to-face seminars. Your learning online will be via guided and individual study through use of an interactive e learning package. This will evaluate your learning by asking you to undertake several formative learning exercises with feedback provided electronically and by teachers as a means to gradually develop your understanding. You will attend seminars and share your learning with teachers and peers using case reviews, peer discussion where you will have the opportunity to give and receive feedback and feed forward to each other. You will apply your learning to a summative assignment which requires you to critically analyse a partner notification case study of your choice from your current practice and make recommendations for improvement where appropriate.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the module teacher who will guide your academic learning and assessment throughout the module. They have been involved in developing the eLearning materials and assessment exercises, will provide some of your face-to-face teaching, and feedback, supported by other staff. Details of your assessment will be introduced to you at the start of the module and you will also have an opportunity to engage in online group tutorial support. You will also have an allocated personal/guidance teacher who will provide advice and support in relation to academic, procedural, and (where desired and appropriate) personal matters during the programme of study you have enrolled on. You will have access to 24/7 generic IT support and specific support from the programme team with any specific IT issues related to the eLearning package. You will also have access to the full range of student administration and support services offered by Northumbria University which includes library and learning support outlined fully on the programme blackboard page.

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. Utilising appropriate public health theory, models and approaches to assessment and motivational interviewing develop plan to evidence your decision making and support of the index patient when discussing partner notification
2. Interpret, and systematically evaluate the contemporary evidence, professional, legal and ethical principles in order to make sound judgments and recommendations for partner notification.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Collaborate with client to identify priorities, plan, document and defend your judgements and actions when initiating partner notification.
4.Evaluate personal lifelong learning skills and abilities, identifying areas for development

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5.Analyse own practice in relation to the principles of safe and ethical partner notification, identifying areas for development

How will I be assessed?

Formative exercises
Case study analysis / implications for consultation
• Analysis of client consultation case studies to articulate information gained or missing from assessment and professional partner notification process based upon current legal, ethical and professional frameworks and guidance.
MLO 1, 2,3,5- Verbal peer and teacher feedback in seminar

Brief audit of practice setting
• Analysis of current policies, procedures and documentation used for partner notification
MLO 2, 3,5- Comments on practice-based audit by verbal peer and teacher feedback in seminar to inform future action plan.
Summative assignment
The summative assessment for this module will require a 2500-word assignment of an episode of partner notification. You will draw upon relevant evidence, public health theory, models and approaches to appraise the process you use in practice when addressing partner notification. You will appraise the effectiveness of the process and provide a robust defence for the judgements and action taken during the partner notification process and make recommendations for any improvements for individual and organisation practice. (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Summative feedback on final submission of the assessed work will be given in a structured format to inform future practice





Module abstract

This module focuses on the fundamental skills for partner notification from a sexual health context. You will develop appropriate theoretical knowledge, complex skills and behaviours in public health to advance your partner notification practice. You will explore key concepts in contemporary public health, health promotion behaviour change and motivational interviewing to facilitate facilitating health enhancing activities within sexual health. You will explore and apply local policies, governance, and legislative requirements to identify sexual health partners, use strategies to protect and safeguard from harm the index patient, help prevent risk taking behaviours and adhering to policy for sharing confidential information. You will explore the complex relationships between the wider health determinants, wellbeing, and health inequalities, enhancing critical thinking and decision-making skills. You will demonstrate an ability to synthesise appropriate knowledge and information, when undertaking a comprehensive assessment and developing partner notification strategies for services users.

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.


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