Advanced assessment and communication skills in public health nursing practice

Key information

Start date:
21 October 2024
Attendance dates:

21, 22, 31 October 2024

01, 04, 19, 20 November 2024

Kate Granger Building, 30 Priestley Road, Surrey Research Park, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7YH

Depending on the subject and content, modules will be delivered via a combination of face to face and online.

Some modules may be taught at: Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
Contact details:
  • Level
    7 (postgraduate)
  • Credits
  • Module code

Module overview

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of holistic assessment and the use of advanced communication skills. 

You will examine and reflect on your own and others' skills through the use of role play with actors, and critically apply the evidence base in relation to validated assessment tools and communication methods.

In addition to interprofessional learning, there will be opportunities for students from different professional disciplines to develop professional identity through facilitated sessions focusing on their professional background.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth awareness of how to conduct, interpret and evaluate health assessments in partnership with people utilising a life course approach. 
  • Critically evaluate the evidence base in relation to validated tools used to deliver holistic assessments and reviews specific to the field of practice.
  • Critically explore culturally appropriate, evidence based approaches and issues of equality and diversity when conducting holistic assessments.
  • Demonstrate autonomy when making professional judgements and decisions in complex and unpredictable environments.
  • Critically analyse the use of a range of advanced techniques, communication and interpersonal skills to develop trusting and respectful relationships with clients.
  • Critically appraise the use of digital and other modalities and a variety of formats when communicating with clients within the field of practice.
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of the need for role modelling and compassionate leadership when communicating with clients and colleagues.


Course content

Indicative module content includes:

  • The use of validated assessment tools and the evidence supporting them.
  • The theory related to approaches to undertaking holistic assessments and decision making in partnership with clients.
  • The application of communication skills when undertaking assessments.
  • Culturally competent practice when undertaking assessments.
  • Consideration of equality, diversity and inclusion when communicating with clients using a variety of formats.
  • Facilitators and barriers to communication.
  • Difficult conversations with children and young people and their families and carers.
  • Consideration of the impact of attitudes, values, beliefs, expectations, faiths and cultures on communication.
  • The importance of role modelling and compassionate leadership when communicating with clients, colleagues and interagency partners.

Learning and teaching methods

Learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Online – learning materials/ discussion board
  • Classroom discussions to link theory to practice
  • Problem based learning
  • Simulation role play with actors
  • Group work to include scenario-based workshops.


Summative assessment

3000 word essay based on a scenario from practice. Critically reflect on how an assessment of need was undertaken utilising a specific assessment tool exploring how clinical decisions were made. Critically analyse facilitators and barriers to communication within this scenario. 

Formative assessment:

The use of role play with actors and additional formative activities and feedback will be used during the module to enable you to reflect on your practice and apply the evidence-based knowledge you have gained.

Course leader

Sarah Roberts profile image

Sarah Roberts

Lecturer, Pathway Lead for Health Visiting

Reading list

Take a look at the module reading list.

Entry requirements

  • Ability to study at level 7
  • Working in health and social care.

Fees and funding


How to apply

  1. Applications typically close six weeks before the module start date or earlier if we reach a maximum number of applications. If we still have spaces on the course, we may extend the application deadline date.
  2. It is important to ensure that you complete all sections and answer all questions, incomplete forms will cause a delay and may result in you missing out on an available place.
  3. If you are registered on a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course then you will need to complete an application form for each CPD module you wish to apply for.

Send your completed application to

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

If your sponsoring healthcare provider is funding you for this module, by submitting an application you agree to allow all information regarding your module (for example your exam results) to be shared with the sponsoring provider.

Cancellation policy

If you withdraw less than seven days before the module commences or do not attend on the first day (without informing the module administrator) the full cost of the module will be charged. Withdrawals after the module commences will also be charged.

Module availability

Places are confirmed approximately one month before the module start date. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. 


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to module content) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the module. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a module with us. Read the full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Kate Granger Building

Our Medicine (Graduate Entry) BMBS degree, nursing and midwifery, and health science courses are taught at the Kate Granger Building (30 Priestley Road), on the Surrey Research Park.

Additional information

Depending on the subject and content, modules will mainly be delivered via a combination of face-to-face and online. Some modules may be taught at: Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH.

Post-registration Administration team

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH