Advanced Communication Skills

Key information

Start date: 10 May 2022

Attendance dates:

May 2022: 10, 11


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

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 aims

This module aims to enable you to implement effective communication strategies to enhance the physical and emotional well-being of patients and their carers.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Evaluate the evidence base of effective communication as well as barriers to communication in different healthcare contexts.
  • Demonstrate skill in facilitating and assessing patients' expression of their physical problems, psychosocial concerns and worries.
  • Reflect upon and critically appraise one's own and others’ communication skills.
  • Appreciate the need for professional support and clinical supervision.
  • Critically evaluate the ability to work with issues of equality and diversity in communication.

Course content

Indicative module content includes:

  • Evidence base for enhanced communication skills
  • Breaking bad news
  • Handling difficult questions
  • Interviewing skills
  • Facilitating skills
  • Distancing strategies
  • Handling difficult emotions, for example denial, anger, anxiety
  • Assessing and tailoring information to individual needs
  • Communication within the multidisciplinary team
  • Support and clinical supervision
  • Culture and communication
  • Barriers to communication
  • Equality and diversity.

Learning and teaching methods

For the 2020/21 curriculum our CPD modules will be delivered using hybrid learning. This means that depending on the subject and content of learning and teaching, modules may be delivered solely online or via a combination of face to face and online delivery, however for all programmes face to face contact time will be reduced, as per Government guidelines and to ensure the reduction of risk for all. Further information can be sought from the course leader (see below).

Usual learning and teaching methods include:

  • Pre module workbook
  • Experiential learning
  • Lecture and discussion
  • Small group exercises
  • E-Learning.


A critical appraisal of your communication skills, based on an audio-recording of an interaction/consultation, which you will transcribe, involving a patient, carer or team member.


A critical reflection on the your communication skills based on an interaction/consultation, involving a patient, carer/parent or family member.

Word count: 3,000

Course leader

Anne Arber profile image

Dr Anne Arber

Visiting Reader in Cancer and Palliative Care

Reading list

Take a look at the module reading list.

Entry requirements

  • Ability to study at level 7
  • Professional registration as a healthcare professional:
    • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
    • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Working in health and social care.

Fees and funding


How to apply

Please download and fill in an application form. 

Send your completed application back to us at the address or email included on the form. Please ensure that you have completed all sections and answered all questions, incomplete forms may result in delays and ultimately missing out on available places.

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 more.