Short course

First Contact

This six day short course will enable you to develop your knowledge of common presentations of undifferentiated diagnosis and explore related differential diagnoses  to facilitate the delivery of a comprehensive management plan to optimise patient safety and outcome.

Start date
Tue 30/04/2024 - Wed 01/05/2024 (classroom) Tue 14/05/2024 - Wed 15/05/2024 (classroom) Tue 18/06/2024 - Wed 19/06/2024 (classroom)
6 days
Home - £1,130
Postgraduate microcredential
20 credits


First Contact will appeal to clinical practitioners working within primary and urgent care settings from multi-professional backgrounds who have direct clinical responsibility for the assessment and management of patients presenting with undifferentiated diagnosis. The course will develop your knowledge of common presentations seen within these clinical settings and explore related differential diagnoses including red flag and must not miss diagnoses to facilitate the delivery of a comprehensive management plan to optimise patient safety and outcome.

The learning and teaching approaches will be underpinned by detailed consideration of the relevant evidence base research and theory. There will be opportunities for collaborative learning and engagement with clinicians. The module will combine lectures, workshops, seminars, and e-learning that is designed in a way to enhance application of learning to the clinical environment.

Methods of teaching

Lectures, workshops, tutorials and blended learning activities.


On completion you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the broadened level of responsibility, accountability and autonomy of working in a first contact role, acknowledging the limits of own competence and professional scope of practice in line with their respective code of professional conduct and governance systems.
  2. Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of common first contact disorders, injuries or diseases seen within primary and urgent care settings across the life continuum.
  3. Present a systematic approach for selecting appropriate and realistic differential diagnoses based upon identification of key presenting signs and symptoms obtained through an appropriately focussed clinical history and examination, through clinical case based discussions.
  4. Apply synthesis of this clinical knowledge to formulate a comprehensive management plan utilising contemporaneous clinical research to support clinical decision making, including requirements for further diagnostic investigations and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
  5. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the importance of appropriate patient referral, follow up or discharge, including safety netting approaches, to optimise patient safety and outcomes in the primary and urgent care setting including managing the complexities of uncertain diagnosis and life-threatening presentations.


  • Oral case-based presentation: 50%.
  • 1,500-word essay: 50%.


Toni Flanagan 


  • Degree level entry requirement.
  • Applications must be received a minimum of one month before the start date of the module.
  • For further information, please email