First Contact

Course Type
Postgraduate, Module

Module overview

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 module 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.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module 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.


20 credits at level 7

Module dates

  • 12 and 13 January 2023
  • 16 and 17 February 2023
  • 16 and 17 March 2023


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

Academics involved in the delivery of this module

Louise Beesley

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities