Key Facts

Module Title: Communication Skills for Health Professionals in Clinical Practice
Mode of Study:This module can be taken independently or as part of the Masters in Medical Science
Contact Details:01782 734933
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Fees: Click for details

This module is intended for all health professionals engaged in clinical practice. The simulations will centre on primary care and community settings, drawing also on some hospital-based scenarios, reflecting participants' clinical backgrounds.

The module deals with key issues in communication for health professionals:

  • The consultation
  • Teamwork, negotiation and personal attributes
  • Managing more challenging clinician-patient interactions
  • Presenting information - getting the message across to a target audience
  • Assessment of communication in professional contexts

The module aims to develop excellent communication skills through an approach based on skills and values, to explore the theory and evidence underpinning communication skills teaching and to enable participants to use a skills based approach to teach others. The clinical consultation will be an important but not exclusive vehicle for this.

The module is open to health professionals with a first degree or equivalent currently engaged in clinical practice.

Through the first session, students should:


  • Understand and be able to demonstrate the principles of good communication.
  • Be able to analyse a consultation using adapted Pendleton rules.
  • Understand the use of team characters and how to maximise communications with a team.
  • Develop a deeper feeling for what is happening during the consultation and how to guide this towards a desired outcome.
  • Gain awareness of the challenges facing consulting in the modern era.



Through the second session, students should:

  • Be able to understand consultation models and how to apply them
  • Conduct effective consultations with simulated patients
  • Practice giving and receiving useful feedback
  • Demonstrate good practice in breaking bad news during simulated consultations
  • Develop increased awareness and understanding of the patient's perspective


Through the third session, students should:

  • Gain practical skills in presenting - a case or teaching a skill
  • Clarify better ways of communicating with patients and colleagues
  • Understand the principles of negotiation and shared decision making with patients
  • Opportunity to have an interview with a simulated patient videoed


Through the fourth session, students should:

  • Appreciate the issues around communicating with older people
  • Appreciate how culture affects communication and how to manage this
  • Gain experience in managing consultations when someone accompanies the patient
  • Develop skills in changing behaviour and challenging them for a desired clinical outcome


For those in GP training the module potentially contributes to the following RCGP Curriculum Statement 2016 headings:-

1:   The Core Statement Being a General Practitioner
2:   The Professional Modules
2.01   The GP Consultation in Practice
2.02   Patient Safety and Quality of Care
2.03   The GP in the Wider Professional Environment
3.   The Clinical Modules
3.05   Care of Older Adults
3.09   End-of-Life Care
3.10   Care of People with Mental Health Problems
3.11   Care of People with Intellectual Disability
3.20   Care of People with Musculoskeletal Problems




Small group learning, practical sessions, skills-based sessions, workshops.


Assessment will consist of two elements:


  • Written Assignment (1500-2000 words) - 75%

Discuss an aspect of communication related to your work as a health professional, making appropriate and critical reference to the literature

This could include reference to cultural or linguistic issues, communication with colleagues, conduct of meetings, formal presentations, etc. It could be based on analysis of a critical incident or a more general review of literature.


  • Personal Reflection - 25%

Write a short commentary on the experience of reviewing your own consulting style in a small group setting. You will need to reflect on feedback you received and critically analyse your own performance. Your performance in the presentation and video will not form part of your assessment - it is your ability to reflect on, and critically appraise, your performance that is being assessed.


Module Session Dates

For module session dates please contact administrator.