School of Health in Social Science

Clinical Decision Making and Professional Judgement

This course provides students with opportunities to consider the theoretical perspectives on and practical reality of making judgements and decisions in the best interests of patients and clients.

SQCF Level 11
Credits 20
Course Director Professor Tonks Fawcett
Starting Date September 2016
Fees (UK/EU) £945

About the course

The aim of this course is to explore the centrality and the complexity of clinical judgement and decision making within the health care context of the early 21st century.

Theoretical input will be supported by case study exploration and reflection. Gaining a better understanding of their decision making processes has important benefits for nurses, organisational effectiveness and health outcomes.

The course allows for lecture based learning, experiential learning and research enquiry to be explored. Approaches taken will seek to acknowledge both the local and international background from which the Masters students may be drawn and the range of knowledge and experiences they will bring to the subject area.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Examine critically the main theoretical approaches to clinical decision making and how they relate to clinical practice.
  • Explore critically the nature of clinical judgements and decisions looking at potential human error and bias.
  • Analyse the complexity and uncertainty within which judgements and decisions are made.
  • Show a critical awareness of the potential implications for patients and clients of the clinical decisions made.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of all health care members of the multidisciplinary team in relation to judgements and decisions.
  • Examine critically how decision making skills might be acquired and better utilised in the health care setting.


The formal assessment of this course will be one course paper of 4000 - 5000 words.

How to apply for CPD courses

Discover the application process for continuing professional development courses.

How to apply for CPD courses

Further information

For further information about the content of this course please contact the Nursing Studies CPD secretary:

Sergio Mori

Nursing Studies CPD Secretary

Contact details



Medical School
Teviot Place

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