Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Principles of Primary Care

Module titlePrinciples of Primary Care
Module codeHPDM127
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Alex Harding (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

1 day

1 day

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module provides all who work in primary care an opportunity to examine the core ideas that underpin daily practice.  The module uses a flipped approach (the course content is online allowing you to prepare much of the material before the contact days).  The contact days therefore focus on applying ideas to practice using a combination of small groups, masterclasses and interactive panel sessions.   After completion of the module you will have gained an insight into postgraduate study and an entry into a rich variety of further learning opportunities. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims are twofold:

1 Providing a knowledge of why primary care systems are so effective in delivering health and the principles of Primary Care that underpin this efficacy.

2 Through acquaintance with this knowledge and participation in peer support groups, a strengthening of motivation to provide high quality care in community settings.


Much of the content of this module is delivered by practitioners who have developed national and international policy concerning the core principles of primary care.  

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically analyse the evidence underpinning the efficacy of primary-care led health systems
  • 2. Critically analyse core principles of primary care that account for its efficacy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Critically analyse ideas around identity and sense of belongingness in primary care
  • 4. Critically analyse and apply clinical method and clinical reasoning in primary care

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Critically analyse and apply what professionalism means in modern primary healthcare
  • 6. Critically analyse use core management techniques for primary care

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

  1. The evidence underpinning the efficiency of primary care and primary care-based healthcare systems with the purpose of enabling participants to evaluate proposals and pressure for change. Key areas to cover would include:
    1. International evidence comparing the efficiency of primary care–led healthcare systems to other healthcare systems.
    2. Understanding the different approaches to primary and secondary care, and in particular, clinical reasoning and clinical method in primary care
    3. What are the core principles that underpin efficacy of primary healthcare with a focus on continuity of care
  2.  Principles of self-management and management of others in community care settings
    1. Self-management; preserving health in practice / addressing imposter syndrome / career management, development and opportunities for networking on the course
    2. Management of others; influencing, time and task management, project management, presentation skills
  1. Modern ideas of professionalism for clinicians working in community healthcare settings (providing subject matter for small groups

Please note re COVID-19


-      Face-to-face scheduled lectures may be replaced by short pre-recorded videos for each topic (15-20 minutes) and/or brief overview lectures delivered via MS Teams/Zoom, with learning consolidated by self-directed learning resources and ELE activities.

-          Small-group discussion in tutorials and seminars may be replaced by synchronous group discussion on Teams/ Zoom; or asynchronous online discussion, for example via Yammer or ELE Discussion board

-          Workshops involving face-to-face classroom teaching may be replaced by synchronous sessions on Teams/Zoom; or Asynchronous workshop activities supported with discussion forum

-          Skills workshops involving practical skills acquisition demonstrations may be replaced by short pre-recorded videos as pre-learning; or workshop via Teams/Zoom.

-          Face-to-face meetings with dissertation supervisors may be replaced by meetings supported by email/phone/Teams/Zoom; and some lab/data projects may be replaced by Literature or data projects only.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities15A mixture of at least; 6 x1hr masterclasses, 2x2hr small-group work and 2x1.5hr interactive arena sessions
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Presentation of practice-based case study
Guided Independent study66Preparation for course: Interactive, pre-course reading of online material
Guided Independent Study67Preparation for assessment: Preparing submission for assessment (practice-based case study using principles learned on the course)


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Completion of interactive pre-course online content67 hours; approx.10 pages of content with 5 (approx.)references and interactive element1-6Online feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical-analytic account of a practice-based case study1002000 words1-6Written feedback from module leads


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Critical-analytic account of a practice-based case study (100%)Critical-analytic account of a practice-based case study (2000 words)1-6By end June

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Harding A.M. et al (2019)Teaching General Practice RCGP; London

Harding A.M. et al (2020) Teaching General Practice; A resource set for teachers and learners RCGP;London

MCWhinney, I. (1997) A textbook of family practice. Oxford University Press; Oxford 

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Primary care, Family Practice, General Practice

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

No – but mandatory for all those receiving HEE / NHSE funding 

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date