AdvDip(CPD) Biological Basis of Diseases (HE7)

Our stand-alone professional development course in the Biological Basis of Diseases offers an introduction to pathophysiology. If you’re a healthcare professional, this course is specifically designed to develop your understanding of the mechanisms of disease and how these processes damage cells, tissues and organs, resulting in clinically overt disease.

Key information



Mode of Study:



14 weeks


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

Aimed at healthcare professionals working in both generalist and specialist roles, this advanced professional development course is designed to develop your understanding of pathophysiology and its importance in the clinical context. Our expert team will focus on integrating basic science with clinical practice, helping you develop a broad base of knowledge that will support your clinical decision making.

We’ll guide you as you develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms and aetiological factors that underpin the development of disease in human adults. Starting with key processes that have the ability to affect all organ systems, such as infection, immune responses, and tissue growth disorders, we’ll explore how these core disease processes can affect individual organ systems, as well as create multisystem and systemic disorders. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about non-organ specific pathophysiology, such as sepsis and ageing.

We’ll support you to use your pathophysiological knowledge to solve complex inter-related patient problems, including the impacts of co-morbidity. The ultimate aim of this course is to help you make more informed decisions when assessing and managing patients in order to improve patient outcomes.

  • Our dedicated academic team brings extensive health and social care experience to the course content. Along with their passion for service excellence in health and social care settings, they’re also currently engaged in highly relevant research, which means they can add valuable context and insight to your learning.
  • The course is designed to provide the flexibility to fit in with busy home and working lives.
  • As you study this course, we’ll encourage you to develop the skills, values and behaviours so popular with employers. These include action planning, personal impact and confidence, self-awareness, social and ethical responsibility, respect, and commitment to quality.
  • The course is part of a professional development framework, and you can use the credits you’ll gain by completing the course successfully towards the University of Bolton’s MSc Clinical Practice.
Key Features
  • The University of Bolton has been offering high-quality courses designed to meet the health and social care sector’s needs for over 30 years, so we have the knowledge and experience to anticipate and respond to changes in the health and social care sector.
  • Our courses and programmes respond directly to the requirements of the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF), which is at the heart of the career and pay progression aspect of Agenda for Change.
  • We review the course curriculum regularly to ensure we include and apply contemporary theories.
  • On successful completion of this course, you’ll be awarded an Advanced Professional Development qualification in Biological Basis of Diseases worth 20 credits at Level HE7.

  • Normally, you’ll have successfully completed an Honours degree (or equivalent) in a subject relevant to healthcare practice. You should also have appropriate work experience.
  • It’s expected that you’ll have a very good understanding of human anatomy and physiology from your previous studies or professional experience – this will be assessed when you apply.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

This course offers academic progression in the specialist field of pathophysiology.

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £800 for the academic year 2024/25.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £800 for the academic year 2024/25.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

In this advanced professional development course we’ll use the principles of problem-based learning to help develop your enquiry skills and place this within the context of patient care.

Our experienced team will introduce and explore key topics through interactive lectures with case-based discussions and group learning. Here, you’ll encounter a number of clinical cases, where patients’ signs and symptoms are used to explain the underlying pathophysiology. You’ll also be expected to read prescribed texts so you can revise and expand on the lecture content in preparation for the assessment. Additionally, the course is supported by a rich array of web-based learning resources available through Moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment.

Formative assessment takes place through a series of mock examination questions that are designed to help you assess your knowledge and tailor your revision. The extended matching questions also aim to develop your ability to apply that knowledge, problem solve and synthesise solutions based on your understanding. Summative assessment for this course will be by written examination.

  • Biological Basis of Diseases
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneWritten exams 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 79%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 21%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Mark Holland
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903277

Michelle Powell
Academic Operations Lead, Health and Human Sciences

+44 (0)1204 903779

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

AdvDip(CPD) Clinical Examination Skills (HE7)

Mode of study
15 Weeks

University of Bolton

Postgraduate Options

MSc Clinical Practice

Mode of study
48 Months

University of Bolton


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant