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Critical Thinking and Reasoning in Health and Social Care HEA4172


This module focuses on developing the skills of critical thinking and reasoning. Effective critical thinking and reasoning supports effective practice. This module helps qualified practitioners in health and social care to evolve their professional practice in ways that remain focused on solutions and constructive outcomes for the people who use their service. It explores how practitioners think, make judgements and reach decisions, within their own service setting and within inter-professional and/or multi-agency settings. It identifies how different models of supervision can be utilised to maximise a critical approach to practice and how research can be usefully integrated into the practitioner’s professional knowledge to support, rather than restrict, their professional autonomy.

Module code:HEA4172
Module credits:20
Cost for new students:TBC

If your tuition fee is being paid by a sponsor or you are a sponsor paying a student’s fee, you are required to send a copy of a purchase order to [email protected].

For further guidance please visit: Sponsored students – Edge Hill University

Who is this module for?

The module is applicable to any professional practicing in health and social care who is currently registered with their professional regulator. The content and delivery of the module focuses on the transferrable skills that all health and social care professionals need to develop effective and accountable professional judgement and decision-making.

What are the key aims of the module?

This module highlights contemporary theory and research and promotes practice that promotes a constructive professional curiosity. It aims to enable practitioners to further develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to critical thinking and reasoning to enable and support more effective practice and better outcomes for users of health and care services.

Building on a range of emerging practice frameworks in health and social care and the new joint working arrangements evolving through the integration of health and social care under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, this module aims to develop enhanced critical thinking and reasoning skills that are soundly based in a clear understanding of the profession, evolving social trends, health and social policy priorities and research evidence.

How will I study?

This module is normally studied over seven sessions. The module overall takes 18 weeks.

What will I study?

  • Fast thinking, slow thinking and critical thinking.
  • The principles of reflection.
  • Making the most of supervision – models and methods.
  • The place of research within essential professional knowledge for practice.
  • Effective collaboration with other services.
  • Locating current practice within the wider demographic changes and evolving need and the related legislative, policy and guidance frameworks.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment and feedback will take place via SWOT analysis and action planning exercise located within the individual tutorial element of the module.

CW1 – 2000 words – case study analysis

CW2 – 2000 words – Critically reflective analysis of own and others’ professional reasoning, outputs and outcomes of a recent multi-agency or inter-professional practice experience.

On successful completion you will:

Critically analyse sources of knowledge used in professional decision-making within their area of practice to evaluate their validity in decision-making.

Demonstrate effective critical thinking and reasoning process in professional decision-making.

Critically evaluate the purposeful application of critical reflection in their practice.

Critically analyse the role, practice models and underlying assumptions of other professions relevant to inter-professional/multi-agency working within own area of practice.

How to apply

This module will not be running during the 2024 academic year.


Contact us

For further information regarding module availability, study dates and costs please contact the School of Allied Health, Social Work and Wellbeing on [email protected].

If you have any queries regarding module content and your suitability to study please contact the Module Coordinator Nigel Kelleher on 01695 650 881 or email [email protected].


This is a stand alone module that is not linked to any specific programme of further study. However, Edge Hill University is currently developing a post graduate qualification route (PG certificate and PG diploma) that will incorporate this module.