School of Medicine
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Nicola Cooper

Clinical Associate Professor in Medical Education,



I graduated from the University of Leeds School of Medicine in 1994 and have been a Consultant Physician since 2006, working mainly in the specialty of Acute Internal Medicine. I am author of a number of books and other publications on topics covering patient safety, medical education and acute care. I am a senior fellow of Advance HE, a fellow of the RCPE, RACP and AoME, and fellow of the former NHS Institute of Innovation and Improvement.

Since 2014, I have worked at the University Hospitals of Derby & Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) and am faculty on the University of Nottingham's Masters in Medical Education.

I am the inaugural chair of the UK Clinical Reasoning in Medical Education group (, a registered charity with links in the majority of UK medical schools. We promote excellence in teaching clinical reasoning in medical education and provide high quality resources for teachers and learners. We consult with medical schools in the UK and abroad on clinical reasoning curricula, teaching, and assessment.

Expertise Summary

Main areas of expertise are:

  • Clinical reasoning
  • Diagnostic error
  • Patient safety / human factors
  • The science of learning
  • The science of instruction
  • Improvement science

Teaching Summary

MMedSci Medical Education

Module convenor

  • MEDS4015: Principles and practice of teaching & learning (20 credits)
  • MEDS4016: Teaching clinical reasoning using case-based learning in educational and clinical environments (20 credits)
  • MEDS4018: Principles and practice in assessment & feedback (20 credits)


  • MEDS4011: Coaching, mentoring and supervision (20 credits)
  • MEDS4017: Research and dissertation (60 credits)


I am a personal tutor and supervise scholars undertaking research for their MMedSci dissertation.

I oversee a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) - becoming an expert educator in the health professions.

I am also training programme director for the East Midlands AIM/GIM higher specialty training programme, undergraduate and postgraduate education lead for Acute Internal Medicine at UHDB and an active participant in faculty development programmes at UHDB and other Universities in the UK and abroad.

Research Summary

My areas of interest are clinical reasoning and the science of learning. I am currently studying part-time for an doctorate in education at the Institute of Education, University of Derby, UK.

Current projects:

The self-regulated learning of international medical graduates new to the NHS

Past projects:

Technology-enabled clinical reasoning development using case-based learning

The role of semantic memory in clinical reasoning ability

What strategies are most successful in teaching clinical reasoning?

The impact of student factors on the effectiveness of educational interventions designed to teach clinical reasoning

Selected Publications

Royal College of Physicians

Secretary of the Acute Internal Medicine specialty certificate examination board 2016-2019

Member of the Acute Internal Medicine specialty certificate examination standards setting committee 2016-2019

Member of the Acute Medicine specialty certificate examination board 2013-2019

Society for Acute Medicine

Chair of the Education Committee 2016-2019

UK Clinical Reasoning in Medical Education group (CReME)

Inaugural chair 2017-present

Health Education England East Midlands

Training programme director, Acute Internal Medicine & General Internal Medicine 2016-present

  • COOPER N and FRAIN J, eds., 2022. ABC of Clinical Reasoning 2nd Ed. Wiley.
  • ANNA RICHMOND, NICOLA COOPER, SIMON GAY, WILLIAM ATIOMO and RAKESH PATEL, 2020. The student is key: a realist review of educational interventions to develop analytical and non-analytical clinical reasoning ability Medical Education.
  • NICOLA COOPER, PAUL CRAMP, KIRSTY FORREST and RAKESH PATEL, 2020. Essential Guide to Acute Care 3rd Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
  • COOPER N, BARTLETT M, GAY S, HAMMOND A, LILLICRAP M, MATTHAN J and SINGH M, 2020. Consensus statement on the content of clinical reasoning curricula in undergraduate medical education Medical Teacher. 43(2), 152-159
  • RICHMOND A, CRANFIELD T and COOPER N, 2019. Study tips for medical students. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 365, k663
  • ANITA BANERJEE, FRANCESCA NEUBERGER, PAARUL PRINJA and NICOLA COOPER, 2019. Acute Care Toolkit 15: managing acute medical problems in pregnancy: Royal College of Physicians of London > Guidelines and Policy
  • NICOLA COOPER and ALI CRACKNELL, 2018. Clinical decision-making. In: RALSTON SH, PENMAN ID, STRACHAN MWJ and HOBSON RP, eds., Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine 23rd Edition. Elsevier. 1-12
  • NICOLA COOPER, ANNA FRAIN and JOHN FRAIN, eds., 2018. ABC of Clinical Professionalism 1st Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
  • NICOLA COOPER and JOHN FRAIN, eds., 2018. ABC of Clinical Communication 1st Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
  • NICOLA COOPER, 2017. Using flipped classroom techniques to teach the Acute Internal Medicine curriculum In: Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference, Manchester.
  • NICOLA COOPER and JOHN FRAIN, eds., 2016. ABC of Clinical Reasoning 1st Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
  • COOPER N and ANYANWAGU U, 2015. Critical thinking and diagnostic error on the Acute Medical Unit In: Society for Acute Medicine International Conference, Manchester.
  • NICOLA COOPER, 2012. Acute Care Toolkit 5: Teaching on the Acute Medical Unit: Royal College of Physicians of London > Guidelines and Policy
  • KARADI RL, MALLICK A and COOPER NA, 2010. Interventions for high modified early warning scores and in-patient mortality: a prospective study In: Society for Acute Medicine 4th International Conference, Edinburgh.
  • HARRIS AT, LUNGARI A, NEEDHAM CJ, SMITH SL, LONES MA, FISHER SE, YANG XB, COOPER N, KIRKHAM J, SMITH DA, MARTIN-HIRSCH DP and HIGH AS, 2009. Potential for Raman spectroscopy to provide cancer screening using a peripheral blood sample. Head & neck oncology. 1, 34
  • NICOLA COOPER and KIRSTY FORREST, eds., 2009. Essential Guide to Educational Supervision: in postgraduate medical education 1st Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
  • NICOLA COOPER, KIRSTY FORREST and GRAHAM MULLEY, eds., 2009. ABC of Geriatric Medicine 1st Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
  • HASSAN R, KHANOUM K and COOPER N, 2009. Team communication on the Acute Medical Unit: a non-participant ethnnographic study In: Society for Acute Medicine 3rd International Conference, Birmingham.
  • NICOLA COOPER, ed., 2007. In: Smith F and Welfare M [Eds]. Foundation Programme monograph. An ASME special publication. Have we got the curriculum right? Association for the Study of Medical Education.
  • COOPER, N and BURR, W, 2003. The rise of trust doctors - Stop exploiting them and start rewarding their input: (Editorial) BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL. 327(7421), 943-944
  • NICOLA COOPER and WILLIAM BURR, 2003. The employment, attitudes and aspirations of non-training grade doctors Hospital Medicine. 64(1), 43-45

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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