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Course content

This postgraduate programme integrates the advanced clinical, academic and research components of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy practice. The emphasis is on the management of patients with cardiorespiratory disorders. Flexibility in selection of modules allows for physiotherapists with particular interests to be accommodated.

Degree information

This MSc offers physiotherapy students the opportunity to extend their understanding of key areas in this field, including challenging the foundations of established but poorly justified treatments, developing and undertaking clinical research and practice, learning about new and emerging treatment options, and enjoying the mentorship of recognised experts in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits) three optional modules from 11 choices (45 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time 12 months, flexible 2-5 years) is offered. Students take 75 credits of core modules and 45 credits of optional modules. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, part-time 12 months) is offered. Students take 60 credits of core modules

Core modules
-Clinical Education in Advanced Physiotherapy Part I
-Respiration through Life, Health and Disease
-Research Methods and Statistics
-Physiotherapy Research and Dissemination
-Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Skills

Optional modules
-Cardiorespiratory Theory for Physiotherapists
-Clinical Education in Advanced Physiotherapy Part II
-Paediatric Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy
-Physical Activity and Clinical Exercise for Cardiovascular Disease
-Health Management and Clinical Exercise for Pulmonary Disease
-Muscle and Exercise Physiology in Health and Disease
-The Heart Through Life, Health and Disease
-Leadership and Professional Development
-Clinical Knowledge and Decision Making
-Information Law and Governance in Clinical Practice
-Patient Safety and Clinical Risk

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial report and an oral examination.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of teaching and self-directed learning, and includes up to six weeks of clinical placements. Assessment is through clinical assessments, written assignments, oral presentations, multiple choice tests, submission of the literature review and research proposal, assessed coursework, unseen and prior disclosure written examinations, and the dissertation with an oral presentation.


Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, research or furthered their clinical practice. For example, acquiring this MSc enabled a student to take up a post as an associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and another to be offered a consultant physiotherapy postion at the Royal Free Hospital. Several students have used the MSc as a ‘springboard’ for gaining funding to undertake PhDs at UCL, Great Ormond Street Hospital and King's College London amongst others. Graduates have secured senior positions, such as team lead at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and clinical specialist posts within major London hospitals.

The programme aims to transform the way students think about expert patient care, and the theoretical foundation for cardiorespiratory physiotherapy clinical practice. Graduates receive rigorous, evidence-based training in best research and clinical practice, which provides them with a competitive advantage when applying for physiotherapy clinical, educational or research posts.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is a world class university and this well-established and popular postgraduate Physiotherapy programme is very highly regarded both locally and internationally.

The excellent reputation of this programme is partly due to expert tuition with lectures, tutorials and workshops delivered by recognised experts in physiotherapy practice.

Students on our physiotherapy programmes come to UCL from all over the world. This cross-fertilisation of international clinical experiences and ideas generates a powerful and inspirational platform for postgraduate physiotherapy learning.

Visit the Advanced Physiotherapy: Cardiorespiratory - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!






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