Advanced Physiotherapy: Cardiorespiratory MSc

Options: PG Diploma, PG Certificate

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 programmes allows for physiotherapists with particular interests to be accommodated.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Flexible 2-5 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £9,800
  • Overseas Full-time: £23,000

Application date

  • All applicants: 12 September 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

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, learning about new and emerging treatment options, and enjoying the mentorship of recognised experts in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

Why should I 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 enrol from all over the world and this cross-fertilisation of international clinical experiences and ideas generates a powerful and inspirational platform for postgraduate physiotherapy learning.

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.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, part-time 12 months) is offered.

Core Modules

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


  • 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
  • Heart and Circulation
  • 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 and viva.

Further details available on subject website:

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Physiotherapy; or an approved Diploma in Physiotherapy together with evidence of appropriate clinical and/or teaching experience and a commitment to continuing professional development. We expect students to have had at least 2 years post-qualification clinical experience and UK state-registration is preferred.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: IELTS only (7.0 overall, 7.0 in every subtest)

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 12 September 2014.

Who can apply?

This MSc is suitable for students with a first degree in Physiotherapy who have a wide knowledge of biomedical sciences allied to clinical skills but wish to extend their understanding of key areas. The programme provides a sound education in practical and theoretical aspects of the specialist area of Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy and the necessary skills to undertake research in this field.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Advanced Physiotherapy at graduate level
  • why you want to study Advanced Physiotherapy at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The programme has enabled recent graduates to pursue a career in academia, research or further their clinical practice. For example, acquiring an MSc from UCL enabled a student to take up post as an associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and another to be offered a Teaching Fellow position at UCL. 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. Further students have used their postgraduate qualifications to be successful in applying for more senior positions, such as Team Lead at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and Clinical Specialist posts within major London hospitals.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, Senior Physiotherapist, 2010
  • The Royal Preston Hospital, Specialist Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapist, 2010
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital, Clinical Research Physiotherapist, 2011
  • Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital, Clinical Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist, 2009
  • Oxford Brookes University, Associate Lecturer, 2009


The MSc programme will enable graduates to pursue a career in academia, research or clinical practice or to use their postgraduate qualification to be successful in applying for more senior positions within their career field.

The programme aims to transform the way students think about expert patient care, and the theoretical foundation for physiotherapy clinical practice. The course provides graduates with a rigorous, evidence-based training in best research and clinical practice. This will give them a natural advantage when applying for physiotherapy clinical, educational or research posts.

Next steps


Miss Sara McCallum

T: +44 (0)20 7905 2747


Institute of Child Health

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