UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Meet our students

Meet alumni from our programmes and find out more about what it's like to study physiotherapy at the Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health

The student experience

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Alumni profiles

Claire M Nolan 

MSc Advanced Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy (2014)

Claire M Nolan

What is your career history?

I graduated as a physiotherapist from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland in 2006 and after a number of years working in the cardiorespiratory field, I specialised in pulmonary rehabilitation helping to lead the pulmonary service at Harefield Hospital.   There is a strong evidence base for the role of physiotherapists in the management of chronic respiratory disease and the importance placed on this scientific rationale was one of the reasons I embarked on the MSc in Advanced Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy at UCL.  I am passionate about learning and believed that I what I learned could be disseminated to my team members and would be invaluable to our patients and for my career progression.  My manager, Dr. William Man, encouraged me to undertake the MSc as our Trust values staff development and provision of excellent service to our patients.

How did you find the programme?

I completed the MSc on a part-time basis and found the modules inspiring and of high quality but tough!   As each module passed, I felt that I assimilated what I learned in each module but also my academic skills such as writing, presenting and critiquing improved enabling me to develop a training programme for my team-members to disseminate what I learned.  The MSc also provided an opportunity to network with physiotherapists from all over the world which I found especially useful as I trained outside of the UK.
One aspect of the MSc that I particularly enjoyed was the dissertation as it provided an opportunity for me to investigate a topic that is of interest to me and importance to our patients.  My project focused on increasing physical activity levels in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease using pedometers during pulmonary rehabilitation.  The feedback and encouragement I received from my supervisors, Dr. Leyla Osman and Dr. William Man, enabled me to produce a body of work that I am very proud of and hope to publish in the near future.  It also stimulated my interest in pursuing a career involving research.

What have you been doing since you graduated?

Currently I am working as a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Doctoral Research Fellow at the NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College. I am undertaking a PhD investigating the predictive ability of gait speed in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and am acutely aware that starting a career in academia would not have been possible without completing the MSc at UCL. 

Gabriella Cork
Gabriella Cork

MSc Advanced Physiotherapy: Cardiorespiratory (2016)

What is your career history?

Having graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2001, I began my career as a Physiotherapist at University Hospital Aintree. After specialising in Respiratory Physiotherapy, I developed a particular interest in Critical Care and joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in 2010 as a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in ICU.

Why did you enrol on the MSc Advanced Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy?

The programme enabled me to provide a high standard of evidence-based care and to successfully support the critical care physiotherapy team to deliver safe and effective respiratory and rehabilitative treatments, as well as developing my own critical evaluation, research and presentation skills.

What have you been doing since you graduated?

I have moved back to the north west of England and am now a Lecturer in Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy at the University of Liverpool. The programme  has inspired me to achieve both clinically and academically and has opened the door to a more academic career path. As a senior clinician and now as an educator, I highly recommend the course for all cardiorespiratory-specialised physiotherapists.