Short courses


Clinical Exercise and Physical Activity

  • 45 hours
  • 6 days, plus independent study for assessment (if applicable)


A six-day courses for physiotherapists covering the current evidence for the role of physical activity and exercise in:

  • preventing and managing non-communicable diseases
  • public health concerns such as obesity, pain, bone and joint health, mental illness and cognitive decline

It covers:

  • muscle and exercise physiology
  • exercise prescription
  • health and exercise literacy
  • behaviour change
  • exercise testing
  • physical activity monitoring in health and disease across the life span

This course is run by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH).

Who this course is for

The course is suitable for qualified physiotherapists with a degree in physiotherapy at least equivalent to a lower second class Bachelor's degree in the UK.

Course content

The main topics covered will include:

  • respiration and exercise
  • muscle structure and the basic mechanical properties of muscle
  • determinants of strength, power and weakness in human muscle
  • muscle adaptation to strength training and ageing
  • cardiovascular responses and adaptations to exercise
  • respiratory responses and adaptations to exercise
  • physical activity in health
  • exercise in cardiac and respiratory disease
  • exercise testing in adults and children including the clinical applicability
  • exercise prescription principles

Teaching, structure and assessment

This course runs over six days (Thursday to Thursday, with no teaching on Saturday or Sunday).

There'll be a combination of face-to-face lectures, workshops and seminars. There’ll also be online learning activities which you’ll need to complete.

You'll use Moodle, the UCL virtual learning platform, to communicate with tutors and other learners, access learning resources, and receive feedback.

You can take it as:

  • a standalone short course for CPD purposes (with certificate of attendance)
  • a 'taster module' earning UCL credits towards an MSc or diploma

The taster module will be assessed through a 1,500 word essay (60%) and an online patient information resource (40%).

Find out more about the difference between advanced physiotherapy short courses and taster modules on the GOS ICH website.


The fees are:

  • £900 - short course
  • £950 - taster module

How to apply

You can download the application form from the GOS ICH website.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • understand and have advanced knowledge of muscle and exercise physiology in health and disease
  • understand and have advanced knowledge of the cardiovascular and respiratory responses and adaptations to exercise in health and disease in adults and/or children
  • apply theoretical knowledge of muscle and exercise physiology using advanced clinical reasoning skills to justify physiotherapy clinical interventions in the context of the evolving evidence base and contemporary professional and ethical framework in health and disease in adults and/or children
  • explain and critically evaluate the key experimental studies that have contributed to this knowledge

Course team

Professor Eleanor Main

Professor Eleanor Main

Eleanor is Professor of Physiotherapy at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, and Course Director for the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in Physiotherapy. She’s also Honorary Clinical Scientist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and on the European Respiratory Society's physiotherapy task force 'Harmonised Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists (HERMES)'.

Her research interests include paediatric physiotherapy interventions and clinical outcome measures, cardiorespiratory physiotherapy (including ICU and on-call services), and cystic fibrosis (including airway clearance and exercise, bronchiectasis, gait analysis and haemophilia).

Course information last modified: 22 Apr 2022, 08:56