Short courses


Paediatric Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy

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


This six-day short course is designed to give you an overview of paediatric cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

You'll look at the development, functioning and treatment of the paediatric cardiorespiratory system in health and disease.

This course is run by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

Course content

Taught lectures and tutorials usually cover:

  • the physiology relating to differences between adults and children in terms of the respiratory system and lung growth and development
  • considerations for paediatric intensive care including the evidence for mechanical ventilation, weaning from the ventilator, physiotherapy assessment skills, x-ray interpretation
  • management of children with chronic respiratory complications (such as cystic fibrosis and neuromuscular conditions) including the role of exercise, non-invasive ventilation and the management of patients receiving long-term ventilation

Practical workshops

During the practical workshops you'll cover:

  • emergency physiotherapy scenarios in the intensive care unit
  • the theory and practice of airway clearance devices
  • case studies relating to patients with a complex social history

Who this course is for

You'll need to be a qualified physiotherapist, with a degree in physiotherapy at least equivalent to a lower second class Bachelor's degree.

Teaching, structure and assessment

This course is delivered through tutorials, lectures and workshops.

You can take it as:

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

Find out more about the difference between advanced physiotherapy short courses and taster modules.

This course is assessed by a one-hour viva.


The fees are:

  • £800 - short course
  • £850 - taster module

Learning outcomes

This course will help you to:

  • explain the anatomical and physiological differences between adults and children, and understand the implications of these for physiotherapy practice
  • understand the way in which the lungs grow and develop during early life and the impact this has on paediatric health and disease
  • understand physiotherapy assessment and treatments of paediatric patients in intensive care, including interpreting chest x-rays, understanding of modes of ventilation and weaning, and delivering manual techniques
  • understand the pathophysiology related to common causes of respiratory distress in the neonate (meconium aspiration, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary hypoplasia, persistent pulmonary hypertension) and the role of physiotherapy in relation to neonatal care
  • understand current concepts in the management of patients with chronic respiratory problems including cystic fibrosis and neuromuscular conditions
  • select, justify and apply appropriate airway clearance devices including the cough assist, vest, IPPV and understand the application and use of non-invasive ventilation in patients with neuromuscular disorder
  • prescribe appropriate, incremental exercise to patients with respiratory conditions, with an understanding of the physiological effects of exercise in paediatric patients

Course team

Dr Eleanor Main

Dr Eleanor Main

Eleanor is Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at UCL and Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in Physiotherapy. Her clinical career has been predominantly at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. She's worked in research and research-led postgraduate physiotherapy education at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health since 2001.

Sarah Rand

Sarah Rand

Sarah is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Physiotherapy at UCL. Prior to training as a physiotherapist she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in physiology. She's also a specialist paediatric respiratory physiotherapist and has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and also at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin. She has worked in at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health since 2010.

Course information last modified: 7 Aug 2019, 14:55