Short courses


Paediatric Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy

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


This six-day short course for physiotherapists explores the principles of management and care of children with cardiorespiratory conditions. 

It will provide you with a theoretical understanding of growth and development of the cardiorespiratory system and the implications of these for management of conditions.

You’ll also:

  • develop assessment skills
  • learn how to interpret x-ray images and spirometry tests 
  • learn about considerations for paediatric intensive care

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

Course content

You’ll learn about the specialist physiotherapy management of children of all ages with acute and chronic cardiorespiratory conditions, including:

  • the role of exercise
  • non-invasive ventilation
  • the management of children receiving long-term ventilation

Practical workshops will cover: 

  • the theory and practice of airway clearance devices
  • management of the upper airways
  • case studies relating to children with complex histories

You’ll also be encouraged to reflect critically on your own practice and scope of practice within the multidisciplinary team. 

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 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

This course is assessed by a one-hour viva.

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

    This course will help you to:

    • define 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 the principles and practice of physiotherapy assessment and treatments of paediatric patients in intensive care. This includes being able to interpret chest x-rays, understand modes of ventilation and weaning, and the theory and practice of delivering manual techniques
    • be familiar with the pathophysiology related to common causes of respiratory distress in the neonate and understand the role of physiotherapy in relation to neonatal care
    • select, justify and apply appropriate airway clearance devices and other appropriate adjuncts to cardiorespiratory physiotherapy treatments
    • understand the application and use of non-invasive ventilation in patients with neuromuscular disorders
    • prescribe appropriate, incremental exercise to patients with respiratory conditions, with an understanding of the physiological effects of exercise in paediatric patients

    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: 9 Dec 2021, 16:46