Short courses


Physical Activity and Clinical Exercise for Cardiovascular Disease

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


During this six-day course you'll explore the principles of exercise and physical activity in cardiac disease prevention and rehabilitation.

You'll learn how to apply these principles in design and delivery, using an evidence-based approach with a practical emphasis.

This course is run by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH) in association with the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR). 

Course content

Topics you'll learn about include:

  • an introduction to the cardiac rehabilitation process and current guidelines
  • the key evidence for exercise and physical activity
  • responses of the body to acute and chronic exercise
  • cardiovascular anatomy and physiology applied to exercise prescription
  • clinical reasoning in risk stratification for exercise
  • monitoring intensity of exercise - METS, HR and RPE

You'll also look at:

  • an overview of assessment of cardiac patients
  • physical activity behaviour
  • functional capacity testing - how to administer sub-maximal tests
  • integrating and evaluating evidence in relation to the design of exercise programmes for CVD patients
  • principles of physical activity and exercise delivery
  • adapting exercise for special populations

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 (Friday to Friday, 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 is assessed by a one hour multiple choice questionnaire (worth 20%), and a written case study (worth 80%).

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:

  • understand and explain the physiological responses and adaptations of muscle to exercise and training
  • apply clinical reasoning to problems with cardiac rehabilitation exercise programmes for patient with cardiac disease
  • integrate and evaluate evidence in relation to the design of phase IV exercise programmes for cardiac disease patients
  • evaluate problem scenarios in relation to exercise programmes for CVD patients
  • implement emergency procedures for cardiac patients 
  • conduct motivational interviews with respect to exercise and other health behaviours 

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. Her research interests include exercise testing and training.

Course information last modified: 9 Dec 2021, 16:52