PT4003 - Cardiorespiratory anatomy and physiology

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about applied cardiorespiratory anatomy and physiology, common pathologies and clinical features which will help you to develop an entry level appreciation for the principles of physiotherapy in cardiorespiratory care. The module builds on the physiotherapy module ‘foundations of physiotherapy practice’ to provide an introduction to the discipline of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy practice and the fundamental knowledge and skills underpinning clinical practice within this core area of physiotherapy.

You will learn about the bony structures, musculature and the physiological concepts that are required for a healthy cardiovascular and respiratory system. You will then explore the effect of pathological changes on this, and the impact for the patient in terms of clinical features. You will be introduced to vital observations and cardiorespiratory assessment methods as vehicle to help develop links between anatomy, physiology and the clinical features of cardiorespiratory pathologies. You will be introduced to aspects of the role and purpose of cardiopulmonary physiotherapy practice through acute assessment and outpatient/community assessment, developing knowledge, professional skills and values required to provide safe and effective person-centred care. You will be encouraged to consider relevant personal life experience of cardiopulmonary health to provide a foundation for the development of your professional role. You will be encouraged to develop autonomous and reflective thinking applying knowledge, skills, values and behaviours relevant to person-centred care in relation to cardiopulmonary physiotherapy.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through practical workshops and independent learning. You will work in small groups to develop your knowledge and skills within practical workshops where lecturers will facilitate context driven application and learning. There will be a strong emphasis on professional practical skills and the knowledge that underpins this, with opportunities to evaluate your learning formatively through active engagement in feedback. Blended learning via your independent directed study, guided by OSL materials on eLP and application within practical workshops will introduce you to and allow you to explore anatomy and physiology, the pathophysiology of common cardiopulmonary conditions, while an introduction to clinical assessment will develop your understanding. Subject matter will be built upon sequentially throughout the practical workshops, enabling you to learn and reflect on professional responsibilities and the knowledge that underpins this, with the module team supporting your learning and development across the module. You will have the opportunity during practical sessions to engage in simulation activity both directly with your peers and also with the high-fidelity simulation resources within the University’s Clinical Skills Centre. You may also have the opportunity within the module to work with clinical colleagues (as visiting lecturers) in enhancing theory-practice links. You will also be set tasks to complete outside of class time to further develop your understanding of the taught content.

You will be expected to:
• Attend teaching sessions
• Be dressed appropriately for practical sessions
• Behave in a professional manner
• Engage and contribute to the learning and development of yourself and others

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module information, assessment requirements and expectations, and important module announcements will be made through the eLP. Material to support your learning will be uploaded in advance of sessions. You will be provided with content verbally and guided through tasks during timetabled sessions. A dedicated assessment session will afford you the opportunity to ask assessment related questions in class. The Module Leader is there to support you with any queries that you may have about the module content. You will have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on your development during the module, and you will receive feedback on summative work to help you identify areas of strength and areas for development. There will be the opportunity to discuss your feedback with a member of staff. Module Tutors will provide guidance and academic counselling to ensure that you are able to confidently engage with the academic and practical rigour of this module. This dialogue will be face to face in practical workshops with tutorial support available, an essential aspect of the programme’s assessment for learning strategy. You can also contact the module team via email. There is also further academic skills support available from the University Library services. This 24/7 service caters for all your learning needs, has extensive access to electronic texts and tutorials that will directly support the development of academic skills aimed at improving your critical thinking and communication skills.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Discuss the role and purpose of cardiopulmonary physiotherapy assessment underpinned by understanding of anatomy and physiology
2. Relate the applied anatomy and physiology of the cardiopulmonary systems to pathological change, clinical presentation and physiotherapy assessment

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Demonstrate and justify the application of core professional skills for cardiopulmonary assessment, and evaluation

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. Demonstrate an appreciation of key personal attributes of non-judgemental person-centred care, compassion, patience and resilience

How will I be assessed?

Module formative assessment opportunities are provided within developmental Collaborative Structured Practical Evaluation (CSPE) workshops staged at two points across the module. Feedback as an inclusive activity by students, peers, and staff will be undertaken.

The module summative assessment will take the form of a practical viva examination. The assessment will provide an opportunity for students to consolidate integration of knowledge and skills at a foundation level. Written individual feedback will be provided along with general cohort feedback provided via the e-Learning Portal (eLP, Blackboard)/e-mail.

K&U 1,2; IPSA 1; PVA 1





Module abstract

This module will introduce you to the knowledge and skills that underpin safe and effective physiotherapy practice within cardiorespiratory care and enable you to demonstrate the key academic and professional skills, and associated professional values required. You will learn about anatomy, physiology, cardiorespiratory pathology and physiotherapy assessment skills. You will learn independently and in practical workshops facilitated by lecturers. You will have the opportunity develop your knowledge and skills using Technology Enhanced Learning via eLP; to learn in our state of the art Clinical Skills Centre, where in practical workshops you will have the opportunity to engage in simulation activity both directly with your peers and also with our high fidelity simulation resources. Regular formative feedback opportunities are provided within the module, with self-reflection and peer support encouraged throughout. The module will be assessed by a practical viva.

Course info

UCAS Code B165

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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