Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy is a foundation practice area in the Masters of Physiotherapy Course. It requires students to draw on and apply previous biomedical knowledge to interpret clinical scenarios involving the cardiovascular and respiratory systems through the use of case-based learning, simulation and practical workshops. The unit aims to provide students with the advanced theoretical knowledge, communication skills and management strategies required to critically analyse and clinically reason through acute and chronic cardiorespiratory presentations across the lifespan; and to safely assess and manage these conditions in line with evidence based practice and person centred care. These skills are an essential component of work ready practice.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply and further develop foundation anatomical and physiological knowledge relevant to cardiorespiratory based clinical presentations;  
  2. Develop evidence based clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills through a case-based learning approach and develop a person-centered, prioritized problem list;  
  3. Safely and effectively assess and manage common cardiorespiratory presentations across the lifespan and inclusive of indigenous and culturally diverse patient populations;  
  4. Evaluate and reflect on treatment outcomes, devise targeted plans for ongoing management and effectively communicate this to specialist and non-specialist audiences; and  
  5. Utilise the Peer Assisted Learning model for constructive peer review and critical self-reflective practice.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Week 1 Content - Clinical Content and Practice Quiz 15%
Test Week 1 & 2 Content - Modified Essay Question 30%
Test Week 3 Content – Clinical Content and Practice Quiz 15%
Examination Week 1-4 Practical Skills Assessment: OSCE station-based examination 40%

Required reading

Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy - Adults and Paediatrics 5th ed.
Main, E. Denehy, L. (2016)

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.