The Ultrasound Principles for Physiotherapists course offers evidence-based, practical, and portable professional development for those seeking to upskill on the foundations of ultrasound imaging, develop competency skills for ultrasound imaging, and assimilate ultrasound imaging into daily clinical practice. It has been designed to enhance learning and promote understanding, on topics including the operation of the ultrasound machine, musculoskeletal physiotherapy and cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

Ultrasound imaging elevates contemporary physiotherapy practice through informing emergency differential diagnosis, enhancing clinical decision making and ultimately accelerating management and intervention strategies for improving patient outcomes. There is growing evidence that supports ultrasound as a non-invasive, valid and reliable point of care outcome measure that can be used to diagnose lung pathology; monitor fracture healing and act as a biofeedback tool for the rehabilitation of muscle following injury and trauma.

Designed For

Highly recommended for physiotherapists and physiotherapy students.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate appropriate operation of the ultrasound machine, including settings required to obtain optimised ultrasound images
  2. Identify lumbar and thigh muscles using ultrasound
  3. Perform a lung ultrasound examination in the erect and supine patient
  4. Explain the ultrasound appearance of lung pathology and its limitations
  5. Explain the ultrasound appearance of sternal pathology
  6. Outline the parameters for assessment and management of sternal complications

Ultrasound for Physiotherapists

Course Units

  • Tutorial 1: Introduction to Ultrasound for Physiotherapists
  • Tutorial 2: Generating Ultrasound Images
  • Tutorial 3: Basic Modes of Ultrasound
  • Tutorial 4: Operation of Ultrasound Machine
  • Tutorial 5: Ultrasound Imaging of the Sternum
  • Tutorial 6: Ultrasound Imaging of Skeletal Muscle - Thigh
  • Tutorial 7: Ultrasound Imaging of Skeletal Muscle -Lumbar
  • Tutorial 8: Lung Ultrasound Diagnosis
  • Tutorial 9: Lung Ultrasound Procedures and Case Studies


The assessment involves submission of all unit self-assessments and case studies. A certificate will be issued upon successful completion of the required assessments.

Delivery Mode

Course completion requires several hours of elearning. This course is delivered online and students can study in their own time and location. Course materials can be accessed using a web browser.

Course Leaders

Professor Alistair Royse

Professor Alistair Royse


Course Co-director, Ultrasound Education Group, Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, Cardiothoracic surgeon at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Western Hospital, Deputy Director, Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne.

Alistair Royse has cardiothoracic and general surgery fellowships. He completed a Doctorate of Medicine on arterial coronary artery bypass surgery in 2000. His research interests include arterial and composite arterial coronary grafting, use of echocardiography including surface ultrasound and transthoracic echocardiography, and long-term outcomes of coronary grafting strategies.

Professor Colin Royse

Professor Colin Royse


Program Co-director, Ultrasound Education Group, Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne; Consultant Anaesthetist, Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Colin Royse is a specialist cardiothoracic anaesthetist with research interests in transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, pain management in cardiac surgery, cognition, and quality of recovery after anaesthesia and surgery. He has completed a Doctorate of Medicine on applications of transesophageal echocardiography in cardiac anaesthesia and surgery. He is involved in both clinical and basic science research.

Course Director

A/P Doa El-Ansary

Associate Professor Doa El-Ansary

BAppSc (Phty), Int. Cert. OMT, PhD, APAM

Dr Doa El-Ansary is an Associate Professor and Course Director of Physiotherapy in the School of Health Sciences at Swinburne University. She is also an honorary senior research fellow within the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, at the University of Melbourne. With expertise in both cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, she has worked in private practice, public and private hospitals settings in addition to holding honorary and teaching posts at the Australian Institute of Sport; the University of Sydney; the University of Canberra and Heart Support Australia.


  • Dr David Canty
  • Dr Adrian Pranata
  • Ms Lou Fuller
  • Dr Catherine Granger
  • Dr Marilyn Webster
  • A/P Adam Bryant


  • Mr Rob Brandham
  • Professor Maria Stokes

Free Sample

The Ultrasound for Physiotherapy Free Sample course gives students a glimpse of how the learning is structured prior to enrolling in the full course.

Once enrolled, students will receive a 'Getting Started' email with instructions to access the course material.

The free sample course includes:

  • 9 shortened tutorials
  • 1 post-tutorial assessment
  • 2 sample case studies

Try Free Sample Course

Contact Us

Ultrasound Education Group banner

E: mobile-learning@unimelb.edu.au

T: +61 3 8344 5673

Course Information


Course Fee: AUD $550 (incl. GST)

Student Fee: AUD $330 incl. GST (proof of student status will be required) Contact us for group discount rates at mobile-learning@unimelb.edu.au



Entry requirements

Degree in Physiotherapy or current student of a physiotherapy degree and able to meet the language, literacy and numeracy standards to study at university level.