Medical Ultrasound - MSc / PgCert / PgDip

Part Time
September 2016
£600 per 15-credit module for UK/EU Part Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

The course is aimed qualified healthcare professionals – such as radiographers, midwives, nurses and doctors – who want to extend their field of expertise into the production and interpretation of diagnostic ultrasound images.

Ultrasound is regarded as a complementary imaging procedure undertaken in the majority of modern Diagnostic Imaging or X-ray departments. Sonographers scan patients/clients with a variety of diseases and conditions and, under written protocols, report on the images produced.

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.

Why Choose Us?

  • The aim of the course is to provide qualified practitioners with a high level of specialist ultrasound knowledge and clinical experience. The course also develops investigative and analytical skills in order to help you to become a highly competent sonographer.
  • Although typically aimed at radiographers, midwives, doctors and nurses, anyone with a health based or science degree and a clinical placement may apply.
  • In addition, the course aims to develop interpersonal skills so that you become a highly effective communicator within the context of medical ultrasound.
  • The course teaching team are all practising sonographers and are therefore up to date with current practice. Innovative methods of teaching and learning are embedded in the academic programme. These include: audio and video lectures, online learning and the use of an ultrasound simulator for learning scanning techniques and recognising pathology.
  • Another important feature of the programme is the high level of support that the course team make available to you. Lectures are delivered to small groups, we have an open door policy and always answer emails and return phone calls. Expect to experience a spectrum of academic studies that you can use to support your clinical and professional development.
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Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

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This course is not open to International students
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New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

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Entry Requirements

UK students

You will normally be expected to hold either a first degree or an equivalent professional qualification and have had a minimum of two years experience as a qualified practitioner.

The majority of applicants will be radiographers, midwives, doctors and nurses. However we will consider applicants with health based or science degrees providing that they are able to obtain a clinical placement.

You must ensure that you have a satisfactory clinical placement where you can obtain a minimum of 250 hours of supervised ‘hands on’ clinical ultrasound experience - this is equivalent to 1 ½ days per week over a nine month period.

Why should I study this course?

Our postgraduate awards have received professional accreditation from CASE – the Consortium for Accreditation of Sonographic Education and are taught within the region’s foremost centre for radiography education, with a well-established and successful history.

The course will further enhance your skills professionally, personally and practically.

UK or EU students (Self Funded)

Funding Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Self Funded MSc Sep 2016 PT 3 years £600 per 15-credit module
PgCert Sep 2016 PT 33 weeks £600 per 15-credit module
PgDip Sep 2016 PT 2 years £600 per 15-credit module

UK or EU students (Employer Funded)

Funding Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Employer Funded MSc Sep 2016 PT 3 years Sponsored
PgCert Sep 2016 PT 33 weeks Sponsored
PgDip Sep 2016 PT 2 years Sponsored

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Please read the 'Online application and enrolment process' and 'Method of payment' information below before making your application.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

This course is not available to International Students

Online application and enrolment process
  1. Complete an online application form via the link. The form requires you to submit a completed authorised funding form which must be uploaded with the application. Alternatively, you can download a hard copy application form.
  2. When your submitted application form has been processed and approved, details of the module and enrolment details will be sent to the email address stated on your application form.
  3. You will be sent an email asking you to complete your online pre-enrolment. This must be completed before you enrol.
  4. Without proof of funding, you will not be able to complete your enrolment/receive online pre-enrolment email.  The funding form must be received within four weeks of the enrolment date; otherwise you will be withdrawn from the course.

Please submit your application as early as possible. We aim to give you a decision within two weeks of receiving your application. Please note that NHS Trust application deadlines may differ from our own and you should check with your NHS Trust training/education contact for confirmation of their deadlines.

Please ensure that you include full details of your qualifications and relevant work experience as part of your application.

Method of payment

The method of payment of your course fees will differ depending on whether you are a self-funding, sponsored or contracted/commissioned applicant. Definitions are provided below and you must choose the appropriate option when prompted. If you are unsure which funding method applies to you please consult your training/education contact in your NHS Trust prior to applying:

1) Self-funding

You are paying for the course and responsible for the fees.

Select 'Self Funded' when making your application.

2) Sponsored

Course fees are paid directly by the employer/NHS Trust which means we invoice your employer/NHS Trust to obtain payment.

To apply for this course you must download and complete the CPD Sponsorship Agreement Form, and submit it with your application. The upload facility is available in Section 3 of the application form: Fees and Sponsorship.

Select ‘Sponsored (eg employer, NHS Trust, charity)’ when making your application’.

Download Financial Support Form Instructions

3) Contracted/Commissioned

The NHS Trust agrees with HE West Midlands for your course fees to be paid directly to the University from funds managed by HE West Midlands for pre-agreed programmes.

To apply for this course you must obtain a contracted/commissioned financial support form from your Trust contact and upload the completed form and submit it with your application. The upload facility is available in Section 3 of the application form: Fees and Sponsorship.

Select ‘Funded by HE West Midlands (Contracted/Commissioned)’ when making your application.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.


Two core modules

The PgCert will require a minimum of 250 hours of supervised ‘hands on’ clinical ultrasound experience - equivalent to one and a half days per week over a nine-month period.

Course fees for double modules is the cost of two single modules.

Physics and Technology of Ultrasound (core module)
Single module - 15 credits
Professional Issues in Medical Ultrasound (core module)
Single module - 15 credits
Choose one clinical module from the following
Obstetric Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Gynaecological Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Abdominal and General Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Vascular Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Negotiated Specialist Subject
Single module - 15 credits
Independent Study and Professional Development
Single module - 15 credits


Three core modules

The PgDip will require a minimum of 500 hours of supervised ‘hands on’ clinical ultrasound experience - equivalent to three days per week over a nine-month period.

Course fees for double modules is the cost of two single modules.

Physics and Technology of Ultrasound
Single module - 15 credits
Professional Issues in Medical Ultrasound
Single module - 15 credits
Research Theory and Practice
Single module - 15 credits
Two clinical modules

One of which must be a double clinical module worth 30 credits

Obstetric Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Gynaecological Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Abdominal and General Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Vascular Ultrasound
Double module - 30 credits
Negotiated Specialist Subject
Single module - 15 credits
Independent Study and Professional Development
Single module - 15 credits


Research project

A research project, which has a rating of 60 M level credits. This project involves primary or secondary research into an area of medical ultrasound and submitting a 15,000 word dissertation.

Course structure

This is a part-time day and evening course which has academic and clinical placement components. The academic components are delivered at the University on a Wednesday afternoon and evening. The clinical component takes place in practice and should cover a minimum of one day per week.

How will I be taught?

We place a real emphasis on student-centred learning, so the majority of study is by seminar and discussion groups where you and your fellow students will learn a great deal by sharing experiences. There will be a substantial amount of material that will be taught online or through video lectures.

You will be assessed via:

  • Seen and unseen written examinations
  • Extended essays
  • Patchwork assignments
  • Invigilated assessments
  • Clinical assessments
  • Practice-based assignments
  • 15,000 word dissertation.

Academic modules are assessed by either a 3,000 word assignment or a 2,000 word assignment and a one hour unseen written examination.

Clinical modules are assessed by clinical assessment (observed performance of ultrasound scans) in their own departments and OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations) undertaken at the University.

You also have to keep a log book and diary of clinical practice.

Further study

These courses provide the opportunity for lifelong learning and the awards given on graduation form the basis for progression into further study. Following completion of the MSc you can progress your studies to doctoral level by PhD or Professional Doctorate.

Module dates

The following spreadsheet gives 2016/17 dates for all Health-related modules:

Post graduate modules 2016/17

Employment opportunities

Health care professionals with a Medical Ultrasound degree are in great demand to work as sonographers and you will also be able to extend the scope of your current practice by incorporating expertise in sonography.

There is a severe shortage of sonographers. Sonography is an expanding field, with a steady increase in examinations requested year by year therefore you should have no difficulty in finding work as a qualified sonographer.

You would be able to work as a sonographer in a range of clinical specialities such as general abdominal, obstetrics, gynaecology and vascular studies, plus other clinical settings such as hospitals, health clinics and GP surgeries.


You are expected to organise your own clinical placement where you can obtain a minimum of 250 hours of supervised ‘hands on’ clinical ultrasound experience. This is equivalent to 1 and a half days per week over a nine month period.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses some of the best learning facilities in the UK.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries, including the main Kenrick Library on the City North Campus, which is open for almost 90 hours a week and holds more than 320,000 books, 2,000 print journals and carries more than 4,000 electronic journals online.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Meet our staff

You’ll be taught by lecturers with high levels of academic and clinical ultrasound expertise, including David Cole, Lorraine Walsh and Helen Brown.

Lorraine teaches Obstetric and Abdominal Ultrasound as well as being a part-time clinical sonographer at Heart of England NHS Trust. Helen teaches abdominal and vascular ultrasound alongside working part-time as a clinical sonographer at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

David Cole

Senior Lecturer

I qualified as a radiographer in 1976 and worked for five years at Wolverhampton Royal Hospital. In 1982 I joined the West Mercia School of Radiography as a student teacher qualifying in 1983 – during this time I also started training in medical ultrasound qualifying as a sonographer in 1985. I have been teaching Ultrasound since 1985, first at NHS schools of radiography and, since 1995, at Birmingham City University. During this time I have held various part time posts as an obstetric sonographer.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295