Medical Ultrasound - Module / MSc / PgCert / PgDip

  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Module - Part Time
    MSc - Part Time
    PgCert - Part Time
    PgDip - Part Time
  • Location: City South

The course is suitable for radiographers, midwives, nurses and doctors. So if you're a qualified professional wanting to extend your expertise into ultrasound scanning, imaging and interpretation of diagnostic ultrasound images, this course could be for you.  You'll gain the core skills of a sonographer from practising professionals. The course is also open to anyone with a health-based or science degree and an agreed clinical placement.

Ultrasound is used as a first-line investigation, in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease and pathology having a great input into patient care and management.   Sonographers work mainly in Radiology and ante-natal departments but also in community settings. Sonographers scan patients/clients with a variety of diseases and conditions and, under departmental protocols, produce a written report on the scan which they have performed.

What's covered in the course?

As a student on this course you will develop the core skills of a sonographer including, patient care and communication; technical skills, including scanning and use of equipment; clinical knowledge to make an accurate diagnosis and reporting skills. You will be taught by practising sonographers to further enhance your skills professionally, personally and practically.

A variety of learning and teaching methods will be used for your development into a technically competent, caring and knowledgeable sonographer. These skills will be developed in the classroom, by self-study, e-learning, on ultrasound simulators and on real patients in the clinical setting. Embedded into our teaching is to respect diversity, ensure equality and to apply a sound understanding of legal, ethical and professional issues to positively impact on care scenarios and delivery.

Why Choose Us?

  • The aim of the course is to provide qualified practitioners with a high level of specialist ultrasound knowledge and practical clinical experience. The course also develops your investigative and analytical skills in order to help you to become a highly competent sonographer.
  • You will learn from practicing sonographers in clinical placement and our programme lecturers also work clinically, ensuring course content is current and relevant. 
  • 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 simulation for learning scanning techniques and recognising pathology.
  • We offer a wide range of clinical modules including, obstetric, early pregnancy, gynaecological, abdominal and vascular ultrasound.  We are also able to offer a negotiated specialist module which is designed to meet the niche clinical requirements of each department/student.
  • The course combines core modules and clinical modules for the Pg Cert this is Fundamentals of ultrasound which covers ultrasound physics and professional issues, the core module for the Pg Dip is Research practice and theory.
  • 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.
  • If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, a Disability Tutor will be available to support and help you throughout your time studying this course
  • The programme is accredited by The Consortium of Accreditation for Sonographic Education ensuring highs standards teaching and learning. Re-accreditation occurs every 5 years, the programme has recently been reaccredited.
This course is not open to International students

Postgraduate lunch drop in

Visit us to find out more

Come along to one of our upcoming events where our staff will be on hand to answer all your questions.

Drop in event: Wed 29 Jan 4-7pm

New £10,906 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,906 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

You will normally be expected to hold either a first degree lower second class (2.2) or above, 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 320 hours of supervised ‘hands on’ clinical ultrasound experience - this is equivalent to 2 days per week over a nine month period.

You must complete the ultrasound clinical placement form when you apply, unfortunately we cannot consider your application without your proof of placement. 

Applicants who have not received their undergraduate education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 7, with no subtest below 6.5.

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/EU students
  • International students

Award: Module

Starting: Sep 2020

Pathway: Medical Ultrasound

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • TBC
  • £720 per 20-credit module

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2020

Pathway: Medical Ultrasound

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 3 years
  • £830 per 20-credit module

Award: PgCert

Starting: Sep 2020

Pathway: Medical Ultrasound

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 1 year
  • TBC

Award: PgDip

Starting: Sep 2020

Pathway: Medical Ultrasound

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 2 years
  • £830 per 20-credit module

Award: PgCert

Starting: Sep 2020

Pathway: Preceptorship

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 1 year
  • TBC

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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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

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Level 7

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete the core module relevant to the level of study. 

Core Module for PG Cert
Fundamentals of Ultrasound
20 credits

The Postgraduate Medical Ultrasound programme aims to advance your current professional role to that of a sonographer, where you should be continually seeking to improve your own diagnostic expertise and the patient experience. Your ability to understand and operate sophisticated ultrasound equipment is a major factor contributing to your diagnostic expertise and a sound grasp of patient care, professional and management issues is essential for improving the patient’s experience.

Core Module for PG Dip
Research: Methods of Enquiry
20 credits

This module specifically addresses the broader programme aims related to “pursuing excellence” and “practice-led, knowledge applied” through a flexible provision that encourages students to develop their research ideas, enabling those on various Health MSc programmes to satisfy their individual learning needs, whilst contributing to their area of study.

MSc Option 1 (60 credits)
Leadership Skills and Project Management for Health and Healthcare
20 credits

This module explicitly addresses students’ personal and/or professional development with a view to enhancing competence for service improvement in a rapidly changing health and healthcare environment. Through a flexible provision, students are inspired to reflect critically upon their individual learning needs as well as their organisations’ practices, to appraise and apply concepts from the literature on leadership, to issues of relevance for their role, organisation and overall programme of study.

Dissertation
40 credits

This double module provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 400 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice. It will also serve those who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future.

MSc Option 2 (60 credits)
Dissertation
60 credits

This triple module forms the final bridge between the award of a Postgraduate Diploma and a Health MSc related to a named award. It provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 600 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice. It will also serve those who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules in the PG Cert and a minimum of 20 credits in the PG Dip.

Obstetric Ultrasound
40 credits

This module aims to prepare you for a career in medical ultrasound, where you are continually seeking to improve yourself, the patient experience and your own diagnostic expertise. This module will framework the theoretical and clinical skills in obstetric ultrasound that you will develop throughout the academic programme, in order to facilitate and support your capability to become a competent ultrasound practitioner.

Abdominal Ultrasound
40 credits

This module aims to prepare you for a career in medical ultrasound, where you are continually seeking to improve yourself, the patient experience and your own diagnostic expertise. This module will build upon the theoretical and clinical skills in abdominal ultrasound that you develop throughout the academic programme, in order to facilitate and support your capability to become a competent ultrasound practitioner in abdominal ultrasound.

Vascular Ultrasound
40 credits

This module aims to prepare you for a career in medical ultrasound, where you are continually seeking to improve yourself, the patient experience and your own diagnostic expertise. This module will framework the theoretical and clinical skills in vascular ultrasound that you develop throughout the academic programme, in order to facilitate and support your capability to become a competent ultrasound practitioner.

Gynaecological Ultrasound
20 credits

This module aims to prepare you for a career in medical ultrasound, where you are continually seeking to improve yourself, the patient experience and your own diagnostic expertise. This module will framework the theoretical and clinical skills in gynaecological ultrasound that you develop throughout the academic programme, in order to facilitate and support your capability to become a competent ultrasound practitioner.

Ultrasound in Early Pregnancy
20 credits

This module aims to prepare you for a career in medical ultrasound, where you are continually seeking to improve yourself, the patient experience and your own diagnostic expertise. This module will framework the theoretical and clinical skills in gynaecological ultrasound that you develop throughout the academic programme, in order to facilitate and support your capability to become a competent ultrasound practitioner.

 
Negotiated Specialist Subject
20 credits

PG Cert (Perceptorship)

Download the PG Cert (Medical Ultrasound (Perceptorship) Course Specification

The PGCert Medical Ultrasound (Preceptorship) course has been designed to support students who have recently graduated from a BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound programme and are starting their journey as newly qualified sonographers. The course intention is to support you in developing your ultrasound skills and knowledge to work independently and within a defined scope of practice. Preceptorship is the transition from being newly qualified sonographer to being an autonomous, independent healthcare professional and includes the development of your transferable skills such as leadership.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

Leadership for Advanced Professional Practice
20 credits

This module aims to support you to develop independent learning and advanced scholarship which may be employed to support your continuing professional development. You will be studying the role that leadership plays within wider health contexts such as during periods of change and transformation of service delivery. You will develop academic skills that will allow you to interrogate evidence that supports aspects of your clinical practice which will allow you to act with confidence and autonomy within your own scope of responsibility.

Preceptorship in Medical Ultrasound
40 credits

The Preceptorship in Medical Ultrasound module aims to equip you with the theoretical and clinical skills to enable you to establish yourself as a competent and capable, autonomous, member of the ultrasound workforce as you begin your career as a graduate sonographer.

Within this module you will be studying the role of the Sonographer within the context of the NHS and the role in which you play within the management of the patient as part of a multidisciplinary pathway. You will develop your skills in the communication of scan results and further explore how to be equipped to deal with difficult situations, especially when it is necessary to break bad news. This module will also allow you to gain an overview into the delivery of an ultrasound service so that you can fully appreciate the governance aspects that are required in order for a robust and safe service to operate.

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. 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 self-led either in preparation for lectures or case study workshops.  There are also post session study tasks which will are designed to consolidate classroom based learning. You will also have access to Ultrasound scanning simulators and two high end ultrasound systems.

Medical Ultrasound Pathways Assessment

You will be assessed via:

  • Viva Voce examination
  • Extended essays
  • Patchwork assignments
  • Invigilated assessments
  • Clinical assessments
  • Practice-based assignments
  • 10,000 or 15,000 word dissertation

Academic modules are assessed by either a 3,000 word assignment and Viva Voce or a 2,000 word assignment and/or a Viva Voce examination.

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

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

Pg Cert Preceptorship Assessment

Preceptorship Module

  • 3000 word critical reflection on the transition from newly qualified to autonomous practitioner
  • Portfolio of clinical activity
  • 30 minute professional discussion based on portfolio.

Leadership Module

  • Poster presentation with 20 minute defence

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.

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.

Placements

You are expected to organise your own clinical placement where you can obtain a minimum of 320 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

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 £340 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 cutting-edge learning facilities.

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.

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 Helen Brown, Anushka Sumra and Rachel Barker.

Helen teaches abdominal and vascular ultrasound alongside working part-time as a clinical sonographer at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. Anushka teaches Obstetric Ultrasound as well as being a part-time clinical sonographer at West Birmingham NHS Trust. Rachel teaches Gynaecological Ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound and also works part time at Warwick Hospital.

Helen brown staff profile

Helen Brown

Course Lead MSc Medical Ultrasound and Senior Lecturer

Helen originally trained as a radiographer qualifying in 1989, she has worked as a qualified sonographer since 1994 training in Abdominal, obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound. In 1997 Helen specialised in vascular ultrasound setting up a new department. Helen has taught at BCU as a visiting lecturer for many years before joining the ultrasound team in 2015, becoming programme lead in 2017. She still works clinically as a vascular sonographer in the NHS one day a week and strongly believes in keeping strong links to clinical practice to ensure that our courses are relevant to the modern demands of the NHS.

Read Helen's full profile