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Medical Ultrasound - Module / MSc / PgCert / PgDip

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

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....

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Part Time
  • Location City South
  • Award Module / MSc / PgCert / PgDip
  • Start date September 2024
  • Fees View course fees
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

This course is:

Overview

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.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this 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.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE)

Why Choose Us?

  • We offer blended learning which is a combination of in person teaching and online teaching. This provides you with flexible high-quality teaching required to become an autonomous ultrasound practitioner.
  • We are professionally accredited by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE). You can be reassured that the education and training being delivered is against set standards and at an appropriate level to ensure you develop into a competent sonographer.
  • Having recently been awarded Imaging Academy Hub status, you will be provided with the very best learning and teaching experience. We are at the forefront of radiography education, and you will have access to our state-of-the-art ultrasound simulation suite where you can be supported with practical ‘hands-on’ skills development.
  • You will benefit from a choice of a wide range of clinical modules including, obstetrics, early pregnancy, gynaecological, abdominal, vascular, and musculoskeletal ultrasound. We are also able to accommodate any niche clinical requirements you or your department may have.
  • You will learn from practicing sonographers in clinical placement and many of our course lecturers also work clinically, ensuring course content is current and relevant.
  • We are a friendly and approachable team with an extensive skill set including research. We can guarantee that you will receive a high level of support in both your academic studies and clinical practise.

OPEN DAY

Join us on campus where you'll be able to find out more about your course, learn about postgraduate finance and get an insight into studying at BCU. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: 29 June 2024

Register interest

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  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.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: Module

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £950 per 20 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £950 per 20 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

Award: PgCert

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £950 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 60 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

Award: PgDip

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £950 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 60 credits
  • Year 2 - 60 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this 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.

Personal statement

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

Course in Depth

Level 7

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.

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 (20 credits)
Core Modules for PG Dip (40 credits)
MSc Option 1 (60 credits)

Core modules for the award of MSc (60 credits): On successful completion of the PgCert and PgDip, to progress to MSc, a student must successfully complete either study Option 1 or Option 2 below:

MSc Option 2 (60 credits)

Optional Modules

Optional modules to be studied alongside the core modules:

  • For the award of PgCert you need to complete 60 credits, of which a minimum of 40 credits must be clinically based.
  • For the award of PgDip you need to complete 120 credits, of which a minimum of 60 credits must be clinically based.
  • For the award of MSc you need to complete 180 credits, of which a minimum of 60 credits must be clinically based.

Remaining credits can be made up of the optional modules below.

Download course specification

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Course structure

This is a part-time day 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 two days 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
  • Written exam
  • Written assignment
  • Clinical assessment
  • 10,000 or 15,000 word dissertation

To complete a clinical modules you are to keep a portfolio of evidence, recording your clinical examination and hours of clinical practice.

Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE)
Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE)

The PG Cert / PG Dip / MSc Medical Ultrasound and Obstetric Ultrasound (Focused Courses) are accredited by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE).

Employability

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 placements where you can obtain a minimum of 320 hours for a 40 credit clinical module and 160 hours for a 20 credit clinical module. 

Facilities & Staff

We have invested over £400 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Mock Wards

These are set up to look like typical hospital wards, with four-six bays. Depending on the topic in hand, different manikins can be used as patients and relevant equipment is provided to practise clinical skills. Some of the manikins are interactive and can simulate different scenarios e.g. some allow you to cannulate, check pulses, intubate etc, and some can talk to you. One ward is often used as an adult ward, and the other as a child ward.

These rooms also allow for scenarios to be set up for other professions such as dietetics, paramedic science and social work.

The Operating Theatre and Recovery Suites

The operating theatre and recovery suite gives you the sense of what it would be like in a real surgical environment.

These spaces emulate the full surgical journey from anaesthetics, through surgery and into recovery. ODP students can practice a range of skills including gowning, hand washing, preparing instrument trays, and working with a patient. Nurses and midwives may experience a surgical placement and need to go to theatre or be part of the midwifery team involved with caesarean sections. Many other Allied Health Professionals may also see patients in recovery if necessary.

Home Environment Room

This space is used to simulate non-clinical settings, as not everything health professionals deal with is hospital based. This is used for simulations of home visits and home births. It also houses soft matting and a bubble machine that are used by the Learning Disability Nursing team.

Assisted Living Space

This space replicates a flat and is used for scenarios such as home visits. The sitting room area provides a different space to practise skills and simulations and work with service users and other students.

Assisted Kitchen

This specially designed kitchen has different areas where you can practice cooking, cleaning, boiling the kettle etc., with someone who has actual or simulated visual impairments. There are adapted devices to help, and simulation glasses for you to wear to experience visual impairments.

Physiotherapy Room

This is a space for physiotherapy students to use, with various equipment to practise client meetings.

Radiotherapy Planning Computer Suite

Our computers allow you to plan hypothetical treatments, in terms of angles and directions, ensuring that radiotherapy reaches where it is needed on a patient’s body.

Radiography Image Interpretation and Reporting Stations Computer Suite

These facilities allow you to view and analyse x-rays.

VERT - Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training

This room contains 3D technology to view virtual patients and look at trajectories for treatment.

Radiotherapy

This room contains the same bed/couch used when patients are given radiotherapy treatment. While students of course do not administer radiotherapy in this room, it does allow them to practise adjusting the equipment to make sure both it and a patient would be in the correct position to receive treatment.

Telehealth Room

This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with five small telehealth booths down either side. These are to allow all our health professions students to practise delivering healthcare and advice remotely, either over the phone or on a video call. This addition to our teaching reflects moves in the sector to offer more flexible access to healthcare services, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Imaging Academy

This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the Midlands Imaging Academy Hub, funded by Health Education England. These expanded facilities will mean we can further develop our courses and expertise in radiography and imaging.

Speech and Language Therapy Resource Room

Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have developed a collection of tools, books and resources to help you learn and understand the implications of a speech or swallowing limitation. You can practise one to one client meetings and clinics and use the video recording equipment to review role play scenarios.

Ultrasound simulation suite

You have access to a wide range of Ultrasound simulation equipment to develop your clinical skills and aid in training. The equipment includes two ultrasound machines with a range of phantoms, scan training stations and eve body works.


Our staff

Gemma Smith

Co-course Lead and Senior Lecturer Medical Ultrasound

Gemma previously worked as a Radiographer and a Sonographer at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS trust for 15 years before joining the BCU lecturing team.

More about Gemma

James Michael

Co-course Lead and Senior Lecturer in Medical Ultrasound

James has previously worked as a Radiographer and Sonographer at University Hospital Birmingham NHS trust for 15 years before joining the BCU lecturing team. He is Co-Course lead of the MSc Medical Ultrasound Course. James teaches on both the BSc Medical Ultrasound and MSc Medical Ultrasound courses, along with radiology registrar...

More about James

Zoe Hunt

Admissions Tutor and Senior Lecturer in Medical Ultrasound

Zoe is a member of the BCU Alumni, as she completed her BSC (Hons) radiography in 2007 since then she has worked at a local NHS trust working her way up to a senior radiographer and then an advanced practitioner in ultrasound. Zoe still works two days per week clinical alongside the university role at a local NHS trust where she scans obstetrics,...

More about Zoe