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Course content

Our MSc in Medical Imaging Science covers a multidisciplinary topic of central importance in diagnosis, treatment monitoring and patient management.

It is also a key tool in medical research and it is becoming increasingly possible to relate imaging studies to genetic traits in individuals and populations. Novel imaging biomarkers of disease can enable more rapid and precise diagnosis and inform decision making in drug discovery programmes.

As medical imaging involves knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, physics, mathematics and computation, our course is suitable if you want to expand your disciplinary horizons and pursue a career in an image-related field in clinical medicine, medical research, or technological research or development.

You will cover the basic science and technology behind the principal imaging modalities currently used in medicine and medical research, as well as advanced imaging methods, clinical and research applications, imaging biomarkers and computational methods.

You will learn how advanced imaging techniques are applied in medical research and drug discovery with an emphasis on magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. You will also receive training in computational and quantitative methods of image analysis or in the interpretation of clinical images from different imaging modalities.

This course comprises both a taught component and a research project, giving you the skills and knowledge required for a career in an image-related field in clinical practice, clinical or scientific research, or technical development.


We aim to provide you with:

  • with a systematic understanding of the scientific basis of the major medical imaging modalities;
  • a broad understanding of the principal clinical applications of medical imaging and its role in diagnosis, monitoring and therapy;
  • an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of medical imaging for deriving quantitative anatomical and physiological data;
  • knowledge of how advanced imaging techniques are applied in medical research and drug discovery;
  • the experience to plan, implement and complete a research project;
  • generic transferrable skills required in a multidisciplinary scientific or clinical research environment;
  • the knowledge and skills required for a career in an image-related field in clinical practice, clinical research, scientific research or technical development.

Special features

Excellent facilities

Benefit from research-dedicated imaging facilities at several hospital sites and a dedicated molecular imaging centre co-located with the Christie Hospital.

Learn from experts

Manchester has an imaging and image computing research group with a strong international reputation. Our research groups and facilities are staffed by scientists conducting research in novel imaging and image analysis methods, and clinicians who apply these methods in clinical practice.

Flexible learning

Learn when it suits you thanks to options for either full-time or part-time study.

Multidisciplinary learning

Study alongside physicists, engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, chemists, biologists and clinicians working in hospitals and research-dedicated imaging facilities.

Teaching and learning

As this course aims to produce graduates equipped to pursue either clinically or technically-focused careers in imaging, it is important to provide an adequate knowledge base. For this reason, much of the teaching takes the form of lectures.

However, in most course units, this is supplemented by group discussions and practical exercises. Other than the introductory units, most course units provide you with an understanding of research methods by requiring submission of a critical review of appropriate research literature or clinical material, either as a report or presentation.

Where appropriate, practical imaging exercises are provided, requiring you to cooperate in acquiring images and analysing results.

All units require a considerable component of independent research and study.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment will occur in a variety of forms.

Summative assessment takes the form of written assignments, examinations, oral presentations and online quizzes. Written assignments and presentations, as well as contributing to summative assessment, have a formative role in providing feedback, particularly in the early stages of course units.

Online quizzes provide a useful method of regular testing, ensuring that you engage actively with the taught material. As accumulation of a knowledge base is a key aim of the course, examinations (both open-book and closed-book) form an important element of summative assessment.

In addition, formal assessment of your research and written communication skills is achieved via the dissertation. This is a 10,000 to 15,000-word report, written and organised to appropriate scientific standards, describing the design, execution and results of the research project.

Course unit details

The MSc requires students to pass 180 credits composed of eight course units of 15 credits each and a 60-credit research project.

We provide course units in Human Biology and Introductory Mathematics and Physics to bring students up to the required level in these topics.

Semester 1: Compulsory units

  • Scientific Skills
  • Mathematical Foundations of Imaging
  • Radioisotope Imaging (PET/SPET)
  • Non-radioisotope Imaging (MRI, CT, US)

Semester 2: Compulsory units

  • Advanced MR Imaging
  • Advanced PET Imaging
  • Quantitative Imaging into Practice (Imaging Biomarkers for Healthcare and Research)

Semester 2: Elective units (select one)

  • Imaging in Clinical Diagnosis
  • Medical Image Analysis and Mathematical Computing

Semester 3:

  • Research project


You will benefit from research-dedicated imaging facilities at several hospital sites and a dedicated molecular imaging centre co-located with the Christie Hospital.

Each student will have an identified personal tutor who can provide advice and assistance throughout the course. During the research project, you will be in regular contact with your research supervisor.You will also be able to access a range of other library and e-learning facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Graduates will be in an excellent position to pursue careers in image-related fields in healthcare and research. This MSc will also form a sound basis for students who wish to proceed to PhD research in any aspect of medical imaging.

Intercalating medical students may use this qualification as a platform to pursue a clinical career in radiology.

Physical science/engineering graduates may see this as a route to imaging research or development in an academic or commercial environment.

Visit the Medical Imaging Science (MSc/PGDip) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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