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Course content

Our flexible Medical Ultrasound course is designed for healthcare professionals undertaking obstetrics, gynaecology and / or abdominal ultrasound training.

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for a range of health care professionals who have experience in radiography, nursing, midwifery or other related professions. The course enables students to achieve the academic qualifications and clinical skills needed to pursue a career in ultrasound or to develop current skills further.

Students need a clinical placement in a recognised department, to engage in a wide range of ultrasound examinations for the duration of the course.

Objectives

City’s Medical Ultrasound course offers flexible study options for healthcare professionals undertaking obstetrics, gynaecology and / or abdominal ultrasound training and for those wishing to develop their skills further using work based learning options.

Our expert staff provide a supportive environment, encouraging students to develop their academic abilities and clinical skills in preparation for working as a sonographer. Students learn a range of subjects to enable them to explore the underpinning knowledge of safe, effective and evidence-based ultrasound practice, with which to help them develop clinical skills in their own department. Teaching is also supported by specialist guest speakers who provide current, relevant course material.

Students can achieve competency to practice if they successfully complete both academic and clinical components of the programme to PgC level or above.

Placements

A clinical placement is required in a recognised ultrasound department, to provide a wide range of clinical experience and supervision. Students should have their own clinical placement arranged prior to application, with supervised training arranged for an average of three days per week.

The placement needs to provide support for a wide range of clinical examinations. In addition to hands-on clinical experience you need a named clinical supervisor/assessor to provide support during the course. The supervisor must attend supervisor training and provide regular updates on your clinical progress to the clinical co-ordinator.

Academic facilities

The ultrasound clinical skills suite is equipped with a real-time ultrasound machine and simulators. The facilities are used for tutorials, self-directed study and formative monitoring of clinical skills.

Students have access to the MedaPhor simulator during the working week and remote cloud based access to tutorials and resources.

Using a flipped classroom approach to teaching and learning ensure that a range of online lectures are available for learning and revision.

Teaching and learning

A blended learning approach is used: linking academic theory to clinical practice via work-based learning; formal key note lectures; seminars; film viewing tutorials; demonstrations/workshops; e-learning; shared learning; self-directed study and online case discussions. Participation in the learning is an essential component of the course.

The programme team consists of academic staff, many of whom are still practicing clinically. Guest lecturers are invited to share expert knowledge on a range of topics, such as fetal cardiology, fetal medicine and contrast ultrasound.

The department’s academic staff are highly regarded across the institution, with our current programme director, Gill Harrison, winning the institution's prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Activities include online lectures and quizzes, lectures, tutorials, workshops and skills suite activities, group activities and group work, games and online case discussions.

A variety of assessment methods are used to cater for a range of learning styles and provide a link between theory and practice. Assessment methods include objective structured examinations, online case discussions, oral and/or poster presentations, written assignments, clinical portfolio and clinical competency assessments.

Modules

As a student on the Medical Ultrasound course you will learn the underpinning theory of ultrasound production, safe and effective practice, normal and abnormal ultrasound appearances and associated imaging pathways.

You will be able to select from a number of clinical options including obstetrics, gynaecology and / or abdominal ultrasound. Additional clinical areas can be studied via work-based learning modules, if appropriate clinical support is available within the students' clinical department. The course is also designed to develop transferable skills to support clinical practice development.

Modules will take place over one or two days per week, depending on the selected module options. The time in lectures varies, dependent on the nature of the module.

Core modules - core modules and specific named clinical modules have a blended learning approach, with online lectures, online quizzes and discussions supported by lectures, tutorials and workshops. The average contact time per module is approximately 30 to 35 hours.
-Fundamental Principles of Ultrasound Practice (15 credits)
-Developing Advanced Practice (15 credits)

Students progressing to MSc must undertake:
-Foundations in Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis module (15 credits)
-Dissertation module (60 credits)

Elective modules - students can then select a range of clinical modules such as:
-Obstetric Ultrasound (30 credits)
-Gynaecology Ultrasound (15 credits)
-Abdominal Ultrasound (30 credits)
-Work Based Learning in Practice (includes clinical areas such as early pregnancy, small parts, DVT scanning) (15 credits)

You must gain 60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate and 120 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma. The most common route is for students to take the two core modules and 45 credits of clinical modules in year 1. For example:
-Fundamental Principles of Ultrasound Practice (15 credits)
-Developing Advanced Practice (15 credits)
-Obstetric Ultrasound (30 credits)
-Gynaecology Ultrasound (15 credits)

Modules are spread throughout one to three terms in year 1.

In year two many students undertake the remaining 45 credits in term 1 (September to December), with a view to completing the PgDip in 18 months. Modules are often:
-Abdominal Ultrasound (30 credits)
-Work Based Learning in Practice 2 (includes clinical areas such as early pregnancy, small parts, DVT scanning
OR
-Foundations in Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis module

Students progressing to MSc the begin the dissertation module.

Some students take a short break of 6 months between completing the PgDip and starting the MSc. The maximum registration period is 5 years.

Career prospects

On completion of a postgraduate certificate or diploma you can apply for jobs as an autonomous practitioner, working in the NHS or private practice. Many of our graduates have become advanced practitioners, developing additional skills during their career, whilst others have travelled to overseas to enhance their careers.

MSc graduates have also become managers of ultrasound departments, leading service change and developing services to improve patient care. A number of graduates have developed their role in specialist areas, where they undertake research and training and engage in dissemination of their work at national and international conferences and in peer review publications. Some of our graduates return to provide keynote lectures to future generations of ultrasound students or even take on the role of Programme Director running ultrasound programmes.

You can also become an independent practitioner, setting up your own company, providing services to local populations or travel the world and experience different ways of working. Most sonographers are employed at band seven in the NHS.

Visit the Medical Ultrasound - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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