close up of someone doing a stomach ultrasound

MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate

Medical Ultrasound

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Allied Health Professions
Glenside Campus
Three years
Part-time beginning in January
Programme leader:
Antonio Sassano
Key fact:
The course is accredited by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE).

Page last updated 21 September 2017


This course provides an opportunity for health care practitioners to achieve a recognised qualification in obstetrics, gynaecological, vascular, general medical ultrasound, breast, musculosketetal and echocardiography, supported by a combination of structured clinical experience and academic study.

The course is designed to produce clinically competent advanced practitioners, who will be able to meet the needs of the service in a changing health care environment.

The course was planned in full consultation with a wide range of relevant professionals from the South West region, who are experts in the field of diagnostic ultrasound or associated clinical specialisms. These experts are instrumental in the delivery of the course, along with experienced educationalists from within the University.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Postgraduate Certificate (Year 1)

  • Ultrasound Technology (compulsory) (30 Level M credits)
  • Plus one 30 credit clinical module or two 15 credit modules

Postgraduate Diploma (Year 2)

In addition to the above:

  • Two 30 credit clinical modules or one 30 credit plus two 15 credit modules

MSc Medical Ultrasound (Year 3)

In addition to the above:

  • Health and Social Care Research: Methods and Methodologies (compulsory) (15 level M credits)


  • Dissertation (45 or 60 level M credit modules)


This course can also be studied on a modular basis as professional development, over whatever time period you choose. You may wish to build credits up to one of the awards above, or complete the module(s) as standalone study.

Core modules

  • Ultrasound Technology - A sound foundation in science and instrumentation technology is of fundamental importance, and underpins this course. This module will provide you with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the physical principles of ultrasound in order to perform examinations in a safe and competent manner. It is designed to actively promote the application of these principles to the available instrumentation. Through demonstrating an applied understanding of the physical principles and instrumentation, you will be able to identify, assess and resolve complex problems relating to the resultant image, and discuss the reliability of the findings. You will be able to critically analyse the 'fitness for purpose' of various equipment designs and specifications. The role of quality control and performance checks will be an important aspect of this module. The rapid technological innovations in recent years will form an integral part of the content of this module.


  • Health and Social Care Research: Methods and Methodology (Core module for MSc Award) - Whilst all the modules foster a research-based approach to learning, this core module considers the role of research and evaluates the range of method and methodologies and strategies adopted in health and social care. It also aims to encourage you to develop research knowledge and to support you in the preparation of the dissertation work.

Optional modules

  • General Medical Ultrasound - Equips you with skills and knowledge in general abdominal ultrasound and covers the following anatomical areas: urinary tract, liver and spleen, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas, retroperitoneum, great vessels and adrenals, and bowel, if relevant to the examination. You study theory and engage in practice at the same time, thus facilitating the application of theoretical principles to practice. This module covers interpersonal skills, verbal and written reporting and decision making and accurate record keeping.


  • Obstetric Ultrasound - Equips you with the skills and knowledge you need for a successful career in obstetric ultrasound and covers the role of ultrasound in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester and post-natally. This is a practice-based module, where you will have the chance to put the theory you learn into practice, as you study. It also covers interpersonal skills, verbal and written reporting and decision making and accurate record keeping.


  • Negotiated Specialist Ultrasound Practice - This professional practice module will give you an in-depth analysis and critical awareness of a chosen sub-speciality within the field of medical ultrasound (e.g. gynaecology, vascular, breast, paediatric, musculo-skeletal, echocardiography). Action learning sets will be utilised as a forum for problem solving, critical discussion and debate. Individuals will negotiate and develop learning contracts with academic and clinical staff.


  • Dissertation - You may have a particular research interest and choose to undertake a 60 credit dissertation to explore your ideas in some depth. Alternatively, you can opt for a 40 credit dissertation module to complete an empirical study to support an aspect of your practice, with a further optional 20 credit module in an area that needs developing.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course aims to provide you with:

  • the knowledge and skills to practise in a safe and competent manner
  • the educational and research base to critically evaluate and inform ultrasound practice
  • the opportunity for interprofessional collaboration and shared learning
  • an understanding of the contribution of ultrasound to the overall management of the patient
  • a recognised qualification in ultrasound
  • the skills to engage in research, evaluation and systematic reviews of practice
  • an appreciation of the importance of life-long learning activities

Course requirements

  • Access to an appropriate clinical area of a minimum of two days a week in order to fulfil the practical requirements of this course
  • Commitment from the department manager to support clinical learning
  • An appropriately qualified individual who will act as clinical appraiser (supervisor and assessor)

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

The modules will be delivered on a part-time block-release basis.


Assessment will involve a variety of methods including coursework, presentations, seminars, written and practical examinations.

For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The course is accredited by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE).


The obstetric ultrasound, general medical ultrasound and negotiated specialist modules will require an appropriate work placement, and a designated clinical appraiser. The programme team are developing a work-based learning approach for some modules. A wide range of assessments will be utilised, to include the assessment of clinical competence.

Study facilities

The Department is superbly equipped with an extensive range of teaching and learning resources, which includes ultrasound scanning equipment and simulators. The Library on the Glenside Campus is one of the best health and life sciences libraries in England with a huge selection of books, journals, and audio-visual materials including access to specialist health and life sciences software packages.

Information technology provision is in the form of multimedia laboratories, smart boards, innovative projects such as 'multicasting' to deliver teaching material and various health and social care databases enabling students to carry out searches of available literature relating to topics of interest. At the main Frenchay Campus there is 24-hour access to computing facilities.

The Interprofessional Simulation Suite provides excellent opportunities for the demonstration and practice of professional competencies for health and life sciences practitioners.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.


Careers / Further study

Once you have completed this course you will have the knowledge and skills to practice in a safe and competent manner, a recognised qualification in ultrasound, the educational and research base to critically evaluate and inform ultrasound practice, the opportunity for inter-professional collaboration and shared learning, and an understanding of the contribution of ultrasound to the overall management of the patient.


Part Time Course (January start)

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)667

Supplementary fee information

More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.

Students will be liable for the payment of tuition fees, which are due in full at registration unless an employer is sponsoring you or you are paying by direct debit.

If you are currently receiving means-tested benefits you may be entitled to reduced fees. For further information contact the Student Services team on +44(0)117 32 85678 or complete a Student Services contact form.

For information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit website or tel: 0800 100900.


Entry requirements

Applicants normally have a good honours first degree from a recognised institution of higher education, and a relevant registered health care qualification.

However, the University recognises that students seeking professional development may have alternative qualifications and experience. The acceptance of applicants with non-standard qualifications will be in accordance with the University's Accreditation of (Experiential) Learning procedure. Applicants should be eligible for registration by their respective UK regulatory body e.g. HPC, GMC, UKCC.

How to apply

If you wish to study the MSc, PgDip or PgCert please apply online using the link on the right hand side of this page. Students initially enrol on the full MSc programme, however if you are intending to complete the PgDip or PgCert you will be able to claim this once you have completed the appropriate number of modules from the course.

If you are interested in standalone Ultrasound modules or study days (or have previously completed CPD modules and wish to resume your studies) please apply via our online CPD application on the Health and applied sciences courses: fees and how to apply page.

If you are a current intermitting student wishing to return to the course please email

If you would like advice or guidance on the most appropriate route please contact the Programme Manager before submitting your application.

You must also complete Clinical Placement Form (Vascular) or the Clinical Placement Form (General Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and submit this with your application. Please upload the document to your online application.

For further information

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