MSc Medical Ultrasound

Entry year
Course code
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Glenside Campus
Three years
Part-time beginning in January
Programme leader
Antonio Sassano

This course is open for applications for January 2025 entry.

Page last updated 20 February 2024


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

Accreditations and partnerships:

This course provides an opportunity for health care practitioners to achieve a recognised qualification in areas such as obstetrics, gynaecological, vascular, general medical ultrasound, and musculosketetal, 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.

All students apply for the MSc Medical Ultrasound and can either complete a PgCert in one year, a PgDip in two years or the MSc in just over three years.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



Core modules

  • Fundamentals of Ultrasound Technology - This module is designed to give a foundation in the science and instrumentation of medical ultrasound, and give students the knowledge and understanding needed to perform examinations safely and competently.  It also addresses issues relating to new technology and quality assurance.
  • Professional Issues in Ultrasound - This module will provide you with the background knowledge of personal, professional, ethical and legal theories and principles relating to health care and focusing on issues relating medical imaging. This will provide the healthcare practitioner to undertake ultrasound examinations within a safe environment giving effective care to clients, within legal and ethical frameworks. The module content will be flexible to meet the needs of the rapidly changing health care agenda.
  • Contemporary Advances in Ultrasound Technology - This module is designed for the student to apply the fundamental principles of ultrasound technology to clinical practice. The module consists of a mixture of lectures and practical workshops, and explores and addresses issues relating to new technology and quality assurance.  Students are expected to contribute to discussions based on their own knowledge and experiences, recognise gaps in their knowledge and understanding, and investigate these areas by asking questions and reading around the subject, particularly current published studies. 
  • Health and Social Care Research: Methods and Methodology (15 credits) - 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.
  • Masters Dissertation (45 credits) or Dissertation (60 credits) - 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, plus an optional 20 credit module in an area that needs developing.

Optional modules

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change. The number of optional modules you study will depend upon the credit requirement of your route through the course.

  • General Medical Ultrasound in Practice (30 credits) - 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 in Practice (30 credits) - Prepares you with the skills and knowledge you need for a successful career in obstetric ultrasound and covers the role of ultrasound in the first, second and third 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 1 and 2 (30 credits each) and Negotiated Specialist Ultrasound Practice 3, 4, 5 and 6 (15 credits each) - provide an opportunity for students to plan and develop an in-depth analysis and critical awareness of a chosen sub-speciality within the field of medical ultrasound. The content of the module will be defined following discussions between the module leader, the student and the work-based manager. Potential specialisms could include areas such as:
    • Early Pregnancy (EPAC), First-trimester (dating), Anomaly scanning (second trimester), Growth scans (third trimester), Fetal echocardiography, Doppler in Obstetrics (Fetal Doppler), Paediatric, Baby Hips
    • Small Parts: Thyroid and Testes
    • MSK:  Upper Limb, Lower Limb, Lumps and Bumps
    • Vascular: Carotid, Lower limb DVT, Aorta, Lower Limb Arterial/Venous,  Haemodialysis Access
    • Paracentesis.
  • Gynaecological Ultrasound (15 credits) - The aim of this module is to develop a safe and competent practitioner equipped with knowledge, critical understanding and professional skills for participation in an effective gynaecological ultrasound imaging service. This is a practice-based module, where you will have the chance to put the theory you learn into practice, as you study.
  • CPD

    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.

    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'll 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.

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

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)

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 of Allied Health Professions facilities is superbly equipped with an extensive range of teaching and learning resources, which includes ultrasound scanning equipment and simulators.

Glenside Campus Library 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.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Health Professions facilities and see what's on offer here for you.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


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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.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.

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 GOV.UK or call 0800 100 900.


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.

Selection process

Applicants will be required to attend an interview. 

How to apply

Read more about postgraduate applications.

If you are interested in studying individual modules as CPD, you will be required to apply for each ultrasound module. If you are a current intermitting student wishing to return to the course please email

You must also complete the Clinical Placement Form and submit this with your short course application. Please upload the document to your online application.

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

For further information