Course structure and teaching methods
A core module on basic physics. At the end of this module the student should have a good understanding of the basic physics of medical ultrasound including medical statistics. The student should also have gained basic experience in all the major ultrasound techniques and understood their application in routine ultrasound laboratories.
At the same time during the first trimester, the students should have agreed on their research project with their respective supervisors, have formulated the basic hypothesis of the project and drafted the methodology. An ethics application should be submitted when applicable by the end of this trimester. Ethics applications can take a long time to process so it’s important that you submit this as soon as possible.
Students will be separated in to their chosen sub-specialties. Those are:
- Vascular Ultrasound
- Obstetric & Gynaecology
They will receive a number of lectures to cover the sub-specialty Core Curriculum upon which they will be examined on basic knowledge.
During the second trimester, the students will also have regular scanning sessions in the respective laboratories under supervision. By the end of this trimester, the students should have performed half of their expected examinations for their logbook.
At the end of this trimester the students will undergo a mock examination on knowledge of physics and sub-specialty
During the third trimester, the students will complete the lectures and concentrate on the research project. The final examination on all subjects will be organised in May/June.
The last trimester will be focused on finalising the research project, which will have to be submitted in August. In the meantime the students will need to complete their logbook.
The research project is to be carried out concomitantly over a period of approximately 9 months and will be carried out in departments at the various campuses of Imperial College London, subject to approval by all concerned. Each student will select, or be assigned, a research project with their respective supervisors. The projects will be selected such that a student can reasonably be expected to make an original contribution to the chosen area of research within the time period allotted. The purpose of the project is to provide the student with training in academic research and acquisition of practical skills, including the design of a research project, planning of experiments, dealing with practical problems, recording of, presenting and analysing data. Time will be allocated towards the end of the project period to write a thesis on the research work.
Full time students
The students complete all aspects of the MSc and will spend three days per week in ultrasound clinics in one or more of the following centres: the Hammersmith, Charing Cross, St Mary’s Hospitals, training to reach an agreed proficiency or competency level of scanning and diagnosis.
Part time students (vascular)
On the two year part-time course will attend Part I and Part II lectures, practicals and tutorials at the Hammersmith Campus for one day a week in the first year and will be required to attend an accredited hospital ultrasound clinic three days per week for both the first and second years. In the second year the student will concentrate on the dissertation and clinical examination and will be required to attend the Hammersmith Campus at least one day per week.
These are given by members of staff experts in medical ultrasound, other members of staff of Imperial College London and invited outside lecturers (all acknowledged experts in their fields). The lectures are designed to cover the major areas of Medical Ultrasound, giving an overview that should stimulate further reading and study.
These are organised by the course tutors, often in collaboration with a member of academic staff. Practicals are intended to provide you with a working knowledge of the major techniques used in medical ultrasound. Each practical is accompanied by a data interpretation session relating to interpretation of your own examination. For those students with limited previous practical knowledge, additional recommended practical reading can be found later in this guide to help you prepare prior to each practical.
These are “practicals” where the feasibility, or time restraints for completing the whole practical has necessitated a workshop format instead. These are organised by the course tutor, often in collaboration with a member of academic staff.
The tutorial system is designed to provide students with personal contact with individual members of staff, allowing for academic progression as well as pastoral support. At the start of every year students are allocated to a tutor in their respective sub-specialty. The tutorial groups meet at regular times, normally once every month, during the taught part of the course (first two trimesters). During the project much of the role of the tutor is assumed by the project supervisor. However, the tutor remains available to the student throughout the course, and is the first port of call for pastoral problems.
Students are encouraged to read widely, not only in textbooks but also in journals. The library stocks a wide range of these, and tuition in the use of the library facilities is given by library staff. Students will be expected to be able to perform full literature searches.