Graduate Certificate Fertility Ultrasound

Course Features

  • Confers competence to practice ultrasound in the management of the patient with infertility.
  • Provides both theoretical and practical training, with a significant emphasis on clinical experience.
  • Facilitates busy professionals by delivering the majority of lectures through an e-learning structure.  

Course Overview

This course equips participants with the skills necessary to understand the indications for ultrasound examinations, perform scans safely and competently, report on scan findings in the clinical context and to know when to refer patients for a more detailed assessment.

Who Should Take This Course?

This programme is targeted towards:

  • Nurses and Midwives working in the area of fertility management and treatment
  • Radiographers working in the area of fertility management and treatment
  • Doctors specialising in the area of fertility management and treatment

All applicants must be actively scanning in order to be considered for this programme

What Will I Learn?

Course Description

The programme will provide both theoretical and practical training, with a significant emphasis on clinical experience, and will cover all the main aspects of pelvic, fertility and early pregnancy ultrasound (up to 8 completed weeks of gestation).

The course aims to equip practitioners working with infertile patients with a level of competence in ultrasound scanning that will enable them to understand the indications for ultrasound examinations, perform scans safely and competently, report on scan findings in the clinical context and know when to refer patients for a more detailed assessment.

Topics covered include image optimization, anatomy, physiology and pathology, fertility management focussing on the role of ultrasound in the investigation of fertility problems, and monitoring of women undergoing treatment, protocols and guidelines, communication, ethical and social implications. Ultrasound assessment of both normal and abnormal early pregnancy is also included.

Modules

Theory of Fertility Ultrasound

This module offers students the opportunity to develop their academic knowledge of infertility and its application to clinical practice. The module aims to equip practitioners working with infertile patients with a level of knowledge that will enable them to understand the indications for, and importance of, ultrasound examinations. It is designed to provide both theoretical and practical training, with a significant emphasis on clinical experience.

Students registered for this module are offered the opportunity to develop their knowledge of:

  • The normal menstrual cycle
  • Anatomy, physiology and pathology as it relates to the infertile patient
  • The theories underpinning management and treatment

On completion of this module students should be able to

  • demonstrate an understanding of the underlying physiology as it relates to infertility;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the investigations and treatments associated with the management of infertility;
  • evaluate the contribution of ultrasound to the overall management of the patient;
  • demonstrate an ability to learn independently.

Clinical Practice of Fertility Ultrasound

This module offers students the opportunity to develop high level clinical and academic knowledge of ultrasound and the management of the infertile patient. It aims to equip practitioners working with infertile patients with a level of competence in ultrasound scanning that will enable them to understand the indications for ultrasound examinations, perform scans safely and competently, report on scan findings in the clinical context and know when to refer patients for more detailed assessment.  It is designed to provide both theoretical and practical training, with a significant emphasis on clinical experience.

Students registered for this module are offered the opportunity to study the following aspects of fertility ultrasound: the fundamental principles of ultrasound examinations in the management of fertility: ultrasound assessment of the normal female pelvis and recognition of possible uterine and ovarian pathology; ultrasound assessment and diagnosis during follicle tracking; ultrasound assessment and role in the management of assisted conception; ultrasound diagnosis of normal early pregnancy; ultrasound diagnosis of early embryonic demise; and ultrasound diagnosis of a suspected ectopic pregnancy. Topics covered will stimulate students to investigate issues from a wide variety of perspectives including: communication; clinical history and clinical investigations; protocols and guidelines; ethical and social implications

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • demonstrate high level clinical skills in the performance of fertility ultrasound examinations; 
  • complete an accurate and clear report in relation to the examination
  • apply current theories of ultrasound to the overall management of the patient;
  • self-evaluate their performance in the clinical environment; 
  • discuss social and ethical implications of fertility ultrasound;
  • communicate written information in an effective manner; 
  • demonstrate IT skills; 
  • demonstrate an ability to learn independently.

Technology of Fertility Ultrasound

This technology of ultrasound module covers all the main technological aspects of pelvic, fertility and early pregnancy ultrasound. The module aims to equip practitioners working with infertile patients with a level of competence in ultrasound scanning that will enable them to understand the indications for ultrasound examinations and perform scans safely and competently, in a manner that will ensure optimal image acquisition. 

It is designed to provide both theoretical and practical training, with a significant emphasis on clinical experience. Students registered for this module are offered the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the following topics: Ultrasound equipment controls; Emission and reception; Reflection and refraction, Attenuation; Artefacts in ultrasound imaging; Recording of ultrasound images and the Safety of ultrasound.

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • justify parameters selected for relevant ultrasound examinations;
  • evaluate technical settings;
  • optimise image quality in ultrasound;
  • analyse ultrasound safety issues in the clinical context;
  • communicate written information in an effective manner;
  • demonstrate IT skills;
  • demonstrate an ability to learn independently;

How/Where Do I Learn?

The provision of the majority of the lectures is through an e-learning structure which allows students to access the course material at the most convenient and flexible time for them. There will also be 4 study days between January and May (compulsory attendance) at UCD. Dates for these will be given on acceptance of application.

There is a major emphasis on students achieving a high level of expertise in clinical practice and participants will gain their clinical experience in their own department, which will allow them to negotiate the most suitable arrangements within each individual workplace.

To ensure this is achieved students must arrange a clinical placement and provide evidence of an agreement to spend a minimum of 300 hours practicing ultrasound in a fertility clinic while undertaking this programme. 

Am I Eligible For This Course?

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants should be qualified Nurses or Midwives registered with An Bord Altranais or the UKCC; or Radiographers with the approval to practice Radiography in Ireland or Northern Ireland. Applicants should have completed one year of general experience in Nursing, Midwifery or Radiography.
  • Doctors must be registered with the Irish Medical Council.
  • Other applicants may be considered on individual merit but must be actively scanning in a fertility clinic in order to undertake the programme.
  • Participants must be actively scanning in a fertility clinic and will be expected to attain a high-level of experience in clinical practice. To ensure this is achieved, students must arrange a clinical placement and provide evidence of an agreement to spend a minimum of 300 hours practicing ultrasound in a fertility clinic while undertaking this programme. 
  • Declaration of Clinical Placement must be completed and returned.  

Prior learning

  • Students must have completed twelve months working in a fertility clinic, and within that timeframe have had a minimum of three months clinical ultrasound experience, prior to commencing this programme, and provide documented evidence of this.
  • Applicants should be computer literate and have continuous internet access for the duration of the programme.
  • Declaration of Clinical Experience form must be completed and returned.

International Applicants

  • International applicants should contact the academic programme director for a full list of entry requirements.
  • A list of FAQs for international applicants is available here.
  • Information on studying at UCD as international students is available here

How/When Do I Apply?

Important dates & information

  • The next intake for this course is in January.
  • Closing date for applications: Friday 4th Janurary 2019

How to apply

The programme is a Graduate Taught Programme (code: X471)

Course Fees

Irish/EU ApplicantsNon-EU Applicants
€3,300 €7,900

Last updated: 28th August 2017.

Contact Us

Programme CoordinatorProgramme Administrator
Dr Mary Moran Programme Administrator
Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging
UCD School of Medicine
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4

e: moran.mary@ucd.ie

Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging
UCD School of Medicine
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
e: graduate.imaging@ucd.ie
t: +353 1 716 6545
F: +353 1 716 6547