MSc Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Course Features

  • Accredited by the Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy (IIRRT).
  • Addresses theory and clinical practice issues in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
  • Develops specialist clinical and critical thinking skills.
  • Delivered by national and international experts.
  • Confers clinical competence in MRI scanning on successful graduates.
  • Accommodates working professionals through flexible programme delivery.

Course Overview

Technological advances in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have led to a greater range of clinical applications, such that MRI is now a core imaging modality in contemporary healthcare. This course, aimed at radiographers working in MRI, integrates the physical principles of MRI with practical clinical applications.

This course aims to foster the personal and professional development of the postgraduate radiographer by encouraging students to develop core knowledge, cultivate a critically questioning approach to MR imaging practice, foster constructive change within the workplace, and direct high-quality MR service provision.

Who Should Take This Course?

The MSc MRI programme is designed for radiographers who wish to provide high quality healthcare by deepening and broadening their knowledge and expertise in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Applicants should normally:

  • Possess at least one year post-qualification experience as a radiographer
  • Be working in an MRI department over the duration of the course.

This MSc programme shares modules with the Graduate Diploma in MRI, building on knowledge and clinical practice skills gained, and developing a greater focus on advanced MR imaging technology and applications within both clinical and research arenas.

What Will I Learn?

Course Description

The MSc MRI programme will develop the expertise of radiographers working in the field of MRI, broadening their knowledge of routine and advanced MR applications, and developing communication skills and critical thinking.

Programme content builds on undergraduate study and existing clinical practice skills to enable radiographers to become experts in MR imaging. During the Technology of MRI modules, students will evaluate the physical principles underpinning MR image generation together with the factors influencing equipment and pulse sequence selection and manipulation within the clinical setting. Practice-based modules address the spectrum of routine and advanced applications of MRI in the central nervous, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, together with applications in the abdomen and pelvis. This provides the knowledge-base for students to evaluate MR scanning protocols and resultant image appearances for diverse clinical indications, and to justify clinical decision-making.

Since this Masters programme confers clinical competence, there is an emphasis on the integration of theory and practice to enable students to develop practical MR scanning skills and manage MR service provision within the clinical department. During the course, students must undertake a minimum of 900 clinical hours to gain the requisite specialist clinical skills in MR scanning.

The programme encourages radiographers to apply a critically questioning approach to MR imaging practice and fosters both the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills and the advancement of research within the clinical practice environment.

Modules

Technology of MRI I

This module aims to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying physical principles of Magnetic Resonance technology. Topics addressed include: magnetism, resonance and MR signal generation, MR system hardware, pulse sequence design, relaxation, MR image weighting and contrast, and an introduction to MR artefacts, scanning features and safety in the MR environment. This module is assessed by coursework and end-of-semester written examination.

Practice of MRI I

This module facilitates the integration of theory and practice in clinical MR imaging of the CNS, neck, and musculoskeletal system in pursuit of clinical competence. For these anatomical regions, students are encouraged to analyse issues relating to the typical clinical indications, selection and modification of MR scanning techniques and imaging protocols, together with normal and abnormal MR image appearances. This module also aims to cultivate higher level professional and reflective skills in the student, and is assessed by coursework and an end-of-semester MR image-based written examination.

Technology of MRI II

This module aims to enable students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the physical principles of the more complex MR imaging technologies. Topics addressed include: advanced MR pulse sequences and scanner functional options, MR image artefacts and avoidance strategies, flow phenomena & the principles of vascular MR imaging, MR equipment QA and MR facility design and associated safety considerations. Students will have the opportunity to develop their presentation skills as part of the module assessment strategy, which also involves an end-of-semester written examination.

Practice of MRI II

This module facilitates the integration of theory and practice in clinical MR imaging of the abdomen, pelvis and cardiovascular system in pursuit of clinical competence. Consideration is also given to the particular requirements for MR imaging of paediatric patients. For these anatomical regions and patient types, students are required to analyse issues relating to typical clinical indications, selection and modification of MR scanning techniques and imaging protocols, together with normal and abnormal MR image appearances. As part of the assessment strategy, students will have the opportunity to further develop their ability to source and analyse current evidence-based literature and to demonstrate clinical justification and decision-making skills through the end-of-semester MR image-based written examination.

Clinical Practice of MRI

This module primarily involves student-directed learning within a clinical MR imaging department, with the aim of facilitating the integration of theoretical concepts and professional clinical practice in order to consolidate the learning process. Specifically, it provides an opportunity for students to become competent and demonstrate high-level clinical skills in the performance of MR examinations of the CNS, head & neck, musculoskeletal system, body and vascular system. It further aims to help students develop professionally in a manner that is largely autonomous. The module assessment strategy involves a practical clinical assessment undertaken in the student’s MRI department and an MR image-based written examination.

Advanced MR Imaging

This module aims to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of advanced neurological, cardiovascular, high field and other MR imaging techniques and how these contribute to disease assessment. For each of the above topics, there will be consideration of the underlying physical principles and method of image acquisition, including pulse sequences and scanning techniques, with review of the principal applications in disease assessment and normal and abnormal appearances. Students will also investigate the principles underpinning the development and performance of clinical audit within the MR imaging department, thereby fostering self-directed learning, problem-solving and applied research skills. Through the integration of theory and practice issues relative to these areas, students are encouraged to further enhance their professional competence in MR scanning. The module assessment strategy focuses on enhancing generic skills such as problem-solving, presentation skills, reflection and critical evaluation, and involves written coursework, a presentation and an end-of-semester MR image-based written examination.

Stepwise Progression

Stepwise progression enables students who have successfully completed five core modules to exit after 12 months with a Graduate Diploma in MRI. Candidates who wish to complete the full Taught Masters will complete core modules 1 to 6 (90 credits) (16 months duration).

There are a limited number of additional places available on the Advanced MR Imaging module for candidates who have already gained a Graduate Diploma or equivalent qualification in MRI and who wish to further their learning to MSc level. Applications will be considered on an individual basis as candidates will have to submit supporting documentation to justify the award of credit exemptions for prior learning. Interested applicants are advised to contact the Programme Director for further information (details below).

How/Where Will I Learn?

The taught MSc MRI programme leads to a UCD Level 4 Masters award (equivalent to NQAI Level 9) and takes 16 months to complete. The programme encompasses a flexible modular course structure, with emphasis placed on integration of academic and clinical components in the pursuit of clinical competence. The programme is currently offered once every two years.

Students benefit from a blended learning approach that integrates lecture attendance, class discussions, image appraisal tutorials, practical tasks, e-Learning activities and self-directed learning. These teaching and learning strategies are designed to encourage autonomous personal and professional development within a supportive framework.

Calendar

  • Lectures:  Delivered as 3 x four-day blocks, i.e., 12 days each semester (36 days in total).
  • Examinations will be scheduled on Saturday mornings in November/ December 2018, and April/ May, July and December 2019 - dates to be confirmed

A schedule for the MSc MRI Programme is provided below:

  • Semester One:  Sept - Dec 2018: (12 days)
Lectures: Block 1: 10th, 11th, 12th & 13th Sept;
  Block 2: 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th Oct;
  Block 3: 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th Nov.

 

  • Semester Two:  Jan - April 2019: (12 days)
Lectures: Block 4: 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th Jan;
  Block 5: 11th, 12th, 13th & 14th Feb;
 

Block 6: 11th, 12th, 13th, & 14th March.

 

  • Semester Three:  May - Aug 2019
  • Student learning is self-directed in the student’s own clinical MRI department.  Student effort and module assessment are directed towards demonstrating application of the principles of MR physics and practice in the attainment of clinical competence.

 

  • Final Semester:  Sept - Dec 2019: (12 days)
Lectures:  Block 7: 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th Aug;
  Block 8: 23rd, 24th, 25th & 26th Sept;
  Block 9:  21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th Oct 

Am I Eligible For This Course?

Criteria for standard entry applicants

 

  • This programme is open to any radiographer holding a BSc degree, or Diploma of the College of Radiographers (DCR) in radiography, or equivalent, with at least one year post-qualification experience.
  • Applicants working in Ireland must be registered with the Health & Social Care Professionals Council (CORU: https://www.coru.ie/) and have Department of Health & Children approval to practice radiography in Ireland.  Applicants working in Northern Ireland or the UK, should be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC: http://www.hcpc-uk.org/).  Applicants from other EU countries must be registered with the appropriate national professional body.
  • Normally, all candidates must undertake a minimum of four months of clinical work experience in MR scanning prior to commencing the course, and provide documented evidence of this by completing the Pre-course Clinical Declaration Form.  All candidates must arrange their own clinical placement, and provide evidence of an agreement to spend a minimum of 900 hours (26 weeks) gaining practical experience in MRI over the duration of the MSc programme.
  • Candidates are required to nominate a suitably qualified clinical supervisor to oversee their clinical experience. Details must be provided to the Academic Programme Director during the first week of the course.
  • Provided it is formally evidenced, prior practical MR scanning experience may be taken into account in partial fulfilment of the course requirement of a minimum of 900 clinical hours necessary to facilitate the attainment of clinical competence. Normally, only those applicants with previous scanning experience of appropriate duration and scope, in terms of the range of examinations undertaken, may seek accreditation for prior experiential learning (APEL) for up to 300 of the required 900 clinical hours.
  • Documentation for APEL will be provided by the Programme Director at the start of the course and must be submitted for consideration within the specified timeframe.
  • Signed Declaration Forms from your Radiographic Services Manager or nominee, indicating agreement to provide the requisite number of clinical hours during the course (MRI Clinical Hours Declaration Form 1‌) and confirming the requisite pre-course clinical experience in MRI (MRI Pre-Course Clinical Experience Declaration Form‌), must be submitted by the programme start date together with other necessary documentation specified in the relevant section of the online application webpage.

 

Criteria for applicants with existing postgraduate qualification in MRI

Candidates holding a Graduate Diploma or equivalent in MRI who wish to pursue the award of MSc in MRI may, subject to approval by the Academic Programme Director and Graduate Taught Programmes Committee, apply for accreditation of prior learning for up to 60 of the 90 credits required for the award of MSc. Applications will be considered on an individual basis once candidates have satisfied the entry requirements and the University’s policy on accreditation of prior learning.

Candidates applying to undertake the Advanced MR Imaging module on this basis must:

  • Have at least one year post-qualification experience, be registered with the Health & Social Care Professionals Council (CORU: https://www.coru.ie/) and have Department of Health & Children approval to practice radiography in Ireland.  Applicants working in Northern Ireland or the UK, should be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC: http://www.hcpc-uk.org/).  Applicants from other EU countries must be registered with the appropriate national professional body.
  • Hold a Graduate Diploma or equivalent qualification in MRI, and have maintained a work practice record in MRI since obtaining this qualification. Transcript of results and Course Syllabus / Curriculum documents must be provided by applicants who obtained their MRI qualification from a University other than UCD.
  • Complete and submit to the Academic Programme Director, an Accreditation of Prior Learning Form – Portfolio of Evidence (MRI Application for Accreditation of Prior Learning) justifying their motivation for undertaking this course in the context of their educational and career record to date.
  • Arrange their own clinical placement amounting to 190 hours (6 weeks) in MRI over the duration of the module. Candidates are required to nominate a suitably qualified clinical supervisor to oversee their clinical experience. Details must be provided to the Academic Programme Director during the first week of the course.
  • Submit a Clinical Hours Declaration Form (MRI Clinical Hours Declaration Form 2) signed by their Radiographic Services Manager or nominee, indicating agreement to provide the requisite number of clinical hours during the module.
  • Rescind their UCD-awarded Graduate Diploma in MRI before the award of MSc MRI can be made. The process for this will be outlined at a time prior to presentation for the award of MSc.

International Applicants

Essential Requirements

International applicants should:

  • Hold a BSc (Honours) or equivalent in Diagnostic Radiography.
  • Have attained a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (minimum score of 6 in any individual band). All test results must be less than 2 year old relative to the year of entry to the programme. This is necessary to ensure that prospective students can manage the programme’s academic workload and communicate effectively within the clinical placement environment.
  • Have attained a minimum of 6 months clinical work experience in Magnetic Resonance Imaging prior to commencing the course, and provide documented evidence supporting this (MRI Pre-Course Clinical Experience Declaration Form). This experience should normally be attained during the year of planned entry to the programme, and may be undertaken in your own country. The University is not responsible for arranging this. This preliminary placement is necessary to help students to put subject material covered in lectures into context, particularly during the initial weeks of the course. The Pre-course Clinical Experience Declaration Form must be completed and returned to the Academic Programme Director at least one month in advance of the course start date.
  • Provide an academic and clinical reference supporting your commitment to and ability to undertake this course.

Additional information

  • Prospective international applicants are advised to contact the Academic Programme Director for information regarding availability of places and eligibility before submitting an online application.
  • International applicants may be invited to participate in an interview via Skype to clarify the scope of their MR scanning experience and assess potential ability to communicate effectively within the academic and hospital environments over the duration of the course.
  • Please note that even if the above entry criteria are met, the offer of a place to international students is also dependent upon the University’s ability to negotiate clinical placement in an MRI department of an Irish hospital over the duration of the course. It may not be possible to confirm the outcome of these negotiations until approximately 1-2 months prior to the start of the course.
  • This practical scanning experience during the course is critical to enable students not only to undertake the various academic course assignments, but also to build competence in MR scanning so that they are eligible to present for the practical clinical MR scanning assessment, which is normally undertaken during the summer semester in the student’s placement centre.
  • For more information on studying at UCD as international students please click here

Application Details

Important Application documents:

1. Clinical Hours Declaration Form: MRI Clinical Hours Declaration Form 1 (criteria for standard entry applicants) and MRI Clinical Hours Declaration Form 2 (criteria for applicants with existing postgraduate qualification in MRI).

To be submitted by all applicants to confirm they have organised clinical placement in an MRI department for the duration of the programme so that the requisite clinical hours can be achieved. The University will organise completion of this form for International applicants.

2. Pre-course Clinical Experience Declaration Form: MRI Pre-Course Clinical Experience Declaration Form

To be submitted by all applicants, in advance of the course start date, to confirm that the minimum, 4 months re standard entry applicants and 6 months re international applicants, pre-course experience in MRI has been gained, and outlining the scope of this experience.

3. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) Application Form - Portfolio of Evidence: MRI Application for Accreditation of Prior Learning.

To be submitted only by those applicants who have previously undertaken postgraduate studies in Magnetic Resonance Imaging either at UCD or at another educational institution and who now wish to upgrade their qualification to an MSc.

4. MSc MRI Reference Document  to be completed by all applicants 

To Apply Online (all applicants):

  • Click on the www.ucd.ie/apply link to start the application process and follow the steps outlined. A step-by step guide to the online application process is available at this link.
  • If you are a UCD student or alumnus, then you should login using your existing student number so that you do not have to provide transcripts and other information relating to your time in UCD.
  • The “Application Type” is Graduate Taught Courses.
  • Enter your personal details and when asked about the “Programme Choice”, select Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Masters in Med) X076. Please note that selection of this programme code implies that you wish to apply for the taught MSc MRI, and the corresponding fee will be applied.
  • Having paid the application fee and received an e-mail receipt, you must continue to complete the application process by pressing “Submit”. An e-mail confirming successful application will be sent to you within 24 hours. If you have any problems or queries with the online application process, email: applications@ucd.ie or telephone + 353 1 176 1142 or 1476.
  • You can track the status of your documentation online. Log in to your account & click on your submitted application. This will bring up an application summary. The application requirements are listed at the bottom of the summary. As documents are received, the date of receipt will be indicated.

Application process for entry to the Advanced MR Imaging Module only:

  • This process only applies to applicants already holding a postgraduate qualification in MRI, e.g., Higher/ Graduate Diploma MRI.
  • Such applicants are advised not to apply online for this option at this stage, but to contact the Academic Programme Director who will advise regarding eligibility for programme entry.
  • When advised, the following forms should be completed and returned to the Academic Programme Director:
  1. Entry with Advanced Standing to MSc MRI Programme Application Form.
  2. Accreditation of Prior Learning Form – Portfolio of Evidence
  3. Clinical Hours Declaration Form
  4. Copy of passport or birth certificate and academic course transcripts if applicant attained a postgraduate qualification in MRI at a University other than UCD.

Course Fees

Irish/EU ApplicantsNon-EU Applicants
€7,620 €22,900

Last updated: 28th August 2017.

Contact Us

Academic Programme Director

Programme Administrator

Ms. Allison Mc Gee
School of Medicine
Health Sciences Centre
UCD Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6534
E: allison.mcgee@ucd.ie
Diagnostic Imaging Programme Office
Health Sciences Centre
UCD Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6545
F:  + 353 1 716 6547
Egraduate.imaging@ucd.ie