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 encompasses current technological developments in MRI, providing a platform for discussion of physical principles, scanning techniques and clinical practice issues.
This course aims to foster the personal and professional development of the postgraduate radiographer by encouraging students to build on appropriate undergraduate study and existing clinical skills in MRI further their knowledge and practical expertise in this area.
The Graduate Diploma 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 have at least one year post-qualification experience as a radiographer, and be working in an MRI department over the duration of the course.
The Graduate Diploma MRI programme will develop the expertise of radiographers working in the field of MRI, broadening their knowledge of standard 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 current standard applications of MRI in the central nervous, musculoskeletal and vascular 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 Graduate Diploma 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 700 clinical hours to gain the requisite specialist clinical skills in MR scanning.
The programme encourages radiographers to apply a critically questioning approach to the evidence base for MR imaging practice and fosters both the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills.
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 vascular 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.
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 must also complete the 30-credit Advanced MR Imaging module over an additional semester.
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).
The Graduate Diploma MRI programme leads to a UCD Level 4 award (equivalent to NQAI Level 9) and takes 12 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 in September of each year.
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.
• Lectures: 24 days in total. Delivered as 3 x four-day blocks, (i.e., 12 days in each of the Autumn and Spring Trimesters).
• Examinations will normally be scheduled on Saturday mornings in November/ December 2021, and April/ May and June 2022 - dates to be confirmed.
A schedule for the Graduate Diploma MRI Programme is provided below:
Autumn Trimester: Sept - Dec 2021: (12 days)
o Block 1: 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th Sept;
o Block 2: 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Oct;
o Block 3: 8th, 9th, 10th & 12th Nov.
Spring Trimester: Jan - April 2022: (12 days)
o Block 4: 31st Jan, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Feb;
o Block 5: 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th March;
o Block 6: 28th, 29th, 30th & 31st March.
Summer Trimester: May - Aug 2022
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.
International applicants should:
1. Clinical Hours Declaration Form: MRI Clinical Hours Declaration Form 1 (criteria for standard entry applicants).
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.
Academic Programme Director
|Dr. Allison Mc Gee
School of Medicine
Health Sciences Centre
T: + 353 1 716 6534
|Diagnostic Imaging Programme Office
Health Sciences Centre
T: + 353 1 716 6545
F: + 353 1 716 6547