Course Features

  • Accredited by the Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy (IIRRT).
  • Addresses theory and clinical practice issues in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
  • Confers clinical competence in MR scanning on successful graduates
  • Delivered by national and international experts.
  • 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 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.

Course Description

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 I and II

These two modules primarily involve 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, they provide 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. They further aim to help students develop professionally in a manner that is largely autonomous. The assessment strategy for these modules involves a practical clinical assessment undertaken in the student’s MRI department and an MR image-based written examination.

Stepwise Progression

Stepwise progression enables students who have successfully completed six 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 trimester.

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: 23 days in total. Delivered as 3 x four-day blocks, (i.e., 12 days in the Autumn Trimester and 11 days in the Spring Trimester).
  • End-of-trimester examinations will be scheduled in November/ December 2023, and April/ May and June 2024 - dates will be confirmed at the start of the course.
  • A schedule for the Graduate Diploma MRI Programme is provided below:


Autumn Trimester:  Sept-Dec 2023: (12 days)

  • Lecture Block 1:  4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Sept;
  • Lecture Block 2:  9th, 10th, 11th & 12th Oct;
  • Lecture Block 3:  6th, 7th, 8th & 9th Nov.


Spring Trimester:  Jan - April 2024: (11 days)

  • Lecture Block 4:  6th, 7th & 8th Feb;
  • Lecture Block 5:  4th, 5th, 6th & 7th March;
  • Lecture Block 6:  25th, 26th, 27th & 28th March.


Summer Trimester:  May - Aug 2024

  • 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.

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: 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:  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 MRI Clinical Experience Form.
  • Candidates must arrange their own clinical placement and provide evidence of an agreement to spend approximately 700 hours (20 weeks) gaining practical experience in MRI over the duration of the Graduate Diploma programme.
  • Candidates are required to nominate a suitably qualified clinical supervisor to oversee their clinical experience and must provide these details to the Academic Programme Director during the first week of the course.
  • 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 (‌Pre-course MRI Clinical Experience Form), must be submitted by the programme start date together with other necessary documentation specified in the relevant section of the online application web page.

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 years 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 completed a minimum of 8 months clinical work experience in Magnetic Resonance Imaging exclusive of any internship placement(s), prior to commencing the course, and provide documented evidence supporting this (Pre-course MRI Clinical Experience Form). Please note, international applicants typically exceed the minimum clinical work experience requirements. This experience should normally be attained as close as possible to 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 programme. The Pre-course Clinical Experience Declaration Form must be completed and returned to the Academic Programme Director at the earliest in order that your eligibility for entry to the programme to be determined.
  • Provide an academic and clinical reference supporting their 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 a virtual interview via Zoom 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 for International students please click here.

Important documents

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: Pre-course MRI Clinical Experience Form

To be submitted by all applicants, in advance of the course start date, to confirm that the minimum pre-course experience in MRI has been gained (4 months re standard entry applicants and 8 months, exclusive of internship placement(s), re international applicants) and outlining the scope of this experience.

3. Diagnostic Imaging Reference Form to be completed by all applicants.

Apply Online

  • Click on the 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 X022. 
  • 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, please email: or telephone + 353 1 716 1555.
  • 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 deadline: 18th August 2023

For information on course fees please visit:

EU applicants fees

Non EU applicants fees

(please enter programme title or programme major code – in the search bar)

Applicants (regardless of their sponsorship status) are required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to accept programme offers.

Academic Programme Director

Programme Administrator

Dr. Allison Mc Gee
School of Medicine
Health Sciences Centre
UCD Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6534
Diagnostic Imaging Programme Office
Health Sciences Centre
UCD Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6545
F:  + 353 1 716 6547

Key Information:

  • Major Code X022
  • Duration 12 months
  • Schedule Full-Time
  • Next Intake September annually
  • Application by 18th August 2023