This course has been designed specifically for health and social care professionals with the relevant skills and knowledge that will enable them to understand the varied presentations of Suspected Physical Abuse.  This programme delivers a combination of teaching and learning methods to suit full-time professional practitioners.

Course features:

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Demonstrate a detailed professional knowledge from a professional’s perspective  of their role relating to Suspected Physical Abuse in paediatric patients.
  • Debate current research and practice within a forensic setting, highlighting the value of each professional’s contribution.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the roles of other professionals and the impact this may have on the radiographer when imaging paediatric patients with suspected in Suspected Physical Abuse.

Applying Knowledge and Understanding:

  • Demonstrate a detailed professional knowledge from a professional’s perspective of the legal concepts and processes that underpin factors associated with Suspected Physical Abuse.
  • Apply current research and practice within a forensic setting in relation to paediatric examination and care.
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognise the psychological and physical capabilities of patients presenting with suspected Suspected Physical Abuse and the importance of appropriate response strategies to their individual needs.

Making Judgments:

  • Critically reflect upon their own current practice and their role in a forensic setting.
  • Critically evaluate their ability to handle multifaceted issues in which judgments are made whilst reflecting upon the wider professional issues and the responsibilities of their role as a professional within this area.

Communication and Writing Skills:

  • Develop professional competencies by integrating clinical skills with theoretical clinical knowledge to enhance their applied research and communication skills within the topic area and the material explored.
  • Demonstrate an ability to source and critically analyse relevant literature.

This course is designed for health, social care professionals and gardai working in the area of SPA. Students will be expected to be autonomous reflective practitioners and as such work with the material in a mature and evaluative way. This will be tested via the essay assignment at the end of the semester.

Course description

This 5 credit module leads to a Professional Certificate in Suspected Physical Abuse.

It will cover the fundamental aspects of the multi-disciplinary ethos that surrounds child abuse cases.  The course aims to equip health and social care professionals with the relevant skills and knowledge that will enable them to understand the varied presentations of Suspected Physical Abuse. They will also develop specialised knowledge and understanding of the legal system and their role within it. Topics studied include:  roles and responsibilities of the multi-disciplinary team: radiographers, gardai and pathologists alongside legal issues and professional responsibility.  It is designed to provide both theoretical and practical training, with a significant emphasis on clinical experience. Professionals involved in imaging a child with suspected Suspected Physical Abuse require a specialist skill set together with effective communication skills in order to work in the interdisciplinary team in such a way so as to promote the best interests of the child.

At present, no course of this kind is available in Ireland. Lectures covering the theoretical components will predominately be delivered online, with a single training day delivered at the commencement of the course. Participants will gain the majority of their experience in their own workplace, which will allow them to negotiate the most suitable arrangements.

The subject areas to be covered are professional responsibilities, legal and professional frameworks that practitioners work within,  various presentations of paediatric Suspected Physical Abuse, trauma, medical and social investigations including continuity of evidence, forensic principles for imaging paediatrics with suspected Suspected Physical Abuse,  types of evidence including evidential requirements and in-depth discussions on understanding the limits of professional roles, responsibilities, competence and the need to seek advice/refer when appropriate.

5 credit module in Suspected Physical Abuse.

Throughout these modules students will profit from a blended learning approach integrating class discussions, lecture attendance, student presentations, image appraisal tutorials, practical tasks, e-Learning activities together with self-directed learning. The teaching and learning strategies are designed to encourage autonomous reflective practitioners who can further develop their personal and professional skills within a supportive framework.

This course is open to health and social care practitioners and gardai working with paediatrics on a regular basis.

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.

Click on the link and follow the steps outlined.

The “Application Type” is Graduate Taught Courses.

Fill in your personal details, and when asked about the “Programme Choice”, select Professional Certificate Physical Abuse Jan PT (X960) 

Next, enter details of any third level institutions you have attended and professional qualifications you have attained in the “Academic Background” section.

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. 

You can track the status of your documentation online. Log in to your account & click on your submitted application which will bring up an application summary. The application requirements are listed at the end of the summary.

If you have any queries about the online application process, email: or telephone: + 353 1 716 1142 or +353 1 716 1476.

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 Administration

Dr. Michaela Davis

School of Medicine

Health Sciences Centre

UCD Belfield

Dublin 4




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 X960
  • Schedule Part-Time
  • Next Intake January annually

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