MSc Accelerated Route: Medical Ultrasound (Direct Entry)

Accredited by the Consortium for the Accrediation of Sonographic Education (CASE)

Course details

Online application

January 2017

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Closing date for January 2018 start is 14th July 2017. Late applicants may be considered based on placement availability.

Take part in an exciting new course designed specifically for those wishing to be ultrasound practitioners. You'll learn all the professional knowledge and skills to work as a Sonographer* in the healthcare sector. A first in the UK, this programme is open to graduates from all backgrounds with clinical placements provided by NHS partners across the region, providing practical applications of the knowledge you learn from studying.

We have modules covering a range of ultrasound specialisms, from general medical purposes to obstetrics, gynaecology and basic vascular assessment. Our accelerated programme is perfect for highly motivated individuals willing to self-direct their studies, taking on the responsibility to continue learning outside timetabled hours. With a current skills shortage in medical ultrasound, it's highly important to create trained professionals to meet the demand, so get started on a rewarding career through our direct entry course!

Enrolling students will be expected to complete the full award, it is not suitable for those wishing to only undertake a focused area of ultrasound. Unfortunately it is unavailbale for international students. 

*'Sonographer' is not currently a protected title in the UK and at this present time graduates will NOT be eligible to be registered with the HCPC, although it is hoped that this will become a possibility in the future. For this reason, employment may not be possible in certain NHS trusts and some private sector organisations, although many organisations already employ sonographers from non-traditional backgrounds.

This is an intensive, accelerated programme of study which requires highly motivated and committed people. There will be a mixture of practical sessions and traditional classroom learning, including lectures, group work and eLearning activities. Much of your studies will be self-directed and outside timetabled hours, allowing you to take responsibility for your own learning needs in meeting the demands of the accelerated programme.

Each module is credit rated. You may be assessed in various ways including coursework, presentations, reflective writing, verbal assessments, exams and reports. Assessment of clinical placements do not form part of the masters level assessed credits but is a requirement of the qualification and students will be assessed to ensure they are clinically competent in all areas before they can receive the award.

This course is accredited by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE). Students are required to be student members of the Society & College of Radiographers (SCoR) whilst in training, and on completion, registration with the SCoR's voluntary register of Sonographers will be expected by employers.

Please note: This course outline may change subject to revalidation, although the course content and award will remain similar and in line with current national standards.

Year one

  • Professional Skills for Safe Practice
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecological Ultrasound (Foundations)
  • General Medical Ultrasound (Foundations)
  • Qualificatory Clinical Practice Module (Year 1)
  • MSc Research Skills and Dissertation
  • Applied Professional Skills for Safe Practice
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecological Ultrasound (Advancing)
  • General Medical Ultrasound (Advancing)
  • Qualificatory ClinicalPractice Module (Year 2)

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

1st or 2nd class honours degree.

Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) procedures.

Selection criteria

  • Please note we require a 1st or upper 2nd class honours degree, however those with a 2:2 will also be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Minimum of 5 GCSE passes to include Maths, English and Science (grade B or above for Science)
  • At least one science subject at A-level (or equivalent) at grade C or above
  • Applicants must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the subject area and clinical specialism
  • All applicants, who meet the entry requirements, will be asked to submit a 1500 word assignment. Only those who achieve a grade equivalent to 2:2 or above 50% (marked to level 6 undergraduate) will be invited to interview.

There will be a two stage application process.

Stage 1 will involve an assessment/selection day at university. This will involve an assessment of your values and if these align with the core values of the NHS constitution. We are looking for candidates who are committed to:

  1. Working together for patients
  2. Will ensure respect and dignity is maintained in their care
  3. Ensuring the delivery of high quality care
  4. Making sure patients are treated with compassion
  5. Improving lives of service users
  6. Maximising NHS resources for the whole community

We will also be assessing physical skills such as hand-eye co-ordination which is vital for the role of a sonographer.

Stage 2 (for those who successfully complete stage one): will require applicants to visit an Ultrasound Department and obtain a report from the visit showing their suitability for clinical training. Non-standard entrants will be considered on a case by case basis.

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact enquirycentre@cumbria.ac.uk for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential - evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.

Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either - an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or - an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa.

UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

Sonographers may work in the NHS, in the private and voluntary sectors, and overseas. This is an exciting time for the ultrasound specialism, with expansion of its role leading to increased job opportunities in new developments.

We make full use of ScanTrainer by MedaPhor, a virtual-reality based, high fidelity ultrasound training simulator. Medical practitioners of any scanning ability can self-learn their required ultrasound scanning skills through a combination of hands-on practice, curriculum-based teaching and metric-based assessment. Using unique "real feel" haptic technology, the system is able to closely replicate a full anatomy scanning experience using ultrasound scans from real patients.

During every lesson, ScanTrainer tracks and assesses user performance to provide detailed real-time feedback to students via its unique learning management system, ScanTutor. This revolutionary virtual tutor software replicates the experience of an expert tutor, giving students one to one hands-on advice through the use of real-time on-screen visual guidance. ScanTrainer also offers access to advanced learning resources such as expert videos and text book learning materials.

By combining this technology with traditional teaching methods, students can rapidly acquire the relevant ultrasound scanning skills which shortens the path to independent clinical practice.