This course exposed me to a wealth of experience from a breadth of well-respected practitioners, from numerous disciplines, including rheumatologists through to sports medicine specialists.

Kyle, alumnus

How do you want to study?

Duration:

1 year

Location(s):

Medway
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Overview

This course provides you with a sound knowledge of the scientific principles and technologies in ultrasound.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (PgC MSK US) is designed for practicing healthcare practitioners, with a relevant first degree, who wish to increase their scope of clinical practice to include musculoskeletal ultrasound. The PgC MSK US is most relevant to physiotherapists and sonographers; however it is also beneficial for radiographers, sports therapists, medical doctors and researchers.

Successful completion of the PgC MSK US will enable you to obtain a formal ultrasound qualification to practice musculoskeletal ultrasound safely and effectively.

Why study Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?

The course aims to:

  • provide you with a sound knowledge of the scientific principles and technologies in ultrasound which underpin the provision of quality services to patients and clients;
  • enable you to transfer knowledge of physical principles of ultrasound imaging safely, efficiently and appropriately to musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging techniques;
  • facilitate development of ability in critical interpretation of musculoskeletal ultrasound images in varying clinical contexts relevant to your own scope of practice;
  • ensure you become a skilled, competent, confident practitioner in musculoskeletal ultrasound;
  • enable you to reflect on and critically evaluate the role of ultrasound in the management of patients suffering from musculoskeletal disease or injury;
  • appreciate the role of musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging in practice and research; To enable you to be proactive in initiating and leading role developments in your specific field; To integrate academic learning with the development of higher levels of professional practice.

Entry requirements

You must be registered with either the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) or the General Medical Council (GMC).

You should have a relevant first degree (e.g. BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy or BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography). Ideally, this should be a first-class degree or a 2:1.

2:1
Relevant Honours Degree

All about the course

The PgC Musculoskeletal Ultrasound course consists of three compulsory modules taught in two blocks of study. Details and dates below:

Block one

  • 25 January 2021: Day 1 of the Principles of Science and Technology in Medical Ultrasound
  • 26 January 2021: Day 2 of the Principles of Science and Technology in Medical Ultrasound
  • January 2021: Day 1 of the Techniques in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • January 2021: Day 2 of the Techniques in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • 29 January 2021: Day 3 of the Techniques in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Block two

  • 26 April 2021: Day 3 of the Principles of Science and Technology in Medical Ultrasound
  • 27 April 2021: Day 4 of the Principles of Science and Technology in Medical Ultrasound
  • April 2021: Day 4 of the Techniques in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • April 2021: Day 5 of the Techniques in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • April 2021: Day 6 of the Techniques in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

The Clinical Applications and Management in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound work-based module will formally commence during block one.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

*Modules subject to validation

How you’ll learn

All three modules are aligned with the University Learning & Teaching Strategy 2015-2020. Modules 1 and 2 of the programme are taught modules utilising a blended learning approach which includes independent study, directed study, lectures and seminars. In addition, Module 2 includes hands-on ultrasound simulation under the supervision of expert practitioners in musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Module 3 of the programme is a workbased module undertaken within your clinical placement setting. This module also utilises a blended learning approach, with directed learning designed to support the acquisition of clinical skills. Throughout this module, a minimum of 2 days (4 sessions) per week must be spent learning how to perform and report on musculoskeletal ultrasound examinations, as it is designed to fully prepare you for autonomous musculoskeletal ultrasound clinical practice, thereby making you a highly employable practitioner.

Workbased modules are clinically based with 200 hours of student learning time, which is comprised of 100 hours of clinical learning and practice, 98 hours of independent study and 2 hours of academic supervision provided by the Academic Supervisor. The nature of the independent study is guided by the Academic Supervisor and facilitated by the use of the University virtual learning environment and various Library resources such as Visible Body. You will be provided with details in relation to relevant background reading plus specific information is included in the module outline and Learning Agreement. The acquisition of specific clinical competences takes place in the work setting under the supervision of expert practitioners, underpinned by a Learning Agreement.
Additional directed-study and self-directed learning will need to be undertaken during all three modules in accordance with the University Learning & Teaching Strategy 2015-2020. University resources, including library resources (books, eBooks, journals, software packages and online databases) and audio PowerPoint presentations via the VLE are available to support this. The content of the self-directed learning will be specific to each student and their professional background; for example, sonographers may need to study musculoskeletal soft-tissue anatomy, whilst physiotherapists may need to spend time studying ultrasound machine knobology and the associated under-pinning physics.

How you’ll be assessed

Integrative assessment or ‘assessment for learning’ has been employed so that, in creating the assessments, you are working towards meeting the intended learning outcomes. All three modules are weighted equally and the form of assessment is selected to match the module content and reflect the crucial theory/practice interface and problem-solving emphasis of the course. You will be assessed using a range of assessments, such as an unseen written examination, an oral presentation, a poster, a case study and an essay.

The central learning and clinical assessment tool for the work-based module is a Portfolio of Professional and Clinical Development. The Portfolio is a record of your learning and development as a competent practitioner measured against the specified outcomes in your Learning Agreement. Its role in your formative development is as significant as its assessment function and it therefore contains both formative and summative material in a mix of analytic and reflective styles. You, along with your Clinical Supervisor, will use the Portfolio to monitor and actively manage your development, meeting together on a monthly basis during the period of study.

Students on the PgC Musculoskeletal Ultrasound are required to complete a minimum of 250 cases, of which 150 must have been completed unassisted, reported upon and audited. The number of cases required for the successful completion of the module is high to reflect the autonomous reporting practice upon qualification.

To achieve accreditation at HE level 7, written assignments will encompass the following aspects; coherence in linking theory to practice, breadth of understanding of issues within multiple frameworks, depth in evaluating a limited range of key issues, consistency of argument, clarity of expression and good presentation skills.

Your future career

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, you will obtain 60 HE credits at level 7.

A ‘typical’ student with a physiotherapy or medical background may go on to incorporate musculoskeletal ultrasound examinations as part of their routine clinical assessments in order to achieve a definitive diagnosis for their patients. This, in turn, may reduce the number of hospital/clinic visits for patients and expedite the most appropriate treatment regime, thereby leading to improved patient outcomes.

A ‘typical’ student with a sonography or radiography background may go on to incorporate musculoskeletal ultrasound examinations as part of their routine clinical practice, thereby increasing their professional range of expertise, job satisfaction and value within a diagnostic ultrasound department. This, in turn, may increase accessibility to musculoskeletal ultrasound examinations, reduce patient waiting times and expedite the most appropriate treatment regime for improved patient outcomes.

Since completing this course I have been using ultrasound within my Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner clinics and have also been working alongside local sonographers providing dedicated MSK ultrasound services to primary care. Utilising ultrasound at point of care has significantly improved my diagnostic capability.

LlewellynMSK ultrasound alumnus

Fees

2021/22 tuition fees for this course

  UK Overseas
Full-time N/A N/A
Part-time £905 per module £1,570 per module

20% Alumni Discount

We offer alumni discounts on CCCU Postgraduate Taught, PGCE Primary and Secondary, and Masters by Research courses for eligible students.

Find out if you're eligible for the discount.

 

Important Information on Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2021/22 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

 

Further entry requirements

Special Regulations apply to the entry requirements for this professional programme, in that applicants will normally:

  • Be registered with either the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) or the General Medical Council (GMC).
  • Have a relevant first degree (e.g. BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy or BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography). Ideally, this should be a first-class degree or a 2:1.
  • Be employed / work within the NHS or the Independent Sector in an appropriate clinical role AND have the full support of their employer to undertake the programme of study. This is vital to ensure that they will be released for the minimum two days per week for twelve months for the work-based module in order to successfully achieve the necessary clinical competencies.
  • Have an agreed Clinical Placement with an identified Clinical Supervisor and Independent Assessor for the minimum two days per week for twelve months for the work-based module in order to successfully achieve the necessary clinical competencies. The proposed Clinical Placement will be audited, as part of the application process, to ensure that it meets the requirements of the course.
  • Applicants who do not have English as their first language will need a minimum of IELTS of 6.5 or equivalent, with no less than 6.0 in Writing and no less than 5.5 in Reading, Speaking and Listening. We are able to accept other English qualifications, including Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees depending upon the country of issue.

The course follows the University regulations regarding the recognition of prior certificated learning. Qualified sonographers can choose to undertake just modules 2 and 3 in order to be awarded 40 HE7 credits. Alternatively, if their ultrasound qualification is less than five years old, sonographers can pay an administration fee to use the University’s Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning process to formally recognise their previous ultrasound physics module in place of the Principles of Science and Technology in Medical Ultrasound module to be awarded a PgC Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. It is not possible to do modules 1, 2 or 3 in isolation.

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Duration:

1 year

Location(s):

Medway
Apply