MSc Medical Imaging Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our MSc in Medical Imaging Science covers a multidisciplinary topic of central importance in diagnosis, treatment monitoring and patient management.

Imaging is also a key tool in medical research and it is becoming increasingly possible to relate imaging studies to genetic traits in individuals and populations. Novel imaging biomarkers of disease can enable more rapid and precise diagnosis and inform decision making in drug development programmes.

As medical imaging involves knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, technology and computation, our course is suitable if you want to expand your horizons in these disciplines.

You will cover the basic science and technology behind the principal imaging modalities currently used in medicine and medical research, as well as advanced imaging methods, clinical and research applications, imaging biomarkers and computational methods.

You will learn how advanced imaging techniques are applied in medical research and drug development with an emphasis on magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. You will also receive training in computational and quantitative methods of image analysis or in the interpretation of clinical images from different imaging modalities.

This course comprises both a taught component and a research project, giving you the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in an image-related field in clinical medicine, medical research, and scientific research or development.


MSc: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

PGDip: 9 months full-time, 21 month part-time

PGCert: 6 months full-time, 18 months part-time


We aim to provide you with:

  • a systematic understanding of the scientific basis of the major medical imaging modalities;
  • a broad understanding of the principal clinical applications of medical imaging and its role in diagnosis, monitoring and therapy;
  • an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of medical imaging for deriving quantitative anatomical and physiological data;
  • knowledge of how advanced imaging techniques are applied in medical research and drug discovery;
  • the experience to plan, implement and complete a research project;
  • generic transferrable skills required in a multidisciplinary scientific or clinical research environment;
  • practical skills required for a career in an imaging-related field in clinical practice, medical research, and scientific research or technological development.

Special features

Excellent facilities

Benefit from research-dedicated preclinical and clinical imaging facilities on university campus and at several hospital sites, including a PET-MR scanner suite at St Mary's Hospital.

Learn from experts

Manchester has an imaging and image computing research group with a strong international reputation. Our research groups and facilities are staffed by scientists conducting research in novel imaging and image analysis methods, and clinicians who apply these methods in clinical practice.

Multidisciplinary learning

Study alongside physicists, engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, chemists, biologists and clinicians working in hospitals and research-dedicated imaging facilities.

Teaching and learning

As this course aims to produce graduates equipped to pursue either clinically or technically-focused careers in imaging, it is important to provide an adequate knowledge base. For this reason, much of the teaching takes the form of in-class lectures.

However, in most course units, this is supplemented by group discussions and practical exercises. Other than the introductory units, most course units provide you with an understanding of research methods by requiring submission of a critical review of appropriate research literature or clinical material, either as a report or presentation.

Where appropriate, practical imaging exercises are provided, requiring you to cooperate in acquiring images and analysing results. Please note that this course does not provide clinical training to work directly with patients.

All units require a considerable component of independent research and study.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment will occur in a variety of forms.

Summative assessment takes the form of written assignments, oral presentations, quizzes and examinations.

Written assignments and presentations, as well as contributing to summative assessment, have a formative role in providing feedback, particularly in the early stages of the course units.

Quizzes provide a useful method of regular testing, ensuring that you engage actively with the taught material. As accumulation of a knowledge base is a key aim of the course, examinations form an important element of summative assessment.

In addition, formal assessment of your research and written communication skills is achieved via the dissertation. This is a 10,000 to 15,000-word report, written and organised to appropriate scientific standards, describing the design, execution and results of the research project.

Course unit details

The MSc requires students to pass 180 credits composed of eight course units of 15 credits each and a 60-credit research project.

The introductory course unit Scientific Skills brings students from different academic backgrounds up to the required level in the topics of human biology (for graduates with a background in physical sciences and engineering) or mathematics and physics (for graduate with a biomedical background) relevant to imaging.

Semester 1: All compulsory units

  • Scientific Skills
  • Mathematical Foundations of Imaging
  • Radioisotope Imaging (PET, SPECT)
  • Non-Radioisotope Imaging (MRI, CT, Ultrasound)

Semester 2: All compulsory units (select four out of five options)

  • Advanced PET and MRI
  • Quantitative Imaging into Practice (Imaging Biomarkers for Healthcare and Research)
  • Imaging in Clinical Diagnosis
  • Mathematical Computing for Medical Imaging

Semester 3: Research project

The Semester 2 units Advanced MRI and Advanced PET may be merged into a single module from the 2023-24 academic year.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Radioisotope Imaging IIDS67401 15 Mandatory
Non-Radioisotope Imaging IIDS67431 15 Mandatory
Advanced PET and MRI IIDS67432 15 Mandatory
Scientific Skills IIDS67441 15 Mandatory
Mathematical Foundations Of Imaging IIDS67451 15 Mandatory
Quantitative Imaging into Practice IIDS67452 15 Mandatory
Mathematical Computing for Medical Imaging IIDS67462 15 Mandatory
Imaging in Clinical Diagnosis IIDS67472 15 Mandatory
Research Methods (Non-Credit) MEDN69920 0 Mandatory
Advanced MR Imaging IIDS67422 15 Optional


You will benefit from preclinical and clinical research-dedicated imaging facilities on university campus and at several hospital sites, including a PET-MR scanner suite at St Mary's Hospital.

Each student will be assigned a personal academic tutor who can provide advice and assistance throughout the course. During the project, you will be in regular contact with your research supervisor. You will also be able to access a range of library and e-learning facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service