MSc Medical Imaging Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced MR Imaging

Course unit fact file
Unit code IIDS67422
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course-unit leads on from the non-radioisotope imaging course unit.  It addresses specific issues and advanced techniques and applications of MR imaging, including image artefacts, imaging using hyperpolarised gasses, perfusion and diffusion imaging.

The unit will review the physics of MR image formation and will go on to discuss a range of advanced and cutting edge quantitative MR imaging methods and clinical applications.

The topics covered will include:

  • Recap of MR image formation - basic physics, relaxation processes, contrast mechanisms, MR image pulse sequences and k-space, fast imaging sequences
  • Artefacts in MR images
  • Quantitative relaxation time imaging
  • Non-contrast methods to imaging blood flow and perfusion – angiography, phase-contrast flow, arterial spin labelling
  • Diffusion-weighted MR imaging and tractography
  • Functional MR imaging using BOLD contrast
  • Other endogenous contrast mechanisms e.g T1rho, magnetisation transfer, CEST
  • Use of MR contrast agents, qualitative perfusion-weighted methods and quantitative modelling of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI
  • Spectroscopy, non-proton imaging methods
  • MR imaging hardware

Selected clinical applications will include:

  • Neuroscience
  • Cardiovascular sciences
  • Musculoskeletal

The unit will consist of a combination of lectures, practical experimental work, literature search and critical review. The practical session will involve the collection of clinical MRI data using a 3T clinical MRI scanner. Students will work in small groups to optimise a scan protocol for quantitative imaging and will obtain data from a healthy volunteer. Students will analyse the data to produce quantitative parametric maps and will present the results within a written lab report.


Students are required to have attended Mathematical Foundations of Imaging and Non-Radioisotope Imaging in order to study this unit.


  • To equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of magnetic resonance image formation in terms of the underlying physics
  • To develop an awareness of the range of MR techniques for quantitative imaging and selected clinical and research applications
  • To enhance students abilities in experimental research methods including critical appraisal of scientific literature and data acquisition, analysis and reporting, providing a foundation for further research and employment in academic or industrial settings

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome

 Students should be able to

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate a thorough conceptual understanding of the physics and processes involved in MR image formation
  • demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of advanced quantitative MR techniques
  • demonstrate a critical awareness of quantitative MR techniques at the forefront of current research

Intellectual skills

  • apply advanced MR physics concepts to evaluate novel image acquisition strategies
  • apply modelling techniques to extract physiologically relevant parameters from quantitative MR data
  • critically evaluate current research methodologies  in quantitative MR imaging
  • devise an appropriate experimental strategy and analyse and critically evaluate experimental results in order to suggest modifications or improvements and to formulate hypotheses

Practical skills

  • design and execute quantitative MR experiments
  • develop appropriate original software to process images and analyze data
  • communicate results and conclusions clearly and comprehensibly in accepted scientific format

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • manage time; work to deadlines; use initiative when seeking information, show self-direction and originality in design of experimental strategies


Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching will take the form of traditional lectures, group discussion, practical experimental work (individually and in small groups), independent research and study, online quizzes and simulations, literature searching, problem solving and report writing.

Written/online examples will be available after each lecture and feedback will be provided during group discussions in the following sessions.

Blackboard will be used for course materials including lecture slides and additional reading, written example sheets and for online formative assessments. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 60%
Report 40%

Feedback methods

  • Formal summative assessments 
  • Real time educative formative assessments during practical classes

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 36
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Josephine Naish Unit coordinator

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