MSc Medical Imaging Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced PET and MRI

Course unit fact file
Unit code IIDS67432
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
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course-unit leads on from the radioisotope imaging course-unit.  It covers the production and radiochemistry of PET tracers, instrumentation and image reconstruction, kinetic modelling and example applications.

The unit will give a comprehensive overview of PET methods and will be broadly organised into 4 areas:

Production and radiochemistry

  • PET tracer design
  • The use of radio-metals, long-lived isotopes and pre-targeting approaches
  • Automation and the current status of automated radiosynthesis platforms

Instrumentation, data acquisition and image reconstruction

  • PET instrumentation
  • Data acquisition and data corrections
  • Image reconstruction
  • Properties of PET images
  • PET image processing (registration, filtering, partial volume correction, SPM basics)

Kinetic modelling

  • Blood data radioactivity measurement and the estimation of an input function (well counters, continuous blood measurements, radioHPLC)
  • Image processing and segmentation
  • Kinetic modelling methods (graphical methods such as Patlak/Logan, compartmental modelling, reference tissue methods)

Example applications and supplementary methods

  • Neuroscience applications and head motion
  • Preclinical and ex-vivo applications
  • Oncology and tumour segmentation
  • Use in drug development
  • Use in charged particle beam therapy

The lectures will be supplemented by recommended text.



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


To provide the student with knowledge of the breadth and depth of what can be done using Positron Emission Tomography, building on knowledge gained as part of the radioisotope imaging module.

To provide a suitable depth of knowledge regarding PET methods that enables the student:

  • to understand and appraise PET imaging literature and
  • with others engage in the design and conduct of future PET imaging studies in a number of applications such as preclinical, neuroscience and oncology imaging.

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome

Students will:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Have a comprehensive knowledge of PET imaging methods.
  • Have a comprehensive knowledge of the different types of PET scans that can be conducted.
  • Have a critical awareness of the characteristics and limitations of PET data acquisition and processing.
  • Have breadth of knowledge of the application of PET scanning to different applications.

Intellectual skills

  • Be able to critically read, understand and appraise the PET. methods used and reported within literature.
  • Be able to make informed judgements on the methodological strengths of published work using PET imaging.
  • Be able to communicate meaningfully with PET experts.

Practical skills

  • Be able to contribute to the design of PET imaging studies.
  • Develop and mature oral and written communication skills relating to PET methods and applications.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop and mature oral presentation and writing skills relating to complex concepts and procedures.
  • Develop and mature skills in proactively locating information and knowledge from multiple sources.
  • Develop teamwork skills through the interaction and exchange of knowledge with other students.
  • Develop skills in applying multidisciplinary subject knowledge.


Teaching and learning methods

The unit will consist of face-to-face lectures and group discussion with two project based assignments:

  • a critical appraisal of selected PET publication with presentation
  • the design and authoring of hypothetical PET protocol and data analysis plan

E-learning will be used where appropriate.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Report 30%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Feedback methods

Formal summative assessments and real time educative formative assessments during practical classes.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rainer Hinz Unit coordinator

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