Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


MRI: Integrated Theory and Practice

Module titleMRI: Integrated Theory and Practice
Module codeHPDM138
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Mrs Susan McAnulla (Convenor)

Dr Christine Heales (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Specialist radiographers are experienced practitioners who assess and image patients within their own specialist area.  This module will equip you for specialist practice in MRI across a range of clinical presentations and pathologies, and for a range of patient needs. You will gain knowledge underpinned by theory which will support your understanding of the evidence base behind your practices and procedures. The theoretical component will be underpinned by your workplace-based experience.


Entry to this module requires you to be a registered practitioner working regularly within an MRI unit. You must identify an appropriately qualified and experienced radiographer to act as a clinical mentor before commencing this module. You will also be required to demonstrate how you take responsibility for your own continuing professional development and reflect on your own performance.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module allows you to explore how the theory and science of MRI applies to your clinical practice and your workplace procedures and protocols. Undertaking a mixture of university-based sessions and placement-based learning means you will clearly work towards developing yourself in this area under the supervision of a clinical mentor. This module will further develop understanding of the practicalities of utilising the evidence base within practice whilst considering any logistical challenges and will enable students to explore strategies to improve the integration / translation of knowledge to improve their practice. Successful completion of this module will meet elements of the Outcomes for Advanced Practitioner as defined the College of Radiographers’ Education and Career Framework 2013.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the fundamental safety principles of MRI and the use of contrast agents, including safety aspects for self, team members and patients.
  • 2. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the physical principles of MRI, including pulse sequence selection, parameter and image optimisation, artefact recognition and minimisation and digital imaging requirements.
  • 3. Critically evaluate the range of MRI equipment design and functionality to inform selection and appropriate use, including room/unit design.
  • 4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the legislative and governance framework for MRI, including MRI safety, the role of quality assurance, quality control, audit, general safe practice and contrast agent safety.
  • 5. Critically evaluate the role of different clinical protocols and the science, safety and usage of contrast media and other medicines used within MRI to make recommendations around protocol optimisation.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Critically evaluate the evidence base to inform communication and general care strategies for the full spectrum of likely patient and service users.
  • 7. Provide recommendations for your specific work area to improve integration of knowledge to improve practice / patient experience.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Contribute, collaborate and communicate accurately and effectively with peers, colleagues and service users.
  • 9. Practice effectively within the MRI unit, reflecting on development of underpinning theoretical knowledge and ability to apply theory to practice.
  • 10. Critically reflect on personal practice to allow for personal development and change

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:


Safety, contraindications, roles of other team members

  • Static magnetic field (translational & rotational forces on ferromagnetic materials)
  • Time varying magnetic field (induced voltage, auditory considerations, thermal heating)
  • Implant safety – passive implants
  • Implant safety – active implants
  • Site access, siting considerations
  • Pregnancy – MRI
  • Safe management of anaesthesia in the MRI unit
  • Interventional MRI
  • Managing adverse contrast agent (and other medicines used in imaging) reactions


Physics of imaging, parameters and parameter manipulation

-          Pulse sequence families

-          Choice and relative roles of sequences

-          Parameters – manipulation, optimisation, effect on SAR

-          Assessing image quality


Artefacts, causes and minimisation

-          Artefacts – recognition, causation, minimisation


Digital imaging including processing, post-processing and secure handling


Equipment design, benefits and limitations

-          Field strength & functionality

-          Hardware (gradients, slew rates etc.)

-          Choice of coil(s)

-          Ancillary equipment

-          MRI unit design


Governance – legislation / guidance / framework including

-          MHRA

-          PGDs, PSDs

-          Local Rules / Policies / Procedures

-          Quality assurance in MRI, including common quality control (QC) tests (such as NHS Breast Screening Protocol requirements, Manufacturer QC, Service led QC)

-          Role of audit including image quality and other audits


Choice of imaging protocols used in MRI:

-          Clinical indications,

-          Limitations and role of protocol,

-          Trade-offs

-          Comparative imaging (role of MRI compared with other modalities)

-          Advanced techniques (such as synthetic sequences, spectroscopy, clinical fMRI)

-          Emerging techniques


Science and usage of contrast media and other medicines used in imaging

-          Indications, contraindications

-          Screening, safety considerations, consent

-          Pregnancy / breast-feeding

-          Mechanism of action, role in imaging procedure


Patient care considerations

-          Consent - paediatric, adult, learning disabilities, dementia, autism

-          Communication skills including patients with specific physical and / or psychological needs

-          Compassionate care

-          Emergency scenarios – the deteriorating patient, fire, spontaneous quench, managed quench (emergency run down of unit (ERDU))

-          Safe scanning of sedated patients, unconscious and non-communicative patients (including infants)

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities24Learning group discussion, seminars, masterclasses (6 x 4 hours synchronous activity)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities24Online learning using a variety of interactive learning resources to include video masterclasses
Guided independent study16Preparation for assessment
Guided independent study10Tutor guided online discussion forums in the form of discussion board, consolidation of learning
Guided independent study110Independent critical analysis / evaluation developing knowledge and understanding
Guided independent study116Engage in own clinical environment to form specialist clinical skills/ writing portfolio


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written exam1 hour1-5Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio (Pass/Fail)05000 words (maximum)1-10Written
Computer based exam1030 minutes1-5Computer generated feedback
Written exam302 hours1-5Written
Professional Discussion (of portfolio and professional development)6060-minute (maximum) professional discussion1-10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio (Pass/Fail) 0%5000 words (maximum)1-10Typically within six weeks of the result
Computer based exam 10%30 minutes1-5Typically within six weeks of the result
Written exam 30%2 hours1-5Typically within six weeks of the result
Professional Discussion (of portfolio and professional development) 60%60-minute (maximum) professional discussion1-10Typically within six weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes

In the event of you failing any of the assessments, the module will be capped at 49 until the assessment is passed.

All assessments for this module must be passed. 

In any assessment, a failure to identify a serious problem or an answer which would cause the patient harm will result in overall failure of the module. 

To pass the Portfolio assessment you are required to obtain your clinical supervisors signed approval for the Statement of Competence.  

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%. 

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module. 

In addition, all assessments are required to be passed for successful completion of the whole module.

Please also refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic Reading:

Textbook based resources

Essentials of MRI safety (e-book) Donald W McRobbie, Wiley Blackwell, 2020 ISBN: 9781119557166

MRI in Practice (e-book) Catherine Westbrook, Wiley Blackwell, 2019   ISBN: 9781119391999

MRI from Picture to Proton (e-book) Donald McRobbie et al, Wiley Blackwell, 2017   ISBN: 9781107706958

MRI Contrast Agents (e-book) Sophie Laurent, Springer, 2017    ISBN: 9789811025273

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Virtual Learning Resources:

The Exeter Online Learning Environment (ELE) – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages 


Web based and electronic resources: 

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA): Safety guidelines for magnetic resonance imaging in clinical use, 2014

Royal College of Radiologists (RCR): Guidance on gadolinium based contrast agent administration  

NICE Guidelines and Core Knowledge Summaries 

RCR Guidance documents 

MRI web based ‘calculator’

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Advanced practice, clinical skills, clinical development, evidence, research, advanced clinical practice, physical examination, diagnostics, communication, MRI

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date