Cumbria first university in UK to offer ultrasound masters to non-professionals

Cumbria first university in UK to offer ultrasound masters to non-professionals

The University of Cumbria in Lancaster is offering a new direct-entry Medical Ultrasound MSc from January 2016. The new programme is the first of its kind in the UK that is open to students from non-clinical health and sciences backgrounds as well as clinical practitioners*. The MSc is designed to address the current skills shortage in NHS and private health care medical ultrasound.

The programme will provide students with the essential skills and professional knowledge required to work as a sonographer in the healthcare sector. The course is full time over two years, during which time, students will gain experience in a range of ultrasound specialisms, including: obstetrics, gynaecology, general medical and basic vascular assessment.

Ultrasound Course Leader and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cumbria, Gareth Bolton explains, “We are really excited to be the first university in the UK to offer a course like this. The NHS and private health care organisations are in desperate need of highly-trained professional sonographers and I’m thrilled that, with this course, the university is helping to fill that gap.”

The programme is an intensive, accelerated programme of study. Part of the highly practise-based training will take place on a state-of-the-art ultrasound training simulator.

The ScanTrainer is a virtual-reality ultrasound training simulator that enables medical practitioners, of any scanning ability, to perfect their ultrasound scanning skills. Using a unique, ‘real feel’ technology, the system is able to closely replicate a full anatomy scan experience using ultrasounds from real patients.

Stuart Gall, CEO, at MedaPhor, comments:

“The fact that ScanTrainer is increasingly being used as a foundation technology for ultrasound education programmes is testament to the versatility of the simulator and its ability to scale to suit programmes of all sizes across both universities and hospitals. We’re looking forward to supporting the university as it introduces its new students to ScanTrainer.”

The programme is open to a wide range of people with undergraduate degrees but those with health or sciences background will be preferred. However, if candidates have an unrelated degree but can prove extensive experience in a health care setting their applications will also be considered.  Clinical placements will be offered by NHS clinical partners across the North West region and some elective placements will be offered by private health care providers.

Presently, the programme is undergoing validation and is expected to gain accreditation from the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) by January 2016. The NHS is considering offering funding for this programme on a trial basis but it has yet to confirm. It is hoped that some funding will become available towards the cost of fees.

For more information or to apply please see our website.