Postgraduate study
Health & Social Care

PgCert/MSc Forensic Radiography

Our world leading courses use innovative teaching methods to develop your knowledge and skills in forensic imaging and support you in your distance learning experience wherever you are in the world - for radiographers, technologists, and other forensic imaging professionals.These courses will support you to develop a forensic protocol that adheres to relevant guidance and legislation, and develop skills in producing images that will be acceptable in court by learning about the requirements for high-quality evidence.

Course information

Part-time

  • 1 - 3 years

More part-time details

September 2018 entry

Contact details

Further information

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    School of Health & Social care postgraduate study

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You will learn about how to image children for suspected physical abuse and investigation of infant deaths, location of forensic evidence (for example drug smuggling, ballistic material), age assessments for human trafficking or illegal immigration, and identification of the deceased. A new module will develop skills in post-mortem imaging utilising CT and MRI to replace the conventional autopsy. The PgCert develops forensic imaging skills, enabling you to undertake forensic imaging in your department and to comply with the forensic radiography guidelines from the Society and College of Radiographers and the International Association of Forensic Radiographers. The second year develops more advanced forensic imaging skills in mass fatalities and Disaster Victim Identification, and a practice area of your choice. During your third year (MSc) you develop the research skills needed to contribute to the forensic imaging knowledge base.

Professional accreditation

Our courses are recognised by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and accredited by the Society and College of Radiographers.

Two modules ensure that you are fit for practice within the scope of forensic practice relevant to the needs of a clinical radiology department. The first is Medico-Legal Issues in Forensic Imaging Practice (Sept - Jan) and the second is Principles of Forensic Imaging (Jan - June). All sessions are facilitated by recognised specialists in the field of forensics, demonstrating the multi-disciplinary nature of forensic practice.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Medico-legal Issues in Forensic Imaging Practice

This module covers the medico-legal issues that are pertinent to forensic radiographers/technologists and which are the foundation of forensic practice. Topics covered include continuity of evidence, standards of digital evidence, statements and documentation, presenting evidence in court, the role of the expert witness, and health and safety.

This module will facilitate you to be critical about what you read and how you apply it to your practice, to be articulate and confident to engage with others in debate and to incorporate necessary changes to your department’s protocol, to be adaptable in utilising a range of learning activities, and to be aspiring to establish best practice in forensic imaging. In addition, when learning about the topic evidence, you will be facilitated to be articulate and confident in presenting evidence, be critical in reflecting on how you prepare evidence, statements, and present evidence in court, and be adaptable, aspiring and creative in developing new approaches to managing digital evidence in your department.

Principles of Forensic Imaging (Radiographers)

Topics covered include imaging modalities, minimally invasive autopsy, suspected physical abuse (paediatrics and vulnerable adults), injury processes and pathology, illegal immigration and human trafficking, drug packers, identification of the deceased - fingerprints, DNA, anthropology, odontology, radiography, and roles within the multidisciplinary team.

This module will facilitate you to be critical reading research and how you apply it to your practice, to be articulate and confident in presenting forensic information to specialist and non-specialist audiences, to be critical and adaptable in your use of imaging modalities in forensic practice, and to be creative and aspiring to enhance your own forensic practice.

 

Option modules (choose one of the following):

Minimally Invasive Autopsy

This module is for radiographers/technologists who would like to further enhance their cross-sectional imaging skills in order to provide a minimally invasive autopsy service. As the public is increasingly rejecting the conventional autopsy, there is greater demand for minimally invasive autopsy, using cross-sectional imaging technologies. You will learn about post-mortem computerised tomography - protocols, techniques, post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging, post-mortem angiography, image interpretation and pathology, post-mortem biopsies, pulmonary ventilation, role of the radiographer in dealing with the bereaved, service provision, and governance.

This module will facilitate you to be confident and critical in the application of research to your own practice, to be aspiring and creative in developing your skills to provide a post-mortem imaging service, to be adaptable in using your computerised tomography skills and knowledge in post-mortem imaging practice, and to be confident, critical, and articulate in presenting aspects of post-mortem imaging to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Paediatric Forensic Imaging

This module is designed for radiographers and technologists who primarily work in the paediatric setting or who want to specialise further in forensic imaging of paediatrics. You will learn about the investigation of infant deaths, suspected physical abuse, imaging modalities utilised for suspected physical abuse of paediatrics, injuries indicative of suspected physical abuse, standards of imaging of suspected physical abuse, techniques for imaging paediatrics, post-mortem imaging of paediatrics, differential diagnoses, and image interpretation.

You will be aspiring and creative in developing your skills and techniques to image deceased and living paediatrics, adaptable and confident in applying imaging skills and knowledge to the paediatric forensic imaging environment, and articulate, confident, and critical in identifying suspected physical abuse, and in presenting aspects of paediatric forensic imaging to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

 

Year 2 core modules (MSc only)

Designing Research Projects

You gain the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage a primary or secondary research audit or evaluation project that’s relevant to your practice. You also cover research governance and ethics, and prepare for applying for ethical approval or release. And we prepare you for your dissertation if you choose to progress to the master’s programme.

Forensic Imaging in Mass Fatalities

This module is for radiographers/technologists who wish to advance their forensic imaging skills within the mass fatalities and emergency mortuary setting. You will develop a critical understanding of the processes involved following a mass fatalities incident, from the investigation of the crime scene to recovering the body to the emergency mortuary and ultimate release of the body to relatives.

Topics will include: disaster victim identification roles and processes both within and out with the emergency mortuary, victim recovery, fluoroscopy, computed tomography, cultural and ethical issues, health and safety, government legislation and public enquiry reports informing best practice, and the medico-legal issues pertinent to the emergency mortuary environment. You will critically analyse the response to international disasters, and learn about the internationally developed and accepted Interpol guidance on disaster victim identification.

This module will facilitate you to be adaptable, confident and critical in the application of imaging modalities and processes in disaster victim identification, to be articulate and confident of your role in a multidisciplinary team and presenting aspects of imaging in mass fatalities to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and to be adaptable, aspiring and creative in developing your skills in imaging the deceased in the emergency mortuary environment.

 

Option modules (choose one of the following):

Minimally Invasive Autopsy

This module is for radiographers/technologists who would like to further enhance their cross-sectional imaging skills in order to provide a minimally invasive autopsy service. As the public is increasingly rejecting the conventional autopsy, there is greater demand for minimally invasive autopsy, using cross-sectional imaging technologies. You will learn about post-mortem computerised tomography - protocols, techniques, post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging, post-mortem angiography, image interpretation and pathology, post-mortem biopsies, pulmonary ventilation, role of the radiographer in dealing with the bereaved, service provision, and governance.

This module will facilitate you to be confident and critical in the application of research to your own practice, to be aspiring and creative in developing your skills to provide a post-mortem imaging service, to be adaptable in using your computerised tomography skills and knowledge in post-mortem imaging practice, and to be confident, critical, and articulate in presenting aspects of post-mortem imaging to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Negotiated Learning in Forensic Imaging Practice

Forensic practice is diverse and this module facilitates you in engaging with a negotiated topic that will be relevant to your own learning needs or area of practice. This module will facilitate you to be adaptable, articulate, critical and confident in researching and presenting your chosen topic, and to be aspiring and creative in applying your research on your chosen topic to your forensic imaging practice.

Paediatric Forensic Imaging

This module is designed for radiographers and technologists who primarily work in the paediatric setting or who want to specialise further in forensic imaging of paediatrics. You will learn about the investigation of infant deaths, suspected physical abuse, imaging modalities utilised for suspected physical abuse of paediatrics, injuries indicative of suspected physical abuse, standards of imaging of suspected physical abuse, techniques for imaging paediatrics, post-mortem imaging of paediatrics, differential diagnoses, and image interpretation.

You will be aspiring and creative in developing your skills and techniques to image deceased and living paediatrics, adaptable and confident in applying imaging skills and knowledge to the paediatric forensic imaging environment, and articulate, confident, and critical in identifying suspected physical abuse, and in presenting aspects of paediatric forensic imaging to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

 

Year 3 core module (MSc only)

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

These courses are taught by distance learning, and are structured to keep you on track throughout your studies. You never need to attend the university, and apart from the webinars, you can complete the online activities at times that work best for you.

The three-week induction at the start of the course gives you time to get to know the virtual learning environment, learn what electronic learning resources are available to you, and introduces you to each other and the course. You will also have the opportunity to improve your writing skills with online workshops. So when the forensic topics start, you are read to concentrate on the subject.

Weekly contact with your tutor and peers via instant messaging or email, for support when you want it.

Topics are delivered at a pace that gives you more time to learn about that area and relate this to your own practice.

Structured activities help you to think about each topic and discuss ideas with your peers – videos, screencasts, quizzes, directed reading, virtual workspace for discussion, and interactive and collaborative work.

Regular webinars where you and your peers join together online at the same time to engage in a teaching session with your tutor or other forensic specialist.

Webinars take place on an evening (6.30pm - 8.30pm) and there are approximately six per 12-14 week module.

Courtroom simulation – learn how to give evidence and experience being cross-examined.

International specialists in the field of forensics, demonstrating the multidisciplinary nature of forensic practice in mass fatalities incidents, will facilitate all sessions. Previously, these specialists have included forensic radiographers and technologists, consultant paediatricians, consultant paediatric radiologists, forensic pathologists, forensic biologists, forensic researchers, rorensic anthropologists, HM Coroner, and a post-mortem imaging service provider.

How you are assessed

The assessment strategy is designed to be compatible with distance learning and to provide a variety of methods, enabling a more inclusive assessment strategy – written assignments and presentations. These are submitted online or presented in the webinar room.

Career opportunities

The Society and College of Radiographers advocates that those who undertake forensic imaging examinations must be educated and trained at postgraduate level. This course addresses this. Successfully completion of the course enhances your career as a practitioner with specialist imaging skills.

Most advanced posts in the NHS require a master’s degree. If you plan to become the lead radiographer/technologist for forensic imaging in your department, the advanced skills you develop in this course will give you an advantage.

Feedback from previous students indicates that as a result of this course, they have become articulate and confident in presenting their research at conferences, aspiring, creative and confident in changing practice, aspiring to enhance practice resulting in promotion to forensic lead, and becoming more confident as a person. In addition, they have become articulate in writing at Level 7, critical of research, creative with learning and adaptable to learning and time management. Furthermore, they have been facilitated to be adaptable, confident, articulate leaders in forensic radiography with some becoming active committee members of the International Association of Forensic Radiographers, with some also engaging with the Department of Health and Home Office as a result, demonstrating the significant impact of this course on forensic imaging nationally and internationally.

Entry requirements

You should a registered radiographer, technologist or other radiographic/imaging professional with an appropriate honours degree (2.2 or above) or equivalent, and licenses to undertake medical or post-mortem imaging in your country. No forensic experience is required. Applications are welcome from newly qualified radiographers/technicians.

International students will be expected to demonstrate an IELTS Score of 6.5 at time of application.
View the international entry requirements.

Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credits for previous study or related work experience which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL.

Course information

Part-time

  • 1 - 3 years

More part-time details

September 2018 entry

Contact details

Further information