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Medical Imaging and the Human Body

Duration 10 weekly meetings
Tutor Dr Bilal Malik
Course code SCI24A3968A
Fee £264
Concessionary fee £211 (find out about eligibility and funding options)

Online course

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Up until the 20th century, our understanding of human anatomy came largely from dissection.

Beginning with a brief history of anatomy, we will examine how the application of x-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance and a range of other techniques allow us to construct different images, and so develop a more detailed and non-invasive understanding of the human body.

Topics that will be covered, include:

  • a very brief history of anatomy
  • using instruments to examine / monitor the body
  • the body electric
  • x-rays: from cathode rays to CT scans
  • x-rays and the human body
  • from sonar to ultrasound
  • magnetism: from Mesmer to MRI
  • medical Imaging and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • radioactivity: natural and artificial sources, alpha, beta and gamma radiation; functional imaging with radioisotopes
  • Positron Emission Tomography.

This course is open to anyone with an interest in the development and current application of the wide variety of physical techniques that can be used to image and monitor the condition of the human body.

The course can be taken as an optional module in the Pathway to a degree in Healthcare.

Learning and teaching

There will be lectures, discussions and case studies.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved.

Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

You will not have formal examinations but you may have class tests.

You may be asked to write assignments, keep a course journal or put together a portfolio. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

There is no specific course book, and the tutor will supply any written material that is essential for the course.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.