Edinburgh Imaging

15 Dec 21. Online learning: Practicalities & safety

Practicalities & safety is a core course in the Edinburgh Imaging Academy’s post-graduate MSc / Diploma / Certificate programme portfolio. It can also be taken not-for-credit as CPD / CME & is suitable for FRCR part 1 training.

Magnetic resonance (MR) facility diagram.
Magnetic resonance (MR) facility diagram.

Our online Practicalities & safety (PRAC) course teaches the potential hazards of imaging techniques to operators or individuals being scanned, plus rules & regulations.

We also address ethical considerations, good clinical practice principles, data protection & consent.

You can download our syllabus, which includes all the learning objectives for each module & lecture, here:


We offer multiple options for studying Practicalities & safety:


We asked Gayle Barclay, Acting Superintendent Radiographer & main tutor for the Practicalities & safety course, to describe the course in more detail:


  • Who is the PRAC course aimed at?

    • The course is ideal for people from a range of different backgrounds and levels of experience, who have an interest in imaging.  It will appeal to those already in imaging related posts, such as radiographers, radiologists and image analysts, who are looking to further their knowledge in areas not usually covered at an undergraduate level. However, the modules are composed in a way which also makes them accessible to those new to imaging and looking for an introduction to the field.  Students will be well supported throughout by tutors and peers through use of the course noticeboard where any queries can be answered and advice sought. In addition students will be provided with links to supplementary material on a variety of subjects related to the course.


  • What can you learn in the PRAC course?

    • This part of the course looks at the practical side of carrying out a variety of different imaging modalities for research and how to do so safely and ethically.  One area covered is MR safety, which is essential for anyone carrying out scans, as well as those reporting on or requesting scans. This topic includes explanations of the risks associated with MR, how to mitigate for those risks and how to assess whether someone is suitable for having an MR scan carried out on them.  One of the other modules is designed to get students thinking about the ethical implications of including people in medical research where adherence to the principles of Good Clinical Practice is essential. This ties in well with the Data Protection module which covers the roles, responsibilities and legislation concerning use of personal data for research. Other modules cover contrast agent safety, ultrasound scanning and it’s optimisation, fMRI set up, stimulus choice and the practicalities of running an fMRI research project.  There is also a module which compares MR scanning at 1.5 T and 3 T, the advantages and disadvantages and practicalities of each and how examinations translate from one field strength to another.


  • What benefits can you get from our online study options?

    • The course offers the option to study at the University of Edinburgh, which has a reputation throughout the world as a leading educational establishment. This can be done with a great deal of flexibility for the student, allowing them to work on the course at times which best suit them, their lifestyle and work commitments from wherever they are located in the world. The course is set up to do this whilst still offering participants the opportunity to interact with expert tutors and other students through group activities, the discussion boards for each topic and also peer review.  Students can pick modules which tie in with their areas of interest and can choose topics of particular relevance to them to cover in their assessments making sure the process is of value to them as individuals.


  • What outcomes / what can you expect at the end of the PRAC course?

    • Students will finish this part of the course with a greater understanding of the part different modalities play in imaging research. They will have a greater knowledge of the applications, safety and ethical implications of using the variety of imaging modalities available for research. This will allow the students to progress in to a career involving imaging research with a sound background knowledge of imaging, allowing them to make more informed decisions about the methodology most suitable for their desired outcomes.




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Practicalities & safety is a core course in the Edinburgh Imaging Academy’s post-graduate MSc / Diploma / Certificate programme portfolio. It can also be taken not-for-credit as CPD / CME & is suitable for FRCR part 1 training.

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