Edinburgh Imaging

27 Jul 21. Online learning: Techniques & physics

Techniques & physics is a core course in the Edinburgh Imaging Academy’s post-graduate degree programme portfolio. It can also be taken not-for-credit as CPD / CME & for FRCR Physics preparation.

Our online Techniques & physics course teaches the theory & principles underlying basic & advanced imaging techniques, including plain radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, ultrasound, nuclear medicine & light microscopy.

We also review contrast agents, explore what exactly an image is, plus explain basic image processing & manipulation.

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


We offer multiple options for studying Techniques & physics:

  • As a stand-alone course, gaining university credits:

    • Starts in September / Autumn / Semester 1

    • 20 university credits

  • As a stand-alone course, without university credits for CPD / CME / FRCR preparation:

    • Starts anytime
    • Allow at least 6 hours to listen through the lectures


We asked Professor Andrew Farrall, Programme Director for the Edinburgh Imaging Academy & main tutor for the Techniques & physics course, to describe the course in more detail:
  • Who is the Techniques & physics course aimed at?

    • We have designed this course for people coming from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. We recognize that many interested in imaging, have limited or no physics & mathematics training. The content is pitched to deliver to non-physicists, a basic understanding of the principles which underpin imaging equipment, techniques, image capture, manipulation & processing.


  • What can you learn in the TPHY course?

    • We start the course with the Imaging basics module, which teaches the history of various imaging techniques. Understanding the steps which have led to current techniques helps embed an understanding basic imaging principles. We then focus in more detail on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, ultrasound, radiopharmacy dependent techniques (SPECT & PET) & light microscopy. Because images captured by all these techniques are digital, we go over the post-capture image manipulation & processing in a single, stand-alone module MR is a very versatile imaging technique & we delve quite deeply into more specialized, targeted acquisitions like spectroscopy, diffusion, functional imaging, & dynamic techniques like perfusion & permeability imaging.


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

    • If you take the course for credit, there is an activity which allows you to engage with me as a tutor, as well as others taking the course. The activity focuses on a debate, designed to tease out greater understanding of CT & MR principally, as well as what constitutes a good or useful image. In my experience, the activity “humanizes” the online environment as you get to meet & develop relationships with classmates, which last throughout the whole programme of study. The activity also allows me to get to know our students better which enables me to target tutoring better. 
    • If you take the course not-for-credit, you get access to all our lectures & self-assessments. You don’t get access to the tutored activity & also don’t have to complete the end-of-course graded assessments. Many prefer the not-for-credit option because it gives them much cheaper access to our high quality content & is not tied to the University semester timetable. It also allows a much more flexible approach to studying.
    • Online learning, whether taken for credit or not-for-credit, allows you to access world class teaching at the University of Edinburgh, while maintaining your local professional & personal commitments where you live, thereby keeping down costs by not being resident in Edinburgh.


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

    • By the end of the Techniques & physics course, you will have gained a working knowledge of most modern imaging techniques in use in radiology departments & how they are used in research.
    • This means that you can optimize clinical & research applications of the techniques where you work, make better informed purchasing decisions when buying or upgrading equipment, & make best use of the limited resources available in clinical & research scenarios.


Find out more about our online short course in Techniques & physics & how to apply, here.



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Techniques & physics is a core course in the Edinburgh Imaging Academy’s post-graduate degree programme portfolio. It can also be taken not-for-credit as CPD / CME & for FRCR Physics preparation.

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