Radiography: Breast Evaluation PgCert/PgDip/MSc

Why choose this course?

Breast cancer care, diagnosis and treatment exist in a changing professional environment that requires practitioners to continually update and review clinical practice. If you are a registered healthcare practitioner working in the field of breast evaluation, this course is relevant to you.

This interprofessional programme enables participants to gain competence in the multi-skilled practice of breast evaluation. Shared learning for different healthcare disciplines is facilitated through a range of modules provided by collaborative partners at the Jarvis National Breast Screening Training Centre, Guildford, and at the South West London National Breast Screening Training Centre at St George's. By developing your multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis, care and management of breast disease, this programme enables the enhancement of service provision to the client requesting or requiring breast evaluation.

You may be granted credits for your previous academic and professional qualification through Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) scheme. An independent work-based learning module enables you to study around your individual CPD and workplace needs.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Part time 2–5 years Normally five days per module Flexible start between September to June depending on initial module start date. For module dates, see available modules below.

Please note: this programme is only available to home/EU students.

Location This course is taught at a range of partnership sites, depending on the study route taken.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • These courses are delivered in partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London. You will benefit from the expertise and facilities of both institutions.
  • State-of-the-art facilities include VERT, a treatment planning suite and a diagnostic radiography simulation suite comprising two X-ray tubes, X-ray table, erect bucky, mobile machine, image intensifier and four ultrasound machines. Imaging facilities include computed radiography and digital radiography.
  • Mammography pathways are delivered in collaboration with two specialist breast screening units.

What you will study

You will study modules relating to breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and care, research methods and ethics as well as independent work-based learning topics to meet your personal and clinical needs. Some of the modules are developed in partnership with the Jarvis and St George's Breast Screening Centres.

Modules

Available modules

Advanced Principles and Practice of Breast Interventional Techniques

30 credits

This module is designed around attendance of 2-3 days to provide the foundation for both the academic and clinical components of a variety of breast interventions, either using either X-ray or ultrasound guidance. It is then followed by 12 months of learning in a professional environment within healthcare. This is a very student centered module in that each student designs their own learning outcomes, in addition to those given in the module descriptor. This enables them to personalise the outcome to their scope(s) of practice of interventional methods, within the Breast Screening Unit or Imaging department. The assessments are equally adaptable being a Logbook of clinical cases, plus a Portfolio with several listed components such as a Mapping Document, Theoretical mini-essays, Audit on practice and self-assessment, and a Reflective Summary.

Clinical Breast Examination and Client Communication

30 credits

This module is designed around an attendance of one week to provide the foundation for understanding and relating all of the key processes involved in breast diagnosis. It is then followed by 6 months of learning in a professional environment within healthcare. This develops and extends the participants' clinical expertise necessary to contribute to the multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis of breast disease. It will facilitate the participants' decision making skills based on a broad appreciation of the tools and techniques that underpin the diagnosis of breast abnormalities and incorporates both academic and clinical components. The module will also facilitate and enhance the necessary development and application of the participant's communication, counselling and interpersonal skills and will include interactive participatory learning.

Interpretation and Reporting in Mammography

30 credits

This module is designed around an attendance of one week to provide the foundation for understanding and relating all of the key processes involved in ‘reading' breast images followed by 9 months of learning in a professional environment within healthcare. This module is designed for health care professionals, such as breast clinicians or radiographers who wish to perform as Advanced Practitioners. It is related to the image interpretation of screening mammograms, detecting & identifying any abnormalities, classifying those possible abnormalities, and then making a decision on the likely probabilities whether to recall the woman for further clinical assessment, with all the associated patient anxieties. The module assessment components consist of evaluating clinical skills, self-analysis, and academic skills of essay writing on an associated topic.

PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) Administration

30 credits

This module provides you with a broad overview of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) from image capture and storage, to operational management within the modern healthcare environment. The module aims to develop the knowledge required to enable Healthcare Professionals to provide effective day to day PACS administration within a modern radiology department.

In addition, you will be able to appreciate the application of digital imaging technologies at an advanced level within your own working practice. This knowledge will in turn lay the foundation for a more strategic managerial understanding of the use of digital imaging systems as a critical part of radiology service management.

Ultrasound of the Breast

30 credits

This module is designed around an attendance of one week to provide the foundation for understanding and relating all of the key processes involved in breast diagnosis. This is then followed by 6 months of learning in a professional environment within healthcare. The module is designed to provide the academic and clinical components to enable students to fulfil their role in reviewing current application and uses of ultrasound to detect and evaluate breast abnormalities and then to interpret and report on findings. It will facilitate the participants' decision making skills based on a broad appreciation of the equipment available and scanning techniques that underpin the diagnosis of breast abnormalities. The module also focuses on the necessary physical processes underlying safe ultrasound practice.

Advanced Practice - Negotiated Independent Work Based Learning

30 credits

This module is an independent learning module that is available to a wide range of practitioners and of particular value to Advanced Practitioners or those preparing for an advanced practice role. In consultation with the module leader, students will identify a particular topic that is of interest to them or pertinent to their practice or role. This negotiated specified area of practice forms the foundation of the module; students will address each learning outcome in relation to their specified area of practice. The module learning outcomes and activities are generic and based around the knowledge and skills required in order to be able to effectively function as an Advanced Practitioner.

Management of Resources and Quality within Healthcare

30 credits

This module is designed for healthcare professionals undertaking professional and managerial tasks. The module can be taken as an option module for any pathway. The module focuses on making effective use of resources; adding value to personal and organisational effectiveness such that quality of service can be achieved. The module aims raise awareness of key concepts and theory associated that can be applied in order to manage people, co-ordinate streams of activity and achieve quality outcome measures. The module explores a range of contemporary issues and highlights the impact of these on the provision of service to the clients. The assessment utilises Problem Based Learning and encourages students to consider practical solutions in the context of practice which is complex and multifaceted in nature.

Practice Education and Mentorship

30 credits

This module is of value to practitioners who educate and mentor learners within the clinical setting. The module focuses on developing appropriate knowledge and skills in order to effectively facilitate the development of others. Throughout the module students draw upon their clinical experiences and relate these to theoretical frameworks. The module places emphasis on the development of self, through personal development planning. Throughout the module participants engage with a wide range of learning activities which augment learning and act as a foundation for reflection.

Satisfactory completion of Practice Education and Mentorship confers eligibility for accreditation under the College of Radiographers Practice Educators Accreditation Scheme (PEAS).

Professional Practice in Mammography 1

30 credits

This module runs concurrently with Professional Practice in Mammography 2 (RA7014). The module introduces students to the basic knowledge and skills in mammography to enable them to develop professional clinical competencies. The module will also develop critical evaluation of the basic mammographic technique in the clinical environment. Core factual material is provided via keynote lectures during attendance of the identified academic week.

Satisfactory completion of both Professional Practice in Mammography modules (1 & 2) confers eligibility for application to the College of Radiographers for the Postgraduate Award in Mammography Practice.

Professional Practice in Mammography 2

30 credits

This module runs concurrently with Professional Practice in Mammography 1 (RA7013). It further develops the knowledge and skills obtained from Professional Practice in Mammography 1 (RA7013) module and introduces additional mammographic assessment technique and associated breast pathologies. The module will also develop the student's role as a mentor enabling educational support to junior colleagues. Core factual material is provided via the keynote lectures during attendance of the identified academic week.

Satisfactory completion of both Professional Practice in Mammography modules (1 & 2) confers eligibility for application to the College of Radiographers for the Postgraduate Award in Mammography Practice.

Required module (PgDip students only)

Research and Evidence Based Practice in Healthcare

30 credits

The module is designed to foster an understanding of the research process, hone skills of critical appraisal and develop research skills as applied to both quantitative and qualitative research. The delivery follows a logical progression which starts with the scientific process and hypothesis formulation and ends with the production of a research protocol. Along the way reviewing the literature, selecting an appropriate research method, sampling, data collection analysis and presentation and ethical issues are covered. The module has preparatory work, a taught component and self-directed learning/assignment time. The taught component is delivered in two parts, a two day introduction/critical reasoning component and a five day research methods component. The preparation time prior to the two periods of attendance, the guided study/exercises between the two periods of attendance and the self-directed learning/assignment time after the second period of attendance are equally important parts of the module as a whole. The preparatory work includes pre-reading of recommended texts and the basic critique/critical analysis of provided materials, papers and evidence with the emphasis being on the ease of information extraction and strength of evidence. StudySpace is used to support learning and provide clarification and practice via student based activities.

Required module (MSc students only)

Dissertation (for MSc)

60 credits

This module builds upon the principles outlined and knowledge acquired during the Research and Evidence Based Practice in Healthcare module (RA7015). It provides the component beyond postgraduate diploma to enable the completion of a Masters degree. Professionals are consistently expected to be able to provide an evidence base to prove the effectiveness of their professional interventions. This module provides students with the experience of utilising all principles of research design. Following submission and approval of a dissertation proposal the student is provided with a project supervisor to facilitate support for both the project and dissemination material. The students will be required to undertake an independent piece of research study into a topic relevant to their own field. The aim of the module is to develop in-depth theoretical, analytical and research skills.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

What you need to apply for this course

  • Registered clinician in a relevant healthcare field.
  • At least two years' full-time clinical experience.
  • Evidence of the academic potential needed to study at postgraduate level, either at a personal interview or through professional references and examples of previous academic work.
  • You must also have mentoring support from appropriate personnel at your workplace for those modules with a clinical element.
  • Students who are undertaking modules that incorporate a clinical component conducted within a UK NHS trust need to be registered with UK Health and Care Professions Council.

International

Please note: this programme is only available to home/EU students.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 6.0.

Teaching and assessment

This flexible course is one route in our postgraduate radiography programme, which allows you to focus on your own area of interest. As well as developing your understanding of your specialist area, this course will make sure you:

  • keep up to date with recent developments, legal requirements and ethically-sound practice;
  • reflect critically on your practice;
  • develop your judgement and decision-making skills;
  • improve your networking skills; and
  • gain skills in managing others.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Contact hours will vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises of case studies, research protocols, dissertation, essays, portfolios, practical assessment, OSCE and a reflective log book.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education is a unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London. This means that you benefit from the expertise and facilities of two complementary institutions

  • Kingston University has a long-established reputation for vocationally-relevant education; and
  • St George's, University of London combines teaching and research excellence in healthcare sciences.

We gained an 'excellent' rating in the last Quality Assurance Agency Review for our radiography teaching.

Many teaching staff are research active, which keeps your learning cutting-edge, and others are expert practitioners. This combination of academics and practitioners provides a uniquely dynamic environment. Many of the modules are taught in partnership with NHS Trusts.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • 30 credit module price: £1,800
  • This is equivalent to £3,600 for a PG Cert, £7,200 for a PG Dip and £10,800 for a Masters

Facilities

The unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London means you have access to excellent resources across two organisations. You will benefit from a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • clinical teaching facilities;
  • dedicated radiography resources, including: a radiography lecture suite, with a practical room and other learning materials; two X-ray sets enabling you to gain simulated practical experience under safe conditions; anatomical models and other educational materials; virtual simulation suite; eclipse treatment planning suite; and a comprehensive image library with viewing arrangements;
  • computing facilities at both Kingston University and St George's, University of London including a range of software applications, plus free email and internet access; and
  • dedicated Graduate Centres on each Kingston University campus, providing seminar rooms, computing facilities and social spaces.

You can also access libraries at:

  • Kingston University campus - offering online database subscriptions, resource materials, PC clusters and a wireless network for laptop use, as well as subject libraries;
  • St George's, University of London including a specialist medicine and health sciences collection of more than 42,000 books, videotapes and multimedia materials;
  • Clinical teaching/assessment resources at the Jarvis breast screening centre; and
  • Postgraduate centres at clinical placement sites.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30 minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access a wealth of professional resources, including the Society of Radiographers and many top hospitals. For example, many students make use of the British Institute of Radiology Library, incorporating the College of Radiographers Library.

After you graduate

Graduate destinations

  • Advanced practitioner
  • Consultancy
  • Researcher
  • PhD

What our students say

I currently hold the post of Superintendent Sonographer at the Royal Marsden Hospital (Sutton branch). I perform a multitude of scans including abdominal, deep-vein thrombosis, paediatric and small parts which includes breast.

Breast ultrasound constitutes about 80% of the scanning I perform. I started my masters at Kingston University in breast evaluation with the intention to extend my role.

I had not studied for many years due to changes in my professional life. I worked in industry for GE ultrasound for five years and then started my family. I found the assistance from the lectures in my first module extremely helpful and supportive which encouraged me to continue my studies.

The next most important module - to me - was Breast Intervention; once again I may not have survived this module without the advice and support from the lecturers. Practically I found this module relatively easy but it took longer than I had planned and I needed the encouragement I was given to complete the module.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Research Module and looked forward to my dissertation.

I have completed and passed my Breast Evaluation MSc. Now along with scanning the breast I perform fine needle aspiration (FNA), biopsy and wire localisations in the breast, which I have been doing for several years. I have since trained another sonographer in these procedures, I currently have one student who has just completed her FNA log book and will now proceed to perform biopsies of the breast and I have another sonographer waiting to start her intervention training.

Linda Hastings, Radiography: Breast Evaluation MSc

Links with the health sector

Close links with the NHS and other healthcare providers give a practical basis to our courses. They also help to ensure your studies are up-to-date and relevant to the current and future needs of the workplace.

Many of our modules on our suite of Radiography courses are taught in partnership with healthcare providers, including:

You will also benefit from:

  • teaching from staff who are fully qualified in their area of expertise many are also expert practitioners;
  • collaboration with clinical colleagues from a variety of health and social care institutions, including St George's Hospital;
  • teaching input from NHS staff; and
  • courses that are developed with input from NHS staff.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education are research active, often in partnership with NHS trusts and the Jarvis Breast screening Centre. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies. 

Research themes and programmes include: