School of Biomedical Sciences

PgCert Clinical Echocardiography

This programme has been developed to help answer a drive by Health Education England to increase the number of trained echocardiographers. The programme involves an exciting blend of hands on experience and simulation combined with interactive sessions delivered by subject experts (primarily clinical aided by academics). To facilitate this the University has just invested £300,000 in brand new state-of-the-art equipment.

Key features

  • Taught by practising experts
  • Hands on experiential learning
  • Brand new, state of the art simulation facilities 

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This is a 60-credit programme comprising 2 core modules, BHCS700 Introduction to Clinical Echocardiography and BHCS701 Ultrasound Imaging in Cardiac Disease. BHCS700 Introduction to Clinical Echocardiography will be taken in the first semester and BHCS701 Ultrasound Imaging in Cardiac Disease in the second semester. In brief each module and semester begins with a 2-week immersive period. Thereafter students will spend 1 day in formal learning and 4 days in practise on the job. 

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Clinical Echocardiography (BHCS700)

      This introductory module in semester 1 begins with 2-week induction and immersive skills training. This familiarises the student with university working and begins the teaching of echo skills. This is followed by teaching and learning in echo roles, principles and application in normal physiology and pathophysiology. This will involve traditional and experiential learning using the simulation equipment.

    • Ultrasound Imaging in Cardiac Disease (BHCS701)

      This follow up module also begins with a 2-week immersive skills and development training consisting of traditional and experiential learning. It then builds on learning in the Introduction to Clinical Echocardiography module to focus on the roles and application of echo in simple and complex pathophysiology encompassing all cardiac disease that is detectable by echo. This includes how to perform echo in pressurised and challenging environments.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

PgCert Clinical Echocardiography programme specification_7532

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English at Grade C/4 or above.
Applicants should have an honours degree (1st or 2.1) in Cardiac Physiology (PTP) or relevant scientific subject in the UK or equivalent experience and appropriate underpinning knowledge and skills in cardiology. Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through Ecctis, who provide an advisory service. 

Entry routes

The direct entry route
A direct entry route is open to anyone with an Honours degree (1st or 2.1) in Cardiac Physiology (PTP) or a relevant scientific subject or equivalent experience and appropriate underpinning knowledge and skills in cardiology. As a direct entry applicant you can apply for posts advertised directly by any employer.
The in-service route
The in-service route is only open to existing NHS staff working in a cardiac department, who meet the qualification requirements and have been nominated by their employer. Your employer will apply for a post via the ‘Expressions of Interest’ survey and will be notified by the commissioners if successful. Your employer will need to evidence your suitability for the programme. If you currently work in the NHS but do not have the in-service arrangements in place, you can apply to the Echocardiography Training Programme via the direct entry route.
All applicants can contact the Programme Lead and University admissions team for further information. 
In addition
Applicants who have not had their secondary or tertiary education through the medium of English, should have attained the equivalent of an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components. 
Students will need to have access to a personal computer with good internet access. Recommended IT equipment specifications for new students.
Conducting medical diagnostic tests (e.g. performing an Echo) requires the highest standards and we take seriously our commitment to enrol, and teach, only those students with the integrity needed to meet these requirements. Detailed information relating to the Medical Student Agreement, Fitness to Practise and students with disabilities can be found on the University of Plymouth website. 
A fitness to practise assessment prior to admission involves the following:
  • A health assessment screening 
  • Screening for Hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B screening and immunisation
  • Satisfactory clearance under an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Fees, costs and funding

Fee for 2023-24: £6,800 Fee for 2024-25: £7,140 
This course is unable to support international students who require a Tier 4/Student visa. International applicants are however able to apply if you already hold a UK work visa.

How to apply

Applications for this programme need to be completed through the PG apply online form. 
You will also need to provide two referees via the Postgraduate Application Referee Form.
Applicants also need to complete an Additional Information Form and provide a copy of their degree certificate. 
These forms will need to be fully completed and returned to
Any questions please contact:
Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth, PL4 8AA