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.

Applicants to this programme should have regular access to patients to compliment their learning in the University.

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 Echo Programme Specification 22-23 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. The University of Plymouth recommended equipment specifications.

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 2022-23: £6,800

Fee for 2023-24: £6,800

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

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 1752 586951

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.