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Course content

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Course content

The taught part of the course is delivered in the first two terms and consists of 8 modules, including 7 compulsory modules and 1 optional module, each worth 15 credits. Students also undertake a research project principally in the third term and during the summer, this carries 60 credits (one third of the total). The current modules are described below. (Please note, we reserve the right to vary the syllabus from year to year).

Students visits to see clinical and computing systems used in a hospital environment. Students have access to a study room equipped with PCs that have MATLAB, Visual Studio, ITK and Protege installed. The course makes use of Moodle virtual learning environments for the delivery of lecture notes, coursework, data files, quizzes and the uploading of coursework and project reports.

Term 1


Programming Foundations for Medical Image Analysis (MPHYGB24)

Introduction to programmingMATLABC/C++MATLAB graphical user interfacesMATLAB for publication quality figureSoftware EngineeringFloating Point ArithmeticParallel Programming and graphics cards

Assessment: coursework.


Physics for Imaging and Therapy (MPHYGB09)

This module is intended as a pre-requisite for the Term 2 modules on Medical Imaging. This module includes:

Interactions, Detectors, Sources, Dosimetry, Introduction to MRI, Introduction to nuclear medicine, Radiation Protection Statistics.

Assessment: Examination.


Image Processing (COMPGV12)

This module is provided by the Computer Science Department (COMPGV12) and shared with students on the MSc in Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging. The module is delivered as a series of lectures with supporting practical sessions. Topics include:

digital images: digital camera, data types, 2D representation of images characteristics of grey-level digital images: discrete sampling, quantisation, noise.segmentation: thresholding, connected components labelling, region growing, split and merge algorithms, ROC analysis.image transformations: grey-level transformations, histogram equalization, geometrical transformations, polynomial warps,morphological operations: erosion and dilation binary images, open, close, thinning, medial axis transforms, introduction to grey-level morphology,feature characterisation:region properties, moment features, boundary coding, Fourier descriptors, line descriptors.image filtering: linear and non-linear filtering, image convolution, separable convolutions, sub-sampling and interpolation as convolution operations.edge detection: alternative approaches, edge enhancement by differentiation, Canny, performance evaluation, corner detection:image structure tensor, relationship to autocorrelation, Harris corner-detector, colour: colour representation, colour metrics, pixelwise operations, colour invariants and consistency. template matching: similarity and dissimilarity metrics, L2 metric and relationship to cross-correlation, image search and multi-resolution algorithms, 2D object detection, recognition, location.

 Assessment: coursework and examination.


Clinical Practice (MPHYGB17)

This module covers the information that is essential for an understanding of the clinical physics working environment. It covers basic anatomy and physiology as well as the various safety aspects of medical physics, for example, electrical, chemical and biological hazards.


Term 2

Medical Imaging (Ionising) MPHYGB11 & Medical Imaging (Non-Ionising)  MPHYGB10

These two modules are common to all the Medical Physics MSc courses. They provide an in-depth background in the following areas:

Diagnostic Radiology, Computer Tomography (CT), Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Image reconstruction, MRI, Ultrasound, Optical Imaging.

Assessment: unseen written examinations.


Information Processing in Medical Imaging (MPHYGB06)

The essence of medical image computing is to derive information from medical images for clinical diagnosis, therapy or to improve our understanding of function and disease. This module focusses on algorithms and software for obtaining this information. The module is provided by members of the Centre for Medical Image Computing and is also offered as an option for students on the MSc in Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging. Topics include:

Introduction: medical imaging modalities, clinical challenges, clinical trials.Image registration: rigid, non-rigid, fluid, free-form deformation, registration theory and practice.Image segmentation and classification. Statistical shape model, k-means, principal component analysis.Insight Toolkit (ITK): CMake, ITK.High Performance Computing: Graphics cards (GPUs) and the NVidia CUDA language.

Assessment: Coursework and exam.


Image Analysis and Image-directed Therapy (MPHYGB07)

The module is specific to the MSc in Medical Image Computing and covers the extraction of information from medical images and how this is increasingly being used to guide interventions and therapy. Topics include:

Image guided interventions, Dynamic measures from PET imaging, Dynamic measures from DCE-MRI, Visualisation (surface and volume rendering, applications such as virtual endoscopy), Imaging biomarkers, MRI Diffusion tensor imaging and tractography.Computer Aided Diagnosis.

Assessment: Coursework (oral presentation and essay based on published research).


Research Project (MPHYGB98)

A research project forms one third of the course. The project will be undertaken either at UCL in one of the Europe's largest Medical Imaging research groupings, or at an industrial company.

In previous years, research projects offered have included mammographic image analysis, compressed sensing, integration of fluoroscopy and interventional MRI, analysis of colon images, vessel-based image registration, registration of the optic nerve, detection of TB in South Africa, MRI artefact correction, water/fat imaging in MRI, engineering a 3D-ultrasound-guided system for transrectal prostate biopsy, registration of high-resolution diffusion weighted images, vessel-based registration, image-guided parathyroidectomy, statistical modelling of lung motion in sterotatic lung radiotherapy.

Assessment: Oral presentation, poster presentation, written report.


Industrial Projects

Industrial companies are encouraged to contact us if they are interested in providing research projects. There are tax incentives to encourage research in UK SMEs and offering a project may qualify under this scheme (see the Research and Development Tax Credits web site).

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