We are looking forward to welcoming you to Imperial this Autumn. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to ensure that your degree programme can be safely delivered, we are writing to update you on how the College is planning to support a safe return to study and on how we intend to deliver your programme in 2021-22. 

We will communicate the specific dates when we expect you to be in London in the Autumn term and for the whole of 2021-22 academic year in order that you can attend on-campus activities. We plan to deliver your programme through a combination of on-campus and online teaching activities (multi-mode), with a strong emphasis on prioritising your time on our campuses.  

We are planning for the most crucial and engaging learning opportunities to be delivered in-person and without social distancing in place. We anticipate UK government guidelines will support this decision by the time you arrive for the new academic year.  Lectures may be hosted online when this method is considered to be educationally beneficial to students, and when it is clear that online mode will reduce the risk of sustained COVID-19 transmission as our community emerges from the pandemic. We will use our experience of our past academic year when deciding how best to timetable your teaching. 

It is important to recognise that, depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the balance of on-campus and online teaching may be subject to change. However, we share students’ hopes that we will be able to offer on-campus learning activities that benefit our students consistently throughout the coming year. 

Further details on the mix of on-campus and online activities and support available to you in your department are provided in the programme delivery section of this letter. 

Institutional guarantees 

General 

Our priority is for you to experience everything our campuses and London has to offer.  However, you will be expected to adhere to the safety measures in place for the College.  This may include requirements to undertake regular testing and to report the outcome of this testing to the College and strong expectations to have been vaccinated.  The completion of the required safety measures will ensure that we can keep the College community safe and satisfy the UK government and UK Public Health Authorities that we can continue with in-person on-campus activities, wherever possible. 

Details for your programme are set out in this communication. 

Attendance and Delivery of Teaching 

As you can appreciate, it is not entirely clear what circumstances we will be working with for the coming academic year, but we are planning the delivery of your programme on the assumption of a phased return to substantial amounts of on-campus teaching over the 2021-22 academic year. To accommodate this, we may plan to deliver your programme initially through a combination of on-campus and online activities (multi-mode), the balance of which will be reviewed and adjusted as circumstances change. This means you will be expected to attend the College in-person from the start of your programme, unless you can demonstrate that you have been impacted by exceptional COVID-19 related circumstances. 

We understand there are some reasons you may be prevented from being able to travel to London for the start of the academic year.  In these circumstances you will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience, and you will be temporarily provided with a remote alternative of any on-campus activities which you might miss. You should contact the Programme team on medultrasound@imperial.ac.uk if you anticipate not being able to travel to London for the start of term and would like to discuss your options with us. 

As a community, we have learnt a lot from this past year. Our combination of cutting-edge technology and academic excellence resulted in some new and creative ways of learning and engaging with each other on campus and remotely. Many of the changes made to the learning experience have worked well, and therefore your department may retain some of these approaches in the new academic year to enhance your overall experience on campus, and these are specified in this communication. 

In the event of a suspension of on-campus activity due to an escalation of the pandemic, we will deliver some content online and, if necessary, reschedule activities which cannot be delivered online later in the 2021-22 academic year. Depending on the length and severity of any such scenario, if we are unable to deliver content remotely or re-schedule activities requiring in-person attendance [e.g. your clinical attachment] within the 2021-22 academic year to meet the learning outcomes of the programme, we may have to extend the length of your programme, with no extra fees being charged.  You will also be given the option to exit the programme and provided with a transcript of the credits achieved together with an exit award, where appropriate. 

Assessment 

For assessments that take place in the Autumn Term, or at the start of the Spring Term of the 2021/22 academic year, where there was to be an in-person on-campus written examination, these will be assessed by timed remote assessments, irrespective of whether there are restrictions in place or not.  We may continue to deliver examinations by timed remote assessments where these are deemed the most appropriate method of assessment 

Safety 

You will be required to follow the safety requirements put in place on campus and in all College buildings (including halls) to ensure we keep the campuses and the Imperial community safe and to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, particularly in our ability to deliver your degree programme and to offer you a full student experience.  

There will be requirements and expectations placed on you and other members of the College community to follow the safety measures put in place by the UK government and national and local public health authorities. You can view our current guidance for our community on our website. This may vary once we begin the academic year, but is likely to include undertaking regular testing for COVID-19 and to report the results of this testing to the College. There is also the strong expectation that you will have been vaccinated against COVID-19  or that you will take up the opportunity once in the UK, if vaccination is not available in your home country. Failure to follow the safety measures and report them to College may result in restrictions being imposed on the delivery of your degree programme and on your access to the wider student experience. 

Student Experience 

Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Students’ Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience in all eventualities.  We identified key pillars of the wider student experience:  academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities.   Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services and College-wide induction arrangements, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our COVID 19 pages.   

Delivery of your Programme of Study 

The MSc Medical Ultrasound is a specialised programme which aims to deliver both an academic and vocational degree. It is academic as you need to demonstrate sufficient academic undertaking in terms of project development and dissertation writing but also vocational along the lines of the Society of the Vascular Technology of Great Britain and Ireland.  

We have reviewed the learning outcomes for your programme to ensure these can be taught and assessed in a multi-mode format. No changes to the programme or module learning outcomes have been made as a consequence of moving to a multi-mode format. 

We will be delivering multi-mode teaching. This means that you will have a mixture of on-campus and virtual teaching experience which, for example, will include lectures and tutorials, as well as a remote teaching component, for example, e-learning activities. Please note that your clinical placement, part of the Clinical Studies module, can only be taken in person. We have carefully planned our Autumn, Spring and Summer terms teaching to ensure the module and overall programme learning outcomes are being met. Please refer below to details on each module’s delivery.  

Departmental induction 

The NHLI induction for all Masters programmes in the institute will take place online on 7th October 2021 and further details will be provided nearer to the start of the programme. The programme will start in the week of 11th October 2021 and we have planned online induction sessions in the beginning weeks for you to meet the programme team and your fellow students.   

Modules 

 

Module 

Autumn (Term 1) 

Spring (Term 2) 

Summer (Term 3) 

Experimental Design and  

Individual Project  

 

 

 

Physics of Ultrasound  

 

 

 

Ultrasound Specialism: Vascular Ultrasound   

 

 

 

Clinical Studies: Vascular Ultrasound   

 

 

 

 

  • Experimental Design and Individual project   

Module Lead: Dr Mohammed Aslam  

We appreciate you may be concerned about your research project plans. The individual expectations for projects will vary. However, the vast majority of projects are typically prospective based on clinical scenarios and patient data collection. Data collection should normally commence in January 2022 in the vascular laboratories. We have a planned contingency in case of changes to College access to labs. Once you begin to discuss your project options with prospective supervisors, you will gain a clearer understanding of your project plan, which may revert into retrospective data collection from existing patients’ data.  

During Term 1 you will make formal contact with your project supervisor and confirm your project plans and submit a formative assessment. In Term 2 you will, through continued contact with your supervisor, continue to develop your research project; a number of formative assessments will be required along with a project presentation to allow you to check your progress.  Term 3 will see your final draft project and final submission.  

  • Physics of Ultrasound   

Module Lead:  Abigail Thrush 

This module will be based on a core textbook, which is available online from College. The module will take place during October – December.   Each week will cover a selected aspect of physics and equipment with recommended reading, online equipment demonstration, practice questions and group exercises.  There will be regular tutorials online/on campus at which students will present their group work and be able to ask questions that have arisen during the week’s work. The coursework, the mock exam as well as the final written exam will all take place in the Spring and Summer terms.   

  • Ultrasound Specialism: Vascular Ultrasound   

Module Lead: Dr Mohammed Aslam 

Teaching for this module is planned for the Spring term. This will be in the form of lectures, with additional tutorials and the expected self-directed study time. Asynchronous learning will include activities such as reading journal articles or completing an e-learning activity prior to timetabled taught sessions. The mock written examination will be held in May with the final examination held in June, both administered remotely.   

  • Clinical Studies: Vascular Ultrasound  

Module Lead: Dr Mohammed Aslam 

This module will run from the Autumn term and will entail you learning to perform a complete vascular examination. This will require practice through face-to-face examination of patients in the relevant hospital departments. Assessment will include a logbook of scans and a practical clinical examination.   

Scheduling  

We are not anticipating changing the term of when modules will be taught or assessed. 

Support for online learning 

To access the content of the programme online you will be expected to have access to a computer (comparable to the laptop we offer for loan; HP EliteBook 840 G7, i5-10310U processor, 16Gb RAM, 256Gb solid state disk, 14” HD screen, Windows 10 Pro 64, webcam; see https://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=4AA7-6811ENUC),  reliable internet connection with a minimum of sustained 10 MBps down/upload speed  and be able to use Microsoft Teams. Your College IT account will provide you with free access to the Office365 suite of tools, and further information about how to use Microsoft Teams is available at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/admin-services/ict/self-service/connect-communicate/office-365/apps/microsoft-teams/ . 

Training and support for how to use other systems and software will be provided during the programme induction and through specific modules. 

Length of the programme 

We anticipate you will be able to complete the programme within the timescale previously advertised. If the College is not able to deliver any modules in order to meet the programme learning outcomes due to the impact of public health guidance in place at the time, the length of the programme may be extended, but with no additional fees being levied to students.  

Additional costs 

You will be expected to have access to a computer, webcam, microphone and to a reliable internet connection, and you will need to cover any associated costs for these. There are no other expected additional costs (beyond those previously advertised) to participate in the programme if you choose to study remotely. 

Location 

In-person activities will be delivered at the Hammersmith campus  

Visas and Immigration  

If you require a visa to study in the UK, it is important that you have read the guidance provided by the International Student Support Team at the College at http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/international- students/visas-and-immigration/covid-19-and-your-immigration-status/      

Imperial has a team of specialist immigration advisers who can provide specific advice on your immigration situation and on the best options for you. They can be reached by email on international@imperial.ac.uk . It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct immigration permission for your studies in the UK.  

We look forward to welcoming you in the autumn and in the meantime we are happy to address any queries or concerns you may have. Please contact the team on medultrasound@imperial.ac.uk 

 

Yours sincerely   

Dr Mohammed Aslam 

Programme Director, MSc Medical Ultrasound (Vascular)