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Study information

Digital Image Processing for Radiographers

Module titleDigital Image Processing for Radiographers
Module codePAM3012
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Clare Thorn (Convenor)

Dr Beth McGill (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

In this module, you will integrate theory with practice by drawing on your prior experience of imaging modalities, and re-interpreting your knowledge of imaging within a mathematical and scientific framework.

You will develop a level of mathematical skill sufficient to analyse complex waveforms and appreciate the statistical consequences of the information stored in an image. You will develop a knowledge of the underlying algorithms used by image manipulation tools and the extent to which the use of these affect the qualities of the image.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Through undertaking this module, you will learn how each and every component of the imaging chain, from presentation of patient through to the interpretive skills of the radiographer/radiologist can affect the predictive diagnostic capabilities of a method.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Show that complex waveforms can be decomposed into sinusoidal waveforms;
  • 2. Discuss the implications of image perception for medical imaging;
  • 3. Quantify predictive diagnostic imaging capability using various mathematical concepts;
  • 4. Solve complex problems involving digital imaging systems;
  • 5. Identify causes of noise in digital imaging systems and methods of minimisation;
  • 6. Predict the performance of a digital imaging systems from its specifications;
  • 7. Show how various image manipulation algorithms can improve the diagnostic quality of an image;
  • 8. Discuss applications of image co-registration;
  • 9. Discuss applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medical imaging.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Use mathematical skills to solve problems;
  • 11. Use appropriate sources of information to develop own knowledge;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 12. Manage time and prioritise workloads.
  • 13. Demonstrate basic problem-solving skills;

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:


Advanced mathematical skills

Outline of 1D Fourier techniques: decomposition and reconstruction.

Fourier techniques in 2D and 3D.

Statistical concepts: distributions, variance and uncertainty.

Image perception

Outline of visual psychophysics.

Spatial and grey-scale resolution.

Colour scales and colour displays.

Practical considerations: brightness and contrast of display, observation distance, lighting conditions, etc...

Detection of pathology: sensitivity, specificity, predictive value.

Discrimination index and ROC curves.

Image quality

Technical evaluation of images: Spatial resolution, SNR, CNR, grey-scale histograms, etc.

Acceptability of images in the clinical context.

Time-quality and dose-quality trade-offs.

Image Acquisition and Processing

Analog-to-digital converters, sampling.

Storage: DICOM and PACS

Windowing and similar grey-scale manipulations

Histogram equalisation.

Spatial and frequency domain filtering

Image restoration

Image co-registration

Volume rendering and other 3D visualisations.

Developments and Trends

Telemedicine and Teleradiology, Health online

Computerised pattern recognition

Future Imaging Modalities

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Seminars
Scheduled learning and teaching activities63x2-hour computer practicals
Guided independent study122Reading, private study and revision
Reading, private study and revision11Directed online learning activities

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Computer-based3 x 2 hour lab session1-13Marks returned and discussed in tutorials

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Exam 1401 hour1-12 Marks returned and discussed in tutorials
Exam 26090 minutes1-12iExeter and ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Exam 1(40%)Exam 1(40%)1-12May assessment period
Exam 2 (60%) Exam 2 (90 minutes)1-12August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

In the event of a student deferring the in-class test, a separate test would be sat as soon as practically possible, or at the latest during the May assessment period.


In the event of a student failing the module as a result of failure of either the in-class test or written examination, or both, the referral assessment will be a single written examination that makes up 100% of the module mark.


In the event of a student deferring the written examination, they will sit the same examination as the referred students, but this will be combined with their in-class test to make their final module mark.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Not applicable

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Dougherty, G. (2009), Digital Image Processing for Medical Applications,Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780511532528
  • Gonzalez R.C. and Woods R.E. (2017), Digital Image Processing (4th edition), Pearson Education, ISBN 9781292223049
  • Oakley J. (2006), Digital Imaging, A Primer for Radiographers, Radiologists and Health Care Professionals, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 1-841-10121-4

Key words search

Medical Imaging; Imaging; Quality; Scales; Imaging systems; Systems; Waveforms; Manipulations; Grey; Spatial; Histogram.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

PAM1020, PAM2013

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date