Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

MEDIMAGE 720 – Fundamentals of Clinical Nuclear Medicine

15 Points
This course will not be offered in 2019



This course provides a fundamental understanding of nuclear medicine technology and applications, and addresses scientific principles of the modality including radioactivity, radiation detection and decay, dosimetry and radio-pharmacy. Students will examine components of the clinical environment including equipment, laboratory procedures, bio-effects and radiation safety. In addition, students will analyse standard imaging protocols, normal and altered biodistribution and imaging appearances of the skeletal system.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

This course aims to provide students with specialised theoretical knowledge and an understanding of the fundamental physical principles of Nuclear Medicine technology and radiopharmacy. The student will develop the ability to apply this knowledge in the safe use of radiopharmaceuticals and Nuclear Medicine equipment for clinical and/or research purposes. In particular, this course will investigate common pathologies and the use of standard Nuclear Medicine imaging techniques and protocols in relation to the skeletal system.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts relating to Nuclear Medicine technology. 
  2. Critically discuss specific issues relating to bio-effects and safety within the Nuclear Medicine environment. 
  3. Differentiate and explain normal and altered radiopharmaceutical biodistribution on Nuclear Medicine images of the skeletal system.
  4. Make informed clinical judgements with regard to the selection of radiopharmaceuticals and protocols in relation to the skeletal system. 
  5. Apply an evidence-based approach to clinical decision-making and problem solving.

Programme and Course Advice

This course is the first compulsory course within the PGDipHSc(Medical Imaging – Nuclear Medicine pathway) and is a pre-requisite for all of the other Nuclear Medicine-specific courses.

Students from the PGDipHSc(MRI), PGDipHSc or PGCertHSc (Medical Imaging) and PGCertHSc (Mammography) programmes may choose this course as an elective. All Medical Imaging Technologists and students admitted to any one of the above programmes are eligible for direct entry to this course. For all other students, departmental approval is required and a concession request must be submitted when applying to enrol in this course.

Access to a clinical Nuclear Medicine department is highly recommended.

Course Delivery and Workload

This course is delivered fully online by distance via the University of Auckland’s learning management system ‘Canvas’. It will incorporate a range of learning approaches including videos, webpages, links to the library databases and resources, and utilising online technologies to promote shared learning opportunities.

The total expected workload for this course is approximately 150 hours. This may be broken down as follows:

  • Set readings relevant to Nuclear Medicine theory and clinical practice (40 hours) 
  • Other resources provided on Canvas e.g. videos, websites (10 hours) 
  • Assignments and self-directed learning (100 hours)


There is not a required textbook for this course. A large selection of readings and other resources will be able to be accessed online via the course website and the Philson Library databases.

It is highly recommended that students access the online textbook ‘Essentials of nuclear medicine imaging’ (6th ed.) by Fred Mettler and Milton Guiberteau (2012) via the Philson Library and read ‘Chapter 1: Radioactivity, Radionuclides, and Radiopharmaceuticals’ and ‘Chapter 2: Instrumentation and Quality Control’. This will be assumed prior knowledge when you begin the course.


An aggregated mark of 50% or more is required to successfully pass this course. Resubmission of failed assessments is not permitted.

Penalties for excessive word count and/or late submission (without prior written approval for an extension) will be applied in accordance with the 'Medical Imaging Assessment Requirements and Presentation Criteria' document.

The following is indicative of the type of assessments to be completed for this course:

  • Short Answer Questions 30% 
  • PeerWise MCQs 20% 
  • Clinical Case Analysis 30% 
  • MCQ and Image Evaluation Test 20%

Course Coordinator