PhD MPhil MSc by research

  • Part-time study available
  • Distance Learning
  • International Students can apply

Subject Overview

Led by Professor Peter Hogg this field has two distinct research areas, each of which entails multidisciplinary teams in collaboration with hospitals.

The first area is mammography. This is used for screening and symptomatic purposes in the detection of breast cancer. Above the age of 47 all women are invited for a 3-yearly screening mammogram; men and women who are symptomatic tend to be referred for a mammogram as it is a primary diagnostic tool. Whilst our research has a particular emphasis on the optimisation of compression force that is applied during the imaging process we also consider related issues too. To date we have discovered several novel facts about the application of compression force.

The second area concerns the balancing of X-radiation dose and clinical image quality. X-radiation is used in many aspects of diagnostic imaging however our work only concentrates on specific aspects of computed tomography (CT) and plain radiography. Presently we have a particular interest in low resolution CT for the detection of lung cancer.  Our central ambition is to propose ways to produce images for minimal radiation dose whilst preserving diagnostic quality so that they fit for purpose.

More information about postgraduate research on Imaging at the University of Salford

In the national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 more than 80% of the School of Health Sciences research was ranked as of ‘international quality’. Within the UK and Europe we are in the top 5% of research groups based in academic departments related to podiatry, physiotherapy, prosthetics, orthotics, occupational therapy, sports science and sports rehabilitation. 

You will also be able to do this PhD by distance learning with an October or April start date. 

Entry Requirements

1st class or upper second class undergraduate degree

A Masters degree is preferred but not essential. However, applicants without a Masters degree should provide evidence of previous research methods training.

Applications are welcome from a diverse professional group, for instance physics, engineering, psychology, radiography and nuclear medicine technology

APEL – We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English requirement for non-UK/ EU students

Overall IELTS score of at least 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any one element.

We offer four entry points – October, January, April and July. Applications can be submitted at any point within the year.

Applicant Profile

You should have a BSc and ideally a Masters degree that have provided you with a foundation in relevant aspects of medical imaging. These could include professional degrees (eg BSc Radiography) or other applied science degrees.  Evidence of ability to study and critically appraise literature independently is essential and candidates. Experience of experimental research is also preferable but is not essential.

As a student embarking on a postgraduate research degree you will be assigned a supervisory team, to help guide and mentor you throughout your time at the University. However, you are ultimately expected to take responsibility for managing your learning and will be expected to initiate discussions, ask for the help that you need and be proactive in your approach to study

All students will be required to attend for an interview.

International Students and Students who are Non EU/EEA/UK Nationals - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International Students and student who are not EU, EEA or UK nationals are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.
You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website at with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team at If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on
You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link:

Current Student Research

Research Topics

Hussien Mraity – 1st year PhD student

Project: Optimisation of image quality and radiation dose for AP pelvis radiographic examinations

Within medical imaging there is a need to limit the amount of X-radiation that is used to image humans; this is to reduce the risk associated with the ionising radiation. Whilst computed tomography (CT) contributes a significant and increasing radiation burden to patients plain radiography is used commonly for certain body parts the radiation risk can be high. This is particularly true for imaging the pelvic area where the radiosensitive male and female gonads are located. This research will optimise the radiation dose and image quality for plain radiography pelvic imaging. Initially it shall commence with research on phantoms; this will involve the analysis of physics and perceptual measures. The intention is that the work shall culminate with human imaging to validate and elaborate upon the phantom data. The aim is to reduce the radiation required for pelvic X-rays, consistent with obtaining images of diagnostic quality. Hussein will study a number of areas to achieve the PhD, including: measurement and analysis of perpetual image quality; measurement and mathematical modelling of effective dose; operation of imaging and ancillary equipment involved with the research; spread sheets and statistical packages.

GTA Student Profiles

Mary Ossati – 2nd year PhD student and GTA

Project: Optimising compression force in mammography

The aim of this project is to determine, in an anthropomorphic breast phantom, how simulated cancer visibility varies with the application of pressure force in mammography. Due to the use of ionising radiation, it is impractical to experiment on living human breast tissue. Therefore, a synthetic deformable anthropomorphic breast phantom with simulated cancer lesions will be utilised in the research. Ultimately the thickness of the deformable phantom will be altered by the mammography machine compression paddle and under varying levels of thickness images will be acquired; the resultant images will then be analysed. Through this analysis, I shall determine whether relationships exist between lesion visibility and breast phantom thickness / applied compression force.

I have been a GTA for a year and a half at Salford University. My teaching journey with students from all over the world with different cultures, backgrounds, characters and levels of comprehension has helped me build up my self-confidence and teaching skills. Facilitating the PBL sessions for two semesters helped me develop my knowledge in anatomy, radiography and physics. I have also run some computer-based lectures and invigilated the students for a few hours which were quite interesting for me as a GTA. Helping and mentoring the students with statistics, experimental designs, scientific methodologies and physics of X-ray during the RiTe project has been the highlight of my GTA experience so far.

Training and Skills

All postgraduate research students are expected to attend the College’s research methods seminars during your first year of study, covering subjects such as conducting a literature review, methods of data collection, research governance and ethics, and analysis, presentation, interpretation and rigour in qualitative research.

In addition, the University offers all postgraduate research students an extensive range of free training activities to help develop their research and transferable skills. The Salford Postgraduate Research Training Programme (SPoRT) has been designed to equip researchers both for your university studies, and for your future careers whether in academia, elsewhere in the public sector, or in industry and the private sector.

Assessment Links

As a postgraduate research student at the University of Salford, you are required to meet a number of milestones in order to re-register for each year of study. These ‘progression points’ are an important aid for both you and your supervisory team and it is essential that you complete them on time.

Learning Agreement:  this is completed by you and your supervisor collaboratively in the first 3 months of your research programme. It encourages both of you to develop a thorough and consistent understanding of your individual and shared roles and responsibilities in your research partnership.

Annual Progress Report:  this report is completed by your supervisor at the end of each year of study, and reports on your achievements in the past year, the likelihood that you will submit on time, confirmation of the Learning Agreement and relevant training undertaken.

Self Evaluation Report: this is completed by you at the end of each year of study. It asks you to comment on your academic progress, supervisory arrangements, research environment, research training, and relevant training undertaken.

Interim Assessment: this is an assessment of your progress by a panel. It takes place towards the end of your first year, and is designed to ensure you have reached a threshold of academic performance, by assessing your general progress. The assessment comprises a written report, presentation and oral examination by a Panel. You must successfully complete it in order to register for your second year.

Internal Evaluation: this will take place towards the end of the second year and successful completion is required in order to continue onto your third year of study. You will be expected to show strong progress in your PhD study reflected in the submission of a substantial piece of work, generally at least 4 chapters of your thesis.

Research Profile

Research Excellence

The School of Health Sciences currently has more than 80 postgraduate research students from multicultural backgrounds. As well as the UK we have students from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Denmark, South Africa, China, Malaysia and France.  We also have visiting students with us throughout the year (often for short study placements of 2-6 months).

Each of the School's research areas is led by an experienced researcher, often a Professor, whose expertise has international recognition. All our research leaders publish their research in peer reviewed internationally recognised journals and are regularly invited to speak at international conferences. They lead on a wide range of established collaborations with UK, international academic and industry partners.

Staff Profiles

Professor Peter Hogg

Professor Peter Hogg is a diagnostic radiographer who has a long and broad experience in his field. He has been first or co-author to over 450 journal and conference papers and he has delivered over 50 invited and keynote conference presentations around the world. He has held many national and international professional, scientific and government (UK only) positions within the UK and abroad. He is a Fellow of the College of Radiographers (UK), for several years he was consultant advisor to the American Society of Radiographers and for 4 years he was honorary consultant radiographer in nuclear medicine. For 19 years he was programme leader for an MSc in Nuclear Medicine and he taught on a wide range of courses, including diagnostic radiography.

Professor Peter Hogg's research profile


Career Prospects

  • Make a career move into academia, either at home or abroad. Two of our recent graduates did their PhD research into optimising pulse sequences for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. On return to their country they went into full time academic appointments in Kuwait University
  • Progress your career as a medical imaging professional (eg radiographer, physicist, nuclear medicine technologist)
  • Become a member of an NHS research team (medical imaging)


The University of Salford has two digital X-ray rooms, a 16 slice CT scanner, several ultrasound machines, thermo luminescent detection equipment for radiation dosimetry and a range of physics and anthropomorphic phantoms. Additionally we have close links with many local hospitals (Countess of Chester Hospital, University Hospital of South Manchester, Wrexham Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary) which allows us easy access to a wide range of medical imaging equipment.

For more information on our imaging facilities