RDGY41560 DXA for Research

Academic Year 2021/2022

This 5 credit module is proposed for researchers and healthcare professionals currently involved or intending to start research using Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scanning. It aims to teach researchers currently performing DXA scans the underlying core principles of this bone mass measurement technique and develop their understanding of the operational and technical skills necessary to produce the optimal baseline and serial scan results required for their research projects. It will cover broad aspects of bone densitometry assessment including; system operation, measurement and analysis techniques, radiation safety and quality assurance in practice. Completion of the course will provide operators with the necessary skills and understanding to perform DXA examinations with confidence, in-line with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Health and Children (DOHC) and Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy (IIRRT) guidelines on the use of ionising radiation.
(Please note:current Irish legislation, SI256, 2018 restricts operation of all medical radiation devices to certain qualified professionals)

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

As well as learning core theory and practical applications of DXA and the successful student will be able to:

Apply their knowledge of operational, technical and positioning skills required to produce optimal scan results, for baseline and serial scans.
Analyse and critically evaluate their examination techniques and compare against standard practice to ensure optimal standards of operation.
Apply their knowledge to the physical principles, equipment and different types of scanning technology involved in this modality area.
Analyse and critically evaluate their understanding of international best practice guidelines and the influence of best practice on local protocol.
Apply their knowledge into the relevant legislation which governs clinical practice within this modality.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The modules approach to teaching and learning includes using lectures, critical writing, reflective learning techniques. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Candidates are required to have at least one of the following:
-PhD student using DXA as part of their research
- Other researchers using DXA as part of their research

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: MCQ examining the module content End of trimester MCQ n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Essay: An essay of 2,500 words related to the use of DXA in research Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Shane Foley Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Jennifer Grehan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Shauna Murphy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer