MEDIMAGE 707 : Mammographic Technology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Provides students with an in-depth understanding of mammographic technology and its application. The course addresses the scientific principles of the modality including image formation, technical parameters, radiation safety specific to mammography, image quality, artefacts, and quality assurance. Equipment developments and new and evolving techniques will be examined.

Course Overview

This course aims to provide students with specialised theoretical knowledge and an understanding of the underlying scientific principles of mammographic technology. Students will develop the ability to apply this knowledge in the safe use of mammography equipment for clinical and/or research purposes.  Learning activities and assessments are designed to support the development of clinical competency for mammography and medical imaging students, as well as growth holistically as a reflective practitioner. All other students will gain the same knowledge with the potential to apply this in their future careers.

This course is delivered fully online by distance via the University of Auckland’s learning management system ‘Canvas’. The course incorporates a range of learning approaches including videos, webpages, links to the library databases and resources, and online preparatory reading and learning tasks to supplement tutorials and labs. Academic learning is expected to inform clinical practice and enhance levels of clinical competency.
This course is a compulsory course within the PGCertHSc(Mammography) programme and is a prerequisite for CLINIMAG 708: Mammographic Clinical Practice. Students enrolled in the PGDipHSc/PGCertHSc (Medical Imaging) programmes may choose this course to contribute 15 points towards the MEDIMAGE/CLINIMAG point requirements. Access to a clinical mammography department is highly recommended.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director
Dr Beau Pontré
Senior Lecturer

Course Coordinator
Dr Rhonda-Joy Sweeney

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts relating to mammographic technology. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  2. Critically discuss specific issues relating to radiation safety within the mammography environment. (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 6.1 and 6.2)
  3. Analyse and integrate the principles and technology of mammography to enable image optimisation. (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  4. Critically evaluate the technical and diagnostic quality of a range of mammographic images. (Capability 3.1, 3.2 and 5.2)
  5. Evaluate the importance of quality assurance and explain the associated impact on safety and image quality. (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 6.1 and 6.2)
  6. Critically discuss current developments in mammographic technology and explore recent literature in relation to emerging initiatives. (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 4.1 and 4.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Physics Portfolio 60% Individual Coursework
Critical Review Essay 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Physics Portfolio
Critical Review Essay

This course is 100% internally assessed. 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 course Canvas page has more detailed information on assessment processes and requirements.

Workload Expectations

Following University workload guidelines, a standard 15-point course represents approximately 150 hours of study. This equates to approximately 12 hours per week and may be broken down as follows:

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

Delivery Mode


The course will include live online events including tutorials and these will be recorded.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

The required textbook for this course is:

  • Hogg, P., Kelly, J., & Mercer, C. (2015). Digital mammography: A holistic approach. Springer.
Students will not be expected to purchase this textbook as they can access it online via the Philson Library catalogue.

Course materials are made available in the course website located in the University’s learning platform Canvas, which also includes reading lists (where available). Students will also be able to access a large selection of online resources via the Philson Library databases.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Postgraduate courses do not have a Class Representative. However, the Medical Imaging Postgraduate Student Representatives can take feedback to the Medical Imaging Board of Studies. Contact details for these representatives may be found on all of the postgraduate Medical Imaging courses in Canvas.

The vast majority of students who responded to the course SET evaluation in 2020 confirmed strong satisfaction for communication and/or collaboration with student peers and teaching staff, and helpful feedback on learning progress. Changes that have been (or will be implemented) in response to the student feedback will be better signposting of course resources for what should be read for each of the weekly topics. Differing mammographic clinical experiences will be more clearly acknowledged, whether population based breast screening, diagnostic, or a mix of both.

Other Information

All official communication to a student will be sent to the student’s current University email address ( and the student is responsible for ensuring that any desired forwarding to other addresses is in place and operating correctly. Staff will not be responsible for any consequences if students fail to read and respond to University correspondence in a timely manner.

Students are encouraged to use the course ‘Discussion’ forum on Canvas as much as possible for communication with staff and other students. Email may be used for more private matters. Email communication to University staff and supervisors must be sent from the student’s University email address.

As a general rule, students are advised to log-on at least twice a week. Logging on regularly allows regular checking of 'Announcements' as well as reading and responding to messages from peers on 'Discussions'.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

The way to avoid plagiarism is to reference your work. Please refer to the following website for further information about academic referencing:

The document ‘Guidelines: Conduct of Coursework’ provides further advice on how to avoid plagiarism. It can be found in the ‘Medical Imaging Programme Information’ on Canvas.

The penalties for plagiarism can be severe, including losing some or all of the marks for the assignment. Major offences can be sent to the University’s Discipline Committee, where further penalties can be imposed.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter

Fitness to practise (FTP)
As health professional students, in addition to meeting the University of Auckland graduate profile capabilities, students in the Medical Imaging postgraduate programmes are required to demonstrate their fitness to practise. This applies to students at all times, whether they are on campus, on placement or elsewhere.

Fitness to practise (FTP) is concerned primarily with patient and public safety. It also is concerned with upholding professional standards, including the relevant professional code of conduct, and contributing to the maintenance of the reputation of the profession and public confidence in the profession.

For further information visit FMHS Fitness to Practise Policy (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.