Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Clinical Medicine > Postgraduate > MSc in Cardiology



Course Title Cardiology (M.Sc.)
Qualification MSc.
Duration Two years (Part-time)
Next Intake October 2019

This course is under review and not accepting applications
The course is aimed at physicians who are undertaking specialist training in Cardiology.

This course is run jointly between the Faculty of Health Science, Trinity College School of Medicine and the Department of Cardiology St. James's Hospital Dublin.

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Anthony Ryan
Postgraduate Office Telephone: +353 1 896 3556

Course Objectives

This course is a part time course over two years and designed to provide a high level of postgraduate training for doctors wishing to become trained in non-invasive and invasive cardiology. It consists of lectures, clinically supervised practical procedures, workshops and seminars and a research project or dissertation.

The course provides a comprehensive theoretical basis and core knowledge of  cardiovascular physiology and pathobiology as a foundation for advanced development in subspecialty cardiology. Students will be guided through a structured approach to acquiring comprehensive experience and technical skills in relevant cardiological investgations and procedures and will be enabled to complete a dissertation demonstrating  a critical understanding and application of research methodology pertinent to cardiology

Learning Outcomes

Programme Learning Outcomes for MSc in Cardiology

On successful completion of the MSc, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive background theoretical knowledge, including physiology, biochemistry and anatomy, of the cardiovascular system in health and disease
  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the epidemiology, clinical manifestations and treatment options both pharmacological and non pharmacological for common and less common cardiovascular conditions.
  • Outline the physics and safety principles underlying specific cardiac investigative technologies including electrocardiography, ultrasonography, radionuclide imaging, MRI, CT and angiography.
  • Read, interpret and advise appropriate management based on cardiac investigations including electrocardiograms (resting, exercise and ambulatory ECG’s), non invasive electrophysiological investigations, echocardiography and cardiac catheterisation.
  • Demonstrate the technical skills necessary to perform diagnostic quality echocardiography and interpret transthoracic and transoesophageal echo studies 
  • Demonstrate competency in performing basic level invasive cardiac catheterisation
  • Apply evidence based medicine to clinical practice scenarios and critically appraise the medical literature
  • Design and conduct and write a report on a research study pertinent to the MSc in Cardiology.

Teaching and Learning Strategies – Module Learning Outcomes

Module 1

Basic Sciences and Clinical Cardiology (including Research methodology)

ECTS: 25 credits

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this Module, the student will be able to

  • Describe basic cardiovascular physiology at organ and cellular level. Outline the physiological measurements of clinical use in acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions, limitations in their measurement and how they can impact on prognosis and management.
  • Outline the pathophysiological basis of atherosclerotic coronary disease including the inflammatory hypothesis of arterial disease.
  • Describe the pathophysiology, including serum markers, of myocardial ischaemia and infarction, the subsequent complications of infarction and identify the diagnostic tools available to determine the timing and consequences of infarction and associated prognosis
  • Describe the epidemiology of atherosclerosis, coronary and cerebrovascular disease and explain the changes in epidemiology which have occurred over the past 50 years in industrialised nations.
  • Identify the targets for preventative strategies to combat cardiovascular disease and discuss the merits of population level interventions as well as individual lifestyle and pharmacological interventions
  • Outline the biochemistry and physiology of lipid and glucose metabolism and hypertension. Using this knowledge explain the mechanisms of action of lipid lowering drug therapy, diabetic agents and hypertensive agents and summarise the major clinical outcomes research which underpins pharmacological interventions for hyperlipidaemia and hypertension.
  • Describe the involvement of the heart in systemic disease
  • Describe the pharmacology of acute coronary syndromes, chronic coronary disease, anti arrhythmics  and heart failure therapy.
  •  Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and embryology of  the heart , in particular the relation of normal anatomy to surface markings and the implications of embryological development to congenital heart diseases
  • Describe the genetics of cardiovascular disease as pertains to the polygenic forms of cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis right through to single gene defects with particular reference to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, LQTS,  ARVD, CPVT, the muscular dystrophies and Anderson fabry’s disease.
  •  Categorise the various forms of cardiomyopathy dilated, restrictive, constrictive, ischaemic and explain the rationale for pharmacological treatments tailored to aetiology
  •  Describe the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentations and treatment of endocarditis, myocarditis and pericarditis.
  •  Compare the currently available treatment modalities for the management of coronary artery disease, optimal medical therapy, surgical revascularisation or percutaneous intervention in light of recent
  • Describe cardiogenic and neurocardiogenic causes of syncope, and outline how they are investigated and treated.
  • Describe the clinical features, complications of and treatment of atrial fibrillation including stroke prevention.
  • Describe the surgical techniques available for valve repair and replacement, and the indications for repair or replacement in aortic or mitral valve disease. Compare the existing data on surgical techniques with data emerging on newer percutaneous techniques for the management of structural heart disease.

Module 2

Research Methodology


Specific Learning Objectives

The aims of this module are to provide students with an in depth knowledge of the methodology employed in Research and to apply the information gained to the critical appraisal of research.  Overall the aim of this module is enable the student to carry out successful research in a particular field, through (a) the review, synthesis, and evaluation of literature, (b) the planning  and implementation of a research project, (c) the efficient and correct analysis of data,  (d) the production of a research report

On successful completion of  the module the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the ethical implications of biomedical research
  • Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative research
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of various research designs
  • Justify the use of various research designs.
  • Synthesise and evaluate  published research
  • Formulate a research question
  • Instigate a research plan.
  • Implement a research project
  • Statistically analyse data effectively and efficiently
  • Analyse the findings and methodology employed.

Module 3

Non Invasive Cardiology

ECTS: 15 credits

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Module, the student will be able to:

  • Define commonly used physical descriptors of medical images and medical image quality.
  • Describe the basic technology of ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems and relate these physical phenomena to the process of image formation and image contrast in echocardiographic imaging and MRI
  • Describe the process of image formation in, and the basic technology of a range of medical imaging modalities including also CT and Gamma Cameras with particular application to cardiac imaging
  • Use echocardiography to evaluate left and right ventricular function and valvular pathology with particular reference to identifying criteria for surgical intervention
  • Demonstrate competence in acquiring and interpreting echocarcardiographic images
  • Compare and contrast cardiac MR, CT nuclear cardiology techniques and echocardiography as diagnostic tools. Evaluate the currently available cost effectiveness data supporting the use of different modalities in different clinical scenarios.

Module 4

Principles of Diagnostic and Invasive Cardiology

ECTS: 5 credits

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this Module, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the physics of X-ray generation and the technology used in medical X-ray generation.
  • Relate the interactions of ionising radiation with tissue in commonly used imaging modalities to the resulting images features including contrast, scatter and resolution.
  • Describe the radiation safety safeguards observed in the cardiac catheterisation lab and the factors to be considered in using fluoro and digital X ray equipment.
  • Describe the physiological basis and clinical indications for intracardiac measurement of FFR, Doppler coronary Flow rates and intravascular ultrasound.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the indications, potential complications and management for Intra-aortic Balloon pumps
  • Discuss the factors to be considered when undertaking percutanous interventions for more unusual structural indications including LAA occlusion, ASD, VSD  or PFO closure, or TAVI

Module 5

Advanced Diagnostic and Invasive Cardiology

ECTS: 5 credits

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Module, the student will be able to:

  • Observe aseptic technique in preparing for invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Gain femoral or radial arterial access for the purpose of diagnostic coronary angiography
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the available equipment including different catheters and sheaths to facilitate direct coronary cannulation
  • Perform coronary angiography under supervision, and interpret the images obtained appropriately in the context of clinical presentation.

Module 6

Pacing and electrophysiology

ECTS: 10 credits

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Module, the student will be able to:

  • Identify indications for cardiac pacing based on international guidelines
  • Recognise common problems post pacemaker insertion including pacemaker syndrome, pacemaker mediated tachycardia, lead dislodgement 
  • Interpret pacemaker interrogation at pacing checks and identify indications to repostion, replace or otherwise modify pacemaker settings
  • Identify indications for ICD and biventricular pacemaker implantation based in international guidelines
  • Interpret ICD interrogation at pacing checks and troubleshoot commonly encountered problems  through modifying ICD/ pacemaker settings
  • Demonstrate awareness of the factors important in optimising cardiac efficiency in biventricular pacing.
  • Recognise common and life-threatening arrhythmias on ECG including and demonstrate knowledge of appropriate treatment
  • Identify the indications for electrophysiological studies +/- ablation in cases of SVT.

Module 7

Research Project

ECTS: 30 credits

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Module, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and practical proficiency in selected experimental methodologies used to answer research questions in the biomedical sciences.
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate published information and present it in written format.
  • Apply an empirical approach to problem solving.
  • To present and critically evaluate their work in written format and discuss in the context of current published work on the topic.
  • Recognise the value of scientific enquiry and demonstrate an understanding of the ethical responsibility of scientists.
  • Show proficiency in searching literature databases and analysis and presentation of data.

Course Timetable

Monthly Lecture Series during term time. Duration 3-4 hour sessions.
Bi annual study days in both years

  • advanced intervention /PCI day:  One day lecture series and live case demonstrations with national and international faculty
  • Advanced imaging : one day workshop including wet lab, echo simulator use, intra operative echo and lectures from internal and international faculty

Attendance at lectures and study days is mandatory.

Programme Structure


The students must achieve an overall pass mark to graduate.

The course will be assessed in seven  modules broken down as follows:

  • Basic Sciences & Clinical Cardiology,
  • Research Methodology
  • Non-Invasive Cardiology,
  • Principles of Diagnostic and Invasive Cardiology,
  • Advanced Diagnostic and Invasive Cardiology,
  • Pacing and Electrophysiology
  • Research Dissertation.

A dissertation relevant to the MSc in Cardiology must be submitted, and will be assessed by an External examiner. The dissertation must establish that a significant piece of research has been performed and reported to an acceptable standard, i.e. suitable for publication in an established, peer-reviewed journal.

Students must achieve a pass mark in both course- work (assessed though written examination, logbook submission and supervisors report)  and in their Dissertation in order for the MSc to be awarded.

Compensation between modules may be possible in the written examinations. Repeat examinations are held in August of each year.   
Successful completion of the course work, but not the dissertation, will result in failure.

Internal and external examiners appointed by the School of Medicine, Trinity College, assess all components of the course.

Core Track  ECTS Assessment Method
Basic Sciences & Clinical Cardiology  20 MCQ Exammination
Introduction to Research and Research Methodolgy 5 MCQ Exammination
Non-Invasive Cardiology  15  Written Exam:
Essay Paper
Data Interpretation
Logbook ( Echo & Clinical)
Supervisor Assessment 
Principles of Diagnostic & Invasive Cardiology 5 Written Exam/MCQ
Essay Paper
Data Interpretation
Logbook ( Echo & Clinical)
Supervisor Assessment 
Advanced Diagnostic and Invasive Cardiology 5 Written Exam MCQ:
Essay Paper
Data Interpretation
Logbook ( Echo & Clinical)
Supervisor Assessment 
Pacing & Electrophysiology 10  Written Exam:
Essay Paper
Data Interpretation
Dissertation   30 Dissertation

Core pass requirements:
 >=50% on the MCQ
>=50% in written paper year 2 (combination of essays and data interpretation)
>=50% on Logbook /supervisor assessment
>=50% on dissertation

The final mark will be weighted as follows

MCQ year 1     15%
Data interpretation  15%
Essay paper   10%
Logbook/supervisor assessment
- non-invasive
- invasive

Dissertation  30%

Facilities and Equipment

PCI Live Course One day lecture series and live case demonstrations with national and international faculty interactive panel discussion and attendee participation  in question and answers.

TOE Course
Wet Lab facilities
Dissection facilities for mitral and aortic valve assessment
Access to TOE Simulator
Access to Echo Simulator

Standard Multimedia Lecture facilities

Practical experience in cardiac catheterisation may be arranged on site at St James’s Hospital subject to agreement with the course director and course committee

How to Apply

Applications for this course should be made ONLINE
For further information:
T: +353 1 896 3556


All candidates applying for a place will have completed the degree of MB or MD depending on the country of origin. The degree of M.R.C.P.I. or equivalent is essential.
Previous experience of the health care systems in Ireland or U.K. would be an advantage.

Candidates also need to be in a Cardiology registrar position for the duration of the course to have supervised experience of practical procedures.


See the Academic Registry website for up-to-date fees information:


Class 2009/ 2011
Dr Muhammad Munawar Jamshaid
Dr Asim Riaz
Dr Hafiz Hussein
Dr John Groarke
Dr David Burke

Class 2007/ 2009
Dr Abdelhafeez Nabeel
Dr Munir Ibrahim
Dr Ghulam Mustafa
Dr Monkgogi Goepamang
Dr Osama Gasimmalla
Dr Usama Boles
Dr Ijaz Khan
Dr Elsadig Saeed
Dr Abubakr Khalil

Class 2002/2004
Dr. Yousif
Dr. El-Agnaf
Dr. Hayat
Dr. Geili Abdalla
Dr. Magbul Mohamed
Dr. Iftikhar Khan
Dr. Salih

Class 1999/2001
Dr. John Cosgrave
Dr. Andrew Maree
Dr. Caroline Daly
Dr. Ronan Curtin
Dr. Deirdre Ward

Contact Details

Further information may also be obtained from

Course Director

Professor Anthony Ryan