MEDS12002 - Abdominal Ultrasound

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit explores the abdomen, specifically normal and pathological ultrasound examinations. Online lectures and interactive Zoom tutorials are used to lay the foundation for this knowledge. Sonography images and scanning videos, both of normal and abnormal abdominal organs, are used to familiarise you with how things appear on ultrasound. This unit prepares you for not only MEDS12004 Sonographic Skills Development 1 where you will scan normal abdomens, but also for clinical placement, where patients' pathologies need to be detected by the sonographer. This unit will also allow you to develop the skills required to read and understand patient request forms, including what clinical tests have been done on the presenting patient, and what these tests and results are indicating in terms of areas of concern the referring doctor is looking for in the patient.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


MEDS11001 Fundamentals of Sonographic Practice



MEDS11002 Relational Anatomy and Image Recognition

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 20%
2. Online Test 30%
3. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 37.25% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 27.57% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback, unit coordinator reflection
Some students found that the difficulty level of the Assessment 1 quizzes was lower than that of the Assessment 2 Online test, and found that this disparity did not prepare them well for Assessment 2.
Assessments 1 and 2 assess different components with Assessment 1 assessing less cognitively difficult concepts such as referral information and clinical presentation. Consideration will be given to better prepare students for Assessment 2.
Action Taken
Assessment 2 was divided into two parts so students only had half the content to study for each part. Practise tests were provided for parts A and B.
Source: Unit coordinator reflection, HoC reflection
There was an unacceptable level of dishonesty noted with online assessments which caused a number of students to be reported to the Academic Integrity Unit. Consequently, most of these students failed the unit due to the findings of the investigation.
Consider additional ways to reduce and discourage possible breaches of academic integrity / collusion and ensure students are well aware of the expectations of the university.
Action Taken
Students were made aware of the expectations of the university regarding individual work and assessments. There was a reduction in academic integrity issues.
Source: Student feedback
Many students appreciated the learning resources (such as lectures, tutorials, case studies and task of the week).
Lectures and tutorials will remain in the same format for 2022. Tasks of the week will be incorporated into the quizzes to ensure more students complete them to assist with subsequent assessment items.
Action Taken
All lectures were newly recorded for 2022, and more practise questions were included in tutorials to better prepare students for assessments.
Source: Student feedback
Some students requested images similar to those used in the assessments (where multiple organs need to be described) be used in case studies.
While this was done in 2021, more multi-layered images will be included as case studies in 2022.
Action Taken
Multi-layered images were included in case studies during tutorials.
Source: Unit coordinator reflection
Available timing of tests, including for extension requests, allowed opportunities for academic misconduct to occur.
Investigate modifying timing availability of online assessments and having a separate question bank in case of last-minute extension requests. Students will continue to be informed of what constitutes academic misconduct and the potential consequences
Action Taken
Source: Unit coordinator reflection, SUTE comments
Some students' time management skills made it challenging for them to remain up to date with all weekly content and associated quizzes.
Investigate adjusting the timing of all assessments throughout the term.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE comments, unit coordinator reflection
Some students did not feel the practise test questions were as difficult as the online tests.
Practise questions will continue to include previous online test questions to ensure relevance, and online tests will be written with this in mind.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe anatomical structures and commonly encountered pathologies on sonographic images and videos of the abdomen, using appropriate anatomical and sonographic terminology
  2. Differentiate the clinical indications, sonographic appearance, and aetiology of abdominal pathologies
  3. Explain the relevance of laboratory data in relation to sonographic imaging of the abdomen
  4. Analyse clinical scenarios to provide a pathological differential diagnosis and to produce a sonographic report

The learning outcomes for this unit relate to the requirements of the Australasian Sonographer's Association Competency Standards for the Entry Level Sonographer.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Online Test
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10