SON5023 - Obstetric sonography - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Michal Schneider


Mr Paul Lombardo

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Online)
  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


SON4000, SON4010.


Review of human genetics, pregnancy and human development. Scanning methods/techniques including transabdominal, transvaginal, transperineal related to sonography of the 3 trimesters of pregnancy, evaluation of ectopic pregnancy and assisted fertilisation techniques. Ethical principals re-examined in light of this medical speciality. Ultrasound of multiple pregnancies, obstetric ultrasound interventional techniques, sonographic assessment of gestational age and growth and use of ultrasound in prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies and diagnosis of foetal death in utero. Physical principles of visualising surfaces in 3D and their applications for obstetric ultrasound.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify, describe and explain fetal and placental development, circulation and anomalies;
  2. describe and explain the genetics, indications and use of ultrasound in the prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies and the application of ethics in obstetric ultrasound examinations;
  3. describe and explain appropriate sonographic imaging techniques to demonstrate normal embryonic processes and pathology visible in the first trimester, including ectopic pregnancy, normal and abnormal feto-placental anatomy;
  4. assess gestational age and growth in the second and third trimesters and growth disorders in the third trimester;
  5. implement the knowledge and interpretative skills gained in this unit to perform routine transabdominal, transvaginal and transperineal sonographic examinations involving the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters in both single and multiple pregnancies safely and to a standard and ethical conduct expected of a competent sonographer*
  6. recognise and describe placental abnormalities and foetal death, normal embryonic processes and pathology visible in the first, second and third trimesters.

    * The level of the competency obtained will be dependent on access to obstetric ultrasound clinical experience. There is provision to perform to a lower standard (advanced beginner) as many students now have limited or restricted access to ultrasound practice.


Students must be actively engaged in supervised ultrasound clinical practice in the workplace for at least three days a week (or equivalent). It is the student's responsibility to secure a supervised ultrasound clinical placement in the workplace.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Compulsory attainment of a requisite number of ultrasound examinations (Hurdle)
  • 2 x Assignments (1,500 words each) (30%)
  • Written examination (2 hours) (40%)
  • Image recognition examination (1 hour) (20%)
  • Clinical skills assessment (10%)

Requirement to obtain a pass: Students must obtain at least 50% of available marks overall and at least 50% of available marks in each of the written examination, and image recognition examination and clinical skills assessment. Hurdle requirements must be met.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study