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ACF programme in Clinical Radiology

Our programme has been running since 2007. The academic lead is Professor Fergus Gleeson, who is also Director at the Academic Health Science Network Imaging Network

The programme starts at ST1 and provides structured, comprehensive training over 3 years for FRCR. Progression is then post-fellowship training leading up to consultant appointments.  


The programme is heavily based on clinical radiology experience, supplemented by teaching courses and clinico-radiological conferences. Practical experience is obtained in a rotational series of sub-specialty firms, in Oxford and the wider Thames Valley. Almost all of these contain an element of general radiology.

In Year 1, ACFs learn the basics of ultrasound, CT, fluoroscopy, and plain films. Alongside these modules, there is an FRCR 1 course covering physics and anatomy. ACFs are expected to pass the FRCR 1 exam in their first year. 

In Years 2-3, ACFs undertake system-based modular training covering sub-specialty areas (e.g. GI, Chest, MSK). They take the FRCR 2A exams during this period, followed by the final FRCR 2B examination after 3 years of training.

Oxford has outstanding pass rates in all of these examinations. More details available on the Oxford School of Radiology web page.


The ACF programme is based at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. There are research facilities in the Radiology department and adjacent labs, including the doctoral training centres. A new Clinical and Research Imaging Centre opened in 2014, comprising a new 128slice PET-CT scanner and GMP radiochemistry and radiopharmacy. Help with research is provided by the BRC Imaging Research Programme Director and the Research Radiographers.

ACFs are allocated a day and a half per week for research, and meet weekly with the Academic Head of Training. We encourage them to: 

  • pursue a specific area of research interest as well as doing some research in other areas. 

In this way, our ACFs: 

  • gain a broad knowledge base and generate pilot data towards a DPhil/PhD, if applicable, and external-body funding 
  • are able decide whether they are most interested in technology-based imaging or organ-based imaging.

Each ACF has an academic supervisor and there are excellent opportunities for research in many areas:

  • Thoracic Imaging including hyperpolarized xenon
  • Oncology
  • Molecular Imaging – PET-CT, SPECT, MRI 
  • Tumour Ablative therapies – MWA, HIFU
  • MRI

There are also a variety of opportunities for interdisciplinary research as Imaging is embedded within a wide range of University departments. These include Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Medicine, Oncology, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Trauma & Orthopaedics and Surgery. These all have active research portfolios and expertise.

There are also strong links with clinical groups which provide access for research, particularly in respiratory medicine, oncology, GI surgery and neurology.  

Last reviewed: May 2015


Profiles of ACF doctors in Radiology

Dr Nassim Parvizi

Dr Mitch Chen