Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After completing this course, the student is able to

1. explain the classical nuclear magnetic resonance phenomenon and its use in MRI,
2. describe the imaging parameters and imaging sequence elements and explain their use in forming an image,
3. explain the principles of spatial frequency space, Fourier imaging, and their use in MRI,
4. explain how the properties of the image can be influenced.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 12.01.2021 - 13.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Lauri Palva, Simo Särkkä

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Lauri Palva, Simo Särkkä

Contact information for the course (valid 19.12.2020-21.12.2112):

The main lecturer/organizers are Prof. Simo Särkkä ( and Lecturer Lauri Palva (

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Basics of MRI physics, image formation, and reconstruction

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The contents of the course include overview of MRI, physical principles of spins and magnetization, the theory and use of rotating frame and Bloch equations, signal detection concepts, spatially varying fields and echoes, and basics of Fourier imaging in single and multiple dimensions.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Examination and exercises

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The evaluation is based on a combination the exam, mandatory project works, and exercises.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    24 h contact teaching, 109 h independent studies

  • Applies in this implementation:

    • Contact: 10 * 2h class sessions, 1h kick-off, 3h examination
    • Independent: 10 * 4h class and examination preparation, 8 * 4h + 8h exercises, 29h project work


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Robert W. Brown, Y.-C. Norman Cheng, E. Mark Haacke, Michael R. Thompson, Ramesh Venkatesan, "Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Physical Principles and Sequence Design", 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2014.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The main course book is

    • Robert W. Brown, Y.-C. Norman Cheng, E. Mark Haacke, Michael R. Thompson, Ramesh Venkatesan, "Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Physical Principles and Sequence Design", 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2014.

    which is available as an e-book via Aalto University library ( The following books are also useful on the course, but the exercises will be taken from Brown's book:

    • Zhi-Pei Liang, Paul C. Lauterbur, "Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Signal Processing Perspective", Wiley-IEEE, 1999
    • Donald W. McRobbie, Elizabeth A. Moore, Martin J. Graves, Martin R. Prince, "MRI from Picture to Proton", 2nd Edition, 2007

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Basic mathematics and physics courses

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    3 Good Health and Well-being


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course consists of weekly learning packages which are to be studied and learned by the students independently. The learning objectives for each week are listed in Materials section along with pointers to book chapters, electronic materials, and summary videos containing the information. Quizzes and home work exercises, that are discussed during the weekly contact sessions, are used to monitor the learning. Additionally, there are compulsory project works and an examination.