UV–vis spectrometry is widely used in the pharmaceutical sciences for compound quantification, alone or in conjunction with separation techniques, due to most drug entities possessing a chromophore absorbing light in the range 190–800 nm. UV dissolution imaging, the scope of this review, generates spatially and temporally resolved absorbance maps by exploiting the UV absorbance of the analyte. This review aims to give an introduction to UV dissolution imaging and its use in the determination of intrinsic dissolution rates and drug release from whole dosage forms. Applications of UV imaging to non-oral formulations have started to emerge and are reviewed together with the possibility of utilizing UV imaging for physical chemical characterisation of drug substances. The benefits of imaging drug diffusion and transport processes are also discussed.