Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging (BSc)

Validated by the Radiography Board of the Health & Care Professions Council and the Society & College of Radiographers, the BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging degree offers excellent career opportunities.

Radiographers training with body

The BSc Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging course aims to provide you with advanced knowledge, understanding and skills in radiographic practice. It is taught in academic and clinical settings and incorporates the specific skills of radiation science, anatomy, physiology, pathology and radiography.

Diagnostic radiography involves using ionising and non-ionising radiations to produce medically diagnostic images. You will learn about the role of the radiographer and elements of image appreciation, image reporting, teamwork and management.

Much of the course is spent on clinical placements throughout Wales, applying skills alongside practising professionals. Our balanced combination of theory and practice aims to develop you into competent researchers, giving you a diverse skill set which is highly attractive to potential employers.

Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration as a diagnostic radiographer with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and for membership of the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).

During your application to the course you will be required to demonstrate that you meet the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) good health and character, fitness to practise requirements. This will be achieved by providing a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. All applicants will be required to have a satisfactory health screening prior to enrolment on this course, which is conducted independently by the University’s Occupational Health Department. Full guidance on this is provided at application stage.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: We regret that this course is unable to accept applications from international fee-status applicants because of its association with the National Health Service (NHS) and the restrictions on funding and clinical placements.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • validation by the Radiography Board of the Health and Care Professions Council and the Society and College of Radiographers;
  • spending much of the course – more than 1,700 hours – on clinical placements throughout Wales, applying your skills alongside practising professionals;
  • as part of the clinical elective placement in the second and final year, you will have the opportunity to organise a clinical placement in a radiology department, perhaps overseas;
  • the School provides pre-registration courses recognised by the UK Health and Care Professions Council in occupational therapy, operating department practice, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography and imaging and radiotherapy and oncology. It also provides pre-registration courses in nursing and midwifery. This contributes to a vibrant interdisciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education not available at many institutions;
  • fees for students from the UK and European Union are paid by the Welsh Government – who commission around 72 trainee Diagnostic Radiographers each year;
  • during the taught element of the course, you will complete the following compulsory, certified courses:
    • all Wales Manual Handling Passport
    • cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

By sharing their love for radiotherapy, the lecturers from Cardiff encouraged us to like the subject and eventually fall in love with it."

BSc Radiography (University of Malta) Graduate

Key facts

UCAS CodeB821
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
AccreditationsSociety and College of Radiographers (SCoR)
Health Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Typical places availableThe course typically has approximately 65 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe course typically receives approximately 470 applications.
Typical A level offerBBB in GCE A-level achieved in one sitting, to include a science subject. General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship are not acceptable at GCE AS or A-level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding the Science A-level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer28 points and at least one science subject must be offered at Higher Level grade 6. In addition, English, Maths, Physics plus one other science subject must be offered at Subsidiary or GCSE level.
Other qualificationsConsideration will be given to any degree at 2:2 or higher. Please find here further information about alternative entry requirements for this degree programme. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

The course lasts for three years with two semesters per year. All taught modules are compulsory, adding up to 120 credits per year, 360 credits in all. More than 1,700 hours will be spent on placement.

You must pass all modules and assessments.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

In year one you will be introduced to behavioural, imaging and radiation sciences, and the practice of diagnostic radiography. You will undertake extended clinical placements, with assessment including coursework, examinations and clinical competence.

The taught modules in year one total 120 credits. All are core (compulsory).

Year two

In year two you will continue your education in the professional and clinical aspects of diagnostic radiography. You will be introduced to the wide range of imaging technologies in use today and learn the basic principles of research and data analysis.

The taught modules in year two total 120 credits. All are core (compulsory)

Module titleModule codeCredits
Enhanced Practice 1HC211620 credits
Personal and Professional Development and Communication 2HC213020 credits
Radiation Science 2HC211720 credits
Diagostic Practice 3HC211520 credits
Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology 3HC211420 credits
Research 1HC213120 credits

Year three

In year three you will carry out a research project and complete your professional and clinical radiographic education. In addition to the normal academic and clinical assessments your project work will contribute to your final degree award.

The taught modules in year three total 120 credits. All are core (compulsory).

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Cardiff University’s School of Healthcare Sciences is committed to developing knowledge which directly improves health outcomes and health care for patients. Top-quality teaching relies on academic and clinical expertise of lecturers and visiting clinicians.

Lectures, tutorials, workshops, simulations, seminar style discussions, online discussions, presentations and specific group work will all feature as part of your degree.

Teaching and learning is based upon three main principles:

  • blended learning across the curriculum;
  • vibrant learning experiences to develop a culture of independent learning;
  • inter-professional learning which fosters team working and understanding between fields of practice.

A number of modules will be taught via a mixture of shared/inter-professional and uni-professional sessions. You will learn alongside other diagnostic radiographers, therapeutic radiographers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, midwives and operating department practitioners.

Acquiring knowledge and skills through practical experience in a clinical environment is key to the course. This is fundamentally aligned to theory throughout to encourage transferable flexible skills.

How will I be supported?

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to provide pastoral support and your academic supervisor to provide academic guidance.

Our virtual learning environment is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access electronic resources from anywhere. Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated healthcare library are available year-round. Staff are available on site to assist students and provide support and advice.

The School of Healthcare Sciences has recently invested in new facilities and equipment, including a dedicated research centre for clinical kinesiology, a completely refurbished radiographic imaging suite, a virtual environment suite for 3D simulations and dedicated occupational therapy and operating department suites.

The radiography imaging suite (CURIS) is equipped with a computed radiography X-ray unit, a mobile X-ray machine and ultrasound equipment. You can practise radiographic technique and use the equipment for research. The PACS system gives you access to a wide range of radiographic images, the development of skills in recognising normal/abnormal anatomy and pathology.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, video clips, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We will provide you with feedback on your work in a variety of formats. These will include oral feedback during tutorials, feedback provided during lectures, written feedback provided through online module discussion forums, and electronic written feedback on assessed coursework through GradeMark. You will be provided with summary written feedback in relation to examinations and you can discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.  During clinical placements you will be supported in your progress by mentors/clinical teachers who will provide verbal and written feedback on your clinical competency.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is designed to demonstrate that you have achieved the required competency required for a registered radiographer (HCPC, Standards of Proficiency, 2009) and achieved the standards of the Society and College of Radiographers for practitioner entry into the profession.

Knowledge and understanding is assessed through theory examinations, written assignments, practical examinations, projects, presentations, clinical examinations and clinical assessments.

NOTE: The University welcomes applications from disabled students and we may be able to offer alternative assessment methods. However, this may not always be possible where competence standards may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments. You should refer to the module descriptions for details.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

You will develop specific diagnostic radiography skills, image interpretation proficiency and the application of skills in clinical practice.

Thorough grounding in the foundation science will be given, including theoretical and safety components of diagnostic technology.

You will be able to evaluate how professional practice issues affect clinical care and synthesise theoretical perspectives to inform practice.

Workplace skills will relate to the delivery of high professional standards and good communication skills with colleagues, patients and relatives.

You should be well equipped to work in and manage teams, thanks to work with other health professionals during clinical placement and during academic blocks through inter-professional learning sessions.

95% of students graduating from the BSc in Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging went on to work and/or further study six months after graduating (UNISTATS).

Within the School of Healthcare Sciences 97% of our graduates were in employment and/or further study six months after graduating*. Our courses offer a considerable amount of time on practical learning opportunities which helps develop confidence, abilities and employability as a healthcare professional.

Employers can include: various Health Boards and NHS Trusts, Community Health Services, local government social service departments, international health services, higher education institutions and organisations such as Age Concern and the Cardiff Blues rugby team.

Career destinations can include: advanced nurse practitioner, health visitor, lecturer, midwife, nurse, operating department practitioner, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, radiographer, research nurse and ward manager.

*Graduate destinations statistics are based on HESA Destination of Leavers of Higher Education 2013/14 data.

Jobs

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Therapeutic Radiographer
  • Operating Department Practitioner

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

The places on this course are funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. The bursary will cover the tuition fees. Students must meet specific funding criteria before being eligible for admission. For more information please see our NHS funding pages.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

An NHS placement is a required part of this course. The NHS only makes placements available to students who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.

Additional costs

Applicants are required to meet the costs of obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate.

Applicants are advised that while you may be entitled to be reimbursed for some of the costs you incur whilst attending practice placements, you will be required to cover the initial costs for later reimbursement. This may include both accommodation and travel costs (if they are in excess of your normal daily travel costs to your University base).

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is required.

Clinical Practice opportunities provide you with the opportunity to learn in hospital settings. You will undertake clinical placements in three different radiology departments across South Wales in order to gain a broad base of clinical education.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.