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.

The School of Healthcare Sciences is the leading provider of education and research for Allied Health Professionals in Wales, and one of the leading Schools in the United Kingdom.

The 2012 Times Good University Guide ranked the University as joint 4th in the UK for the quality of its healthcare programmes ('Subjects Allied to Medicine') on the basis of student satisfaction, entry standards and graduate prospects. Our students also rate their experience highly: overall student satisfaction with teaching was 90% in 2011, one of the highest scores in the University.

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. You will spend much of the course – 1715 hours – on clinical placements throughout Wales, applying your skills alongside practising professionals.

The fees for students from the UK and European Union are paid by the Welsh Government - who commission around 65 trainee Diagnostic Radiographers each year - and you will also be eligible for a non means-tested bursary of £1,000 and possibly up to a further £5,000 in means-tested bursaries.

The School also provides pre-registration programmes recognised by the UK Health & Care Professions Council, in Occupational Therapy, Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy and Radiotherapy & Oncology. These professional strengths contribute to vibrant inter-disciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education that are not available at many institutions.

A wide range of post registration and postgraduate programmes are also offered, supported by a rapidly developing research profile. Substantial investment is taking place to ensure that the facilities and staff - the environment within which you will be studying – are at the forefront of the expansion of knowledge and expertise in healthcare.

Entry Requirements

Information on alternative entry requirements and our selection and interview processes can be found on our admissions criteria pages.

International students

We regret that this course is unable to accept applications for the 2016/17 intake (including deferred applications to 2017/18) from international fee-status applicants due to the association with the National Health Service (NHS) and the restrictions on funding and clinical placements.

Key facts

UCAS CodeB821
Duration3 years
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
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerBBB in GCE A-level achieved in one sitting, to include a scienceGeneral 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.
QAA subject benchmark

Diagnostic Radiography

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Mr Mansell Griffiths , Admissions Tutor

    Mrs Denise Russell , Course Administrator

      Ms Keren Williamson , Admissions Tutor

        Welsh medium provisionThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

        Diagnostic radiographers are key members of the healthcare team. They operate the wide range of imaging equipment available in modern medical practice including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, diagnostic ultrasound, radionuclide imaging and general X-ray equipment.

        They work in most areas of the hospital - on wards and in the operating theatre, as well as the radiology department - and work closely with most other members of the healthcare team. They are responsible for producing images of and caring for all types of patients from newborn children to the very elderly. They also produce reports of images they produce.

        Our Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging BSc is a full-time programme, including clinical placement combined with academic modules. Placements are in diagnostic radiography departments throughout Wales.

        The programme is validated by the Health & Care Professions Council and the Society and College of Radiographers, and leads to eligibility to apply for registration as a diagnostic radiographer with the Health & Care Professions Council.

        Year one

        Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging students will be introduced to behavioural, imaging and radiation sciences and the practice of diagnostic radiography. You will undertake extended clinical placements in this year. There is a range of academic assessment including coursework and examinations and your clinical competence is also assessed.

        Year two

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

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

        Year three

        This year you will carry out your 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.

        Module titleModule codeCredits
        Healthcare ManagementHC305310 credits
        Professional DevelopmentHC305220 credits
        Clinical Education (Diagnostic) IIIHC305540 credits
        Research PracticeHC305140 credits
        Collaboration and Team Working in Diagnostic RadiographyHC305410 credits
        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.

        The School of Healthcare Sciences has an international reputation for its education provision, rating strongly in formal audits of its programmes, as well as by the students themselves.

        The 2012 Times Good University Guide ranked the University as joint 4th in the UK for the quality of its healthcare programmes ('Subjects Allied to Medicine') on the basis of student satisfaction, entry standards and graduate prospects.

        All our programmes of study have been designed to be stimulating, flexible and relevant to the needs of a professional healthcare career. Great emphasis has been placed on the practical and clinical aspects of the programmes, all of which have been accredited by the relevant professional bodies.

        A diverse range of learning and teaching methods are used throughout the Schools Programmes, reflecting the module content students' developing knowledge and expertise. All modules have a formalised teaching and learning structure which will employ, for example, formal lectures, seminars, workshops, skills laboratories and case scenarios, as and when appropriate.

        The modular structure also includes and embraces the teaching and learning opportunities available in the clinical environment, where you will spend 1,715 hours on placement. The acquisition of knowledge and skills through the practical experience in which you engage is key to the Cardiff Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging degree.

        As in the professional environment, a greater emphasis is being placed in working in a multi-disciplinary team, and opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education – training alongside students from other disciplines – are increasingly embedded.

        Information Technology

        The School of Healthcare Sciences has a wide range of information systems and facilities available to students, designed to support your learning and development. Our virtual learning environment is accessible on a variety of desktop and mobile devices, and ensures students have access to a variety of electronic resources from anywhere in the world. In addition, onsite dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a brand-new Healthcare library are available year-round for students' use. Staff are also available onsite to assist students in getting configured and to provide support and advice.


        The School of Healthcare Sciences has recently implemented an unprecedented level of investment in new facilities and equipment, ensuring some of the best technology and modern facilities at your disposal throughout your career as a student. These include a dedicated Research Centre for Clinical Kinesiology with cutting-edge equipment, a completely refurbished radiographic imaging suite, a Virtual Environment Suite allowing for 3D simulations, brand-new dedicated occupational therapy and operating department suites, and a mould room, allowing for training and research in industry-standard environments reflecting real-world conditions.


        The School of Healthcare Sciences is committed to engagement within the community, with programmes such as 'Physios supporting athletes across all abilities', an all-Wales initiative that will give participants the chance to feed into a world-class volunteer support service provision for all international teams based in Wales prior to the 2012 Games in London, and establishing a legacy network of support for sport in Wales well beyond 2012 (and which is open to students across the School, not just those in Physiotherapy). The School has also recently launched App Iechyd Da, a mobile app highlighting the importance of the Welsh language within allied healthcare in Wales, and providing information about a variety of Welsh language-specific initiatives such as demographic trends, political directives, economic influences and useful Welsh language communication guides. Further investment in engagement is planned with the opening of a community children's play clinic as well as a physiotherapy clinic, both open to the public.

        Our graduates have the third highest job prospects of the 72 institutions in 'Subjects Allied to Medicine' in the Times Good University Guide 2012, and within 12 months 100% of our 2011 diagnostic radiography graduates had found graduate employment or gone on to further study. Employers included: NHS Trusts, private clinics, community health services, local government social service departments plus organisations such as Age Concern and the Cardiff Blues rugby team.

        We are committed to supporting the School's recent graduates in finding meaningful employment. Bespoke online and text message-based early warning systems have been established to highlight job postings, relevant courses that would strengthen CVs, advice on job applications and plenty of other useful information to help in the preparation of job applications, such as writing a personal statement and practice interview questions.


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


        3 Year(s)

        Next intake

        September 2016

        Places available

        Typical places available

        c.40 Home/EU Welsh Government funded places

        Applications received

        Typical applications received



        QAA subject benchmark

        QAA subject benchmark

        Diagnostic Radiography

        What are the aims of this Programme?

        Diagnostic radiography involves the use of ionising and non-ionising radiations to produce medically diagnostic images. The BSc in Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging has been designed to provide graduates with advanced knowledge, understanding and skills in radiographic practice. The programme provides in-depth knowledge in both academic and clinical settings and includes radiation science, anatomy, physiology, pathology and wide-ranging radiography specific skills. In addition, the students will learn about the advance role of the radiographer and be taught elements of image appreciation, image reporting, teamwork and management. The BSc offers a balanced combination of theory and practice, and also aims to develop students into competent researchers. The programme is delivered in both academic and hospital based settings and therefore graduates will have a broad spectrum of knowledge and a variety of pertinent skills, making them highly attractive to potential employers.

        This programme provides the qualification to allow eligibility for its graduates to apply for registration as a diagnostic radiographer with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for membership of the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).

        What is expected of me?

        As this is a programme which leads to a professional qualification, professional behaviour towards staff, peers and patients / service users is expected at all times in university and on clinical placement. Students will also be encouraged to consider the implications of unprofessional; behaviour when outside of the university.

        There is an expectation that all students will attend all of the sessions unless there are evidenced extenuating circumstances such as maternity leave, illness or bereavement. In these instances students are expected to liaise with their personal tutor. Students are expected to attend for all timetabled academic sessions.  Students who fail to adhere to this will be offered support in order to achieve this requirement via their personal tutor, module leaders and programme manager.  A review by Cardiff University Occupational Health Department may be required in order to identify support mechanisms to be put in place.

        Circumstances may develop when a student who has been accepted onto the programme is considered professionally unsuitable to continue his/her studies towards a qualification to practice diagnostic radiography. Each instance will be considered on its own merits, but examples of grounds for exclusion from the programme on grounds of professional unsuitability, as indicated by the Health & Care Professions Council, Society and College of Radiographers and Cardiff University are as follows. Compensation for failure in the assessment of professional suitability will not be permitted in another area.

        • Conduct that could bring into disrepute the profession of diagnostic radiography or is prejudicial to the best interests of patients and service users.
        • Theft, deliberate falsification of facts or records, as in lying, cheating, fraud or attempting to defame colleagues and or patients/service users.
        • Breaches of confidentiality, misuse of confidential material relating to a patient or service user.
        • Assault, violent behaviour or serious acts of insubordination/conduct demonstrating inappropriate emotional involvement with patients/service users.
        • Serious negligence which causes unacceptable loss, damage or puts staff or visitors at risk.
        • Misuse of equipment or materials, or deliberate damage to the educational setting or the practice placement.
        • Incapacity for work (both in university and on placement) due to alcohol or the influence of illegal drugs.
        • Involvement in offences concerning the illegal use, or possession of drugs.
        • Lack of application to work and study due to poor motivation and/or to ill-health.

        How is this Programme Structured?

        The three year full time programme is modular in format and each level of study consists of academic and clinical modules. Students are required to achieve each level of study in order to progress to the next level.

        Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

        There is no specific equipment that students will need to provide.

        What the University will provide:

        To support clinical radiography education and practice, the School has 2 practical rooms, enabling students to develop their skills using modern, high-tech clinical equipment.

        The radiography imaging suite (CURIS) is equipped with a functional computed radiography X-ray unit, a mobile X-ray machine and ultrasound equipment. Students can practice radiographic technique and utilise the equipment for research. The PACS system gives students access to a wide range of radiographic images, enabling students to develop their skills in the recognition of normal/abnormal anatomy and pathology.

        The Cochrane Building is situated on the Heath Park campus and houses one of the 16 site libraries of the Cardiff University Library Service.  Local holdings of books and journals are supplemented by the interlibrary loan service, which provides access to all Cardiff University holdings, the All Wales Healthcare Libraries journal holdings and the British Library Document Supply Centre.  In addition to the printed collection the Library Service, via the Cardiff University Library website maintains access to over 10,000 electronic journals and 200 electronic databases such as MEDLINE, CINAHL and AMED.  All libraries provide networked computing and printing facilities. Resources on the Cardiff academic computer network include word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software packages plus email and access to the internet.

        In addition to the networked computers in the Cochrane Building, there are additional University Computer Laboratories currently situated on the first floor of Tŷ Dewi Sant building – one with open access and the other dedicated to teaching.  Most of Cardiff University estate is equipped with wi-fi access.

        What skills will I practise and develop?

        Students will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.  Through the programme, the students will develop specific diagnostic radiography skills, image interpretation proficiency and the application of skills in clinical practice.  A thorough grounding in the foundation science will be given including theoretical and safety components of radiographic technology.  Students will also be able to evaluate how professional practice issues affect clinical care with the ability to synthesise theoretical perspectives to inform practice.  Additionally, workplace skills will be acquired that relate to delivery of high professional standards and good communication skills with colleagues and other professionals, effective communication skills and empathy with patients and relatives, and efficient organisational skills.

        Team-working is especially important and the programme will equip students with a variety of ways to work in and manage teams. This will include opportunities to work with other health professionals during clinical placement and during academic blocks through inter-professional learning sessions

        How will I be taught?

        Core knowledge and understanding is acquired via lectures, tutorials, demonstrations, practicals, seminars, clinical placements and guided study.  Students also participate in student centred learning using specialised student centred information packages.

        More advanced knowledge and understanding is acquired by independent study, computer aided learning, group/team work and research carried out within the field of diagnostic radiography and associated practice.  Formative testing takes place using classroom based tests or Learning Central (virtual learning environment). Intellectual skills are promoted via lectures, seminars and group discussions, tutorials and group work.  Application of these skills is developed through presentations, research assignments and case studies.

        The Modules Personal and Professional Development and Communication at Levels 4, 5 and 6 and Research at Levels 5 and 6 will be taught via a mixture of shared/inter-professional and uni-professional sessions. You will be learning and being assessed within teams of: Occupational Therapists, Diagnostic Radiographers, Therapeutic Radiographers, Physiotherapists and Operating Department Practitioners.

        Acquisition of competence in clinical skills is progressive. Students apply their skills in the clinical environment under the close supervision of clinical lecturers and clinical staff.  Tutors ensure that an acceptable level of competence is achieved before progression through each level.  Clinical education is an integral part of the curriculum and mandatory clinical hours are identified for each level of the programme.  Clinical education runs throughout levels IV to VI of the programme and allows for the transfer of knowledge and skills between academic and clinical modules.  Students undertake clinical placements in three different radiology departments across South Wales in order to gain a broad base of clinical education. 


        Transferable skills are promoted throughout all three levels of the programme via lectures, tutorials, group discussions and role play. Personal tutors provide support for Personal Development Planning through regular meetings.  Formative work is structured in all modules and students receive both individual feedback and group feedback.

        Within the School we are increasingly looking for opportunities to explore issues such as the responsibilities of a professional, communication and team-working, working together for patient safety and quality improvement on an inter-professional basis - not only by collaborating within the School but also with other Schools such as Medicine and School of Social Sciences.

        The research process is integral to the course and specific modules in level V and VI examine this area in depth.  There is opportunity to develop skills in utilising previously published material, undertaking a review of the literature and designing and carrying out aspects relating to the research process

        How will I be assessed?

        The programme assessment is designed to demonstrate that students have attained the standards required by Cardiff University for the award of a Bachelors degree with honours; to demonstrate that students have achieved the required competency required for a registered radiographer (HCPC, Standards of Proficiency, 2009) and have achieved the standards of the Society and College of Radiographers for practitioner entry into the profession.

        Knowledge and understanding is assessed summatively through unseen examinations, written assignments, case studies, practical examinations, projects, poster presentations, presentations, time structured assignments, clinical examinations and clinical assessments.

        Assessments at each level are scheduled at appropriate points within the academic year in order to meet assessment needs of students by distributing assessment submissions.

        Formative feedback is provided for formative assignments, behavioural assessment forms from clinical placements, seminars and clinical exercises. Students receive individual written feedback on all assignments.

        How will I be supported?

        Much of the general communication will take place using the virtual learning environment of Learning Central to which all students will have access. Prior to commencing the programme, students will have access to the Changing Gear website, which helps to prepare new students for academic life in the School of Healthcare Sciences.. Once studies officially commence, all handouts will be placed in Learning Central as and when required. Notifications will also be placed here and forwarded to the student University email address.

        The course team, in particular the lecturers, module leaders and administrative staff, are happy to receive queries related to both academic and clinical matters, feedback on assignment drafts and formative assessments.  For those students who have specific learning needs or require reasonable adjustments to be made to assist their studies (e.g. dyslexia, physical or mental health problems) the programme has a Disability Officer who is specifically responsible for supporting students. Students may benefit from additional help from the Student Support Officer within the University.

        What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

        Graduates from this programme will be able to:

        • recognise the importance of knowledge and understanding to their professional practice;
        • apply the skills associated with the safe and effective practice of diagnostic radiography with due regard to the ethical, social and legal aspects of care;
        • integrate their learning effectively;
        • develop their knowledge and understanding within an evidence based framework and contribute to the development of research within diagnostic radiography;
        • recognise and exploit relationships between learning in university and clinical environments;
        • transfer knowledge and understanding to situations encountered in practice;
        • consider the holistic management of patients of all ages, taking account of cultural diversity and work as a member of a multi-professional team to provide patient centred healthcare;
        • take responsibility for lifelong learning within a Continuing Professional Development framework;
        • be eligible to apply for registration as a diagnostic radiographer with the Health & Care  Professions Council.

        Other information

        As part of the clinical elective placement in the final year, students have the opportunity to identify and organise a clinical placement to a radiology department of their choice.  Students may elect to visit an overseas radiology department.

        Students will gain a certificate of competence in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

        Students will also complete the All Wales Manual Handling Passport.

        Admissions tutors

        Mr Mansell Griffiths , Admissions Tutor

          Mrs Denise Russell , Course Administrator

            Ms Keren Williamson , Admissions Tutor

              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.