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Assistant Radiographic Practice (Clinical Imaging) (CertHE)

Entry year

The Assistant Practitioner programme is an in-service, full-time day-release course designed for NHS support workers who wish to develop their skills and role as a member of the radiography team.

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Course overview

Our one-year programme is the only course of its kind in South Wales and is accredited by the Society of Radiographers and is an exciting opportunity to extend your role as an NHS support worker to become an Assistant Practitioner and a valued member of the radiography team.

As a clinical imaging assistant practitioner you will be responsible for providing care for patients from new born children to the elderly, producing images to be used in the diagnosis of injury and disease. By the end of the programme you will have a thorough knowledge of the professional and clinical aspects of assistant radiographic practice in the clinical imaging environment, including an awareness of the wide range of imaging technologies in use today.

People are at the heart of our practice and the development of skills to aid your care of individuals is a central focus of the programme.  The School provides an interdisciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education. Therefore, opportunities to learn with and from other healthcare students, especially in respect of person-centred care will be part of the programme.

The Certificate in Higher Education Assistant Radiographic Practice (Clinical Imaging) programme is designed to educate practitioners for a challenging and changing career. The programme will enable you to study on a block release basis whilst still remaining in work.

Assistant practitioners perform protocol-limited tasks under the direction and supervision of a radiographer. This programme will prepare you to work in clinical imaging, but you may work in other radiographic imaging areas in accordance with the NHS Health Board’s agreed protocols.

You will receive close academic support from experienced personal tutors and be taught and supported by experienced staff whilst sharing ideas within a close-knit class.  You will also benefit from placements supported by experienced radiography placement educators while undertaking clinical practice in your employing organisation.

The programme aims to produce clinical imaging assistant practitioners who:

  • recognise the importance of knowledge and understanding to their current and future professional practice;
  • develop the skills necessary to deliver high quality care to service users;
  • integrate their academic and clinical learning effectively;

develop their knowledge and understanding within an evidence based framework. 

Distinctive features

As part of a large School based at the University Hospital of Wales, we’ll help you to enjoy an academically rich and fulfilling experience throughout your time at Cardiff University. Here are some of the key features of our programme:

  • Clinical Imaging is a very practical programme developing both theoretical and practical skills and our approach to learning combines face to face teaching with high quality online resources and practice placements.
  • Tuition fees for the UK and European Union are paid by the Welsh Government
  • The programme will enable you to study on a block release basis whilst still remaining in work.
  • Students spend a minimum of 460 hours in clinical practice, applying your skills alongside practising professionals. This will enable you to develop your confidence and skills professionally, in a real-life situation, with qualified professionals.
  • Our programme is the only course of its kind in South Wales.
  • The School provides a vibrant interdisciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education not available at many institutions.
  • Practical teaching will take place in specific diagnostic facilities including a functional diagnostic x-ray room and an image viewing suite, all supported by simulation software that you will have unlimited access to.

Applying for 2019 or 2020

UCAS codeDirect entry
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration1 years
ModeFull time

Entry requirements

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Healthcare Sciences admissions criteria pages.


Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.


At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

Any specific GCSE requirements (other than standard Grade C in English):   A minimum of five GCSEs grade A-C or grade 8-4 including English, Maths, Physics and one other science.   Applicants who have not followed a traditional or focused programme of study will be considered on individual merits. Selection or interview process: Applicants are invited to apply to be a student assistant practitioner by the employing institution.  Candidates that wish to apply for the post are interviewed by a panel consisting of both relevant academic and organisational staff. Additional Requirements To enter the programme you must be employed in a student AP or support worker position in a Radiology department. There is no minimum experience requirement. During your application to the programme you will be required to demonstrate that you meet the SCoR (2013) good health and character, fitness to practise requirements by providing a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. All successful applicants will be required to have a satisfactory health screening prior to enrolment on this programme which is conducted independently by the University’s Occupational Health Department. There will be a need to adhere to any immunisation requirements identified. Full guidance on this will be provided at application stage. Enrolment on to the course cannot take place until a satisfactory disclosure has been received from the Disclosure and Barring Service. Delay in returning the DBS form may also compromise an applicant's university accommodation options. Those who are known to be travelling overseas at the relevant time should endeavour to authorise another individual to deal with this correspondence on their behalf. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition fees are funded by the Workforce, Education and Development Services (WEDS). Students in NHS employment will continue to receive their salaries from their employer. Applicants domiciled in Wales with NHS employment as a support worker are eligible for funding.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

NHS employment is a required part of this course. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.

Additional costs

If not available from the employing organisation, applicants may be required to meet the costs of obtaining an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate if this is not already held for their employment.

Course specific equipment

To support your learning of anatomy, students are able to hire a life sized set of artificial bones modelled on human ones in a lockable storage box for the year of the programme. Skeletons will be hired between a pair of students at a cost of £30 per skeleton.

A small pocket notebook is advised for practice placement so that you can make notes during the day which will aid with reflection later.


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

The programme is modular in format and consists of academic and clinical modules.  The programme consists of 120 credits of 4 x 30 credit modules.

The academic year consists of 2 academic (16 weeks total) and 2 formal clinical blocks (14 weeks total). Student attendance at all sessions is mandatory for both academic and clinical blocks.  As employees of external HNS organisations, students have an annual leave entitlement for their respective organisation and will therefore also attend clinical practice during University holiday periods. 

The number of hours /credits for the clinical based module is, at 460, increased in comparison with the 300 hours expected for academic based modules. Completing the 460 hours enables the students to have sufficient time and experience in each of the relevant practice areas to develop the competencies required by the SCoR.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

The subjects will introduce you to the theoretical basis of diagnostic radiography practice and includes professional behaviours and practice, imaging and radiation sciences, the delivery of patient-centered care and anatomy and techniques related to the projectional imaging of the skeletal system, chest and abdomen. You will undertake extended clinical placements to aid the application of theory to practice.

Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge of other professions and underpin the multi-disciplinary teamwork that is vital in clinical practice. Opportunities to develop awareness of your own profession and that of other professionals supporting the patient journey will be introduced in year one through interprofessional education. You will work within a group of students from imaging programmes to develop your understanding of the role of the clinical imaging AP and share this as a poster with students from other programmes within the School of Healthcare Sciences.  

Module titleModule codeCredits
Professional Practice and Patient Care in RadiographyHC122330 credits
Imaging TechnologyHC122430 credits
Practice of ImagingHC122530 credits
Clinical 1HC122630 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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The programme has been designed to focus on the integrated relationship between all of the subjects and topics with a key focus on application of theory to the practice of clinical imaging in all modules.

Due to the practical nature of radiography, the programme has been purposefully structured to enable 40% of your time to be spent in clinical practice, facilitating the practical integration of theory to clinical practice.

Diverse learning and teaching methods are used throughout to reflect module content, students' developing knowledge and growing expertise. All modules have a formalised teaching and learning structure which employ a range of formal lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical skills sessions. A focus on directed self-study enables development of a student centred approach to learning.

Practical workshops utilising both the Radiography Imaging suite and imaging simulation software will help you to develop skills and consolidate your learning.

Resources will be available online and during lectures and tutorials to help you and you will be actively encouraged to seek evidence from literature to help support and inform your ideas. 

Opportunities to hear directly from service users and carers will be provided throughout your study to enable you to understand experiences from the perspective of those that have a personal insight.  This will help to develop your professional practice.

In keeping with the professional clinical environment, great emphasis is placed on working in a multi-disciplinary team. There are opportunities embedded in the programme for shared and inter-professional education and you will have the opportunity to engage with students from a range of other healthcare disciplines.

This programme offers elements of provision through the medium of Welsh if you are Welsh speaking. You will have the opportunity to have a Welsh speaking personal tutor and have your personal tutor meetings conducted through the medium of Welsh.  You can request Welsh speaking clinical placements and you will also be able to submit coursework and have feedback and submit summative assignments in Welsh.   

How will I be supported?

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your studies who you will have regular meetings with. They will provide pastoral support and academic guidance throughout the programme. In addition, you will be assigned an academic supervisor who will support you in the development of your research project.

On placement you will be supported by departmental clinical staff, practice educators and clinical lecturers. A named clinical tutor is assigned to each placement department.

Additional support will be provided by the Student Support centre for advice and guidance, financial, counselling and well-being, disability and international student support. Further support can be accessed via the Student Advice service at Student Union for independent advice on university procedures and advocacy while the Skills Development Service and the library can offer guidance and tuition for all aspects of academic and skills development.

You will have access through the Learning Central Virtual Learning Environment to relevant multimedia material including presentations, lecture handouts, lecture capture recordings of lectures, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion forums. The virtual learning environment which is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access electronic resources from anywhere. Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide Wi-Fi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated Healthcare library are available year-round. Staff are available onsite to assist students and provide support and advice.

You will have individual access to dedicated diagnostic imaging simulation software, available on any windows based device enables students to practice and undertake self or tutor directed learning tasks, as often as required for their own learning needs, in either their own or self-study time.  

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways throughout your study to make sure that you have the opportunity to learn and improve upon your formative assessments and to showcase your skills and knowledge base through different assessment methods.

The summative assessment of the programme incorporates written assignments, project work, formal unseen examinations, seen examinations, presentations, objective structured practical assessment (OSPE), practical clinical assessment and assessment of professional behaviours.

Assessment is designed to ensure that you have attained knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of assistant radiographic practice in clinical imaging. Clinical education is assessed by the use of a clinical competency portfolio and observed assessment of practical clinical skills.

Summative clinical assessments will be undertaken by either two clinical lecturers or a clinical lecturer and a practice educator.  Assessment by two experienced staff using a detailed marking outlines and criteria ensures consistency in marking across sites.

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 Feedback Studio. 

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 on your progress by mentors/clinical teachers who will provide verbal and written feedback on your clinical performance.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below and are aligned with the Society and College of Radiographers Education and Career Framework for the Radiography Workforce (2013).

Knowledge & Understanding

  • Apply the core knowledge and skills associated with safe and effective assistant radiographic practice in clinical imaging, with due regard to radiation protection, organisational assistant practitioner protocols and the ethical, social, political and legal aspects of care.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Appreciate and understand research evidence including healthcare guidelines, and apply to individuals’ needs and personal/professional experience to provide effective practice in line with clinical guidelines and protocols.

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Adhere to the role of operator within IRMER (2017 or subsequent amendments) as required within professional practice.
  • Be aware of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice and ensure the provision of patient centred care in a non-discriminatory manner.
  • Work effectively with all members of the Radiology team (Inter-professional) as well as other healthcare professionals (cross-professional boundaries).

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Demonstrate a wide range of effective communication skills, including verbal, visual and written, and adapt these skills to ensure a collaborative approach to giving and receiving of information to a diverse range of audiences.
  • Apply effective reasoning skills in the application of professional activities within the scope of practice as defined within the employing organisation.
  • In accordance with SCoR requirements, take responsibility for own lifelong learning within a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

On successful completion of this programme you will eligible to be employed as a clinical imaging assistant practitioner.  Accreditation with the SCoR is currently voluntary.


Students will undertake required clinical placement learning with a minimum number of 460 attendance hours required by all students, which will be monitored through your clinical professionalism records. Placement lengths allow students sufficient opportunity to develop the required skills but also provides some flexibility should they need to pay back hours.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.


Next Undergraduate Open Day

Saturday 26 October




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Applying for 2018 or 2019