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Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging (BSc)

Entry year

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.

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Course overview

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 Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. All successful 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


UCAS codeB821
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe course typically has approximately 65 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe course typically receives approximately 470 applications.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements shown are for students starting in 2019. Entry requirements for 2020 will be available in August 2019.

BBB in A levels, including one science. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted. Applicants undertaking science GCE A-levels where a separate practical endorsement is reported will require a pass in this element.

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.

BTEC Extended National Diploma BTEC Science and BTEC Health Studies - DDM.

32 points to include 6 points in a Higher Level science subject.

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

If you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.

You will require five GCSEs grade A-C or grade 8-4 including English, Maths, Physics and one other science. If you are successful in both academic and non-academic assessment you will also be invited to attend a multiple mini interview.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available for this programme. Further details are available on our NHS funding pages.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

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).

Course specific equipment

You will be required to purchase a radiographic anatomical side marker for use during your clinical placements. These must be plain markers and are available from popular online market places.


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

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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
Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology 3HC211420 credits
Diagnostic Practice 3HC211520 credits
Enhanced Practice 1HC211620 credits
Radiation Science 2HC211720 credits
Personal and Professional Development and Communication 2HC213020 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.

Learning and assessment

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




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.


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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams


Practical exams




Year 2

Written exams


Practical exams




Year 3

Written exams


Practical exams




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.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

As a School of Healthcare Sciences  97% of our graduates were in employment and/or further study six months after graduating.

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.


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


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.


Next Undergraduate Open Day

Friday 5 July




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