Why study this course
Do you have a passion for science, technology and the human body? Then why not join a programme that is ranked in the UK Top 10 under Medical Technology by the Complete University Guide 2019 and is accredited by the Society and College of Radiographers.
This full time, three-year BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy & Oncology programme will help you to develop the skills necessary to become a qualified therapeutic radiographer who is proactive and responsive to the rapidly changing landscape of clinical radiotherapy.
Therapeutic radiographers play a key role in the treatment and care of people with cancer. This challenging and rewarding profession uses high energy ionising radiations in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant disease. You will be introduced to behavioural, imaging and radiation sciences and be supported to develop a firm understanding of human anatomy, physiology and cancer as a disease process.
As a therapeutic radiographer you will work closely with doctors, medical physicists and other members of the healthcare team, to provide personal and supportive care to people of all ages, who often have a life-threatening disease. You will work closely at all stages of a person’s treatment including, pre-treatment support, planning the radiotherapy, treatment delivery and evaluation, and management of side effects and post treatment support.
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.
We offer an integrated mixture of university-based study and practice placements in the clinical setting. We work collaboratively with NHS organisations across Wales so that you are competitive in the employment market upon qualification.
You will have the opportunity to delve into an original research project representing the culmination of your three years of study. The research study aims to equip you with the necessary skills for ongoing professional development and evidence-based practice.
The programme aims to produce therapeutic radiographers who:
- are responsible, adaptable, courageous and resilient with a focus on evidence-informed practice;
- recognise the importance of knowledge, understanding and question their current and future professional practice;
- are able to transfer knowledge and skills across different learning environments with people at the heart of their practice.
- Radiotherapy and Oncology at Cardiff was in the UK top 10 under Medical Technology by The Complete University Guide 2019.
- Studying at Cardiff means that you will be following the only radiotherapy and oncology programme available in Wales.
- Radiotherapyand Oncology is a ‘hands on’ degree developing both theoretical and practical skills and our blended approach to learning combines face to face teaching with high quality online resources and practice placements.
- Practice placements are offered in radiotherapy departments across Wales, providing a range of clinical experiences and opportunities to work with linear accelerators from the two major manufacturers. This will allow you to meet the required standards for registration with the Health and Care professions Council (HCPC) and make you competitive in the employment market.
- The School provides an interdisciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and interprofessional education.
- You will have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of service user and carers experiences of their cancer journey giving you an insight into the psychosocial impacts of a cancer diagnosis.
- Practical teaching takes place in a specially designed mould room which allows the opportunity to practice and develop skills which are not always available in the practice setting.
- The use of our Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy (VERT) suite is a key component of teaching within the School and is used to provide 3-dimensional anatomy learning as well as the specific radiotherapy related facilities.
- You will have access to our Oncentra Masterplan planning system and Prosoma which enables you to develop skills in outlining and planning radiotherapy treatments from the simple to the more complex.
- There is the opportunity to work or volunteer abroad as part of your university experience.
BBB-BBC to include at least one science from Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Maths, PE, Physics, or Psychology.
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.
DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science or Medical Science. Other BTECs may be considered.
IB Diploma 31-30 or 655 at HL to include 5 in HL Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Maths, PE, Physics, or Psychology.
Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.
At least 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all subskills.
At least 100 overall with a minimum of 22 in all subskills.
At least 70 overall with a minimum of 62 in all communicative skills.
Trinity ISE II/III
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.
Four GCSEs grade C/4 including Maths and a Physical Science AND English/Welsh at grade B/6 If you are successful in both academic and non-academic assessment you may be invited to attend a multiple mini interview. It is essential that before commencing any of our undergraduate healthcare programmes, you must have obtained a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In addition, before enrolling on your programme, you will be required to complete an Occupational Health Questionnaire, attend any subsequent appointment(s), and receive all of the necessary vaccinations to undertake clinical placements safely.
UK and EU students (2020/21)
A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available to applicants from the UK. Full details, including information for applicants from the EU, are available on our NHS funding pages.
Students from outside the EU (2020/21)
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Course specific equipment
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.
This is a 3-year full time programme which consists of three levels of study. Each level is modular in format and has a mix of academic and practice-based modules. There is one practice based module within each year and the amount of time spent within practice accounts for 40% of the programme.
Modules in each level give an overall year credit value of 120 credits. At level 4 (year 1) you will study 4 x 30 credit modules; at level 5 (year 2) you will study 4 x 30 credits; at level 6 (year 3) you will study 1 x 20 credit, 2 x 30 credits and 1 x 40 credit modules. All years must be passed successfully for you to gain the award of BSc (Hons Radiotherapy & Oncology but it is only levels 5 and 6 that contribute to the overall classification of your award.
The overall duration of each level of study is determined by the number of practice-based learning weeks which varies each year. This is necessary to ensure that you have sufficient time to acquire all of the skills required to practice efficiently as a therapeutic radiographer in line with the requirements of the HCPC and future employers.
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.
Level four of the programme is designed to provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills required to begin your development as a therapeutic radiographer.
Academic modules will include professional practice, physics and radiotherapy equipment as well as the anatomy, physiology, oncology and radiotherapy management of cancer within the skin and thorax (including breast). These will be followed by a practice-based learning module.
Interprofessional learning at level four will provide opportunities for you to develop an awareness of your own profession and that of other professional groups who support the patient along their journey.
You will work within a group of students from your own programme to develop your understanding of the role of the Therapeutic Radiographer and share this as a poster with students from other programmes within the School of Healthcare Sciences.
Level five of the programme is designed to build upon the knowledge gained at level four. Academic modules will include the anatomy, physiology, oncology and radiotherapy management of cancer within the abdomen, pelvis, head and neck and central nervous system (CNS), as well as radiotherapy treatment planning.
Practice-based learning is situated throughout this level of study. All modules will focus on professional practice building on your understanding of what it means to be a therapeutic radiographer. Opportunities to work on projects with other professional disciplines within the School will be provided as part of this level of study.
Interprofessional education will provide you with opportunities to work with School of Healthcare Sciences students from other programmes developing your understanding of team working and communication within the multidisciplinary healthcare environment. Groups will be made up of students from three professions and will use enquiry-based learning to explore real life team working situations from practice.
Level six of the programme is designed to build upon the knowledge gained at level four and five. At this level, learners are expected to actively take part in class discussions sharing thoughts and ideas about complex issues related to the radiotherapy practice. Learners will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of leadership within radiotherapy and the wider NHS context.
Opportunities to develop and undertake a research project form part of this study level. All modules will focus on professional practice and opportunities to work on projects with other professional disciplines within and outside of the School will be provided.
Developing your interprofessional skills gained in year one and two you will have an opportunity to develop your own specialist area where you will be able to engage with students in the School and beyond to develop understanding of leadership, management and resilience when working within a multi-professional team.
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
The programme has been designed to reflect both theory and practice across radiotherapy. This will allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge into your practice whilst on placement.
Teaching and learning on the programme has an enquiry-based approach which aims to inspire you to learn for yourself by focusing on questions, problems or scenarios to help you gain knowledge to tackle problems in the real world. You will be provided with relevant case studies that will be used to develop knowledge of specific cancer types.
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.
Practical workshops in the virtual environment for radiotherapy (VERT) suite, the treatment planning suite, mould room and the kilovoltage treatment room will help you to develop skills and consolidate your learning
Opportunities to hear directly from service users and carers will be provided throughout your study to enable you to understand what it is like to experience cancer from the perspective of those that have a personal insight. This will help to develop your professional practice.
Interprofessional education will run throughout the three years of the programme. At level 4, the focus of this will be on developing your ideas of what it means to be a therapeutic radiographer, in conjunction with other members of your class. As you progress through the programme, interprofessional education will grow to include working with groups of other healthcare professional disciplines within and outside of the School of Healthcare Sciences allowing you to gain a greater understanding of a person’s journey along their cancer care pathway.
Tutorials will help to apply theory to the practical setting and practice placements will further provide opportunities for observation and interactive development of your theoretical skills in a real environment.
This programme offers elements of provision through the medium of 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. When you are out on placement you will be supported by a clinical lecturer and mentors from our qualified staff group.
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 onsite to assist students and provide support and advice.
The School of Healthcare Sciences has access to a range of radiotherapy facilities to help support your learning. These include a Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy (VERT) suite, a mould room, a treatment planning suite and access to a kilovoltage treatment unit.
You will have access through the Learning Central Virtual Learning Environments to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, recording of you lectures through lecture capture, 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 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 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?
Knowledge & Understanding of:
- anatomy, physiology and pathology and how this impacts on the planning and delivery of radiotherapy in practice;
- how radiations interacts with matter and the effects of this on the human body;
- cancer as a disease process;
- the incidence and prevalence of cancer in the UK (and across the world) and how this shapes the provision of care;
- the wider context of oncology and management of patients with cancer;
- imaging technologies within the radiotherapy process;
- the range of treatment modalities available and when each might be utilised;
- the psychosocial dimensions of caring for patients and their families during the radiotherapy process and beyond;
- professionalism and how this shapes therapeutic radiography practice;
- professional and regulatory guidelines.
- Problem solving skills
- Research skills
- Decision making skills
- Ability to analyse, evaluate and apply evidence-based practice
Professional Practical Skills:
- The ability to work as an autonomous professional exercising your own professional judgements within the scope of practice in accordance with the HCPC standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (2016).
- A holistic approach to service delivery, which includes working in partnership with the service user when delivering their individual care plan.
- Analyse, select, adapt and use appropriate techniques and imaging practices to treat service users accurately and effectively.
- Adaptability to the changing role, responsibilities, working practices and environments of therapeutic radiography provision and demonstrate leadership and innovation in service user care.
- Effective team working with all members of the multiprofessional team involved in a service users care.
- A wide range of effective communication skills, including verbal, visual and written, using a critical approach to adapt these skills to ensure a collaborative approach to giving and receiving of information to a diverse range of audiences.
- Critical thinking and reasoning skills in the application of professional activities.
- Your ability to take responsibility for your own lifelong learning within a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework in conjunction with HCPC requirements.
- Collaborative working.
- Critical reflection to inform practice.
- Resilience and adaptability.
Careers and placements
Our courses offer a considerable amount of time on practical learning opportunities which help to develop confidence, clinical skills and employability as healthcare professionals.
That's why in 2019 100% of our students graduating from the BSc in Radiotherapy and Oncology went on to work and/or study six months after graduating* (*UNISTATS 2019).
Employers can include various Health Boards and NHS Trusts, international health services and higher education institutions.
Students will undertake practice-based learning in all three years of the programme and will be required to fulfil this in radiotherapy departments across Wales. This means that in any given year you will be expected to undertake practice-based learning at two or more centres with departments currently located in Cardiff, North Wales and Swansea. The number of practice-based learning weeks varies throughout the programme and you will be expected to attend for 35 hours per week allocated. This timing allows students sufficient opportunity to develop the required skills with some flexibility should they need to pay back hours.
In years 2 and 3 of the programme, students will have the opportunity, should they wish, to undertake elective placements abroad, to develop their knowledge and understanding of radiotherapy practice internationally. These placements are negotiated and arranged by the individual student with help and advice provided by relevant university staff. All placements will be subject to the University’s Placement Risk Assessment processes.