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Radiotherapy and Oncology (BSc)

Entry year


Our Radiotherapy and Oncology BSc is a full-time programme, including clinical placement combined with academic modules.

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Radiotherapy equipment

Course overview

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. 

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • the course is validated by the Health and Care Professions Council and the Society and College of Radiographers;
  • you will spend much of the course – around 1,400 hours – on clinical placements throughout Wales, applying your skills alongside practising professionals;
  • as part of the clinical elective placement in the final year, you will have the opportunity to organise a clinical placement in a radiotherapy department, perhaps overseas;
  • the School provides pre-registration courses recognised by the UK Health & Care Professions Council in radiotherapy and oncology, occupational therapy, operating department practice, physiotherapy and diagnostic radiography and imaging. 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.

During the taught element of the course, you will complete the following compulsory, certified courses:

  • All Wales Manual Handling Passport
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

Accreditations

UCAS codeB824
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time

Ranked by the Complete University Guide 2019 (under Medical Technology) as one of the top two UK radiotherapy providers.

Entry requirements

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

BBB to include a science (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, PE and Geography acceptable as Science).  Please note, General Studies will not be accepted.  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. Additional Requirements 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. There will be a need to adhere to any immunisation requirements identified. Full guidance on this will be provided at application stage. Please visit Other essential requirements for the School of Healthcare Sciences  

 

 

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.

30 points, to include 6 in at least one science subject at Higher Level.

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

IELTS (academic)

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

TOEFL iBT

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.

Access to HE Diplomas must have a strong academic base rather than a practical/skills base.  Students pursuing a QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) approved science based Access to HE Diploma eg Access to Science, will be considered as long as there is sufficient Physics content in their Access course, OR they have a grade C or higher in GCSE Physics.  The AHE certificate must be issued by the AVA (Authorised Validating Agency) containing the relevant information and recognised logo. You will be required to attain a pass of 60 credits overall, to comprise a minimum of 45 credits at level 3. 27 level credits must be at distinction grade in the science elements of the Diploma and 18 level 3 credits at merit grade. This requirement is under continual review and may be subject to change. Any specific GCSE requirements (other than standard Grade C in English): You will require five GCSEs grade A-C or grade 8-4 including English or Welsh Language, Maths, Physics and one other science. Typical offers for other qualifications (inc Scottish Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate, Cambridge Pre-U, etc.): Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome, as are those who may have combinations of qualifications or other relevant work/life experience.  English language requirements are in line with HCPC guidelines. ‘Applicants whose first language is not English and who are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5’ (HCPC) IELTS (academic) At least 7.0 overall with no less than 7.0 in speaking and a minimum of 6.5 all other sub-scores TOEFL iBT At least 100 with minimum scores of 24 for writing, 22 for listening, 24 for reading and 25 for speaking Pearson Test of English (academic) 70 with 70 in speaking and no less than 62 in any of the other skills   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.   Any questions contact:  HCAREAdmissions@Cardiff.ac.uk;

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)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

No specific equipment is required.

Accommodation

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

Course structure

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.

Year one

In year one you will be introduced to radiation sciences, anatomy and physiology, radiotherapy practice and oncology and inter-professional working. You will undertake extended clinical placements. Assessment includes coursework and examinations, as well as clinical competence.

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

Year two

In year two your education will continue in professional and clinical aspects of radiotherapy and oncology. You will be introduced to the therapeutic or imaging technologies used today, and learn the basic principles of research and data analysis. Inter-professional working will continue to be strengthened.

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

Year three

In year three you will carry out your research project and complete your professional and clinical radiotherapeutic 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).

Module titleModule codeCredits
Leadership in RadiotherapyHC329720 credits
Complex Issues in RadiotherapyHC329830 credits
Research Practice in RadiotherapyHC329930 credits
Radiotherapy Practice Based Learning 3HC330040 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 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.

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 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.

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.

These include, formal unseen written examinations, electronic examinations, practical examinations, written coursework, a research article, presentations (both group and individual) and posters.  Electronic examinations make use of computers to provide access to diagrams, CT images and radiotherapy treatment plans which are explored through written examination questions.

Practice placements will be assessed through practical demonstration of skills and behaviours across each of the levels.  Throughout level 4 and 5, you will develop a clinical diary which will include, clinical goals, progress record, personal reflections, learning contracts and placement checklists.  The clinical diary will be formatively assessed throughout this time so that you can track your progress and be proactive in determining your practical learning needs.  At level 6, you will continue to develop your clinical diary but at this level, it will form part of your summative assessment for the module.

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.

Intellectual Skills:

  • 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.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • 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.
  • Leadership.
  • Resilience and adaptability.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

100% of students graduating from the BSc in Radiotherapy and Oncology went on to work and/or study six months after graduating (UNISTATS).

As a 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 help to develop confidence, abilities and employability as healthcare professionals.

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

  • Radiographer

Placements

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.

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