BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography

Accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and approved by the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR). Over 90% overall course satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey*.

Course details

UCAS Course code B821

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If you want to study Diagnostic Radiography, our state-of-the-art imaging equipment and contemporary curriculum make us your perfect choice! We have specialist clinical skills labs (replicating a hospital X-ray department) that simulate the working conditions perfectly so that you have the necessary experience to stand out from your competitors in the job market. *Our programmes also scored 95% (Fusehill Street campus, Carlisle) and 91% (Lancaster campus) for overall course satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).

We provide a friendly and informal yet highly professional environment in which to learn. About half of your studies will be undertaken in a partner clinical centre, giving you real life experience to enhance your education. Our reputation for high-level engagement is well-founded in the support we give our students, so you can be sure of getting the skills you need to move into the medical imaging field.

2017 Entry

From 2017 the government will cease to provide bursaries for undergraduate NHS courses. Students will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant. This information is based on the understanding provided by The Council of Deans for Health and may be subject to change as further details are released by the government.

How we can support you

If you enrol onto an undergraduate NHS programme in 2017, we’ll cover the costs of your:

  • Uniform
  • DBS check**
  • Occupational Health check
  • Travel costs for placements of up to £300 each year

This is in addition to any government support agreed.

**Paid on successful enrolment onto course

You will study in a friendly, informal, yet professional environment and as approximately 50% of the course is undertaken in a partner clinical centre, your professionalism and interpersonal approach will need to excel. We also offer many postgraduate options for further study in the medical imaging field and have a reputation for high-level engagement in a specialist international research environment.

The first year has been designed to enable you to succeed, even if your previous knowledge of a particular subject area is limited (for example, physical science). It gives you a broad foundation of knowledge on which to build in subsequent years. In year one, the course is practical in focus and fully utilises the university digital imaging skills labs to help you to make the links between theoretical and clinical aspects of medical imaging.

On completion of the course you are eligible to apply for registration as a fully qualified radiographer with the Health and Care Professions Council and the Society and College of Radiographers. Our graduates have a reputation for clinical excellence, and many find jobs in this region. After a period of post-qualifying experience, some students choose to work abroad, in Australia and New Zealand, for example.

All our placements offer the full range of clinical facilities, including general radiography, ultrasound, computerised tomography, radionuclide (gamma camera) imaging and magnetic resonance imaging. You spend most of your time in one clinical department to encourage you to develop your competence rather than constantly learning a new set of hospital procedures. A high percentage of the course assessment is directly related to practical experience.

Teaching staff include: Charles Sloane, Tim Donovan, Craig Anderson, Gareth Bolton, Lisa Booth, Dean Harris, Phil Harris, Ken Holmes, Gail Jefferson, Iain Macdonald, Chris Marquis, Julie Mawson, Rachel Newcombe, Steven Patefield, Peter Phillips, Shelley Smart. Specialist staff from clinical practice settings will also contribute to the programme.


Year one

  • Fundamentals of Professional Practice
  • Developing Professional Graduate Skills for Health and Social Care Practitioners
  • Body Systems and Disease Processes 1
  • Understanding Radiation and Radiation Protection
  • Principles of Medical Imaging
  • Clinical Radiography 1
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit

Year two

  • Using Evidence to Support Practice
  • Body Systems and Disease Processes 2
  • Body Systems and Disease Processes 3
  • Radiographic Technology and Digital Imaging
  • Applied Human Sciences for Medical Imaging
  • Clinical Radiography 2
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit

Year three

  • Professional Practice in Context
  • Evaluating and Interpreting Medical Images
  • Integrating Technology with Clinical Practice
  • Clinical Radiography 3
  • Dissertation
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit

Programme specification

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table

128 tariff points from maximum of 3 A Levels, to include A-Level in Science or Psychology at grade B (40 points) or above. Also to include  evidence of study at GCSE level, achieving Grade C and above, and evidence of ability in written English Language, Mathematics and Science

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

Entry requirements are as flexible as possible in line with Equal Opportunities legislation and the underpinning philosophy to achieve inclusivity and diversity, and as stipulated by University of Cumbria regulations.

Applicants should as a minimum

  1. Provide evidence of study at GCSE level, achieving a minimum of 5 Grade Cs or above, and evidence of ability in written English Language, Mathematics and Science
  2. Have within the last 5 years achieved Level 3 (A-level or equivalent) qualifications in one of the options outlined below:

    • 128 tariff points from maximum of 3 A-levels, to include A-level in a Science subject or Psychology with minimum of 40 points.
    • 128 points from 2 A-levels and maximum of 2 A/S qualifications from 4 separate subjects to include 40 points in an A-level Science subject or Psychology.
    • BTEC: 144 points from Extended Diploma in Science or Health-related subjects: (to include at least 60 credits in a science or psychology based subject). Applicants are encouraged to take the optional unit in Medical Physics Applications if possible.
    • Scottish Highers: 128 points from a maximum 4 Scottish Highers to include a science subject or Psychology.
    • Irish Leaving Cert: 128 points from a maximum 4 Highers to include at least 30 points from a science subject or psychology.
    • International Baccalaureate: 128 points from maximum of 4 Higher subjects to include 48 points in a science subject or psychology
    • Access to HE Certificate relating to Science or Psychology: Achieve 60 credits to include 45 level 3graded units at Distinction and a minimum of 21 credits in Science subject or Psychology
  3. Applicants who are able to demonstrate some level 3 study, but not the breadth (e.g. 2 A Levels) may be considered providing they can demonstrate relevant life skills and preparation for the programme. This would include at least one year of experience working in an acute clinical setting with associated mandatory training. Students may be asked to undertake additional level 3 study or set work to demonstrate they have the ability to undertake the programme.
  4. You are required to visit an NHS radiography department and submit the evaluation forms (available to download below), preferably before you are invited for interview.

    Both forms must be completed (one by the applicant regarding their visit and one to be completed by the hospital visited). An offer of a place is conditional on a successful clinical visit. Download the essential information pack for applicants.
  5. Students may seek to gain accreditation for prior learning as outlined in the UoC APL procedures (Academic Procedures and Processes, Appendix 6)
  6. Students require enhanced DBS clearance. This is undertaken once the student has accepted the provisional offer of a place on the programme.
  7. Students must complete a health questionnaire and undertake occupational health screening before undertaking clinical placements.
  8. Potential students with a disability will be invited to an additional interview during the application process. This will determine the level of additional support of and reasonable adjustments required to allow the student to fully engage with the programme.
  9. All applicants must be able to demonstrate and be able to communicate in English to the standard equivalent to level 7 of the International English Language Testing System, with no element below 6.5

All applicants who meet the admission criteria are required to attend an interview. Interviews are undertaken by a team which includes academic and clinical staff. Service users will input into the interview process to help ensure students are recruited who demonstrate requisite care and compassion skills as indicated in the NHS constitution.

Applicants are also required to undertake a one day clinical visit within a medical imaging department. This is to allow students to gain a realistic impressions of the clinical environment but also assess their professional suitability for clinical practice and personality traits related to care and compassion. 

Fitness to practise and health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening. Further information will be provided following the offer of a place.

Please note that Professional Bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have certain requirements regarding health and character status of applicants and their ability to meet the required core professional competencies and to practise safely without direct supervision. Please read the NMC or HCPC information to find out more. Please ask us for advice and/or support as early as possible in the application process if you have any questions about this requirement.

For more information about core competencies and medical fitness to train please click here. There are fitness standards provided here for most programmes of study: health professions, social work and teaching.

In some instances, an applicant may be invited to attend a professional practice panel to discuss any recommended reasonable adjustments, and whether or not core professional competencies are achievable.

In order to be admitted and continue on the course, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

If you are offered a place we require you to comply with an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check. Please read the DBS policy for more details.

Values Based Recruitment

* Since 1 April 2015, all Higher Education Institutions delivering NHS programmes are required to assess students for their values using the core requirements set out in the Values Based Recruitment (VBR) framework. This assessment will take place as part of our recruitment process. 

Making your application

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

After finishing the course, you will be eligible to register as a fully qualified radiographer with the Health and Care Professions Council, and join the Society and College of Radiographers. You'll have all the knowledge and skills you need to move onto a career in the medical profession in the UK or abroad. This would also make you eligible to do postgraduate studies at a later date.


We have exceptional university-based clinical facilities on each of our campuses, designed to provide students with a range of clinical skills. One of our labs is actually situated in a hospital close to the university, providing you access to a patient-centred environment early in your course.