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BSc (Hons) - Diagnostic Radiography

Would you like to become a radiographer? Immerse yourself in real-world challenges and train to be a diagnostic radiographer with this diagnostic radiography degree.

From anatomy and radiologic technologies to applied human sciences, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills to succeed as a confident and qualified radiographer.

What’s more, our Allied Health Profession courses are ranked 1st in the North West and top 10 in the UK. We are also 1st in the North West for continuation and career prospects following graduation from Allied Health Profession Courses (Guardian University Guide 2023 Results).

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Accredited by:

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Health and Care Professions Council, and approved by the College of Radiographers.

Course Overview

On this radiography course, you'll gain a firm grounding in anatomy and the applied science relevant to medical imaging. Our digital imaging labs provide you with initial hands-on experience in a safe, modern digital imaging environment.

Our facilities feature new, cutting-edge clinical imaging equipment including our Siemens x-ray rooms, newly installed at both campuses in April 2023, and AGFA x-ray rooms which were completed at the end of 2022.

You’ll spend around 50% of your time in placements covering a range of clinical imaging techniques such as projectional radiography, computerised tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging with some clinical time in additional areas such as radionuclide imaging, ultrasound and mammography.

You’ll have the opportunity to focus on a specific imaging modality to attain competencies and additional experience in year three. Industry-active tutors will teach you current knowledge and insight. The department has links with leading specialist centres such as The Christie Hospital, one of Europe’s leading cancer centres.

On this course you will...

  • Balance your academic study with approximately 42 weeks of clinical placements throughout your course, giving you the hands-on experience needed to become a radiographer. These placements will mostly be based in NHS hospitals, but independent sector medical imaging service providers are also used.
  • Develop your skills in our labs using 'live' X-ray equipment which replicates the real-life clinical experience you'll get on placement.
  • Be taught in small groups allowing for a supportive learning experience during your radiography degree.
  • Work with newly updated, cutting-edge clinical imaging technology.
  • Gain experience in a wide range of imaging modalities such as MRI, CT, plain film radiography and Radionuclide Imaging.

Course Structure

What you will learn

This programme will develop your interest, knowledge and understanding of the changing and expanding field of medical diagnostic imaging. You will learn in both academic and clinical settings, demonstrating levels of achievement whilst being supported within those environments.

Our goal is to enable you to graduate ‘first post ready’ with a realistic and professional attitude to the current working environment. We aim for you to graduate as a resilient, proficient communicator whose values are centred around effective and compassionate patient care.

Our lecturers will encourage you to continue learning throughout your professional life (CPD) assuring you are a competent, informed member of the healthcare team, who engages in safe and effective practice.

We also offer the option to study 1 year of our Health and Social Care IFY before beginning this course. Not only will this prepare you to succeed in your BSc, with key modules in academic and professional skills as well as baseline introductions to mental health and human anatomy, it is also ideal for those applicants who do not hold the required qualifications for direct entry but are passionate about pursuing Diagnostic Radiography. You will also be supported by our academic team to make a strong application to your chosen transfer course.

Year one

You will learn to apply a systematic approach to the acquisition of knowledge, underpinning concepts and principles and deploy a range of subject-specific, cognitive and transferable skills. You will learn to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving well-defined problems and communicate outcomes in a structured and clear manner. You will identify and discuss the relationship between personal and work experience and explore findings from books and journals and other data drawn from the field of study.

  • Science and Radiation Protection
    This module will provide you with a basic underpinning knowledge of science and the scientific principles relevant to medical imaging. This will allow you to understand the function of medical imaging equipment, as well as how to use equipment safely and effectively.
  • Skills and Knowledge Underpinning Professional Practice 1
    This module is an introduction to anatomy and pathology, including a brief introduction to cross-sectional imaging and other imaging modalities, and an induction to clinical placement environments. This will be considered in the context of the diagnosis of injury and disease. Other content includes mandatory training in areas such as manual handling and basic life support, which you need to undertake before your first clinical placement.
  • Imaging Technology 1
    We now start to look at the range of medical imaging equipment used within medicine. The module considers how the equipment works, how to use it safely, and how the different imaging modalities are particularly suited to imaging different parts of the body.
  • Skills and Knowledge Underpinning Professional Practice 2
    To function effectively as a radiographer and meet professional body standards, you need to develop a range of key academic skills and professional attitudes. What is truth? How do we know what is true and what is not true? And how do we find the information needed to underpin our professional practice? This module will change your view of the world!
  • Applied Clinical Radiography 1
    This module allows you to step into the role of the radiographer straight away, to build your skills and confidence prior to clinical placement. In your allocated skills lab group, you will spend time learning both radiographic anatomy and radiographic positioning. Using our cutting-edge live X-ray rooms, you will be able to image our X-ray phantoms, practise positioning with your peers, and learn all the ‘tricks of the trade’!
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit 1
    This module relates to the clinical practice elements of the programme. You will produce a record of your clinical training along with your clinical supervisors, which is used to demonstrate clinical competence development. This is required to enable you to apply for registration as a diagnostic radiographer with the HCPC on completion of the course.
Year two

You will learn to apply and evaluate key concepts and theories within and outside the context in which you first studied them.

By selecting from and deploying a range of subject-specific, cognitive and transferable skills and problem-solving strategies you will combat problems in the field of study. You will learn to generate ideas and communicate information and arguments effectively in a variety of forms.

This is your time to accept responsibility for determining and achieving personal outcomes and reflect on personal and workplace experiences in the light of recent scholarship and current statutory regulations.

  • Applied Anatomy Pathophysiology and Imaging 1
    This module, as well as Applied Anatomy Pathophysiology and Imaging 2, takes an in-depth look at the anatomy of the main body systems. Sessions will develop your knowledge of normal and abnormal anatomy, and then link this with the image appearances seen within a variety of image modalities used to investigate suspected pathologies within these systems.
  • Applied Anatomy Pathophysiology and Imaging 2
    This module continues your in-depth look at the anatomy of the main body systems, alongside Applied Anatomy Pathophysiology and Imaging 2. Sessions will continue to develop your knowledge of normal and abnormal anatomy, and link this with the image appearances seen within a variety of image modalities used to investigate suspected pathologies within these systems.
  • Human Science and Patient Care 2
    This module aims to develop the knowledge and skills required for you to understand the professional standards required for practice and be aware of the application of the standards to ensure patient safety and maintenance of quality of care. It considers a range of patient groups and circumstances encountered in clinical practice, for example patients with dementia.
  • Medical Imaging Technologies 2
    Building on the material covered in the equivalent year one module, we take a more in-depth look at the design and function of a range of the more complex imaging modalities used within medical imaging, such as MRI scanners or PET/CT scanners. This will give you the knowledge needed to make the most of your clinical placements and inform your future career.
  • Applied Clinical Radiography 2
    We will further develop your knowledge and clinical skills ability to allow you to become a safe and proficient practitioner in general radiography. You’ll also develop your awareness of the clinical applications of the full range of imaging modalities commonly used in modern medicine, and how collectively they are most appropriately used to diagnose injury and disease.
  • Research Methods and Investigations used In Professional Practice
    The aim of this module is to equip you with the research skills that are essential for contemporary graduate medical imaging practitioners. Throughout the module, you will learn how to design and execute both primary and secondary research. This module will enhance your critical awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of various research designs, and will equip you with the fundamental skills involved in collecting, analysing, and interpreting both data.
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit 2
    Similar to the equivalent module in year one. You will further extend your clinical competencies to widen the number and range of procedures and examinations you are able to perform. You will develop your knowledge and skills in more complex radiographic examinations and will consider how to adapt your technique to suit the needs of different patient groups.
  • Research Methods and Investigations used in Professional Practice
    This module will equip you with essential research skills and will ensure that you understand the meaning and significance of evidence-based practice. You will develop an understanding of primary and secondary research, understand how to search for and critique the literature, formulate a research proposal, and collect and analyse qualitative/quantitative data.
Year three

You will bring together all the skills you've acquired throughout the course to critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge.

You will be asked to critically evaluate concepts and evidence from a range of resources, applying subject-specific problem-solving strategies and critical knowledge to a range of scenarios.

Leading into your final semester, you will be encouraged to reflect critically and analytically on personal and workplace experiences during your studies and wider experiences. The course is structured to ensure you have all the tools enabling you to graduate as fit to practice.

  • Image Evaluation
    In this module, we will take an in-depth look at how to identify common pathologies often encountered during your clinical practice. At the end of the module, you will be able to flag up and discuss urgent conditions to clinical colleagues to increase the effectiveness of care delivered.
  • Applying Research to Enhance Professional Practice
    You will identify the latest research findings and best practice related to an area of clinical care in medical imaging. This will then be used to undertake a project where you make recommendations to improve a service based on your research findings.
  • Focused Radiological Practice 1 (Theory)
    You will be provided with specific knowledge related to advanced clinical practice within radiography. The module will also provide the underpinning knowledge and skills to enable safe and effective practice within a defined modality of radiology/medical imaging (for example a specific imaging modality such as MRI or Radionuclide Imaging).
  • Focused Radiographic Practice 2 (Work-Based)
    This is a clinically based module which follows on from the previous module, Focused Radiological Practice 1 (Theory). You will be able to spend additional clinical time on placement-gaining experience working within a specific imaging modality that particularly interests you.
  • Preparation for Professional Practice
    This module aims to examine aspects of healthcare, the radiographer’s role in this, and how it impacts the quality of healthcare that patients receive.
  • Applied Radiography 3
    This module consolidates all your previous learning to ensure you have the knowledge, skills and competencies to allow you to apply for registration to the HCPC as a diagnostic radiographer, and work as an effective professional practitioner within a variety of clinical settings.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
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