BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging

UCAS codeBB81

full time3yrs

A balance of academic study and clinical practice

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Diagnostic Radiographers are essential members of the healthcare team who are responsible for the care of patients by helping to diagnose and treat illness. They use highly-specialised equipment and their daily work revolves around the interface of medical technology, medicine and people. Consequently, this degree offers an exciting mix of radiation science, human anatomy, modern technology and applied communication to develop the knowledge and skills required for a rewarding lifelong career as a Diagnostic Radiographer. It aims to provide insight, preparedness and flexibility for a career set in a clinical environment.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We endeavour to recruit students to our health and social care courses who have the right values base and demonstrate appropriate behaviours. We embed the values of the NHS Constitution throughout our admissions processes and they are an essential part of the curricula. Find out more about the values we look for.

We recommend that if you are interested in applying you complete a clinical visit in a Radiography department. Please download this Clinical Visit Report Form and return it to

For further health information, please see our additional health information page.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Undertake simulated training tasks before putting your learning into action in the hospital setting.
  • Shadow and receive mentoring from experienced practitioners within both the academic and clinical environment.
  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with real patients at a vulnerable point in their life, across three practice placements.

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is currently subject to approval by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Management
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Manufacturers’ sales and promotion


Kelly Stevens, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student

The balance between clinical and academic time allows you to gain a more rounded and in depth knowledge of all aspects of radiography

Kelly Stevens, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student


Health Sciences and Social Work

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

The first year of the course introduces the core knowledge for the underlying concepts and principles for Diagnostic Radiography. 

Core units in this year include:

  • Applied Anatomy & Physiology 1
  • Applied Anatomy & Physiology 2
  • Clinical Learning and Foundations of Patient Care
  • Foundations of Scientific Enquiry
  • Radiation Physics

Year two

The second year of the course builds upon the units studied in the first year to allow you to develop existing skills and acquire new competencies by applying theory to practice.  

Core units in this year include:

  • Applied Anatomy & Physiology 3
  • Applied Anatomy & Physiology 4
  • Clinical Learning and Improving Standards of Care
  • Research Methods
  • Science of Medical Imaging

Year three

The third year of the course builds upon the units that have been studied in preceding years to ensure that you meet the standards of proficiency expected of all newly-qualified radiographers. In this year, you will also develop skills that will prepare you to interpret images, whilst also having the opportunity to undertake a dissertation that may involve supervised research.

Core units in this year include:

  • Clinical Learning and Professional Practice 
  • Image Interpretation
  • Medical Imaging Modalities
  • Project

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


Face-to-face learning via lectures, seminars and practical work will make up the majority of your campus-based learning. However, you will also be expected to apply the theoretical and practical components of the course to your hospital placements.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 55% studying independently and 24% on work placement
  • Year two students: 15% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 54% studying independently and 31% on work placement
  • Year three students: 11% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 61% studying independently and 28% on work placement


On this course there is a balance of formal examinations and coursework assessment. What’s more, as you’ll spend a large amount of your time in clinical practice, clinical capability is not only assessed, but counts towards your degree classification.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 50% by written exams, 23% by practical exams and 27% by coursework
  • Year two students: 27% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 56% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 88% by coursework

Tutor's view


Andrew Williams

This course offers an exciting mix of radiation science, human anatomy and modern technology at the forefront of diagnosis and treatment of disease. You will be taught using a blend of face to face teaching and practical demonstrations from a team of experienced clinicians combined with periods of hands-on experience in a range of imaging departments.

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Facilities & Features

Specialist Software and Scientific Equipment

We have an outstanding array of radiography facilities and excellent resources to support your clinical learning. This allows you to practise and exercise your clinical skills on campus before you venture into the clinical environment. This includes:

  • A radiography clinical skills suite with an automated positioning general x-ray unit with a direct digital detector that would be used in clinical practice.
  • Emergency ultrasound scanners and a high-resolution colour portable ultrasound system

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies. You’ll practise profession-specific skills in a safe and supportive environment as well as experience the types of clinical and informal healthcare situations that you’ll encounter in the workplace. The Centre is used to simulate real-life scenarios – a great way to prepare you for the real thing during placement.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

You will receive an initial set of uniforms at no cost. Extra items of uniform cost of between £17 - £23. You will also be expected to wear your own suitable footwear for placements.

Accessory equipment, such as anatomical side markers, are provided in the first instance. In the event of loss, you will need to pay for replacement. These costs will vary, approximately £5.

For clinical placements, you are required to meet the costs of accommodation and travel. Clinical accommodation will be in the region of £400 per calendar month and travel costs will vary. The NHS may meet some of the costs incurred.

From 1 August 2017 students in England on nursing, midwifery and most allied health professional pre-registration courses will have access to the standard support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant. More details: Health Education Funding in England from 2017/18

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration as a Diagnostic Radiographer to practise in the United Kingdom. Considering Diagnostic Radiography is practised in every hospital in the UK, the modern radiographer will find their specialist knowledge and skills in high demand. In addition to this, radiography is a rapidly changing profession due to advancements in technology and role extension; both of which provide plenty of opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • A high percentage of our graduates obtain NHS posts in radiography with start dates soon after graduation. According to Unistats, 100% of our graduates from this course are in employment six months after finishing their studies. 
  • There are also many opportunities to specialise within radiography and, of course, there’s always the option to take up postgraduate study.

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

At the first stage of your course, you’ll have the opportunity to observe radiographers working in a hospital setting. This is a great way to shadow, observe and receive direct mentoring from experienced practitioners in preparation for your own work placements. There is also continuous training throughout the course via simulated activities, which ultimately prime you for your placements.

Approximately a third of your time will be spent in practice placements, supported by clinical mentors and other Registered Healthcare Professionals. For 9-12 weeks of each year you’ll be on placement and we try to ensure that you receive a balanced clinical experience.

We also encourage you to find work-based experience in a healthcare-related outlet in the summer period. This extra experience will undoubtedly make you stand out to future employers.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Dorsa Manesh, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student 2013

We undertake placements at three different clinical sites, both trauma and non-trauma hospitals, which really gives you a broad overview of the different environments you can work in. Radiography in a non-trauma hospital is totally different to working in a major trauma hospital, so being a student in both really heightens your understanding of what you can do with your degree.

Dorsa Manesh, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student 2013

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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