BSc (Hons)

Radiography (Diagnostic)

A balance of academic study and clinical practice

B821UCAS code 3yrsfull time

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

The modern diagnostic radiographer is an important member of the hospital team. They are responsible for the examination of patients using highly-specialised equipment and their daily work revolves around the interface of medical technology, medicine and people.

This course consists of academic and clinical blocks during which you’ll gain the relevant professional knowledge and train in clinical techniques.

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:

  • Shadow and receive mentoring from experienced practitioners and undergo simulated training tasks before putting your learning into action in the hospital setting
  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with real patients at a vulnerable part of their time in hospital during specialist practice placements
  • Following the successful visits of previous radiography students, you can compete for the opportunity to secure exchange placements to work in hospitals in Hong Kong

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Society and College of Radiographers. Diagnostic radiography is practised in every hospital in the UK. You’ll be well qualified and sought after by employers in all spheres of clinical practice, with future career prospects in the UK and overseas.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • management
  • research
  • teaching
  • manufacturers’ sales and promotion
Jason Puffett, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student

The course gets you out into clinical practice early on - this really allows you to get a sense of the actual working environment of a hospital.

Jason Puffett, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student

Apply for September 2016

If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time
300 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, including 80 points from a Science subject (preferably Biology, Chemistry or Physics, but will accept Applied Science, PE, Psychology or Sports Science) or Mathematics. Access awards are also welcomed. All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5. Other qualifications

(UK/EU), Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: this course is NHS funded; please contact the School of Health Sciences and Social Work for further information or view our page on course specific funding.

This course is not open to International students.

As a result of the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, there may be changes to funding mechanisms for courses which are currently NHS funded. Exact funding requirements are yet to be confirmed but are likely to affect students applying for courses due to start September 2017 onwards.

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School of Health Sciences and Social Work
Programme specification
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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

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

In the first year you will find that you are working alongside many therapeutic students as you cover core topics in the science of radiography, human anatomy, physiology and pathology.

Core units in this year include:

  • Physical Principles of Radiography
  • Biological Principles and Applications for Diagnostic Radiographers 1
  • Biological Principles and Applications for Diagnostic Radiographers 2
  • Inter-Professional Skills for Radiographers 1
  • Applied Physics of Radiography
  • Work-Based Learning for Diagnostic Radiographers 1

Year two

One of the key features of this course is the emphasis on professional practice. In this year you’ll engage in interprofessional learning with one or more other professional groups.

Core units in this year include

  • Biological Principles and Applications for Diagnostic Radiographers 3
  • Employability Skills and Career Development for Radiographers
  • Inter-Professional Skills for Radiographers 2
  • Medical Imaging Modalities
  • Principles of Image Interpretation and Locomotor System
  • Work-Based Learning for Diagnostic Radiographers 2

Year three

Through the integration of theory and practice you will develop a broad clinical skills base. In addition to the normal standards of proficiency expected of all newly-qualified radiographers, you’ll also develop further skills that will prepare you to interpret images.

Core units in this year include:

  • Developing Project Skills
  • Management of Professional Practice
  • Advanced Medical Imaging Practice 1
  • Advanced Medical Imaging Practice 2
  • Work-Based Learning for Diagnostic Radiographers 3

Teaching and Assessment

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.

How are you assessed?

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.

Andrew Williams

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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Monitor 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. Here is a taste of what we have to offer:

  • a state-of-the-art x-ray imaging suite on par with those used in clinical practice
  • a comprehensive electronic film library
  • emergency ultrasound scanners and a high-resolution colour portable ultrasound system

Centre for Simulation in Healthcare

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.

Amir Bennett, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student 2012

I have participated in an exchange programme with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University - my best experience in the field yet.

Amir Bennett, BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic) student 2012

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.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Radiography is a rapidly changing profession. As the scope of practice extends and technology develops, the modern radiographer will find their specialist knowledge and skills in high demand.

On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for full membership of the Society and College of Radiographers. As a qualified radiographer you’ll be eligible for a range of posts and a high percentage of our graduates obtain NHS posts in radiography with start dates soon after graduation.

There are also many opportunities to specialise within radiography and, of course, there’s always the option to take up postgraduate study.

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
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
Career planning
6.04 minutes

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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