BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Radiotherapy and Oncology

UCAS codeBB82

full time3yrs

A balance of academic study and clinical practice

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Radiotherapy Radiographers are integral members of the multidisciplinary team caring for cancer patients. They are responsible for planning and delivering radiation treatment while also offering support, guidance and advice to ensure the emotional wellbeing of patients. Radiotherapy Radiographers use highly-specialised equipment and their daily work revolves around the interface of medical technology, oncology and patient care. 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 Radiotherapy 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 clinical placement sites recurring throughout the course.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Clinical practice within the Radiotherapy clinic
  • management
  • research
  • teaching


Lauren Todd, BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology student

The School has great facilities to assist in our learning and has recently employed the use of VERT software that recreates the clinical setting.

Lauren Todd, BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology 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 Radiotherapy & Oncology.

  • Radiotherapy Clinical Learning and Foundations of Patient Care
  • Foundations of Oncology Practice
  • Foundations of Scientific Enquiry
  • Introduction to Radiotherapy
  • Principles of Oncology Practice 1

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:

  • Radiotherapy Clinical Learning and Improving Standards of Care
  • Principles of Oncology Practice 2
  • Principles of Oncology Practice 3
  • Radiotherapy Equipment
  • Research Methods

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 for advanced practice, whilst also having the opportunity to undertake a dissertation that may involve supervised research.

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Practice in Oncology
  • Radiotherapy Clinical Learning and Professional Practice
  • Imaging of Radiotherapy
  • 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.


The course is delivered in a block format with both placement and teaching blocks interspersed throughout the three years. The teaching ethos of the course is to ensure that subject specialists deliver your education and as such a collegiate approach is adopted, making best use of the expertise within our school. Teaching methods include: lectures, directed study, group work, reflective journals, tutorials, seminars, simulation (including technology enhanced learning), and clinical placement.

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: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 54% studying independently and 24% on work placement
  • Year two students: 17% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 52% 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


This course has a balanced approach towards assessment.

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Written examinations
  • Objective Structured Examinations (OSE’s)
  • Portfolios of evidence and practice outcomes to assess clinical capability which count 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: 25% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 70% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 90% by coursework

Tutor's view


Naomi Dickie

Both Radiography courses offer a high level of support in preparing you for your clinical placements, offering interactive, practical sessions to learn key skills in the University using the Diagnostic Imaging Suite and VERT platform. Moodle is also utilised to provide supporting information to you during your clinical placements.

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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 that incorporates a three-dimensional virtual environment radiotherapy unit (VERT). This is exclusively used by University of Portsmouth students to create an immersive radiotherapy treatment room.
  • A radiotherapy treatment planning suit
  • 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 Therapeutic Radiographer to practise in the United Kingdom. Radiotherapy is conducted within specialised centres in the United Kingdom. This means that 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, 95% 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 will 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. There is also continuous training throughout the course via simulated activities, which prepare 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 11-13 weeks of each year you will 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.

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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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