Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging BSc (Hons)

diagnostic radiotherapy students using kit
UCAS Code
BB81
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

Do you have the ambition to become an essential member of a healthcare team, diagnosing and treating people's illnesses?

Diagnostic Radiographers examine patients using a variety of imaging techniques, from conventional radiography, CT scanning and fluoroscopy to more specialised modalities such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance and radionuclide imaging.

On this BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging degree course, you’ll learn how to use specialist medical imaging and radiography equipment effectively. After the course, you’ll be eligible to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Diagnostic Radiographer. 

We are currently seeking approval from the College of Radiographers to show that this course maintains and develops the highest standards of clinical imaging and conduct.

Approved by:

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you’ll:

  • Investigate areas such as radiation science, human anatomy, modern technology and effective communication
  • Learn how to evaluate images from the technology you use to identify illnesses and treatment options
  • Work in an environment that prepares you for your career, working alongside other clinical departments and experienced Radiographers
  • Use our simulation facilities including the digital X-ray suite
  • Attend clinical placement sites, where you'll engage with and examine patients under the supervision of experts

Careers and opportunities

When you complete this course, you’ll be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Diagnostic Radiographer.

What can you do with a Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging degree?

The majority of previous students have quickly secured roles as Diagnostic Radiographers. With experience, your skills will also open doors into advanced practice in areas such as:

  • specialist imaging
  • research
  • teaching
  • health management
  • postgraduate study

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

I have taken great comfort from the confidence and expertise of the staff at Portsmouth. Their preparation meant that upon arriving at placement, I was able to keep my head above water in terms of medical vocabulary, basic understanding of positioning and be mindful of NHS values, manual handling and being in a clinical environment.

James Hayes, BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll develop an academic awareness and an understanding of different perspectives on subjects, topics and ideas. You'll develop and apply your skills to get an overview of public health, health inequalities, and health and social care provision.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify your learning needs and develop a personal development plan for your academic skills development
  • Outline the concept of evidence based practice and the different forms that evidence can take
  • Identify, retrieve and summarise evidence relevant to a specific aspect of practice, using appropriate resources
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of those involved in delivering health and social care in the UK and the systems they work in
  • Describe the health of the UK population and offer explanations for health inequalities
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend tutorials, lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework portfolio (70% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skill necessary to identify and undertake a limited number of diagnostic radiography clinical procedures on patients who are fully co-operative, mobile and ambulant
  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional conduct, patient care, communication and team working skills
  • Demonstrate the understanding required to safely undertake radiographic imaging and patient care
  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of the radiographer in relation to statutory requirements and accountable practice
  • Demonstrate the principles of a patient pathway for imaging referrals
  • Demonstrate the application of reflection in the development of your clinical practice, professional and patient care skills
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops, and take part in a placement. 

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • an approximately 4,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll focus on the essential science underpinning conventional radiographic imaging and relevant imaging acquisition methods. You’ll outline the legislative framework concerning the use of ionising radiation for medical imaging.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand and explain the principles of radiation physics
  • Demonstrate knowledge of radiographic equipment (x-ray tube/digital imaging detector)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of issues relating to radiation protection legislation
  • Recall and explain the principles of image recording and image processing
  • Identify the factors affecting image quality and radiation dose to recognise the relevance of these to radiation protection in a clinical context
  • Demonstrate an understanding of safety issues in relation to equipment design and physical principles
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 151 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute written exam (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word exam (50% of final mark)
  • a 30-minute exam (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

What you'll do

In this module, you’ll specifically develop your knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Obtain relevant clinical and health assessment information using best practice approaches
  • Describe the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs, and gross anatomy and functional physiology of the human body
  • Develop your knowledge and skills in performing essential healthcare
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 321 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour practical skills assessment (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)
  • a 4,000-word portfolio project (100% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You’ll develop additional skills in working with patients with complex needs and in a variety of imaging modalities across medical imaging. Supervised clinical practice is a key part of this module.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skill necessary to identify and undertake diagnostic radiography clinical procedures on patients, including those with special needs or disabilities
  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional conduct, patient care, communication and team working skills
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles in the use of contrast media, related pharmacology including indications and contraindications
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in communication with service users and other healthcare professionals
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the diagnostic radiographer in the wider multidisciplinary team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of autonomous practice and the implications of individual decision making in relation to patient care and the role of the radiographer
  • Demonstrate the application of reflection in the development of your clinical practice, professional and patient care skills
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops, and take part in a placement.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

In this module, you’ll develop a critical knowledge of resource management for health and social care.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss and evaluate factors that contribute to safe and effective personalised care
  • Analyse the impact of individuals, teams, employers and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies in delivery of safe and effective care and service improvement
  • Work as part of an interprofessional team to deliver person-centred care in the simulated environment
  • Demonstrate your contribution and responsibilities in delivering safe and effective person-centred care as a member of an interprofessional team in the simulated environment
  • Discuss your own contribution to person-centred care
  • Evaluate the challenges in improving person-centred, integrated services
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 172 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework report (70% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour practical exercise (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll develop a critical knowledge and awareness of evidence in the context of your respective discipline.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of published evidence that might inform practice
  • Understand the stages involved in the design and planning of a project in health or social care, including consideration of ethical concerns, selecting and justifying an appropriate approach and process
  • Discuss the context, barriers and enablers for evidence informed decision-making
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars, tutorials, lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 163 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)
  • a 750-word coursework report (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

Owing to the nature of the imaging practices examined, you’ll explore the issues surrounding the use of contrast and pharmacological agents in a professional context.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the neurological and endocrine systems
  • Recognise and describe pathophysiological processes associated with the neurological and endocrine systems
  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems
  • Recognise and describe pathophysiological processes associated with the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems
  • Demonstrate applied knowledge associated with imaging of the relevant systems
  • Understand the preparation and precautions associated with the use of contrast agents, and the pharmacological products used in imaging of the relevant systems
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 140 hours studying independently. This is around 8.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2-hour exam (100% of final mark) – an Objective Structured Exam

What you'll do

In this module, you’ll take on a systematic approach to equipment evaluation, performance, and quality enhancement procedures while exploring alternative imaging modalities that are available.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise the role of computed tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, nuclear medicine and ultrasound in diagnostic imaging
  • Explain and appraise the importance of quality enhancement procedures to clinical practice and recognise the difference between quality assurance and quality control
  • Discuss the lifecycle of an X-ray tube
  • Evaluate the role of dosimetry processes within diagnostic imaging
  • Undertake a variety of commonly performed QA tests within the Centre for Simulation in Healthcare
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current radiation protection legislation
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 162 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 40-minute oral assessment and presentation (100% of final mark)
  • a 30-minute exam (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll do

You’ll develop additional skills in working with patients with complex needs, including trauma, and in a variety of imaging modalities across medical imaging. This module will prepare you for practice in your first post as a qualified radiographer.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skill necessary to identify and undertake diagnostic radiography clinical procedures on different types of patients, including those with special needs or disabilities and those with complex needs requiring adaptation of technique
  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional conduct, patient care, communication and team working skills
  • Identify and manage risk in relation to clinical practice and understand legal and ethical responsibilities of the role of the diagnostic radiographer
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in communication with service users and other healthcare professionals
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the diagnostic radiographer in the wider multidisciplinary team, utilising professional and technical language appropriate to first post competency
  • Analyse and assess the implications of care of special care groups, including the care of critically ill patients and trauma patients in diagnostic imaging practice
  • Demonstrate the application of reflection in the development of your clinical practice, professional and patient care skills
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops, and take part in a placement.  

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • an approx. 4,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll explore the legal and ethical implications and frameworks surrounding the practice of formal image interpretation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explain issues surrounding medico-legal aspects of image interpretation
  • Understand the importance of and process for audit in image interpretation
  • Evaluate the accuracy of image interpretation against a reference standard
  • Synthesis clinical information with diagnostic radiological image appearances to formulate a diagnosis
  • Interpret plain radiographic images for a range of imaging examinations
  • Communicate the salient findings of diagnostic radiological examinations
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 173 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute written exam (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll learn with consideration of the equipment used for mammography, dynamic imaging, angiography, and interventional procedures. As diagnostic radiographers are required to perform and assist with examinations using these modalities, you’ll develop an understanding of the relevant equipment that's necessary to practice in a safe and informed manner.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Articulate and explain detailed knowledge of the scientific theoretical principles of computed tomography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging
  • Explain the equipment requirements for computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, mammography, dynamic imaging (fluoroscopy), angiography, and interventional procedures
  • Apply theoretical concepts to understand the application of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, dynamic imaging, angiography and mammography
  • Indicate safety issues in relation to equipment design and physical principles
  • Identify service user and staff safety issues
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 and Ionising Radiation (medical exposure) Regulations 2017
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and tutorials. 

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word essay (100% of final mark)
  • a 30-minute exam (pass/fail)

What you'll do

You’ll systematically collect and analyse evidence and critically discuss your findings. You’ll explore and evaluate an area of best practice and develop a plan to disseminate your findings to an appropriate audience.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a question relevant to health and/or social care practice, and select, justify and manage a project of appropriate design and methodology to answer it
  • Systematically collect, analyse and synthesise evidence from a variety of sources
  • Critically discuss, evaluate and reflect on findings related to current literature and practice
  • Recommend and justify an appropriate dissemination plan
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars and project supervision meetings. 

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 170 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10,000-word coursework project (100% of final mark)

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.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • coursework
  • clinical practice

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Work experience and career planning

You'll attend clinical placements on this course, supported by clinical mentors and registered healthcare professionals. You'll have 2 or 3 placement blocks in each academic year, each lasting between 5 and 7 weeks. You'll spend a total of 10 to 13 weeks on placement each year.

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find further relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary opportunities that will complement your studies.

You'll need to be prepared to work evenings, nights and weekends when you're on placement. 

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • simulation
  • hospital placements 

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as tutorials, lectures, seminars and practical classes and workshops for about 20 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

Learning support tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 112 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, including a minimum of 32 points from a Science subject (preferably Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics). A levels in Applied Science, PE, Psychology and Sports Science are considered. BTEC Extended Diploma in a Science based subject and Science based Access to Higher Education awards are also welcomed.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview.
  • Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for

What skills and qualities do I need for this diagnostic radiography degree course?

Diagnostic radiography is a patient focussed-career that uses technological equipment to assist with diagnosis. Therefore, in addition to meeting the course entry requirements, it's important you're:

  • caring and supportive
  • compassionate and empathetic
  • calm under pressure
  • adaptable
  • able to work in a team
  • a good communicator
  • attentive to detail
  • open to learning new skills
  • interested in science and technology
  • able to work with technology

How can I prepare for a diagnostic radiography degree?

The best way to prepare yourself for a degree in diagnostic radiography is to undertake research into the profession and, if possible, arrange a clinical visit.

This is especially useful before you apply because you can show us you've researched diagnostic radiography as a career in your UCAS Personal Statement. You can also highlight what skills or life experience you have that makes you a good candidate for a place on the course.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • This course isn't open to international students

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

Your uniform is included as part of your course fee, but you’ll need to pay £17–£23 for extra or replacement uniforms. You’ll also need to supply your own suitable footwear for placements.

The accessory equipment, such as anatomical side markers, are included in your course costs. You’ll need to pay for replacements if you lose them. These costs will vary, but are normally around £15–£20.

You’ll need to meet the costs of accommodation and travel for your clinical placements. Clinical accommodation costs around £400 a month, and travel costs vary. The NHS may meet some of these costs.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Common questions about diagnostic radiography

Diagnostic radiographers use ionising and non-ionising radiation to take images of the inside of the human body to help diagnose illness and disease.

Common types of imaging include conventional imaging (X-rays), computed tomography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging to produce high-quality images of an injury or disease.

Diagnostic radiographers are allied healthcare professionals, which is a term that describes health professionals who aren't doctors, nurses or dentists.

Diagnostic radiographers sometimes comment on the images they create so that the correct treatment can be given.

A Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) recognised degree in diagnostic radiography from a UK university is a requirement if you want to be a diagnostic radiographer in the UK.

It gives you a solid foundation for working as a diagnostic radiographer in the NHS and other healthcare settings.

Diagnostic radiography is a rewarding career that's essential to modern medicine. The role is varied and every day is different so it's an occupation that's rarely dull.

Without diagnostic radiographers it would be harder to diagnose, treat and manage illness and disease. They provide essential services to millions of people every year and are often the first people patients and service users come into contact with during their care.

As well as work in the NHS, you can also work as a diagnostic radiographer for independent providers, industrial companies and veterinary clinics as you progress your career. You may have opportunities to work in education, research, and management.

There are approximately 34,000 radiographers registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Yet, the 2018 Society of Radiographers annual report highlights that there's a growing demand for radiographers.

In 2018, 97% of Portsmouth graduates were in employment or further study upon completion of this course. This increased to 100% of graduates 6 months after graduation.

A newly qualified diagnostic radiographer starting employment in the NHS will be at band 5 (£23,023 a year for 2018/19 rising to £24,214 for 2019/20).

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – BB81
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from the outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK but within the European Union, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply through an agent. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

This course isn't currently open to international students outside the EU. 

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

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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