An MRI scan. BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging.

Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging BSc (Hons)

Gain the specialist medical imaging and radiography skills to become eligible to register with the HCPC as a Diagnostic Radiographer. Learn in our on-campus Simulation Centre and on clinical placements in real healthcare settings.

Key information

UCAS code:

BB81

Accreditation:

This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, including a minimum of 32 UCAS points from a Science subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview

Overview

Diagnostic radiographers are a vital part of healthcare teams – they use medical imaging equipment to take images of inside the body, then interpret these images to diagnose and understand patients' health conditions.

This BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging degree prepares you for a career identifying illnesses and helping to save lives.

Course highlights

  • Learn how to examine patients safely using X-ray, CT scanning, fluoroscopy, MRI, ultrasound and more
  • Practise your skills under expert supervision in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, complete with our brand new digital X-ray suite and digital mobile unit
  • Spend at least 10 weeks each year on clinical placement, working alongside experienced radiographers in real NHS hospitals
  • Become eligible to register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) when you graduate, ready for a career as a Diagnostic Radiographer or to train further and enter advanced practice, research, teaching or health management

 

95%

of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

College of radiographers approved course logo
Health & Care Professions Council

Accredited by:

The Diagnostic Radiography & Medical Imaging course offered by the University of Portsmouth was approved by the College of Radiographers for a period of five years from 16/03/2020.

This course is also approved by the Health & Care professions Council (HCPC). 

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 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 (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit. Acceptable T Level Subjects:
    T Level in Healthcare Science, T Level in Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Laboratory sciences, Metrology sciences)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

Selection process

  • All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in support of their application.
  • Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.
  • If successful, applicants will be required to declare if they have been subject to any disciplinary procedures of fitness to practice by any other regulator, professional body, employer or educational establishment.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

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.

I am now about to begin my third and final year of the BSc and am beginning to not only feel like I am capable of progressing in an interesting and potentially varied career, I have also had some transformative experiences within the NHS itself.

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

Your facilities

Whistlejacket 2017

Digital X-ray and imaging suite

Before you go on placement in real hospitals, you'll build the skills and confidence you need in the digital X-ray and imaging suite of our safe and realistic Simulation Centre.

Careers and opportunities

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. 

Demand for diagnostic radiographers is rising too. Just before the pandemic, an independent report for NHS England highlighted the need for 3,500 additional radiographers over the next five years, and a 2021 census by The College of Radiographers revealed high vacancy rates in the field. 

So, with this degree qualification, you can expect a rewarding career and high demand for your skills.

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

Most of our students quickly secure roles as Diagnostic Radiographers in the NHS. 

As a newly qualified NHS Diagnostic Radiographer in 2021, you could earn a starting salary of £25,655, moving up to £31,354 (Band 5).

With more experience, you could earn up to £39,027 (Band 6), and with a role in management or advanced practice, you could make between £40,057 and £53,219 (Bands 7 to 8a), or more as a consultant.

You could also work as a diagnostic radiographer for independent providers, industrial companies and veterinary clinics as you progress your career.

With experience and additional training, you could go into:

  • postgraduate study or research in specialisms such as computed tomography, medical magnetic resonance, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and medical physics
  • health management through the NHS Graduate Scheme
  • teaching

Graduates have gone on to work for these institutions:

  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton
  • Southampton General Hospital
  • Spire Southampton
  • Western Sussex NHS Hospital Trust
  • Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary
  • St George's NHS Foundation Trust, London

Ongoing careers support

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

As a practical learner, clinical placement is one of my favourite parts of the course. Putting theory into practice and building confidence in dealing with patients.

Holly Byrne, BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging

Clinical placements

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 6 and 9 weeks. You'll spend at least 14 weeks on placement each year.

Your placements may be at one or more of the following locations, among others:

  • Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust - Queen Alexandra Hospital
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust - Southampton General Hospital
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust - Salisbury District Hospital
  • University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust - Poole Hospital, Royal Bournemouth Hospital
  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust - St. Mary's Hospital

On placement, you'll take part in all imaging modalities, including conventional imaging and remote imaging, theatre imaging, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, ultrasound and radionuclide imaging. You'll be supervised by an experienced radiographer at all times to ensure a safe environment and the highest levels of patient care.

You'll be looked after by University Link Radiographers, who will monitor your progress, provide expert guidance and support, and oversee all aspects of your placement experience. 

Modules

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, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules

What you'll learn

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

  • Describe the structure and function of cells and tissues.

  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate terminology to identify anatomical structures, regions, planes and body orientation.

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary and immune systems including endocrinology.

  • Recognise and describe pathophysiological processes and associated imaging of the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and immune systems.

  • Demonstrate knowledge relating to the gross anatomy of the GI tract, Endocrine system, Special Senses, Reproductive system, and Central Nervous System.

  • Understand the pharmacology, associated risks and appropriate use of contrast agents in imaging the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular and renal systems.

Additional content
 
 
 

What you'll learn

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

  • Identify your own learning needs and develop a personal development plan for your academic skills development.

  • Outline the concept of evidence-based practice, including the different forms that evidence can take.

  • Demonstrate the ability to 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 population of the United Kingdom and offer explanations for health inequalities.

Additional content
 
 

What you'll do
 
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 cooperative, 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 at level 4 and to utilise effective professional and technical verbal communication skills.

  • 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 their clinical practice, professional and patient care skills.

Additional content
 
 

What you'll do

 

 
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 Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 and Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017.

  • 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 within a clinical context.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of safety issues in relation to equipment design and physical principles.

Additional content
 

 

Core modules

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 range of diagnostic radiography clinical procedures on a range of 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, and related pharmacology including indications and contraindications.

  • Develop and demonstrate skills in communication with service users and other healthcare professionals and demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Diagnostic Radiographer in the wider multidisciplinary team.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the 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, and professional and patient care skills.

What you'll learn

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

  • Demonstrate knowledge of individual professional responsibilities in delivering safe and effective person-centred care as a healthcare professional

  • Define and describe human and individual characteristics, which influence behaviour at work in a way that can affect health and safety.

  • Discuss and evaluate the challenges faced by interprofessional teams in providing safe and effective personalised care.

  • Analyse the role of organisations and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies in the quality improvement of safe and effective care.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

What you'll learn

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

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems.

  • Recognise and describe pathophysiological processes associated with the digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of cross-sectional anatomy.

  • Demonstrate applied knowledge associated with imaging and patient pathways relating to the pathophysiology of the digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems.

  • Understand the pharmacology, associated risks and appropriate use of contrast agents in imaging the digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems.

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.

  • Comprehend and undertake a range of commonly performed QA tests within the Centre for Simulation in Healthcare.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 and Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017.

Core modules

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 range of diagnostic radiography clinical procedures on a range of patients, including those with special needs or disabilities and those with complex needs requiring adaptation of technique appropriate to first post competency.

  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional conduct, patient care, communication and team working skills appropriate to first post competency.

  • Identify and manage risk in relation to clinical practice and understand the legal and ethical responsibilities of the role of the diagnostic radiographer.

  • Develop and demonstrate skills in communication with service users and other healthcare professionals and 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 patients in trauma in diagnostic imaging practice.

  • Demonstrate the application of reflection in the development of their clinical practice, professional and patient care skills.

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.

  • Synthesise clinical information with diagnostic radiological image appearances to formulate a diagnosis.

  • Interpret plain radiographic images for a range of imaging examinations.

  • Communicate effectively the salient findings of diagnostic radiological examinations.

 

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 and Nuclear Medicine.

  • 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.

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 in relation to current literature and practice.

  • Recommend and justify an appropriate dissemination plan.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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.

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.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

The practical element of the course is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

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

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.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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.

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

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

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 support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

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.

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

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

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

You can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme during your course to improve your English.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,900 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional funding – at least £5,000 a year

UK students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund of at least £5,000 a year. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

Joining as an international or EU student? Explore the scholarships you can access.

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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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 for students eligible for the NHS Learning Support Fund.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

 Apply now through UCAS

 

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

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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

Preparing your application

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 to show in your application and UCAS Personal Statement that 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

Undertake research into the profession too 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.

You can also highlight what skills or life experience you have that makes you a good candidate for a place on the course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.