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Diagnostic Radiography with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

  • UCAS Code: B82A
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree)
  • Location: City South

This course is now full for 2020/21. You can apply for 2021/22 via UCAS from September 2020.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2020, take a look at some of our other available courses.

The Foundation Year option gives you extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree. It is designed to prepare you for a range of health courses, not one particular BSc degree, so you will study a broad range of subjects to prepare you to continue on to successful BSc level study. You'll develop a range of practical and analytical skills that will prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in healthcare.

 Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the HCPC, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

Tailor your Health Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the School of Health Sciences. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc Diagnostic Radiography – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are the largest training centre for diagnostic radiography in the  Midlands region
  • Established links with NHS Trusts  with whom we work in partnership
  • We focus on the student, and provide a friendly, supportive environment so all our students get the most out of their time here
  • Employment rates following graduation are consistently above 90% for diagnostic radiography graduates, with approximately two-thirds of qualifying students choosing to take up employment within the region

This course is not open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trustl
  • St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary

And in jobs such as:

  • Radiographer
  • Diagnostic Radiographer

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language, science and mathematics.

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2020/21
GCE A Level/ AS Level 88 UCAS tariff points = CCD. Must include one of Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science or Science. Excludes General Studies and Critical Thinking. 
Access to Higher Education Diploma

Must be in a science related pathway. Health & Social Care also acceptable. 

60 credits overall in a science related pathway. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.

BTEC Diploma (12-units) DD must include Health and Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, or Science at B or Distinction
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMM in Science or Applied Science or Health and Social Care
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate

Minimum of 88 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. Must include either Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science or Science.

This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Must include either Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, or Science.
WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Medical Science Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points which must be combined with other acceptable Level 3 qualifications.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

88tariff points needed for this foundation year

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
  • £9,250 per year
  • Applications Closed

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses in Clearing.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Academic Skills for Success
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University. Through a range of class-based group and individual activities, discussions, debates, personal reflection and wider reading and research, you will have opportunities to consider academic conventions, which include: effective use of literature; sourcing and reviewing information; various forms of academic writing; developing reflective capacity. You will also receive guidance on study skills and strategies, which will enhance previously acquired skills.

These professional skills are transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but throughout your continued education and employment. By engaging with this module, we have set out clearly what we expect of you at foundation and undergraduate level, and will equip you with the confidence, competence and capacity to utilise resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own learning and the way in which you have applied your knowledge, skill and understanding to any academic context in which you have engaged to date. Communicating effectively through a variety of academic conventions is a key skill for any student and this will be a feature of this module.

Download the full module specification

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
20 credits

This module is designed to help you gain awareness and understanding of current challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and how this impacts upon the Health, Education and Social Sciences sector, preparing you for your future education and journey into practice.

Introducing the Equality Act 2010 as the overarching legislation that focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, the module is based on themes that are covered by this Act.  The nine protected characteristics, upon which a person can be discriminated, as laid down in the Equality Act, will be discussed throughout and you will be introduced to case studies relevant to your chosen pathways.

The module will give you the opportunity to discuss debate and reflect upon how challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity may present themselves. Using problem and inquiry based learning you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ways of working which can help to minimise discrimination in your own practice.  The module will be made up of lead lectures, taught sessions, group work and individual study.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own experiences and perceptions, whilst gaining an awareness and appreciating the differences of others. 

Download the full module specification

Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
20 credits

This module will focus on enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of the interpersonal skills and behaviours required to work in your chosen area. Through a range of class based and student focused activities you will explore the different concepts of effective interpersonal and professional behaviours essential to your own personal development and progression. By engaging in this module you will  reflect on your own and others  values, beliefs and behaviours identifying how this can impact on the way in which you will  be viewed by others. You will also address the importance of effective communication and how this can lead you to have a more professional approach in your chose area of work.

Download the full module specification

Negotiated Studies
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University, allowing you the opportunity to negotiate learning of a bespoke subject. Under the guidance of tutors, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learning more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student-led, with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to review and evaluate, and which relates to your foundation year pathway and indicate programme.

A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your towards completion of the study.

The module is not reliant on traditional taught subject sessions, although you will be expected to attend classes where you will work in peer learning groups exploring and developing your negotiated study. This approach to studying is closely allied to learning within the workplace.

Download the full module specification

Introduction to Human Biology
20 credits

An appreciation of the principles of Human Biology plays a central role in the understanding of the workings of the human body. This module is organised into three distinct phases from fundamental principles, to physiological processes, and then disruption of the interplay of such systems in human disorders. This understanding provides a solid foundation for the subsequent study in a range of disciplines from healthcare, allied healthcare, and other disciplines requiring an understanding of human biology. The topics covered will also be underpinned by practical activities. Pre- and post-session activities will help to develop your key transferable skills such as being able to reflect and ask probing questions as well as being able to think independently.  Development of these skills will ensure a growth in maturity and boost your confidence which will lead to unlocking your learning potential.

Download the full module specification

Health and Well-being in Society
20 credits

Students embarking on health related studies and careers need to have a knowledge and understanding of the factors that contribute to creating good health.  Evidence shows that the majority of these factors lie outside of the healthcare and clinical remit and so it is important that students are aware of the wider social, economic, environmental and political drivers of states of health of the population, group or client group they may encounter.   As health services are reoriented towards prevention of ill-health and health improvement, all health science students need to consider the ways in which they may work in future, to both understand the social determinants of health and the principles and practice of health promotion in order to improve health, prevent ill-health and reduce health inequalities.

Download the full module specification

Year One

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Introduction to Diagnostic Imaging Practice
60 credits

This Core module aims to provide a grounding in diagnostic imaging with a holistic approach to the patient. The module provides the necessary theory and practical experience to enable students to competently perform clinical radiographic imaging examinations. The syllabus includes normal anatomy; patient care and communication; standard radiographic examination procedures to include basic fluoroscopic techniques.

Download the full module specification

The Emerging Practitioner
20 credits

This module introduces you to the professional world you have elected to enter and explores your new clinical role in this context. Teaching sessions will emphasise the importance of good communication and an appreciation of the patient perspective to improve patient care, taking into account the wide cultural, religious and ethnic population you will be caring for in clinical practice. All professionals should be in a position to reflect on their development, and within this module you will be encouraged and supported in this, through development of an e-Portfolio.

Download the full module specification

Diagnostic Technology and Physics
40 credits

This core module is essential to enable your understanding of the theory and practical applications of physics in the context of radiography or radiotherapy. Radiation physics and the safe and legal use of ionising radiation is an essential aspect of the radiation disciplines. It involves the underlying principles of the nature of matter and associated principles and how that relates to radiation production and attenuation, its application to imaging and therapeutic modalities. You will develop your understanding of the underpinning aspects of physics related to radiography and radiotherapy. That will form the basis for developing your understanding of the production and attenuation of ionising radiation and its effects.

You will also gain a comprehensive body of knowledge of radiation protection as specified in current legislation which will help develop your understanding of the necessity for the safe use of ionising radiation technologies in health care practice.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits)

Evidence Based Practice
20 credits

This module will build upon the study skills that you developed at level four. It is intended that by studying this module you will develop the ability to make decisions about your professional practice based upon the best evidence available, this involves being able to:

  • Recognise which problems, encountered in your professional practice, can be resolved by searching and evaluating the available evidence
  • Search for the evidence that you need using a logical and structured approach.
  • Evaluate the evidence you find
  • Justify any decisions related to changes in your professional practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a range of research tools including basic statistics.

These skills are necessary to enable lifelong learning and will help you to become a competent and autonomous practitioner

Download the full module specification

Diagnostic Imaging Practice 1
20 credits

Combined with Diagnostic Imaging Practice 2, this module will support you in achieving the commensurate skills and knowledge necessary to competently complete a radiographic examination to the ability expected of a level 5 student. The module has clinical and academic components, and also makes use of the clinical facilities available within the Faculty. It aims to provide grounding in diagnostic imaging whilst developing a holistic approach to the service user. The syllabus includes service user care and communication and radiographic examination procedures, to include the Head, Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis along with radiographic technology across a range of modalities

Download the full module specification

Diagnostic Imaging Practice 2
40 credits

Alongside Diagnostic Imaging Practice 1, this module will support you in achieving the commensurate skills and knowledge necessary to competently complete a radiographic examination to the ability expected of a level 5 student. The module has clinical and academic components, and also makes use of the clinical facilities available within the Faculty. It aims to provide grounding in diagnostic imaging whilst developing a holistic approach to the service user. The syllabus includes service user care and communication; and radiographic examination procedures; to include the Head, Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis along with radiographic technology across a range of modalities.

Download the full module specification

The Developing Practitioner
40 credits

The programme aims to develop competent, patient focussed, compassionate and autonomous diagnostic radiographers. This module aims to increase your awareness of the ethical and legal issues inherent in healthcare provision to facilitate autonomous practice. It helps you to develop a pro-active lifelong learning approach which will enable you to provide consistent service user focussed care. This includes those patient groups who require extra care and these care needs are explored within this module.

Download the full module specification

Year Three

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Advancing Diagnostic Imaging Practitioner
40 credits

This core module has clinical and academic components and builds upon the knowledge acquired in Level 4 and 5. It also makes use of clinical skills facilities available within the faculty and in addition clinical placement. This Module aims to provide a thorough knowledge of the advancing role of a diagnostic imaging practitioner.

Download the full module specification

Radiography Research
40 credits

This core module provides you with experience in developing a research proposal which will underpin your future radiography practice in line with the aims of the College of Radiographers and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) to embed research throughout the profession. It will require you to develop independence, initiative, innovation and an adaptable approach, to be able to problem solve. In particular, you will be required to apply, develop and propose an appropriately safe research methodology to a radiography related topic of your own choosing. You will develop a proposed example to demonstrate your grasp of how a research proposal might be implemented, taking into account the ethical implications of research. This is a task that will require the development of research skills and demonstrating the understanding and application of research approaches.

Download the full module specification

The Competent Practitioner
40 credits

This core module is designed to be a continuation of modules at Level 4 (The Emerging Practitioner) and Level 5 (The Developing Practitioner) and uses those modules as a foundation for the information and development here. The module is intended to help you bridge from being a student to being a Registered Practitioner. The BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography programme aims to prepare you for a career in diagnostic radiography, where you should be continually seeking to improve the patient experience and your own expertise. To enable this development therefore, you will be supported in developing the skills required in a reflective practitioner and documenting these within an e-portfolio.

Download the full module specification

You have the flexibility to transfer to a standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Course structure for BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography

Radiography is a complex mix of technology, compassion and professionalism. This course will develop your knowledge and understanding of, radiographic technology, professional practice and the psychosocial issues surrounding healthcare. Once developed, these skills will enable you to use specialist technology to produce diagnostic images of patients, as well as supporting the medical teams during the subsequent treatments.

We place a strong emphasis on clinical experience, which we offer via  placements. These are your chance to be a part of the working world of health and social care as it really is: your first taste of your career.

Placements help you with your confidence, by putting theory from the classroom into practice. We make sure you get a quality experience and that you are fully supported by a workplace mentor and clinical liaison on hand throughout your placement. In addition you are regularly supported by your personal tutor from the university.

Your time spent at the university involves accessing learning opportunities that support your knowledge of radiographic practice. You will be accessing a wide range of teaching session including lectures, seminars, and small group workshops and electronic resources. You will work closely with other students in your group and will collaborate with students from other year groups and other courses.

In your final year you will produce a research proposal for research into an area of your own interest.

Examples of classroom activities

You will be employing your team working skills within the classroom setting within teaching workshops. This may include collaboration with more senior students who may work with you as mentors to help guide you with respect to practical skills within the X-ray room for example.

You will also be learning within our Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) rooms where you can practice image review and interpretation of radiographs and the virtual environment originally for radiotherapy training (VERT) to show cross sectional imaging.

Accreditation or professional associations

This Course is approved by the Society and College of Radiographers

Additional support

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you. 

More on our disability tutor >>

We offer extra technical and learning support.

Overseas Opportunities

Students undertake elective placements at a location of their own choice in years 3 of the course. Previously students have undertaken hospital placements in Australia, Cyprus and Gibraltar.

Trips and visits

Four students and two staff have visited a Canadian Hospital for clinical experience over the last two years. 

Further study

Many of our students continue on to complete Masters level study that supports their professional development to advanced practitioners. All qualified radiographers have a statutory obligation to evidence their Continuing Professional Development.

Enhancing employability skills

You will be gaining a professional qualification that will enable you to gain employment within the wider NHS. The clinical skills you gain will support your developing competence and enable you to undertake the role of a qualified therapeutic radiographer. You will gain competence in the safe and effective operation of cutting edge medical technologies and develop autonomous practice skills including decision making and care provision.

Your qualification will enable you to seek professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership with the Society of Radiographers.

You will receive opportunities to develop your employability skills whilst a student. This includes development of your ability to mentor others, practice your interview skills and job application writing skills. 


You will spend at least 50% of your time undertaking hospital-based clinical placement learning. You will gain experience at more than one placement site, and will provide imaging services and patient care demonstrating a wide variety of clinical expertise. Students will engage with the latest imaging equipment and techniques and will gain experiences of professional groups in the wider multidisciplinary care teams.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Our graduates secure employment as diagnostic radiographers. Diagnostic radiographers are responsible for the  accurate delivery of diagnostic imaging using high energy radiation, as well as the support of the patient as they undergo their examination.  They are the only healthcare professionals who are qualified to do this, working in a multidisciplinary environment, with radiologists, engineers, medical specialists and other healthcare professionals to ensure the holistic care of the patient and their carers is enabled. 

Examples of real graduates and their roles

Our graduates commence their working lives as diagnostic radiographers deploying effective and safe imaging procedures patients. Once further experience is gained radiographers are able to specialise and develop their skills in differing areas of practice. Our graduates have gained expertise and competence as advanced practitioners in the fields of Medical Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), Image Reporting, education and research.


Students studying within the Department of Radiography have accessing to the following dedicated specialists teaching resources:

  • Anatomical Models Lab
  • VERT Suite
  • PACS review room
  • PACS reporting room
  • Diagnostic Digital Radiography imaging suite (‘X-Ray room’)
  • Ultrasound simulator and ultrasound scanner

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Radiography Skills Suite

Our purpose-built Radiography Skills Suite allows you to improve your skills through simulation in a safe and protected environment, and includes:

  • Dedicated PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems) suite;
  • Dedicated Xograph X-ray imaging suite (CR and DR);
  • Fully functioning Mobile X-ray and Image Intensifier units, for use in our on-site Ward and Theatre simulation workshops.
  • Oncentra Masterplan Radiotherapy Planning system;
  • Ultrasim Ultrasound machine;

X Ray room/PACS Room

This is a real, working X-ray room, where students can practice taking x-rays and also to digitise them to view on the PACS system. We also have a fully functioning Mobile X-ray and Image Intensifier units, for use in our on-site Ward and Theatre simulation workshops. We use a portable camera system that can record and stream video to any other classroom on the campus so we can simulate scenarios with our students.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Mark Hetherington staff profile

Mark Hetherington

Course Leader HELS Foundation Year / Professional Navigator / Senior Lecturer

Mark Hetherington is the Course Leader for the HELS Foundation Year. His educational background is in Media and Communications and Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Mark has specialised in the areas of designing curriculum to support the student learning process; assessment design and feedback; supporting students through mentorship and supervision, and reflective practice, which has aided in developing the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Science’s Foundation Year.

Read Mark's full profile