Diagnostic Radiography - BSc (Hons)
Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.
As a diagnostic radiographer you play a valuable part in a service user’s pathway by providing the imaging needed to support their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. This is done through the use of highly specialist technology. A career in diagnostic radiography combines science, technology, patient care and an eye for detail....
As a diagnostic radiographer you play a valuable part in a service user’s pathway by providing the imaging needed to support their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. This is done through the use of highly specialist technology. A career in diagnostic radiography combines science, technology, patient care and an eye for detail. As well as being a rewarding field to work in, it offers a diverse career pathway with a variety of options to progress to advanced practice.
Our Diagnostic Radiography course here at BCU is approved by the College of Radiographers and will support you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to prepare you to become a fully qualified diagnostic radiographer once you have graduated. On successful completion of all course requirements, you will be entitled to apply for registration with the regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), to gain registered practitioner status and be able to practice in the UK either within the NHS or the private sector.
What's covered in this course?
Our West Midlands based Diagnostic Radiography course provision is well-established and will offer you a mixture of education in academic and clinical environments. When on campus, as well as classroom delivery, you will have access to our specialist teaching spaces, including a well-equipped x-ray suite, image viewing facilities, ward, and operating theatre. You will also develop your specialist skills as you spend time on placements within a variety of imaging departments supported by our clinical partners in the Midlands region.
Your academic studies include subjects which form the core of diagnostic radiography practice, including the study of human anatomy, physiology and pathology, principles of radiation and imaging, and how to deliver exacting standards of patient care in the context of varying social and psychological needs. You will also develop a strong understanding of what it means to be a registered professional. The purpose of this is to ensure that you are prepared for practice with all the skills and knowledge you need to be a competent and confident diagnostic radiographer. This course will also support you with your employability skills so that you are ready to make the move into the working world as you complete your studies.
As you advance your knowledge of diagnostic radiography practice and the application of imaging technology to differing pathologies, you will develop academic and analytical skills and will explore the research evidence that forms the bases of current and emergent practices. You will also develop your ability to apply research strategies to health and care practice and will consolidate your clinical skills and knowledge to support your transition to registered practitioner status.
“If we weren’t radiographers we would be detectives, our job is to find out what is going on... I was x-raying patients from the first hour of my first day.” Adam Robinson
Why Choose Us?
- Funding - Allied health profession students will receive at least £5,000 a year in additional funding for maintenance and associated study costs. Download the funding FAQs
- Accredited course - this course is approved by The College of Radiographers
- Top 10 for Medical Technology graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2023)
- A well established provider - we are the largest training centre for diagnostic radiography in the Midlands region
- Study in our £71 million campus - complete with virtual reality teaching (VERT), radiography suites, X-ray room and state-of-the-art facilities to provide you with the very best learning environments
- Gain employability skills - at least 50 per cent of your time will be spent in clinical placement so that you can develop the practice skills necessary for employment
- Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas
- Flexible study - this course can be studied full-time over three years or part-time over six years to suit you
- Student loan finance - have you already studied an undergraduate degree but would like to do a second one in Diagnostic Radiography? You may be eligible for funding.
Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Join us for an on-campus Open Day this spring. It’s your chance to learn about our courses, chat to students and explore our campus and accommodation. Before the event we’ll post you an event programme to help plan your day and find your way.
Next Open Day: Saturday 25 March 2023
These entry requirements apply for entry in 2023/24.
All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
If your Level 3 qualifications do not meet the UCAS tariff for this course, you may be offered a place on our Health Sciences Foundation Year instead. This course offers an alternative pathway onto our Allied Health Professions courses. You do not need to submit a separate application but will automatically be considered for this if your predicted grades fall below the UCAS entry tariff. Find out more about the Foundation Year.
120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|Level 2 qualifications|
|GCSE||GCSE English Language or Literature, GCSE Maths and GCSE Science at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.|
|Scottish National 5||English Language or Literature, Maths and Science at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
|British bachelor's degree||
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma
|Open University courses||
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Recent relevant study to GCE A-level standard or above must have been completed within five years of the course intake date the applicant is applying for.
Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 7, with no subtest below 6.5. If English is studied at GCSE Level but as a second language, IELTs must be completed to qualify for UK L2 requirement.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Applicants must have evidence of study within the last five years.
Applicants are required to undertake a face-to-face engagement, normally in the format of an interview. Interviews are currently online via Microsoft Teams. Find out more about online interviews.
Places are subject to a satisfactory Occupational Heath Check, Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and registration with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Applicants should be aware that qualifications, personal statement, and references all form part of the selection criteria for this course.
Applications from mature candidates offering alternative qualifications will be considered.
Fees & How to Apply
Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2023
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 in 2023/24
- Apply via UCAS
- Part Time
- 6 years
- Show fees
- £1542 per 20 credits
- Year 1 - 60 credits
- Year 2 - 60 credits
- Year 3 - 60 credits
- Year 4 - 60 credits
- Year 5 - 60 credits
- Year 6 - 60 credits
Fees for Part-time students
This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.
Sorry, this course is not available to International students.
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.
You will be provided with four sets of uniform (tunic and trousers). If you need additional sets of uniform, you will need to purchase them.
Occupational health assessment
You will need to complete an occupational health assessment. The cost for this is included in your course fee.
This course requires specialist equipment. A radiography marker, metal ruler and TLDs will be provided.
Placement expenses (mandatory)
There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online
Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)
You will need to buy suitable footwear for placement, plus any additional uniform over the initial four sets that are provided.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.
You may wish to join the Society of Radiographers.
You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.
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.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
School or college experience
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
Non-accredited skills or achievement
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
This module will introduce you to the skills required when studying in higher education and to the resources that you will be using to support your academic and personal development. You will use the skills and resources introduced in this module throughout the course and after successful completion of your studies, to enable lifelong learning as a competent and autonomous practitioner.
Principles of Radiation Production and Protection 20 credits
The aim of this 20-credit module is to provide you with a grounding in diagnostic imaging whilst taking a holistic approach to the patient. The module provides you with the necessary theory and practical experience to enable you to competently perform basic radiographic imaging examinations of the chest, abdomen and pelvis and to evaluate the images produced. It will integrate anatomical knowledge with basic radiographic techniques and image evaluation for conventional radiography of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Justification of imaging requests will be considered, as will the process of bone formation.
The aim of this 20-credit module is to build on the skills learnt in RAD4063 Principles of Radiation Production and Protection to support your introduction to the technical aspects of being a radiographer. Throughout the module, there will continue to be a strong emphasis on safety and the application of legislation relevant to diagnostic imaging.
The aim of this 20-credit module is to continue to provide you with a grounding in diagnostic imaging whilst taking a holistic approach to the patient. Building on the knowledge acquired in RAD4059 The Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis, the module provides you with the necessary theory and practical experience to enable you to competently perform basic radiographic imaging examinations of the appendicular skeleton and to evaluate the images produced. It will integrate anatomical knowledge with basic radiographic techniques and image evaluation for conventional radiography of the appendicular skeleton. Justification of imaging requests will be considered, as will fracture mechanisms.
The aim of this 20-credit module is to provide you with an introduction to the care skills you will utilise as a Diagnostic Radiographer. You will also consider what it means to work as a healthcare professional in the NHS. This module will introduce and support you in achieving the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare you for clinical practice. Learning on this module will consist of large group lectures, workshops in our skills facilities, group discussions and online activities. There will also be the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed in this module to practice during your clinical placements.
Through engagement with an allocated rotation of partnership practice placements, you will gain firsthand experience in a range of clinical settings and imaging modalities. Linking to the core principles and knowledge taught in your level 4 academic modules, your clinical module will offer you the opportunity to develop your clinical and care skills, radiographic technique, and professional aspects of practice.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
Considerations for Professional Practice 20 credits
The Axial Skeleton 20 credits
Radiographic Technologies and Imaging Principles 40 credits
Systems of the Body 20 credits
Further Academic Skills and Knowledge - Preparing for Research 20 credits
Clinical Placement in Diagnostic Radiography 2 0 credits
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
Advanced Academic Skills and Knowledge – Research 40 credits
Adaptive Radiography and Advancing Technologies 40 credits
Preparation for Professional Practice 20 credits
Critical Thinking in Practice 20 credits
Clinical Placement in Diagnostic Radiography 3 0 credits
Download course specificationDownload now
How you'll learn
There will be delivery of academic modules worth 120 credits during each of the 3 years of the course. In addition to these, there will be a zero-credit clinical module at each level of study that you will also be required to complete. All modules are core, and therefore all content and assessments (both academic and clinical) must be passed to meet the requirements for the award of BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography. Upon successful completion of all academic and clinical modules, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a diagnostic radiographer.
We utilise a variety of methods within our learning and teaching strategy to encourage reflective and critical thinking. The aim of this is to enable you to become a confident and autonomous learner, with sound academic and clinical knowledge, supporting your employability and skillset for lifelong learning and continuous professional development.
The year plan is designed to integrate theory and practice using a modular approach with alternating blocks of academic study and clinical practice across all 3 years. Delivery of academic elements of the Diagnostic Radiography course will predominantly be at the university, either in a face-to-face capacity or through online learning platforms, such as the university’s online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Moodle, to deliver a blended approach to learning. Clinical experience is gained through attending an allocated clinical placement rotation and is reinforced within the university environment through the use of our dedicated skills suite and simulation activities. Our onsite radiography suite has capabilities for both DR (Digital Radiography) and CR (Computed Radiography), allowing you to see the evolution of technology and the importance of utilising effective imaging technique. The radiography suite is used throughout all 3 years of the course alongside our PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) and anatomical model resources in order to support your learning of anatomy, physiology, positioning technique and technical factors.
There will be a variety of learning and teaching activities within the course including seminars, individual or small group tutorials, didactic lectures, and study groups. These will include anatomy, physiology and pathology workshops, simulation of clinical scenarios, debates, group presentations, amongst others.
Throughout the course there will be an integration of clinical practice experience with academic learning, so that you can forge connections between your developing professional knowledge and practical skills as developing diagnostic radiographers. Our approach has been to embed fundamentals of professional knowledge within the first phases of the course so that you can develop a firm foundation in the principles of radiation and imaging, anatomy and physiology, and the provision of an excellent standard of patient care. As you advance through the levels of study, you will explore increasingly complex aspects of radiographic practice and develop your skills in analysing the evidence base that underpin protocols and procedures so that you understand where and how diagnostic radiography fits into a patient’s diagnostic pathway and beyond. During the final stages of the course, you will be encouraged to adopt self-critical and analytical approaches to your developing professional identity and your role as a diagnostic radiographer within the wider multidisciplinary hospital teams.
Clinical experience is gained through attending clinical placement rotation and is reinforced within the university environment through the use of our dedicated skills suite and simulation activities. Within the first semester of Level 4, you will be required to meet 4 mandatory requirements before you will be permitted to attend placement. These include a clear enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, agreement from Occupational Health that you are fit to attend placement, as well as mandatory training in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Patient Movement and Handling. You will be required to renew your mandatory training in each academic year to maintain and develop your skills in these areas. You must also make us aware if there are any changes to your DBS at any point during the course, or if any changes to your physical or mental health impact on your fitness to practice. More information on this is available in the Course Handbook and Student Clinical Handbook.
Throughout the course, you will be assessed using a variety of methods including examinations, assignments, presentations, case studies, in-person OSCE/VIVAs, and clinical assessments of competence. They will be supported in the development of your academic skills (including academic writing, knowledge base, referencing, literature searching, and criticality) as part of the curriculum starting at Level 4 but also with the support of wider academic support services across the university (e.g., Academic Development Department, Centre for Academic Success, and the Library). You will be supported in the development of your clinical competency skills by both academic and clinical-based staff. You will also be given opportunities to develop transferable skills, which you will be able to use in your employed professional lives after graduation and verbal skills to articulate and justify your decisions and intentions.
Formative assessment opportunities exist within all modules and help you to prepare for your summative assessments. Following completion of any formative assessments, you will receive feedback on your performance as well as guidance on how you should proceed with your learning to support your success in the summative item(s) (feedback and feedforward). Similarly, for your summative assessments, you will receive feedback on the assessment items, as well as feed forward on how to improve for future assessments.
If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.
We offer extra technical and learning support.
College of Radiographers
The College of Radiographers (CoR) is a registered charity concerned with standards in the provision and development of diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy for the public benefit.
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.
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.
Facilities & Staff
We have invested £340 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.
These are set up to look like typical hospital wards, with four to six bays. Depending on the topic in hand, different manikins can be used as patients and relevant equipment is provided to practise clinical skills. Some of the manikins are interactive and can simulate different scenarios e.g. some allow you to cannulate, check pulses, intubate etc, and some can talk to you. One ward is often used as an adult ward, and the other as a child ward.
These rooms also allow for scenarios to be set up for other professions such as dietetics, paramedic science and social work.
The Operating Theatre and Recovery Suites
The operating theatre and recovery suite gives you the sense of what it would be like in a real surgical environment.
These spaces emulate the full surgical journey from anaesthetics, through surgery and into recovery. ODP students can practice a range of skills including gowning, hand washing, preparing instrument trays, and working with a patient. Nurses and midwives may experience a surgical placement and need to go to theatre or be part of the midwifery team involved with caesarean sections. Many other Allied Health Professionals may also see patients in recovery if necessary.
Home Environment Room
This space is used to simulate non-clinical settings, as not everything health professionals deal with is hospital based. This is used for simulations of home visits and home births. It also houses soft matting and a bubble machine that are used by the Learning Disability Nursing team.
Assisted Living Space
This space replicates a flat and is used for scenarios such as home visits. The sitting room area provides a different space to practise skills and simulations and work with service users and other students.
This specially designed kitchen has different areas where you can practice cooking, cleaning, boiling the kettle etc., with someone who has actual or simulated visual impairments. There are adapted devices to help, and simulation glasses for you to wear to experience visual impairments.
This is a space for physiotherapy students to use, with various equipment to practise client meetings.
Radiotherapy Planning Computer Suite
Our computers allow you to plan hypothetical treatments, in terms of angles and directions, ensuring that radiotherapy reaches where it is needed on a patient’s body.
Radiography Image Interpretation and Reporting Stations Computer Suite
These facilities allow you to view and analyse x-rays.
VERT - Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training
This room contains 3D technology to view virtual patients and look at trajectories for treatment.
This room contains the same bed/couch used when patients are given radiotherapy treatment. While students of course do not administer radiotherapy in this room, it does allow them to practise adjusting the equipment to make sure both it and a patient would be in the correct position to receive treatment.
This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with fiv small telehealth booths down either side. These are to allow all our health professions students to practise delivering healthcare and advice remotely, either over the phone or on a video call. This addition to our teaching reflects moves in the sector to offer more flexible access to healthcare services, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the West Midlands Imaging Academy hub, funded by Health Education England. These expanded facilities will mean we can further develop our courses and expertise in radiography and imaging.
Speech and Language Therapy Resource Room
Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have developed a collection of tools, books and resources to help you learn and understand the implications of a speech or swallowing limitation. You can practise one to one client meetings and clinics and use the video recording equipment to review role play scenarios.
Jeremy Lima qualified as a Diagnostic Radiographer at the University of Hertfordshire in 2009 after moving to England from Gibraltar. He worked at a large NHS foundation trust in Oxford before joining BCU. Full ProfileMore about Jeremy