Postgraduate study
Health & Social Care

PgDip/MSc Diagnostic Radiography (Pre-registration)

Medical imaging is key to fast and accurate diagnosis in modern healthcare. As a radiographer you meet a variety of people and help provide them with a diagnosis to inform their treatment.

Course information


  • PgDip 21 months and MSc 25 months full-time

More full-time details


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    School of Health & Social Care facilities

    The School of Health & Social Care has amazing purpose-built facilities simulating practice environments such as hospital wards, dental clinics and social care settings. See how students benefit and prepare for practice.


Radiographers work with the latest technology and often in fast paced environments where a clear head and an organised approach is key to safe practice. Through this course you build on your prior learning of anatomy and physiology to develop a critical understanding of contemporary radiography practice. You gain the skills to be a safe, autonomous, caring, professional practitioner. Core skills underpinning radiography include dispensing ionising radiation, interpreting medical image appearances, care of the patient and use of technology. We take a problem-based approach to learning, which includes opportunities to share learning with students from other allied health professions to promote teamwork and engagement. Successful completion of the course provides eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the Society and College of Radiographers.

Students studying this programme who obtain an NHS bursary can't also apply for a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company. From September 2018 funding for this programme will change. The website will be updated when details are confirmed.

Professional accreditation

The course is accredited with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the College of Radiographers. Practice placements are at Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle and North Tyneside.

Supporting information for applicants

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This is a unique, progressive and integrated fast-track course. It incorporates natural sciences, clinical sciences, health policy and research methods. The course would especially suit applicants with a biomedical sciences or anatomy background. We take a problem-based approach to learning, which includes opportunities to share learning with students from other allied health professions. We promote teamwork and an appreciation of how other disciplines contribute to health care.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Clinical Placement 1

This 35 week module prepares you for your first clinical placement. You gain an understanding of the radiographer’s role and the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the demands of the clinical placement.

Clinical Placement 2

This 17 week module introduces you to more complex radiographic examinations where you review radiographic images for diagnostic acceptability and abnormality recognition. It introduces you to the applications, indications and contraindications of a range of contrast media and pharmacology used in radiographic examinations and procedures.

Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Care

This module develops your understanding of the relevance and impact of contemporary health policy on your own professional practice.

Radiographic Studies

You address the competencies, personal skills and unique knowledge base necessary to undertake initial radiographic practice within a modern imaging department.

Contemporary medical imaging requires engagement with a diverse group of users while safely using a range of imaging modalities to gain diagnostic information; this interaction takes place within an increasingly complex healthcare environment, shared with many professional groups. In response to this challenge, a strategy of focusing on work-based scenarios is the core learning methodology.


Year 2 core modules

Clinical Placement 3

This module runs for 31 weeks, beginning with a taught element for the first 15 weeks and then your clinical placement. These taught seminars and workshops introduce you to a structured system of assessing radiographs for abnormalities, a structured system of providing a preliminary comment on the radiograph and peripheral intravenous cannulation technique.

Contemporary Radiographic Imaging

This is a 16 week module that takes places in the second year of the PgDip Diagnostic Radiography programme. It sets out to integrate the theoretical and clinical knowledge required for the student to put the needs of patients at the centre of their practice.

The specialist knowledge required for trauma work, the safeguarding of the child and the safeguarding of the older person will be considered. Current health care policies, guidelines, and the contemporary evidence base will form the basis of the module content.

Major Project

You undertake a substantive piece of either primary or secondary research developed from the research module in Stage 2. This is primarily an independent piece of research in a physiotherapy or related area with guidance from a member of the physiotherapy or research institute teams.

Specialist Radiographic Imaging

You build on previous learning undertaken in both clinical placement and university. You gain an insight into modern and evolving medical imaging technology.

Many specialist imaging modalities are covered, including computed tomography and ultrasound. The underpinning scientific principles and safety aspects of these modalities are discussed, as well as their use and clinical impact in the care of patients. Learning is enhanced through a series of keynote lectures and seminars.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

On campus, learning is facilitated through lectures, seminars, group work and problem-based learning. In addition the medical imaging team has access to IT facilities and a proportion of teaching is supported through a computer program which simulates the taking of x-rays plus special image retrieval and display systems.
Approximately 50% of your learning occurs in the clinical environment. During this time you have one day a week as study time, engaging with learning materials through the university’s VLE. The placements are designed to provide you with increasingly demanding opportunities to achieve the outcomes of the programme and to fulfil the requirement for clinical competence. You also experience a range of imaging strategies in different environments, so that as a radiographer you can act as both an informed source and an advocate for the patient. The clinical environment provides the setting for experiential learning and the development of clinical reasoning, problem-solving and a reflective approach to practice. You are encouraged to apply your theoretical knowledge to the practical situation, plan your practice, undertake the examination and reflect on the process and outcome.

How you are assessed

A range of assessment methods are used including written assignment, presentation and oral and written examinations. If you choose to complete the major project module of the MSc you are required to write a journal article.

Career opportunities

Graduates in diagnostic radiography are a vital part of modern health care and employment opportunities are available in the UK and abroad.

Entry requirements

We are unable to reconsider unsuccessful applicants in the same application cycle, however you can reapply in the future and you will be required to meet the criteria as if you were a first time applicant. Currently this course is not open to international applications.

Applicants should normally:

  • have an honours degree in science (at least 2.2)
  • have evidence of study within the last three years

Admission to the course is dependent upon completion of the following selection processes:

  • academic entry requirements being met
  • satisfactory application form
  • successful interview
  • successful admissions test result
  • satisfactory references
  • completed work-based risk assessment process
  • receipt of a satisfactory enhanced DBS check.

During the course and on completion you must declare any convictions, cautions or allegations to the University and relevant professional body prior to application for registration.

Your personal statement is measured against the following criteria:

  • demonstration of your insight into the role of the radiographer (regardless of how this has been achieved) and a commitment to the profession
  • demonstration of caring for others, for example in a service industry job, care provider, school role, community work
  • demonstration of interpersonal skills (communication and collaboration) for example, volunteering, work activities, team sports
  • demonstration of personal initiative and commitment - some individual accomplishment at a remarkable level for example part-time work, excellent grades, long-term youth group membership or sport/hobby participation
  • demonstration of self-awareness - describe the type of person you are.

You must also successfully pass an admissions test as part of the selection process. Take a look at a sample test.

To score well at interview you will be measured against the following criteria which has been mapped against the NHS Constitution values:

  • working together
  • respecting and preserving dignity
  • committed to and capable of becoming an autonomous professional radiographer
  • caring
  • compassionate
  • improving and innovating
  • non-judgmental, everyone counts

If you are successful in both shortlisting and interview you receive a conditional offer which is subject to the following:

  • evidence of achievement of the required academic qualifications
  • a successful work based risk assessment which will reflect the HEOPS recommendations - please read here. For more information on all of the HEOPS standards click here
  • a satisfactory DBS check - please note that any warnings, cautions, allegations or convictions received in the last five years may have implications for your continued offer on the course
  • satisfactory references.

Until the above are successfully completed the offer of a place on the course remains conditional.

Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credits for previous study or related work experience which can be credited towards the course you want to study. Find out more about RPL.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

Course information


  • PgDip 21 months and MSc 25 months full-time

More full-time details


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information