• Diagnostic Radiography

BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography

UCAS code: B821 BSc/DRad

Diagnostic radiography plays a key role in one of the fastest developing technical areas of the health sector.

Note: this course is closed for September 2014.

You could work in one of several sections within the hospital medical-imaging department and carry out a variety of imaging investigations, including ultrasound, CT and MRI scanning. You produce images to obtain or confirm a diagnosis, or you may be involved in therapeutic procedures like angioplasty. This course combines academic study with practice placements in imaging departments. You develop the knowledge, skills and experience for a rewarding career in diagnostic radiography. This course is approved by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the course you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Diagnostic Radiographer.

Supporting information for applicants

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In Year 1 you are introduced to subjects such as regional anatomy, radiographic practice, X-ray production, appraising evidence and preparing for professional practice. You spend 19 weeks in clinical practice where you work towards the achievement of first-year clinical competency.

The more technical aspects of radiography are covered in Year 2. You explore ethical issues relating to the imaging of diverse patient groups and develop your research skills further. You develop image interpretation and evaluation skills, and experience specialised modalities such as cross-sectional imaging. At the end of this Year you complete two weeks’ clinical placement at your base hospital and, having completed Year 2 clinical competencies, negotiate a further four-week placement of your choice in a relevant imaging department.

In Year 3 you develop a research proposal and explore the impact of the government agenda on the profession. You develop further image interpretation skills using our world leading image database, and explore evolving imaging technologies by building a business case. You develop a portfolio which evidences your professional development and clinical competence in preparation for first post competence.

Modules

Year 1 core modules

Pathophysiology for Radiographers

Understanding how the body functions normally and abnormally are important elements of the underpinning knowledge of a radiographer. An underlying pathology may influence your choice of exposure factors for an examination.

It is important you understand if a patient is capable of co-operating with your requests during an examination, for example whether a patient can breathe in fully or not will affect the radiographic examination and resultant radiograph.

You explore the microscopic structure and function of the human body relevant to diagnostic radiography, together with basic knowledge of:
>health
>disease
>disorder
>dysfunction of the skeletal system
>soft tissue organs
>the cardiovascular
>respiratory
>genito-urinary
>gastro-intestinal
>neuro-endocrine systems

You are also introduced to some common diseases and pathologies you are likely to encounter in your first placement.

Preparation for Practice

By exploring skills and development issues relating to the core theme of professionalism you get an understanding of professional practice issues.

You focus on key transferable skills and essential practice skills – preparing you for the demands of practice placements, and ensuring you are sufficiently informed and equipped to practice safely.

Preparation for practice has the essential ingredients if you are new to health and social care – setting the tone for both personal and professional development.

Assessment is by practical examination and online discussion.

Radiographic Practice One

You are introduced to the profession of radiography. It is partly studied at the University where the physical principles of x-ray production, its interaction with matter and radiation protection are taught.

In addition you learn the principles of radiographic technique and have the opportunity to practice some basic radiographic techniques in the simulated skills lab and use simulation through the use of virtual radiography.

The second half of the module, is undertaken in clinical practice where you put the theory into practice under the guidance and supervision of qualified radiographers.

Regional Anatomy

Radiographers require a detailed knowledge of anatomy. You look at surface markings and how you use these anatomical features to assist you in positioning patients for x-ray examinations. You also look at detailed internal anatomy that you then apply to the radiographic image so you can decide whether the image is normal or abnormal.

You learn through keynote lectures, seminars on prepared work, practical sessions, and individual tutorials. While on clinical placement, you engage with radiographs on a daily basis and gain an appreciation of anatomical variation – clinical mentors facilitate your learning of radiographic anatomy.

Skills for Appraising Evidence (Radiography)

Appraising evidence skills are essential for health care practitioners. It is important that you understand how research is generated and how it may be applied to practice. You are introduced to research skills that give you the foundation on which to build in years two and three.

From this foundation you advance and develop your knowledge and skills in relation to Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). Reflective practice and life-long learning introduce you to learning theory and help you identify your own individual learning style, as well as develop your academic writing skills.

 

Year 2 core modules

Imaging Science and Technology

You investigate and examine the current evidence base for your clinical radiography practice. You familiarise yourself with the current UK, European and International legislative framework for the use of ionising radiation in medicine.

This ensures that service users, comforters and carers, operators and their co-workers are all optimally protected from ionising radiation, and that technology options and settings result in an efficient diagnostic outcome.

Your practice encompasses the following examination types:
>general radiography
>fluoroscopy
>mammography
>dental
>computed tomography

Your use of this technology includes examining patients, routine maintenance, quality assurance and calibration.

Non-ionising Radiation Imaging and Informatics

You get an insight into the imaging modalities and associated equipment that use radiation in the non-ionising part of the electromagnetic spectra.

You must appreciate the diagnostic alternatives to imaging with ionising radiation for the protection of patients. You explore the theoretical principles underpinning each imaging modality and identify their benefits and limitations when applied to given diagnostic situations.

However, as none of the alternative imaging modalities are hazard free, you require sufficient understanding of the physical principles of the alternative imaging modalities to enable true risk benefit assessment. When assisting with these diagnostic investigations you are expected to understand and apply the safety procedures.

Professional Ethics and Values

Profession ethics and values covers the theoretical and clinical ethical principles related to modern health care, medical imaging and a variety of client groups/users. You explore a variety of clinical ethical dilemmas related to medical imaging using a model to aid clinical reasoning and ethical decision making.

Concepts such as advocacy, moral autonomy, justice and human rights are explored alongside moral dilemmas surrounding mental capacity, disability, confidentiality, competency and the beginnings and ends of life.

You explore your own role and contribution to effective collaborative and effective team/group working as well as gaining insight into your own emotional intelligence, self-awareness and its influence on your learning and future professional practice.

Radiographic Practice Two

As part of this module you organise your negotiated placement which takes place at the end of your second year. While on placement you work towards completing your clinical competencies

You learn throughout the academic year and teaching is delivered initially via Blackboard where the focus is on contrast examinations, associated pharmacology and radiographic technique of the axial skeleton.

The second half of the module is taught in the University where the focus is on image interpretation and evaluation of the chest and abdomen. An OSCE-like examination takes place in Week 17 after clinical placement.

You are introduced to more complex examinations where reviewing the images for diagnostic acceptability are addressed. You develop greater autonomy in your learning by using formative dialogues and learning contracts whilst on clinical placement.

Research, Audit and Data

You are provided with the skills necessary to plan a research study or a clinical audit.

You gain the knowledge and understanding to be able to critically evaluate research evidence and consider its application to radiography practice based upon the principles of Evidence-based Practice.

This builds on the skills acquired after completing the year one Radiography Skills module. You develop a sound theoretical and practical knowledge of the research methods underpinning quantitative and qualitative research.

This is achieved by addressing the research process from a practical approach, looking at the nature of 'data' itself and problems surrounding its creation and analysis.

The emphasis is on the application of these skills to clinical problems and learning is supported through the use of clinical scenarios relevant to radiography.

 

Year 3 core modules

Evolving Imaging Technologies

You gain an insight into the complex nature of evolving imaging modalities and technology.

You are required to make judgements on equipment performance, giving particular reference to the imaging equipment’s clinical suitability – ‘fit for purpose’. You are introduced to the structure and function of complex imaging equipment and their accessories.

We cover the application of the safety procedures associated with each modality in order to protect service users, staff and equipment. You explore the theoretical principles underpinning each imaging modality and identify their benefits and limitations when applied to given clinical situations.

Equipment management issues such as data quality, training, infrastructure capacity and demand and managing change are addressed.

Image Interpretation

The first half of this year long module is delivered in the University where you study the theoretical principles related to image interpretation. The second half takes place in the clinical setting where you integrate theory with practice, supported by clinical radiographers and the virtual learning environment Blackboard.

Keynote lectures and seminars develop the underpinning principles of image interpretation. We revisit radiographic anatomy, disease and trauma processes and explore how these manifest on diagnostic images.

During the second half of the module you apply theory to practice supported by clinical radiographers. Where possible, you sit in on reporting sessions with reporting radiographers or radiologists.

The final assessment is in the form of a written exam (OSCE) where you interpret and make comment on images.

Impact of Health Care Policy on Clinical Imaging Practice

This year-long module gives you an understanding of contemporary healthcare policy and its impact on current professional practice.

You explore theory through keynote lectures and seminars and are encouraged to reflect upon, and evaluate, how these issues impact your clinical practice. Specialist clinicians explain and discuss how health care policy has affected their own working practices.

You assess the need for continuing professional development and life-long learning in order to remain fit for purpose. Before going back on placement you have the opportunity to undergo a mock interview with a clinician and an academic member of staff –individual feedback is given to help you prepare you for interviews.

Radiographic Practice Three

We help you achieve the skills and attributes needed for your first post as well as helping you to consolidate the radiographic skills you acquired in earlier in the course. You also further develop your ability to adapt your practice to meet individual service user’s needs.

A blended learning approach is employed, using a problem based approach while in the academic setting, supported by seminars. Whilst on placement your learning is supported by the clinical mentors and supplemented by online learning, using a range of tools such as blog and podcast to create a supportive community.

You critically evaluate your role in the care and management of a range of service users in a number of different clinical settings. This requires a detailed knowledge of cross-sectional anatomy, disease progression and how different imaging strategies are employed.

Radiographic Research Proposal

You have a range of learning and teaching opportunities that let you develop a research proposal.

The first part of the module builds on the practical element of the second year by considering in detail the research process, the various approaches to research and the advantages and disadvantages of the varying methodologies in relation to research in the context of EBP and diagnostic radiography.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

A variety of learning and teaching methods is used throughout the course. These include lectures, practical seminars, problem-based learning, small group work as well as practical laboratory sessions and simulation. Constructive feedback is given throughout the course to enhance your learning opportunities and experiences in University and when in practice.

Whilst on placements you are supervised by experienced clinicians and mentors. You receive support from your University personal tutor who will visit you regularly. You should be prepared to travel for your placements within the region.

How you are assessed

You are assessed by a variety of means including assignment, examination, portfolio and observed practice. Assessment is carefully matched to module outcomes. Practice assessment is conducted by clinical mentors in a range of clinical situations against radiographic benchmark clinical competencies. Essential competencies must be met for this course which include:

  • undertaking a range of radiographic examinations, adapting radiographic technique where appropriate within and outside the imaging department
  • the ability to evaluate images critically to interpret the presence or absence of trauma or disease
  • working as an operator, practitioner or referrer as local protocols demand, in accordance with the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations
  • acting as a professional, collaborating with patients, clients and other healthcare practitioners to manage health care delivery
  • keeping accurate and legible records.

Career opportunities

Radiographers are in demand in the UK and overseas within the NHS and private sector.

Entry requirements

A typical offers is 260-300 tariff points from three A levels, including one science subject (or equivalent). You will also have to pass an admissions test and interview. For further detailed entry requirements for this course please visit www.ucas.com.

To score well at interview you need to demonstrate:

  • The potential to tend and minister to all in society (Compassion)
  • The ability to take care and notice the needs of others (Care)
  • The ability to communicate effectively (non-verbal and verbal)
  • A proactive approach to discover what the profession entails (Commitment)
  • Enthusiasm for the programme/profession (Commitment)
  • An appreciation of the demands of the programme and profession (Competence)
  • Potential to become an autonomous professional (Courage)

Shortlisting criteria for personal statement:

  1. Show insight into the role of the radiographer (regardless of how this has been achieved) and a commitment to the profession.
  2. Demonstrate caring for others i.e. service industry job, care provider, school role, community work.
  3. Demonstrate interpersonal skills (communication and collaboration) i.e. some volunteering activities, some work activities, some team sports.
  4. Demonstrate personal initiative and commitment e.g. some individual accomplishment at a remarkable level e.g. part time work, excellent grades, long term youth group membership or sport/hobby participation.
  5. Demonstrate a degree of self-awareness i.e. 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

You're encouraged to seek some work experience before you apply.

You must also

  • have five GCSEs (grade C or above) including English language, maths and science (or equivalent)
  • show you've done relevant study within the last three years
  • provide an enhanced DBS check (formerly known as CRB check)
  • be aware you need to declare any convictions, cautions or allegations to the relevant professional body before you apply to register
  • be eligible for a Department of Health bursary (more info on the
    NHS Student Bursaries website).

If you are successful in shortlisting, an admissions test and interview you will 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 recommendation. Please read these.
  • A satisfactory DBS disclosure. 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.

Please note until the above have been successfully completed the offer of a place on the course remains conditional.

HEOPS medical student fitness standards


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

What is KIS?

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Course information

  • Length: 3 years. Intake September.
  • Not available part-time

2014 entry

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