- BELFAST TRUST - CANCER CENTRE
- Radiotherapy Departments - UK wide
- Western Health and Social Care Trust
- Altnagelvin hospital
- CITY HOSPITAL CENTRE CENTRE
- Therapeutic Radiographer
- Radiation Therapist
Important notice – campus change Students will complete the next two years on the Jordanstown campus (academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21). Thereafter, from 2021, they may transition campuses. Precise timings will be communicated as we progress through the final stages of the build of the enhanced Belfast campus. Find out more
The Radiotherapy and Oncology degree programme is tailored to provide the education and training required for first post therapeutic radiographers.
The BSc Hons Radiotherapy and Oncology programme is designed to provide vocational education at undergraduate level for careers in therapeutic radiography. Therapeutic Radiography involves the use of ionising radiation in the treatment of cancer. A therapeutic radiographer is responsible for the planning and delivery of the treatment prescription together with the general healthcare of the patient. It is important to note that radiotherapy involves working with ill and vulnerable patients and that patient care is as vitally important as the technical aspects of the role.
The University regularly 'refreshes' courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation'. This course will be 'refreshed' during the 2017/18 academic year, with changes put in place for students entering in September 2018. For the most up-to-date course/module information, please contact the course director.
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About this course
In this section
The BSc Hons Radiotherapy and Oncology course is a full-time programme of study of three-year duration leading to the award of an Honours degree. The Radiotherapy and Oncology course is recognised by the Society and College of Radiographers and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Radiotherapy and Oncology graduates are eligible to apply for Registration with HCPC and membership of the Society of Radiographers.
Three years, full-time including eight week long clinical placements each summer between Year 1 and 2 and between Year 2 and 3. Academic semesters, Monday to Friday, 12 weeks of on-campus contact hours: Year 1 (level 4) averaging 20 hrs /wk, year 2 (level 5) averaging 16 hrs/wk, year 3 (level 6) averaging 12 hrs/wk. The total effort hours per semester (contact time and self-directed study) is 600 hours, averaging 40 hrs/wk. Clinical Placement modules – Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm, 40 hrs/wk.
This course will move campus from September 2019 onwards.
- September 2019
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The programme is delivered by a combination of academic and professional practice modules. The academic subjects include a basic education and training in human anatomy, physiology and pathology, physics applied to radiotherapy, radiation protection, clinical studies and an introduction to clinical oncology and radiotherapy science. Individuals undertake professional practice/clinical placement training within a designated hospital radiotherapy department. Much of the professional practice is undertaken during the summer months.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development
This module provides opportunities to learn in an interprofessional context. Students will acquire skills for both academic and practice based learning. It will provide them with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on issues relating to professional practice and personal development within a supportive environment.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 1
This module introduces the anatomy, physiology and pathology syllabus relevant to radiotherapy and oncology. This knowledge will underpin the concurrent study of oncology and future studies relative to radiotherapy practice.
Radiotherapy Science and Equipment
This module will enable the student to gain knowledge and understanding of the physical principles and capabilities of external beam radiotherapy and X-ray imaging equipment. An understanding of the process of image formation, essential for safe and competent therapeutic radiography practice. It provides a fundamental understanding of the principles and describes the design and use of radiotherapy treatment and imaging equipment.
Preparation for Radiotherapy Practice
Introduction to the LRC, literature and database searching. Discussion on academic writing. Using Refworks and Harvard referencing. Public health, Cancer, epidemiology, aetiology, tumour formation, staging and spread, treatment modalities, patient management in RT department. Investigations and patient care. Carcinogenesis, Principles of radiobiology. Normal tissue reactions. Introduction to developing a Professional Practice Portfolio and enhancing learning through reflective practice. Principles of Radiation Protection, Health & Safety. Appreciation of treatment prescription and optimization. Practical principles of radiotherapy practice. The role of the professional body and professional responsibilities of the radiographer. Orientation placement in clinical department.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 2
This module requires the student to explore Radiotherapy and Oncology presentation and management of a variety of malignancies in preparation for professional practice placement 1.This knowledge will underpin the future studies relative to radiotherapy technique and practice.
Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the mechanisms of actions of chemotherapy, hormone-blocking therapy and various targeted therapies. Lymphoedema management and principles of pharmacology will also be explored.
Through the integration of the service-user voice, students will gain a unique insight and understanding of the full psychosocial experience of a person who has been through cancer.
Radiotherapy Physics and Treatment Planning
This module will enable the student to gain knowledge and understanding of the digital image and image formation, essential for safe and competent radiotherapy practice. It provides a fundamental understanding of the principles and describes the design and use of digital diagnostic imaging equipment and associated information technology such as PACS and RMS. It provides more detailed understanding of the physical principles and capabilities of radiotherapy equipment and treatment planning.
Health Science Research
The module develops research knowledge and skills for using published evidence to inform practice and for designing and conducting research and clinical audit post-registration. The focus is on research design and qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate for healthcare research. A series of lectures and seminars will develop research knowledge and its application in using and producing research evidence. Workshops will provide practical experience of research activities including data analysis. In addition, course specific seminars will provide guidance on the development of a research idea and presentation of an outline research proposal.
Professional Practice Placement (R&O) 1
Students will have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal and interprofessional communication skills and experience being an integral part of a radiotherapy treatment team. This module allows the individual student to build in their previously acquired knowledge and clinical skills. It will provide the student with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience in a range of radiotherapy settings including mould room, treatment planning and other non-radiographic departments.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 3
This module will build on the knowledge acquired in Radiotherapy Physics and Equipment module studied in year 1 and the experience gained during Professional Practice Placement. It complements some of the aspects of Quality Assurance studied in Imaging for Radiotherapy Module. It will provide students with an understanding of the subjects of Brachytherapy, Radiopharmaceuticals for treatment, Stereotactic RT, and current developments in radiotherapy. It consolidates aspects of Professional Practice Placement 1 undertaken concurrently during semester 1 of year 2. Students will have the opportunity to fuse theoretical and clinical knowledge as they study oncology of female reproductive system, endocrine system, central nervous system in this academic module alongside developing an insight and appreciation of the necessity for Quality Management Systems.
Imaging in Radiotherapy
This module provides an understanding of the key concepts of science, technology and safety relating to the specialised imaging modalities: CT MRI, MU and RNI. Participants will develop an understanding of digital image quality amd effective image manipulation.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 4
This module examines Radiotherapy and Oncology of the oral cavity, salivary glands, pharynx (including tonsils), larynx, nasal cavity, sinuses and thyroid gland.
Radiography Legislation and Procedures
This module will facilitate and enhance the student's appreciation of their role as a practising radiographer and explore opportunities for role development. The module will examine the importance of entrepreneurial skills and health promotion activity in the professional setting and examine their application to radiography or radiotherapy. Mechanisms to ensure the protection and safety of the patient and service users are examined.
In this module students will develop research skills by undertaking a research study on a topic related to practice. Each student, with support, will have an opportunity to undertake one of the following types of research project: (i) a systematic critical review to inform practice;(ii) a research protocol involving the design of a research study or health promotion activity or (iii) a research report involving the collection and/or analysis of data to produce evidence to inform practice. Lectures and clinics, supplemented by online material, will provide the theoretical knowledge and guidance required to undertake the research task. Workshops will provide support for practical skills such as systematic searching for literature, using critical appraisal tools and data management and analysis.
Professional Practice Placement (Rad & Onc) 2
This module allows the individual student to build on their previously acquired knowledge and clinical skills. It will provide the student with the opportunity to develop clinical skills in the localization of tumours, production of treatment plans and delivery of treatment. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal and interprofessional communication skills and to experience being an integral part of a radiotherapy treatment team.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 5
This module examines radiotherapy and oncology of the musculoskeletal system, lymphatic and haemopoietic cancers and the use of radiotherapy for the treatment of non-malignant disorders. It also explores the common forms of paediatric cancer with discussion of appropriate treatment management and psychosocial wellbeing.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 6
This module will develop an appreciation of the impact of government strategies and policies related to cancer, palliative and end of life care. The psychosocial impact of cancer on the individual and family circle will be considered. Students will critically examine the need for cancer education and public cooperation to reduce the cancer burden. Attention will be drawn to the role of charitable organisations and support networks. Alternative and complimentary therapies will be evaluated, and the evidence base examined. The magnitude of the necessity for interdisciplinary collaboration will be consolidated.
Professional Practice Placement (Rad & Onc) 3
This module will provide the student with the opportunity to develop clinical skills in the localisation of tumours, production of treatment plans and delivery of treatment, quality assurance and risk assessment management. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal and inter-professional communication skills and to experience being an integral part of a radiotherapy treatment team.
Cancer Service Evaluation
This module is optional
Students will have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal and inter-professional communication skills and to experience being an integral part of multidisciplinary teams. They will be able to choose elective placements that complement previous experience or pursue an interest that was cultivated during a previous placement. This will foster specific interests and engender an understanding of the necessity of evidence based practice to deliver high-quality patient outcomes. The module will require students to produce a written article in the form of a submission for publication.
Erasmus Radiotherapy Placement
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity for Radiotherapy and Oncology students to engage in an Erasmus exchange with partner institutions in Europe. The module is optional, students have the choice to undertake the final year Cancer Service Evaluation module or to participate in an Erasmus exchange with one of the partner institutions within the Erasmus Radiography Group. Learning agreements for studies are established between Ulster and the host partner institutions enabling students to experience an international professional and cultural exchange. Students will have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal and inter-professional communication skills and to experience being an integral part of international multidisciplinary teams. This will foster specific interests and engender an understanding of the necessity of evidence based practice to deliver high-quality patient outcomes.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include a grade B from one of the following: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology. Double Award Life & Health Sciences (BB) or Double Award Applied Science (grade BB).
Applied General Qualifications
Overall BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile DDM (to include a unit grade profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant science based BTEC. Applicants must also meet the GCSE science requirements for the course
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DDM. Applicants must also meet the GCSE science requirements for the course.
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard (provided subject requirements are met). Examples of combinations include:
A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate
A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 to include English, Maths, Physics (Physics with Chemistry acceptable), plus one of Biology or Chemistry.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
Overall Access profile pass with an overall mark of 65%, including 65% in each level 3 module to include level 3 modules physics and one of biology or chemistry. NICATS maths (25 credits) or maths 1 & 2 or GCSE grade C Maths.
GCSE Profile to include English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4. Plus GCSE Physics grade C/4 and one of Biology or Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grade BB/66.
Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Mathematics.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
Satisfactory performance in the HPAT-Ulster selection test is also required. More information on the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT-Ulster) can be found at www.hpat-ulster.acer.org. Please note that there is a cost to undertake the test.
Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by www.accessni.gov.uk (http://www.accessni.gov.uk).
You will also be required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course. You will therefore complete a health declaration form which will be screened by Occupational Health who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course. Following the screening, you may be required to undertake a vaccination programme. You will be liable for the cost of both the health screening and vaccinations. Costs will be confirmed.
HND (science related) entry requirement:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units.
HNC (science related) entry requirement:
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units.
OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC National Extended Certificate
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in a science related area with an overall mark of 55% in level 5 modules. Applicants will be considered for year one entry only.
Exemptions and transferability
Due to the nature and structure of the course programme exemptions and transfer are very unlikely, however each case is determined individually. Postgraduate programmes are available on successful completion of the course.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:
- BELFAST TRUST - CANCER CENTRE
- Radiotherapy Departments - UK wide
- Western Health and Social Care Trust
- Altnagelvin hospital
- CITY HOSPITAL CENTRE CENTRE
Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:
- Therapeutic Radiographer
- Radiation Therapist
Excellent employment opportunities for Radiotherapy and Oncology graduates exist within the National Health Service, in private medicine and in those companies concerned with the manufacture and sale of radiotherapy equipment. There are also many research opportunities for suitably qualified graduates both at this university and elsewhere. Further information regarding careers in radiotherapy may be found at www.sor.org and www.nhscareers.nhs.uk.
Work placement / study abroad
The Radiotherapy and Oncology students undertake professional practice placement modules as an integral part of the programme. Final year students have the opportunity to undertake an elective clinical placement at a hospital of their choosing either at home or abroad. The programme is a partner in the Erasmus Radiography Group and students may apply for a three month Erasmus+ exchange as part of the programme.
Approved by the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).
Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a radiographer.
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
Unfortunately, Ulster University is not it in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland or Wales due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland. For more info click here.
- September 2019
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
Additional mandatory costs
Additional costs include - AccessNI Check, Health Screening, Membership of Society of Radiographers, Placement Expenses, Uniforms.
Uniforms: As part of entry to your course, you will be required to purchase a uniform during the first week of the semester. 2017/18 costs were approx. £105.
Membership of Society of Radiographers: You will be required to join the Society of Radiographers. The cost of student membership will be approximately £100 for the three years.
Placement Expenses: Students may incur expenses during periods of placement. Some placements may be outside Northern Ireland and will incur additional costs.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
- The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
- Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
- The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.