Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging - BSc (Hons)
The Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging degree is designed to provide education at undergraduate level for careers in diagnostic radiography.Take a look
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 Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging degree is designed to provide education at undergraduate level for careers in diagnostic radiography.
The BSc Hons Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging programme is designed to provide vocational education at undergraduate level for careers in diagnostic radiography.
The BSc Hons Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging course is a full-time programme of study of three-years duration. On completion, successful graduates are eligible to apply for registration under the protected title of "Radiographer" or "Diagnostic Radiographer" with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the statutory regulatory body responsible for ensuring continuing standards of education, training and professional proficiency in order to protect the public. The course is also recognised and endorsed by the Society and College of Radiographers, both students and graduates of the programme are eligible to apply for membership of the Society of Radiographers.
The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’ and normally conforms to a quinquennial cyle of review. This programme was last revalidated in March 2018, with the revised programme being implemented from September 2018. Further minor adjustments may be instigated in the interim as required, to ensure the course continues to meet professional requirements and University policy. 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 Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging programme is designed to provide vocational education at undergraduate level for careers in diagnostic radiography.
Diagnostic radiographers undertake imaging examinations essential to the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease and injury. This can also include the examination of apparently healthy individuals as part of a screening programme. As a diagnostic radiographer you will be required to evaluate the diagnostic and technical quality of images whilst at the same time recognising normal and abnormal appearances. Apart from the application of X-rays (including CT scanning), diagnostic radiography embraces ultrasound, radionuclide imaging, magnetic resonance imaging and other developing technologies. It is important to note that radiography involves working with ill and vulnerable patients, and that patient care is as vitally important as the technical aspects of the role.
The BSc Hons Diagnostic Radiography & Imaging course is a full-time programme of study of three-years duration leading to the award of an Honours degree with eligibility for registration with the HCPC. The course is also recognised by the Society and College of Radiographers, both students and graduates of the programme are eligible to apply for 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 consisting of 12 weeks of on-campus contact hours: level 4 averaging 20 hrs /wk, level 5 averaging 16 hrs/wk, 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 which are carried out in various hospitals, approved for clinical education and training of students throughout Northern Ireland. Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, 37.5 hrs/wk. In addition, there is a requirement to complete a minimum of 40 hours clinical experience outside of normal working hours.It should be noted that Placement 1 and 3 occur during the summer months.
- September 2020
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Teaching and learning will be through lectures, seminars, practical classes in a Diagnostic Imaging suite on campus as well as professional practice placement periods in Diagnostic Imaging departments.
A range of assessment will be used including computer based assignments, case studies, completion of a portfolio, practical tasks and written exams. These will be both formative and summative in nature throughout the course.
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 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.
Radiation Science and Technology 1
This module will enable the student to gain knowledge and understanding of the physical principles and capabilities of X-ray equipment and image formation, essential for safe and competent diagnostic or therapeutic radiography practice. It provides a fundamental understanding of the principles and describes the design and use of diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy treatment equipment and associated information technology such as PACS, RIS, EPR and RMS.
Image Anatomy & Pathology of Appendicular Skeleton
This module introduces the student to the essentials of Human anatomy and appendicular skeleton. The skills and knowledge gained will facilitate the understanding of skeletal anatomy and interactions in relation to normal and abnormal appearances in radiographic images.
Radiographic Technique of the Appendicular Skeleton
This module will introduce the student to first patient contact and the skills and understanding required to produce high quality routine radiographic images of the appendicular skeleton. This knowledge gained will prepare the student for orientation placement. This module will also cover the safe clinical application of techniques in diagnostic radiography including patient care, health and safety and radiation protection.
Radiation Science and Technology 2
This module will enable the student to gain knowledge and understanding of the digital image, image formation and associated quality assurance essential for safe and competent diagnostic radiography 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, RIS, EPR and RMS.
Radiography of Axial Skeleton and Torso
This module allows the student to develop an understanding of the human anatomy, physiology pathology and radiographic technique of the axial skeleton, shoulder girdle, chest and abdominal cavities as well as the recognition and understanding of the disease processes. The student will also develop an understanding of selection of equipment, imaging techniques of the pelvic girdle and axial skeleton and the use of appropriate exposure parameters.
Preparation for Diagnostic Radiography Practice
This module will prepare students for the clinical environment. The students will be introduced to the professional behaviour and the roles and responsibilities of the radiographer. General patient care and patient care related to specific patient groups will be addressed. Students will consider how to adapt radiographic practice for each special group to optimise delivery of care. The module will discuss legislation and guidelines relating to the clinical environment including radiation protection, patient communication, consent and confidentiality.
Professional Practice Placement 1
This placement will enable the student to develop his/her professional and caring skills within the hospital environment and to work as a member of the healthcare team. He/she will acquire the skills necessary for the radiographic examination of the abdomen, respiratory and skeletal systems. Experience will also be gained in the areas of image processing, clerical management and nursing procedures.
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 2
During this placement the student will perform radiographic examinations and undertake duties of increasing complexity as he/she gains experience and acquires further skills in the imaging process. The student will also gain competence in adapting procedures and examinations to suit the physical and psychological condition of the patient.
Specialist Diagnostic Imaging Modalities
This module provides an understanding of the key concepts of science, technology and safety relating to the specialised imaging modalities currently used in diagnostic imaging, as required by Radiography practitioners. Participants will develop an understanding of digital image quality and effective image manipulation.
Imaging of the Urinary and Reproductive systems
This module covers homeostasis, anatomy, physiology, pathology and the specialist imaging diagnostic imaging including interventional procedures of the urinary and reproductive systems including mammography. The student will also gain knowledge of the use of contrast media and pharmaceuticals commonly used in these diagnostic examinations and interventional radiological procedures.
Imaging of the Cardiovascular and Respiratory systems.
This module gives the student a sound knowledge of the structural organization of the human body and a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the cardiovascular, respiratory and lymphatic systems. This module extends the students' knowledge of the practice of diagnostic radiography to more specialised techniques including interventional. The development and use of the different imaging modalities are evaluated especially in relation to the acutely ill patient.
This understanding of anatomy, physiology, and pathology is essential to enable the student to perform effectively in the clinical setting.
Imaging of the Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary systems
This module covers anatomy, physiology, pathology and the specialist imaging diagnostic imaging including interventional procedures of the dental, gastrointestinal and hepato-biliary, systems. The student will also gain knowledge of the use of contrast media and pharmaceuticals commonly used in these diagnostic examinations and interventional radiological procedures.
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.
Elective/ERASMUS Diagnostic Radiography Placement
This module provides an element of choice in facilitating the opportunity for the student to participate in either an elective placement of their own choice, or alternatively an international exchange network comprising European partner institutions as part of the ERASMUS Radiography Group. The placement is intended primarily to be work-based to enable development and honing of skills prior to exiting the programme as a qualified practitioner. Both experiences will enable the student to appreciate existing variations in practice that exist between departments including protocol and procedures, as well as affording the student the opportunity to gain further skills with different types of diagnostic imaging equipment.
Professional Practice Placement 3
This placement will enable the student to continue to develop competence in performing a wide variety of radiographic examinations as well as gaining experience of the other imaging modalities. The student will be
able to demonstrate evidence of progression in his/her practical ability and image recognition skills. The student will also be introduced to undertaking imaging examinations in the ward and operating theatre.
Preparation for Diagnostic Radiography Practitioner Status
This module aims to consolidate the student radiographer's previous learning from both the academic and clinical environment. It is designed to ensure the student radiographer aspires to levels associated with practitioner standards. It encourages the student to assimilate learning across modules and enable them to make sound professional judgements and subsequently promote effective clinical practice following registration with a regulatory body.
Trauma Imaging Theatre & Forensics
This module introduces the student to the trauma patient and necessary modifications. It explores appropriate adaptations of technique to ensure optimum image quality without risk of exacerbating injuries. The complimentary role of other specialist imaging modalities is considered and the subsequent role of imaging in the ward and theatre environments along with forensic investigations and child protection is also explored in relation to policy guidelines and legislation
Imaging of the Nervous System and Special Senses
This module provides an understanding of the anatomy, pathology, physiology and diagnostic and therapeutic imaging of the nervous system, endocrine system and special senses for diagnostic radiography practitioners.
Professional Practice Placement 4
The student will be given the opportunity to develop confidence and expertise in all skills required for professional practice, working with trauma patients gaining further experience in the modification of techniques to suit the clinical presentation of the patient. He/she will be encouraged to use initiative in situations of varying complexity performing professionally and efficiently with all grades of the multi-professional health care team.
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 (grade BB) or Double Award Applied Science (grade BB).
Applied General Qualifications
Overall BTEC Leevel 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile DDD 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)
Pass with an overall mark of 65%, including 65% in each level 3 module to include 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) can be found at www.hpat-ulster.acer.org Please note that there is a cost to undertake the test.
As you will be engaged in ‘regulated activity’ involving children or vulnerable adults as part of this course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from Access NI. You will be liable for the cost of the disclosure which is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed at 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
Given the requirement on the Faculty to stay within the DHSSPS (NI) limits, some element of control is necessary to ensure that inward transfers do not undermine the achievement of target numbers which is managed through the admissions process.
Therefore, due to the nature and structure of the programme, exemptions and transfer are very unlikely, however each case is determined individually.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
There are many employment opportunities for Diagnostic Radiography graduates within the National Health Service, in private medicine and in companies concerned with the manufacture and sale of Radiography equipment and/or services. There are also many research opportunities for suitably qualified graduates both at this university and elsewhere. Further information regarding careers in Radiography may be found at http://www.sor.org/about-radiography/career-radiography; http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/ and http://radiographycareers.co.uk/.
Work placement / study abroad
Periods of Professional Practice Placement are scheduled at regular intervals throughout the course enabling you to develop your technical imaging skills, as well as patient care and communication skills. In total you will complete 40 weeks of clinical experience across the duration of the programme, see schedule below. Elective placement in final year enables the opportunity to participate in optional placement schemes abroad such as ERASMUS exchange, or Work the World which is endorsed by the Society & College of Radiographers.
YEAR 1 - Level 4
SEMESTER 1 Sept/Oct – end of Jan (Orientation Placement scheduled first 3 weeks in Jan)
SEMESTER 2 Jan/Feb – end of May (comprises 12 weeks academic study followed by examination period)
(Clinical Placement One contributing to Year One is scheduled at start of summer period during June/July for 8 weeks duration)
YEAR 2 - Level 5
SEMESTER 1 – Sept/Oct –end of Jan –commences with 8 weeks academic study followed by 5 weeks Clinical Placement Twowhich commences mid Nov until end of Dec.
SEMESTER 2 Jan/Feb – end of May (comprises 12 weeks academic study followed by examination period
SUMMER PERIOD June - Sept (see below)
YEAR 3 – Level 6
(Clinical Placement Threecontributing to Year 3 is scheduled at end of summer period during August/Sept for 8 weeks duration)
SEMESTER 1 –Sept/Oct –end of Jan –(comprises 12 weeks academic study followed by examination period)
SEMESTER 2 Jan/Feb – end of May (is entirely clinical based and comprises 16 weeks Clinical Placement Four which includes a period of Elective placement)
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.
Approved by the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Applications for full-time undergraduate courses 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 2020
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 your course, you will be required to purchase a uniform during the first week of the semester. 2017/18 costs were approx. £100.
Membership of Society of Radiographers – You will be required to join the Society of Radiographers. The cost of student membership will cost approximately £100 for the three years.
Placement Expenses – students may incur expenses during periods of placement associated with costs of travel and accommodation. Some placements, organised as part of Elective experience 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.
Admissions contact regarding application process:
Mrs June Edgeworth
Course Director regarding content of course:
Mrs Lizzie Greer
For more information visit
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