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Overview

Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Coleraine campus in September 2018.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

The Radiotherapy and Oncology degree programme is tailored to provide the education and training required for first post therapeutic radiographers.

Summary

Study Radiotherapy and Oncology at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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.

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About this course

In this section

About

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.

Attendance

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.

From 2018 this course will be based at the Coleraine campus.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

Modules

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

Year one

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development 1

Year: 1

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

Year: 1

This module introduces the anatomy, physiology and pathology syllabus relevant to radiotherapy practice and the oncology and radiotherapy management of skin cancers. This knowledge will underpin the concurrent study of oncology and future studies relative to radiotherapy and practice.

Radiotherapy Science and Equipment

Year: 1

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 equipments. 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 and associated information technology such as RMS and PACS.

Preparation for Radiotherapy Practice 1

Year: 1

Introduction to the LRC, literature database searching and ordering articles. 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. Orientation placement in clinical department.

Radiotherapy and Oncology 2

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to Lymphoedema management and principles of pharmacology. In addition it examines Radiotherapy and Oncology of organs and body systems listed in the content in preparation for professional practice placement 1.This knowledge will underpin the future studies relative to radiotherapy technique and practice.

Radiotherapy Physics and Treatment Planning

Year: 1

This module will enable the student to gain knowledge and understanding of the digital image and image formation, essential for safe and competent 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 and RMS. It provides more detailed understanding of the physical principles and capabilities of radiotherapy equipment and treatment planning.

Preparation for Radiotherapy Practice 2

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to developing a Professional Practice Portfolio and enhancing learning through reflective practice. It examines the Principles of Radiation Protection, Health & Safety. It will provide students with an appreciation of treatment prescription and optimization. Practical principles of radiotherapy practice. The role of the professional body and professional responsibilities of the radiographer will be explored.

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development 2

Year: 1

This inter-professional module introduces students to the key concepts in health communication and health psychology that are necessary for effective practice as a health professional. The module is delivered primarily through online activities which students complete independently and using group work.

Year two

Research Methods

Year: 2

The module provides a foundation of knowledge and skills for using research 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 workshops provide theoretical knowledge and practical experience of research activities including data analysis.

Professional Practice Placement (R&O) 1

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

This module runs concurrently with Professional Practice Placement 2 to facilitate the integration of theoretical and clinical knowledge. It covers anatomy and physiology, presentation of tumours/disease, signs and symptoms, spread, management options, treatment planning and treatment technique, reactions and care, current research and developments related to female reproductive system (less breast), Central Nervous System, eye and orbit, ear, endocrine system.

Professional Practice Placement (Rad&Onc) 2

Year: 2

This module allows the individual to build on their previously acquired knowledge and clinical skills. It will provide the student with the opportunity to develop clinical skills in the localisation of tumours, production of treatment plans and delivery 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.

Imaging in Radiotherapy

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

This module examines the use of Quality Management Systems, quality assurance and radiation protection. Students develop an understanding of Brachytherapy, small sealed sources, and the design, advantages/disadvantages and application of after-loading and remote after-loading systems. The therapeutic application of unsealed radioactive isotopes. Identification of hazards and current legislation giverning administration and disposal.

Radiotherapy and Oncology 5

Year: 2

This module examines Radiotherapy and Oncology of the oral cavity, tonsil, nasopharynx, paranasal sinuses, salivary glands, larynx, lower pharynx, post-cricoid and thryoid.

Radiography Legislation & Employability

Year: 2

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. Opportunity to develop personal interview skills and employability skills is also provided.

Year three

Research Project

Year: 3

In this module students will develop research skills by undertaking a research study on a topic related to practice. Each student, supported by a supervisor, 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 to produce evidence to inform practice or (iii) research report involving the collection and/or analysis of data to produce evidence to inform practice. Lectures, 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) 3

Year: 3

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 6

Year: 3

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.

Radiotherapy and Oncology 7

Year: 3

This module will develop an appreciation of the impact of government strategies and policies related to cancer and palliative care. 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 bas examined. The impact of interdisciplinary team will be consolidated.

Professional Practice Placement (Rad & Onc) 4

Year: 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.

Entry conditions

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

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include a grade B from one of the following: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Double Award Applied Science (grade BB).

BTEC

Overall BTEC award 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.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile B2,B2,B3,B3,B3 at Higher level. Specific subjects required include Highers in the following: English, Maths, Physics (Physics with Chemistry acceptable), plus one of Biology or Chemistry.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Pass with an average of 70%, including 70% 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

GCSE Profile to include English Language and Mathematics at grade C. Plus GCSE Physics grade C and one of Biology or Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grade BB. Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

Applicants must be able to communicate in English to the standard equivalent to level 7.0 of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with no element below 6.5. Those candidates whose first language is English will not normally need to provide evidence of meeting an IELTS standard.

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 http://www.hpat-ulster.acer.edu.au/. 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.

In addition to the qualifications listed above, we accept a range of alternative qualifications for example HND, HNC, Foundation Degree.

Applicants may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff on telephone 028 9036 6098 or email: facljn@ulster.ac.uk

Teaching and learning assessment

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 clinical placement is undertaken during the summer months.

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

Career options

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 their clinical placement at the Belfast Cancer Centre. 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.

Professional recognition

Health and Care Professions Council, the (HCPC)

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.

Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR)

Approved by the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).

Apply

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

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. 2015/16 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 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 and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.

Contact

Faculty Contact regarding admissions and the application process:

June Edgeworth

E:j.edgeworth@ulster.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6029

Course Director

Paul Shepherd

E: ph.shepherd@ulster.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6233