Peninsula Medical School

BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography with Foundation Ultrasonography

This unique course allows you to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to become an outstanding radiographer while enhancing your learning with foundational ultrasound experience. You will benefit from an extended second year that incorporates intensive simulation and additional clinical placements with regional ultrasound providers across the healthcare sector.

Ultrasonography is usually offered through postgraduate training alone, and It is appreciated that you would still require a preceptorship year to consolidate your knowledge before moving on to postgraduate study.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


Health students will get £5,000 support payment each year

The government is issuing health professions students on courses from 2020 a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not have to pay back. A further £3,000 of funding a year is available for eligible students.

Find out more about the bursary

Careers with this subject

As a HCPC registered radiographer, with a foundation in ultrasonography, you will be able to develop your skills to become an independent sonographer practitioner.

At first you would work with a limited scope of practice under supervision of Advanced Practice Sonographers. It is anticipated that your initial post is a developmental/consolidation role before moving on to study at a postgraduate level ( Level 7)as a start to specialised/advanced practice.

For more information visit

Key features

  • This is an unique programme, giving you a foundation in ultrasonography whilst still enabling you to register with the HCPC as a diagnostic radiographer.
  • Train using advanced medical imaging technology, at the forefront of modern patient care.
  • Practise your clinical and communication skills in the Clinical Skills Resource Centre (CSRC) which features specially designed replicas of hospital wards and emergency rooms, with high-specification patient-simulators.
  • Deepen your understanding of the structure and functionality of the human body at our Life Sciences Resource Centre (LSRC).
  • Receive an ipad for the duration of your course.
  • Learn from real patients from the outset, with clinical placements starting in the first semester of Year 1.
  • Take part in expert-led discussions around clinical case studies and the latest medical science breakthroughs, through our structured small groups teaching approach, including enquiry-based learning. These are also a great opportunity to learn from other students’ knowledge and experience.
  • Online systems support your learning including the custom-made student logbook where you can access lecture notes, online assessment systems and lecture sessions.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • You will learn what it means to be a Radiographer, the professional responsibility this brings and your contribution to frontline patient care. These skills will be supported by basic sciences, including physics and biology to help you understand patient health, disease and the variety of diagnostic imaging equipment in use today. Plymouth-based placements will be in local healthcare providing institutions where you will develop a greater understanding of your future role and the skills required to succeed. Small group, enquiry-based learning will use patient focused scenarios to help you to bring all these new skills together, whilst aiding your development of life-long learning skills.

    The following table provides a breakdown of time spent on placement, versus other learning activities throughout the course.

    Year of study Planned activity* Independent study  Placement
    Year 1  60 % 20% 20%
    Year 2  20% 25% 55%
    Year 3  20% 25% 55%

    *Scheduled learning and teaching activity, including simulation.

    Core Modules:

    • Foundations of healthcare science practice and workplace learning.
    • Enquiry-based learning 1.
    • Foundations in diagnostic Radiography.
    • Medical imaging science 1 and 2.
    • Human structure and function.
    • Disease and trauma for imaging.

    Core modules
    • BHCS1007Z Foundations of Healthcare Science Practice and Workplace Learning

      This module provides an introductory framework for Healthcare Science practice, being the major vehicle for the understanding, acquisition and development of the theoretical, practical and personal attributes necessary for a Healthcare Science Practitioner.

    • RAD410 Enquiry-Based Learning 1

      This year-long, enquiry-based learning module provides a small-group, facilitated setting for students to apply their learning from taught modules to clinically relevant scenarios. 

    • RAD411 Foundations in Diagnostic Radiography

      This module will provide an overview of what it is to be a Diagnostic Radiographer. It will highlight the requirements of the role within the NHS and how it fits within the wider healthcare team. It will introduce the regulations that govern the profession and medical physics and will also address how the subsequent learning within the programme relates to these requirements. This module also includes an introduction to Evidence-Based Practice. Radiographic technique will also be learned using simulation techniques.

    • RAD412 Medical Imaging Science 1

      This module forms an introduction to the radiobiological principles on which the practice of Diagnostic Radiography is based. This includes physics and image formation on commonly used radiographic equipment. This module will also cover relevant legislation and rules that govern Radiographic practice.

    • RAD413 Medical Imaging Science 2

      This module will build on the principles and theories of RAD412, RAD414 and BHCS1007 and will explore them from a more applied perspective, as relevant to Radiographic practice. Image formation and Physics will also be expanded to include other imaging modalities (Magnetic resonance, Ultrasound and nuclear medicine)

    • RAD414 Human Structure and Function

      This module will introduce students to a number of core human science topics, underpinning later requirements for image interpretation and patient care. These will include anatomy, physiology and other relevant biomedical science, e.g. Pharmacology, Immunology, biochemistry and genetics to Radiography training.

    • RAD415 Disease and Trauma for Imaging

      This module will build on biomedical science learning in Semester 1, allowing students to develop an understanding of the principles of pathophysiology. Students will attend pathophysiology lectures from BHCS1005 Human Disease, and apply their learning in bespoke workshops, highlighting the relevance to Diagnostic Radiography.

  • Year 2
  • The second year of training focuses further on applying your skills to the real world. In addition, you will learn about patient assessment alongside other healthcare professionals. Ultrasonography students receive intensive simulation and undertake additional clinical placements with regional ultrasound providers across the healthcare sector. You will also further develop your understanding and importance of the medical images you have taken. Enquiry-based learning tutorials will help you consolidate and apply these taught skills through clinical scenario discussions.

    Core Modules:  

    • Enquiry-based learning 2.
    • Clinical application of radiographic theory 1.
    • Ultrasound science.
    • Interprofessional patient care.
    • Applied biomedical sciences for imaging

    Core modules
    • RAD510 Enquiry-Based Learning 2

      This semester-long, enquiry-based learning module provides a small-group, facilitated setting for students to apply their learning from taught modules to clinically relevant scenarios.

    • RAD513 Interprofessional Patient Care

      This interprofessional module focusses on patient care and allows students to develop their clinical skills from BHCS1007 and RAD512. This includes a broader range of skills and the opportunity to work with students on other health care professions programmes. Students will develop their understanding of Evidence-Based Practice from RAD411.

    • RAD514 Applied Biomedical Sciences for Imaging

      This module uses the lifecycle to apply students' understanding of anatomy and medical imaging, from year 1, to more clinical scenarios and changes with age and pregnancy. This will allow students to better understand regional anatomy and pathology/trauma and how these present in imaging and to develop the application of students' understanding of safeguarding in relation to imaging and other sensitive imagining issues.

    • RAD515 Ultrasound Imaging Science

      This module builds on the principles and theories of imaging modalities from RAD412 and RAD413, to provide an in depth understanding of ultrasound physics and the principles of the clinical application of ultrasound. The module will include ultrasound production and safety, interaction of ultrasound with body tissues and image interpretation, including normal and abnormal appearance, ultrasound technique and recognition of imaging artefacts.

    • RAD516 Clinical Application of Radiographic and Ultrasound Theory 1

      This module allows students to apply their learning in clinical practice. Students will be introduced to ultrasound through ultrasound simulation. Medical imaging competencies will be assessed in practice by entrustable professional assessments. Placements will be undertaken in ultrasound and students will spend a large proportion of the summer in the clinical setting.

  • Final year
  • This final year is all about the transition from student to practising healthcare professional. You will learn how to deal with more complex problems during longer clinical placements and conduct an NHS quality improvement or research project, this will advance your understanding of how imaging departments are run and the challenges they face. Outside of placements you will gain a greater knowledge of patient assessment, clinical emergencies and interpretation of imaging investigations. Year 3 will also guide you in career choices beyond that of employment, where your ambition may take you in a more specialised or diverse environment.

    Core Modules:

    • Service and quality improvement project.
    • Clinical enquiry and reasoning.
    • Interprofessional management of patients in crisis.
    • Clinical application of radiographic theory 2,

    Core modules
    • RAD611 Service and Quality Improvement Project

      This module requires students to undertake a comprehensive project focussing on improving patient care and/or service delivery, relevant to the current or recent placement experience and informed by the SCoR Research Strategy. The choice will be student led but the project will be supervised by existing placement providers or academic staff. The project aim will be to inform some aspect of Radiographic practice at one of the current placement locales and the student will be the primary author.

    • RAD612 Clinical Enquiry and Reasoning

      This module focusses on the identification of common imaging abnormalities that may be seen within the clinical setting. Students will develop the skills to interpret a range of diagnostic images and identify important conditions that may require additional or senior assistance. This module will also provide students with an understanding of advanced practice should they wish to pursue a reporting role post qualification.

    • RAD613 Interprofessional Management of Patients in Crisis

      This interprofessional module builds on the Interprofessional Patient Care module to develop their clinical and interprofessional skills further. This includes a broader range of skills and the opportunity to work with students on other health care professions programmes. It also includes further development of their Clinical Skills training, including intravenous cannulation and Medicines Management. It will also critically discuss leadership and approaches in health and social care practice and the potential impact on the service user experience and interprofessional teams.

    • RAD616 Clinical Application of Radiographic and Ultrasound Theory 2

      This module allows students to apply their learning in clinical practice, while undertaking competencies and completing a reflective portfolio to address HCPC professionalism criteria. Students will learn how to interpret a range of diagnostic images and identify important conditions that may require additional or senior assistance. This module will also provide students with insight in advanced practice enabling them to decide which specific area of practice to pursue a reporting role in post qualification

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff



Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes at grades A-C/7-4 which must include English Language, Mathematics and Science.

Plus one of the below Level 3 qualifications, which must include at least one of the following subjects: Biology/Human Biology; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths; Life and Health Sciences; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics.

GCE A level

Grades BBC

Access to HE Diploma

45 Level 3 credits in a Science based subject, to include 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit.

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Applied Science DMM

BTEC National Diploma 

Applied Science D*D*

International Baccalaureate

28-30 points overall including Higher Level 5 in one Science as listed above

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades BBC

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

M2, M2, M3

Other UK qualifications 

Other UK qualifications will be considered on an individual basis. Please contact the Admissions Team for advice on suitability via telephone: +44 1752 437333 or email:

All Level 3 qualifications must have been completed within five years of the start of the application cycle, e.g. qualifications completed since 2015 would still be valid when applying in 2020. If your qualifications fall outside these criteria, please contact the admissions team at

The typical offers listed above are not necessarily the threshold for selection for interview, which may vary depending on the number and quality of applications received by the faculty.

Extended entry requirements

Re-sit Applicants 

We welcome applications from re-sit applicants providing a minimum attainment has been achieved at the first attempt.  Typically this must be no more than two grades drops or equivalent from the typical standard offer e.g. GCE A level first attempt attainment must be a minimum of CCC. For re-sit thresholds for all other acceptable Level 3 qualifications, please contact the Admissions Team at All Level 3 qualifications that form part of an applicant’s academic profile for selection must be achieved within a maximum of three academic study years i.e. to include only one re-sit year.

Centre Assessed Grades

We appreciate that the past few months have been very challenging, emotional and disappointing due to the unprecedented process in which this year’s Level 3 qualifications have been awarded. With this in mind, the University of Plymouth will be flexible with the way we consider applicants who have been awarded Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs). If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Admissions Team on

Military veterans

Applications from military veterans are welcomed and each application is assessed on an individual basis, as we realise that some military courses are not externally validated.

International student admissions 

We welcome and encourage applications from suitably qualified international students who are either self-funded, supported by scholarships from their respective governments, or sponsored by scholarship programmes operated by the British Council and similar funding bodies. Please note that from 2021 entry applicants from the EU will be considered international students for fee paying purposes and may be required to obtain a visa to allow study in the UK.

International applicants need to meet the equivalent admissions criteria described for home students as outlined above. Applicants applying with overseas qualifications should contact the Admissions Team at prior to submitting an application through UCAS. In addition, international applicants need to be fully proficient in English language.  

All teaching at our school is in English, so if you are an international applicant and you do not have a GCSE or IGCSE pass at grade A in English language, or a suitable English as a first language qualification, you must have one of the following qualifications. If you are unsure whether your English Language qualification is suitable, please contact

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band 7.0, or above, with a score of at least 7.0 in each element, taken within 12 months prior to entry.
  • IB score of 5 in English B at the standard level.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 94 or above.

We know that university life is a challenge for any student but especially when you are a long way from home. You will find us friendly and supportive. We pride ourselves on being friendly and supportive, and have a nominated academic tutor to coordinate the induction and academic support provided to international students. International Student Advice (ISA) also provide support and can assist you with any non-academic issues affecting international students. There are also student welfare support and counselling services, wardens and student health centres on hand if you need them.

Students who have an offer of a place should apply a Student visa (formerly Tier 4 General Student). Further information is available on the UK Border Agency's website.

Selection and admissions process

We have outlined our selection and admissions process, providing information from interviews to deferred entry.

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

Placements: All students within the Peninsula Medical School will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases students will stay away from home for the period of that placement time. Most students are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority.

Further information: More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

How to apply

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All applications for BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography must reach UCAS between the 1st September and the 15th January annually. Applicants may wish to consider our School of Biomedical Science courses for their other UCAS choices.

The UCAS code for the Faculty of Health is P60 PLYM.

For more information contact the Admissions Team:

Admissions Team
Faculty of Health
The John Bull Building
Plymouth Science Park

Assessment breakdown

  • ? 80% exams
  • @ 20% coursework

Key features

<p>diagnostic radiography</p>
Train using advanced medical imaging technology
<p>A side view of a nurse checking an x-ray.<br></p>
Benefit from close relationships and training with our hospital partners
<p>Radiography. xray x-ray. radiographer.&nbsp;</p>
Develop empathic, technical and professional healthcare skills
<p>A hospital CT scanner.</p>
Train alongside students from other health professions

Placements: hands-on experience

Placements are an integral part of our Diagnostic Radiography programme providing you with the opportunity to develop and apply the theoretical knowledge and skills you have learnt to a range of clinical settings and graduate with a broad range of clinical placement experience. In the first year you will be developing your professional identify and the placements are arranged so that you learn the pathways of your patients and the roles of other healthcare workers in this. This includes working with admin and portering staff, as well as on various wards, clinics and with clinical imaging assistants. These placements are full weeks and alternate Fridays throughout the year. Excellent communication is an essential part of your role as a diagnostic radiographer and the skills you learn in this first year will enable you to be comfortable as a student radiographer as you start your second year clinical placement.

The second year has a semester long placement from the beginning of September until the third week of January. In your academic semester you will also experience placements on weekends (interval placements) before returning to placement in June for another five weeks. After this you start your dedicated ultrasound simulation and placement. This takes place in July and August.

The third year also has a semester long placement but this is between January and May and you continue with interval placements in first semester ( September to January). 

We aim to give you experience in the majority of areas where diagnostic radiography is carried out. This includes the peripheral hospitals and the independent sector, as well as the large teaching hospitals. Placements are located across the South West region, including Devon, Cornwall and Somerset and there are out of area placements in development. Due to the wide geographical spread of our placement opportunities, you will be expected to undertake placements outside the local area. This may require you to relocate and find secondary accommodation for the duration of the placement (see additional costs under the fees, costs and funding section).

As a trained diagnostic radiographer you’ll use x-ray and ultrasound machines, plus other forms of the latest imaging technology, to acquire images to help with the diagnosis of illnesses and injuries across a range of hospital departments.


From the very latest electronic patient simulators and 3D human anatomy models to our web-based Managed Learning Environment and extensive library and learning facilities, you'll benefit from exceptional facilities throughout your degree.

Find out more about our facilities