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PgDip/ MSc Radiotherapy and Oncology

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  • Introduction
  • Key details
  • Entry requirements
  • Fees
  • Modules
  • Careers

- A starting salary of £21,176 with excellent opportunity for career progression up to consultant level.
- A professional career in which you are eligible to register within just two years.
- A caring profession that calls for technological expertise in the rapid developing area of cancer treatment.

This course will allow individuals to retrain in the area of radiotherapy and oncology. It is not suitable for people already holding a qualification in therapeutic radiography.

Students normally complete a PgDip in two years. Some chose to return to progress to an MSc on a part-time basis.

Radiography is a caring profession that calls for technological expertise. Therapeutic radiographers use radiation to give radiotherapy treatment to patients with cancer. If you are considering this career move, it is essential that you have good interpersonal skills as radiographers have to interact with other healthcare professionals as well as patients and their families, many of whom may need considerable reassurance.

This course will focus on the professional elements required of a therapeutic radiographer. The aim of the course is to further develop the analytical, theoretical and practical skills of an honours graduate so that they can demonstrate the necessary attributes required for a registered therapeutic radiographer. This will enable employment within the UK.

EXIT AWARDS: PgDip (120 credits)/ MSc (180 credits)

Delivery: At QMU and on placement across Scotland

Single Modules: It is not possible to study single modules

Duration: Full-time: 2 years

Start date: September

Application deadline: none

Teaching, learning and assessment: This course uses a wide range of learning and teaching methods, based on a problem-based learning approach with students working independently and collaboratively. The teaching and learning strategies are designed to enable independent progress within a supportive framework. Clinical work based learning will be undertaken, on a rotational basis, within regional cancer centres in hospitals in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and your personal performance will be assessed. These placements will take place over May to September. In general, you will be
assessed by a variety of methods including case studies, essays and presentations. Normally there are under 15 students on this course, this ensures individuals receive excellent support and guidance. Joint teaching with other courses is utilised within this course. This allows individuals to benefit from a shared teaching and learning approach where discussion and experiences between students can occur.

Teaching hours and attendance: All academic modules will be studied on campus where you will be required to attend classes and carry out independent work. The number of classes on campus along with required independent study will depend on size of the module. Both work based learning modules will be undertaken whilst on clinical placement in any of the five cancer centres in Scotland. In Year One clinical placement runs for 16 weeks May-Aug. In Year Two placement lasts for 20 weeks, May to Sept.

Links with industry/professional bodies: You can become a member of the College of Radiographers as a student and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) on graduation. The course leads to eligibility to register as a therapeutic radiographer with the HCPC.

Normally a science or health-related honours degree. This course is not suitable for applicants already holding a qualification in therapeutic radiography.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0.

Interview: Applicants are expected to attend an interview at QMU. Interviews will take place on set dates, normally in February, April and June.

Criminal records check: A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.

Home/EU - full-time: £8500 per year

Home/EU - full-time, dissertation: £950

International - full-time: £15990 per year

International - full-time dissertation: £2760

Fees information:

QMU has developed a close working partnership with Santander Universities to provide sponsorship opportunities to assist suitably-qualified applicants to train at postgraduate level as therapeutic radiographers in Scotland. Two Santander scholarships to the value of £5000 are now available solely for the postgraduate diploma in Radiotherapy and Oncology, providing support and recognition of students undertaking this course.

Scholarships: -Santander Scholarship: QMU is pleased to announce that two scholarships for £5,000 each will be available for any international student undertaking this two year MSc. Applications can be made by students who have received an offer of a place of study at the University. The application deadline for 2015 will be the end of May of that year.

- More information about scholarships for international students

Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International section of the website.

Course Fees:
Visit the Fees section of the website. -
Graduates of the University who hold a verified QMU undergraduate or postgraduate award and who are admitted to a postgraduate award of QMU will be eligible for a 10% discount on the published fees.

Sources of Funding:
Visit the Funding section of the website.

15 credits: Professional Studies for Health Professionals/ Radiotherapy Science/ Research Methods for Health Professionals

30 credits: Introduction to Cancer and its Management/ Radiotherapy and Oncology Practice One

45 credits: Radiotherapy and Oncology Practice Two

10 credits: Introduction to the Human Body / Science and Technology

50 credits: Work-Based learning 1/ Work- Based Learning 2

If progressing to MSc, you will also complete a research project (60 credits).

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting, but are subject to change.

Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC and to work as therapeutic radiographers with the NHS in the UK. Currently,
graduates from QMU have a 100% employability record. Many graduates have worked abroad. However, although HCPC is recognised in many overseas countries, you may have to apply to the registration body of the country in which you wish to work.

Case study: Malcolm Farnan, PgDip/ MSc Radiotherapy and Oncology

I graduated with Honours in Physics from the University of Dundee at the age of 21. As a student, I had worked in a hotel in various roles and continued to do so for about a year as I applied for jobs in physics. Getting a job in the area was proving tough as I didn’t arrange any proper workplace experience as a student - in hindsight, something I regret. Whilst looking for a job though, I came across an advert for the Radiotherapy and Oncology course at QMU. I didn't really know what the course would involve but I found out that therapeutic radiographers were highly in demand and job prospects were very good. The course is designed to allow science graduates to change career in two years and with my Physics job search proving unsuccessful, I decided that I had nothing to lose and applied to the course. I was offered an interview for the course, so decided to find out more about therapeutic radiography by visiting a radiotherapy department in a local hospital. There was lots of physics involved and I was impressed by the equipment. My mother had also been through successful cancer treatment, which at the time I didn't know much about, but then realized that I would be learning about treatments that she herself had gone through. This obviously made me eager to learn about it and help other people as my mother had been helped.

On successfully getting a place on the course, I had an enjoyable time. Class sizes were small and the group interacted well. We had a range of backgrounds, skills and experience and it really helped the learning experience as we were able to share our knowledge and help one another in the early stages before we moved onto more in-depth oncology topics. We would study a specific topic to get a grip on it before moving on to the next, and in that way the knowledge built itself up from a sound base. Along with book work and assessments, we carried out many varied group tasks such as designing posters, performing experiments with x-ray film, doing presentations etc. These all helped to make the course more interesting and kept you on your toes. Support from lectures and other staff was always available. Everyone was approachable and I never felt nervous about emailing or knocking on someone’s door if I needed help in any area. You always got the feeling that they were behind you and wanted you to succeed.

Aside from the classroom set up, there was a strong emphasis on actually getting out there and doing the job and I completed several placements in radiotherapy centres throughout the summer months. It was quite full on, but this was the way in which you really learned how to do the job, working alongside those who were doing it for real. Most of the staff were very welcoming to students and if you were keen to learn, they were keen to teach.

I initially applied to only study for the PgDip and went onto work as a therapeutic radiographer for three years at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, but I was keen to learn more and decided to go back to QMU to study for the MSc. To attain an MSc required a further study which I carried out part-time over two years. I completed this whilst working full-time, but it was delivered by distance learning and all of the materials were on-line for easy access. At MSc leveI, the onus was on me to take responsibility for my learning, but help was always available by email if required. The MSc gave me the opportunity to learn outside of the workplace environment and meet up again with friends and lectures from the PgDip. It also gave me the opportunity to complete a dissertation on a topic of my choice. I carried out a study on the use of patient clothing in the radiotherapy department. The results from the study allowed me to improve efficiency in my work environment and ensure patients maintained their dignity while they were with us. The extra qualification will always be a benefit in my career progression and I am at the moment in the process of submitting the study for publication in the Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice.

I am glad that I opted to become a therapeutic radiographer - it's an enjoyable and rewarding career. The initial PgDip did exactly as described, it gave me excellent job prospects in the field of radiotherapy and oncology as it has for my classmates. The placement aspect gave you the opportunity to visit all of the radiotherapy departments in Scotland and so gave a good base of knowledge to begin my career with in any department that I would choose to work in. I also met a large proportion of the therapeutic radiography staff in Scotland and so have contacts in other departments if they are ever needed.


further information:

0131 474 0000 or
Dora Meikle
+44 (0)131 474 0000

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last modified 11/11/2015
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