Emmet Moore moved from Limerick in Ireland to study the undergraduate diagnostic degree at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. It was his earlier work as a part-time healthcare assistant within a hospital radiography department which motivated him to learn more about diagnostic radiography. He has always had a desire to develop a career in healthcare, and following his experience in a private hospital, he was in no doubt that a radiography degree was the way forward.

What attracted you to the BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography course at QMU?   

Over the summer, I travelled to Edinburgh for one of QMU's open days on campus. After my experience speaking to the lecturers, students and staff, I was immediately attracted to this incredible new world at QMU. I also became aware of many students who attended QMU who highly recommended the course.    

QMU offers a multitude of learning enhancing opportunities including their own clinical room with diagnostic x-ray units and computed radiography systems. They utilise interactive seminars and tutorials to enhance our knowledge, which is further developed within the placement environment. Compared to other courses, diagnostic radiography at QMU has a relatively smaller class size. This appealed to me as a great opportunity to work closer with my course mates and learn more from my lecturers.    

Why did you choose Queen Margaret University?   

QMU offers a multitude of courses within the healthcare sector, meaning the university is heavily experienced and invested in improving upon their high percentage of healthcare graduates. I feared feeling homesick initially, however, I learned QMU had a large number of Irish and other international students. At the open day, staff at the University said they were keen to know if any students felt that they required any additional assistance. This clearly showed their caring and supportive attitude towards each student, which was very reassuring.  

The library resources are beyond helpful and act as useful sources of information during my study. Their ‘Quiet Rooms’ would be my favourite spot, as these communal areas give me a chance to really focus on my assignments without having any distractions outside of university. Joining societies and participating in activities with your classmates would be my best advice to help settle in.   

I was also attracted to the prospect of living in Edinburgh. I find the city unlike anywhere I have visited before. I was impressed by its historic architecture, tourist attractions and the people. The transport system within Edinburgh is also phenomenal. The city offers efficient and reliable bus and train times, which helps me have access to different locations across the city.    

What do you most enjoy about your course? 

By far, placement has been the most enjoyable aspect of my course. QMU’s acknowledgement of quality placement learning highlighted to me how important our placement experience can be as we develop into healthcare professionals. I have learned so much more than expected while working alongside my supervisors. In addition, the majority of the placement sites are all in close proximity of Edinburgh city, meaning you are only a bus or at most a quick train journey away.   

I also really enjoy our seminars and tutorial lectures. Our lecturers are very kind and approachable. I always come away from each lecture having learned a great deal, and I normally note down areas where I feel I need to improve my learning or do further reading. Having been class representative for the past 3 years has also been a really enjoyable experience for me. It allowed me to take on that extra responsibility, which inevitably helped improve my confidence and leadership.  

Tell us about your placements? 

Over the course of the four years, I have attended the Royal Infirmary Hospital, Western General Hospital, Forth Valley Hospital, Crosshouse Hospital, Lauriston GP, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department of Clinical Neurology, Edinburgh.  

 I enjoyed each site, but my favourites are the Western General Hospital and the Royal Infirmary Hospital, Edinburgh. I learned how to alter and modify my knowledge that I have taken from my lectures and apply new techniques to the way I work. Each radiographer is different, but our goal remains the same. Not every patient will be easy to care for, so continuous professional development is so important, even after graduation. Efficiency and confidence are key when working. Radiography can be a fast-moving environment to work in, so participating in as many learning opportunities as possible, will greatly improve your skills and knowledge.   

What advice would you give to new students going out on placement?  

I believe it is important to take on board any advice you receive from your supervisors. Take advantage of their expertise and ask the tough questions you might be afraid to ask. They are there to provide expert guidance on your course as you move to become a fully qualified allied healthcare professional. You will make mistakes during your time on placement, so just take the learning experience on board and aim not to make the same mistake twice.    

Initially, lack of self-belief and confidence were my biggest challenges. However, I just decided to throw myself into every opportunity that came my way to get hands experience. Slowly and surely, this helped to build my knowledge, skills and confidence – it's all part of the normal learning curve of becoming a professional healthcare practitioner.  

Most importantly, enjoy your time on placement. My interest in radiography, and admiration for the professionals involved in this healthcare specialism, really began to grow whilst working alongside doctors, radiologists and radiographers. It also feels quite rewarding to be a part of a patient's healthcare pathway.    

"QMU’s acknowledgement of quality placement learning highlighted to me how important our placement experience can be as we develop into healthcare professionals. I have learned so much more than expected while working alongside my supervisors. In addition, the majority of the placement sites are all in close proximity of Edinburgh city, meaning you are only a bus or at most a quick train journey away."
Emmet Moore, BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography

What has been the most rewarding part of your course?   

Completing my placement blocks and assignments are truly the most rewarding aspects of the course. There are certain challenges that everyone will face during their time on the course. However, being able to overcome these obstacles and receive the grade you earned for your efforts is really fulfilling.   

While on placement, the supervisors will also give you feedback which your module coordinator's will read. Good work will not go unnoticed, and the hard work will most certainly pay off.    

Have you felt supported by academic and professional services staff?   

Absolutely. The radiography team at QMU are the most approachable and kind-hearted team I have come across. They are very experienced and understanding of each individual student’s needs. I was assigned my own personal academic tutor (PAT), which allows me to contact my PAT at any point if I have any concerns. This made me feel very reassured of the assistance that was available to me. 

Have you used any of QMU’s specialist support services?   

Yes. I found my real regret was not utilising these services sooner. The Effective Learning Service (ELS) within the QMU library offers a variety of tutorials on effective writing, critical analysis and a multitude of topics all dedicated to helping you with your assignment tasks. You may also book your own personal appointments to help gain some assistance in the structure of your writing.   

What are your career plans following graduation?  

I hope to go straight into work as a Band 5 Radiographer. Having experienced both sides of the Irish and Scottish systems, I am truly open to considering any opportunities that might be available for me. Perhaps, because of the fond memories and relationships I have made here, I may not leave Scotland yet. If you asked me in first year, where would I like to end up, I would without hesitation say Ireland. I find it amazing how your university experience can quickly alter your view on things as you grow throughout the four years of your degree.  

Describe your course in three words. 

Ambitious, supportive and valuable.  

[Published October 2022]

For more information the BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and our other postgraduate radiography options, visit Radiography at QMU.


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