BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology BSc (Hons)

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About the course

1/

This course is available to UK/EU students only.

Oncology is the study and practice of treating malignant disease (cancer). One method of treating people with cancer is radiotherapy, a dynamic and ever-changing area of oncology, which uses ionising radiation at high energies to either cure the patient or improve their quality of life.

The BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology course prepares you for a future career in radiotherapy and provides the training to become a highly skilled practitioner who will be capable of planning and administering radiotherapy treatment. The necessary radiotherapy skills combine a high degree of technical expertise with the ability to manage the physical needs of the patient.

When you work in a radiotherapy department you also need additional skills, which you will be taught in this radiotherapy and oncology course, such as communication skills to manage the psychological and emotional aspects of cancer for patients, their relatives and friends.

Key qualities include an affinity for science, good interpersonal skills, the ability to work in a team or independently and an enthusiastic, motivated and caring attitude.

The BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology course has been designed in collaboration with practitioners and health service managers and combines both academic and clinical placements. Our accredited clinical placement sites are located in cancer centres covering a wide geographical area including centres located in the west of London, Northampton, Northwood, Oxford, Peterborough and Reading.

There is full integration of theory with practice and highly qualified clinical personnel work closely with our academic team to ensure the highest standard of education, support and professional development during your clinical placements. Approximately half your time is spent in practice each year. You will be allocated to a host placement site where most of your clinical practice takes place, however in your final year, there will be opportunities for specialist placements, and for elective placements of your choice either in the UK or abroad.

First Year

During the first year you will study modules designed to underpin your understanding of clinical practice including fundamental physical, biological, psychological and social sciences, as well as introducing topics specific to oncology and radiotherapy.

Second Year

The second year will build on your first year study, with focus on the understanding and application of planning and treatment delivery, including a widened range of clinical techniques. There is coverage of practical clinical oncology and cancer management.

Final Year

The final year gives a wider perspective of health and health care. Your knowledge is consolidated with topics covering current radiotherapy practice. Advice and information on securing your first post is provided with the structure of the degree is designed to equip you for a life-long learning approach and to encourage future continuous development. On graduation (and subject to state registration) you will be able to commence your career without further training.

Why choose this course?

  • The course prepares you for a demanding but rewarding career in therapeutic radiography
  • It is a full and varied course that gives you the therapeutic radiography skills, knowledge and attributes expected of the highly skilled practitioner 
  • It has been designed in collaboration with practitioners and health service managers and combines both academic and clinical placements

Entry requirements...

2016 entry

A minimum of 5 GCSEs grade A-C taken at one sitting including English language, mathematics and a science at grade C or above plus either:

  • 300 UCAS points from GCE A2/AS levels to include 240 points from A2 subjects and should include 80 points from a science subject or mathematics
  • BTEC Applied Science with DDM profile
  • BTEC Health and Social Care with DDM profile plus 80 UCAS points from a GCE A2 science subject or mathematics
  • Irish Leaving certificate 300 points calculated from 5 higher level subjects to include B1 from a science
  • ACCESS to HE in Science or Health Studies (or similar) to include: 45 credits at level 3 of which 24 credits are Distinction including 9 credits from a science subject and 21 credits are Merit; 15 credits at level 2
  • Foundation Science degree with an average profile of 60% or higher
  • Honours degree at 2:2 classification or above in a science or health subject

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency. The following qualifications and grades will be considered:

  • IELTS 7 (with no individual area less than 6.5)

2017 entry

The normal entry requirements for the programme are a minimum of 5 GCSEs taken at one sitting including English, Mathematics and a Science at grade 4 or above plus either:

120 UCAS points from GCE A2/AS levels to include 96 points from A2 subjects and  should include grade C or above from a Science subject or Mathematics; or

BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with DDM profile; or 

BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care with DDM profile plus grade C or above from a GCE A2 Science subject or Mathematics; or 

ACCESS to HE in Science or Health Studies (or similar) to include: 45 credits at level 3 of which 24 credits are Distinction including 9 credits from a Science subject and 21 credits are Merit; ; or 

Foundation Science degree with an average profile of 60% or higher; or

Irish Leaving Certificate 120 points from 5 Higher level subjects to include B1 from a science

Honours degree at 2:2 classification or above in a Science or Health subject;  

International Baccalaureate - 120 points from 1 HL subject at grade 5 or above and 1 HL subject at grade 4 or above to include a life science or maths subject.

All offers will be subject to the applicants demonstration of the NHS constitution’s “Values and Behaviours”, satisfactory interviews, numeracy and literacy test, health screening and the Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks. You can view the full NHS Constitution for England on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england

Guidelines for work experience and clinical visits

If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English and foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

Key staff

Sam Glendinning

Professional Accreditations

Eligibility to apply for membership of the Society of Radiographers and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Therapeutic Radiographer

Careers

Successful completion of this radiotherapy and oncology course leads to an honours degree and eligibility to apply for state registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Therapeutic Radiographer.

Radiotherapy provides excellent career prospects with the opportunity for continuous career development and opportunities to work in various specialties such as advanced practice, education, research and as an application specialist. The qualification is also recognised by other countries around the world providing prospects to work abroad.

Teaching methods

A variety of teaching methods are employed in order for you to learn and develop the necessary skills to become a competent practitioner. These can include lectures, small group tutorials, seminars and clinical practice.

We also spend time in our radiotherapy labs including our planning suite, our VERT simulation centre and our imaging lab

Work Placement

As a student on the BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology course, you will spend approximately 18-20 weeks per year on clinical placement gaining the valuable radiotherapy experience that you will need when you graduate and pursue a career as a Therapeutic Radiographer.

The placements will give you the opportunity to link the theoretical knowledge you gain via the lectures and seminars with the practical experiences.

Clinical placement are arranged in six accredited cancer centres in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, London, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. They are managed and supported by a dedicated team of university lecturers, practice placement staff and clinical co-ordinators who work together to ensure that each student’s clinical practice experience is of the highest quality.

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • An Introduction to Interprofessional Education

    The module is designed to give students the opportunity to work in multi-professional groups in order to improve understanding of a range of professional roles and encourage co-operative learning and working. The rationale for and benefits of inter-professional working are explored. Learning will be through multi-professional group seminars and tutorials that require students to access and gather appropriate data from a range of sources and apply this to a series of practice-based, simulated scenarios and exercises

  • Introduction to Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Radiotherapy

    This module introduces students to the study of anatomy, physiology and pathology, providing an overview of body systems and giving an insight into how the body maintains a healthy balance. Regional and surface anatomy are taught using clinical terminology and a range of images, most of which students will encounter in the radiotherapy planning and treatment delivery process.

  • Principles of Oncology and Management I

    This module will consider how normal cells are transformed into malignant tumours and includes how tumours are classified. The principles underpinning epidemiology, pathology, investigations and diagnosis, staging,grading, spread, signs and symptoms will be delivered. Students will also be introduced to the psychology of illness and methods of treating cancer.

  • Radiotherapy Practice 1

    Students will be introduced to the clinical environment where under direct supervision; they begin to develop the skills and competencies required as a therapeutic radiographer. Emphasis is placed on interactions with patients and staff, beginning with identify patients according to protocol and maintaining confidentiality at all times. Acting in a professional manner, whilst adhering to safe and appropriate working practices students will contribute to patient set ups as directed. Students will reflect on their own practice in order to develop both as a professional and demonstrate the need for lifelong learning.

  • Radiotherapy Science

    This module introduces the scientific conversance required for informed and safe practice as a therapeutic radiographer. Students will be introduced to radiation science and topics taught will include the physical principles of radiation generation, interaction, modification and protection underpinning radiation therapy. Students will need to have an understanding of the regulations associated with the use of ionising radiation in order to operate in a safe manner whilst in the clinical environment.

  • Skills for Research and Radiotherapy Practice 1

    This module introduces the skills required for academic learning and practice as a therapeutic radiographer. Students will be introduced to enquiry and methods of learning and assessment as well as professional requirements for the programme. Students will develop an understanding of the regulations associated with the clinical environment as well as the inter-personal skills needed of a healthcare professional.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Oncology and Management II

    This module builds on the Principles of Oncology and Management I. It will consider the anatomy, oncology and management of common tumours arising within the breast, thoracic, abdominal and pelvic regions. The diagnosis and natural history of these tumours will be covered alongside the impact this may have on the patient and their families. Students will review the evidence-base related to the management of these tumours and will appraise the role of radiotherapy, and issues related to side effects and living beyond a diagnosis of cancer. A basic overview of pharmacology will be given so that students may better understand the role of anticancer drugs and drug therapies.

  • Radiotherapy Equipment & Radiobiology

    This module will equip the student with the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding the design and safe operation of radiotherapy related equipment. Included in the module will be equipment for the purposes of radiotherapy localisation and delivery of treatment. The module will also cover image acquisition, beam characteristics and the biological effects of ionising radiation. Design of a radiotherapy department will be considered with reference to the variety of equipment available.

  • Radiotherapy Localisation and Planning

    This module covers the principles of radiotherapy localisation and planning and enables students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to generate and evaluate clinically-acceptable isodose distributions.

  • Radiotherapy Practice II

    This module is the second in a series of three that is devoted to developing the clinical skills necessary to become a therapeutic radiographer. Learning is undertaken in the clinical environment where, under direct supervision, students continue to develop practice-based skills. Emphasis is placed on interactions with patients and clinical staff, safe and appropriate professional working practices as well as working within the boundaries of Level 5 study. Students will perform parallel-opposed calculations and will continue to accurately identify patients according to protocol, maintain confidentiality and comply with rules and regulations at all times.

  • Skills for Research and Radiotherapy Practice II

    This module builds on the foundations laid down in Skills for Research and Radiotherapy Practice I; it will enable students to develop an understanding of the legislative, ethical and research frameworks that underpin, inform and influence the practice of radiotherapy. Research principles, processes and methods will be studied in order that students recognise the value of research to the critical evaluation of practice and to facilitate the students' understanding of the philosophy behind evidence based practice. Medico-legal and ethical issues and philosophy of clinical governance will be examined in order to promote and underpin safe and professional radiotherapy practice.

Optional

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Contemporary Issues in Radiotherapy Practice

    This module not only considers current practices and developments in radiotherapy but also extends to other equally important areas such as changes in service delivery and updates regarding statutory and professional body policies and documentation. Additionally it covers key areas related to the expectations of employers post-qualification and provides an opportunity to consolidate employability skills. By making this module broad, it can reflect new and potential practices in service/departments at the time of delivery.

  • Enhancing Health & Social Care through Inter-professional Education

    The module is designed to give students further opportunities of working in multi-professional groups in order to improve understanding across professional boundaries and encourage collaborative learning and working that will bring benefit to patient/service-users. The justification for inclusion of inter-professional working within health care is addressed. The module requires students to bring specialist in-depth knowledge of their profession and professional codes of conduct to a group setting so that health and social care pathways are critically reviewed in the context of professional practice.

  • Oncology and Management III

    This module builds on Oncology and Management II. It will consider the anatomy, oncology and management of a range of adult and paediatric malignancies not previously considered in the level 4 and 5 oncology management modules. The diagnosis and natural history of these tumours will be covered alongside the impact this may have on the patient and their families. Students will appraise the evidence-base related to the management of these tumours in order to evaluate the role of radiotherapy and post-treatment issues, side-effects and survivorship (living with and beyond cancer). The role of palliative care and end of life issues in cancer management will be explored.

  • Radiotherapy Practice III

    This module is the last in a series of three that is devoted to developing the clinical skills necessary to become a therapeutic radiographer. Learning is undertaken in the clinical environment where, under direct supervision, students refine their practice-based skills. Students will demonstrate the necessary level of competency required to practise effectively as a graduate radiographer including complex radiotherapy dose calculations.

  • Radiotherapy Research Exercise

    A series of facilitated workshops/ tutorials covering topics related to the research process will enable students to plan and structure a research proposal. Individual supervision will be provided and supervisors allocated on the basis of the topic identified.

Optional

Fees & funding

NHS Funding for UK/EU Students

Please note that the University is currently awaiting the outcome of a Government consultation looking at the future of NHS funding for health courses. The changes proposed for 2017/18 entry have yet to be finalised, although it is widely anticipated that students, rather than receiving an NHS grant / bursary, will be given access to maintenance and tuition fee loans like other students. 

If you would like further details of the proposed changes, these can be found at http://www.councilofdeans.org.uk/2015/11/the-2015-spending-review-changes-to-nursing-midwifery-and-ahp-education-background-information-for-students and at http://www.thefundingclinic.org.uk/ although please note that this information is still provisional until the Government consultation finishes and a formal change of policy is announced.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course costs

Compulsory

  •  Accommodation costs during clinical placements - indicative prices are: £230-£560.
  • Transport to clinical placements (students can claim if eligible for NHS Bursary and travel costs): up to £600 per placement

Eligible students for an NHS Bursary can claim all, or part depending on circumstances. EU students who are not eligible for an NHS Bursary cannot claim it (in this case the figures quoted are top-end and depend upon placement venue and distance travelled).

Optional

Society of Radiographers student membership. Indicative fee for the first year is £163

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

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2016

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201607/08/2017Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201615/08/2017Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time)

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201707/08/2018Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201715/08/2018Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time)