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BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology
- New government grants available from September 2020 for new and continuing degree-level students. You may be eligible for additional support of at least £5,000 a year which you won't need to pay back.
- You may also be eligible for an additional £1,000 towards childcare costs to help balance your studies with family life.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.
Why choose this course?
- It leads to a BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology, and graduates are eligible for state registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a therapeutic radiographer.
- The combination of expert patient care and technical skills provide a unique and rewarding career with the potential for progression into several highly specialised fields.
- Our lecturing team are highly experienced, state-registered therapeutic radiographers who all hold postgraduate qualifications in education. We excel at student support and guidance, receiving regular praise for this in student evaluations.
- We work closely with ‘experts by experience’ (people who have either had cancer treated with radiotherapy or have experience of other health care interventions), past and current students, clinical practitioners and health service managers in the recruitment of students, development and delivery of the programme.
- 100% of our Radiotherapy and Oncology graduates went on to employment or further study within 6 months according to the latest national Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.
- Our research informed approach to teaching and learning prepares our students for future postgraduate educational opportunities. If you are a University of Hertfordshire alumni, you are entitled to a 20% fee reduction for postgraduate taught courses.
What's the course about?
Radiotherapy is used in the management of approximately half of patients diagnosed with cancer. It works by utilising radiation at high energies to destroy cancer cells so that a patient can either be cured or have their symptoms alleviated.
This course will enable you to graduate as a therapeutic radiographer eligible for state registration. Therapeutic radiographers are the key clinical practitioners responsible for delivering radiotherapy. You will develop skills related to planning and accurate delivery of radiotherapy using a range of specialised technical equipment. You will also develop the vital skills to manage the psychological, social and emotional factors experienced by patients with cancer, their families and loved ones. Because most cancer patients will be treated with a range of modalities (including surgery, chemotherapy and hormone therapy) you will learn about the management of cancer from a holistic perspective. For some learning of core health care values and concepts, this will be alongside other health care practitioners.
Practical experience is a key component of the programme, so your university-based studies will be regularly integrated with clinical practice placements in a range of approved placement sites.
What will I study?
We ensure that theoretical understanding and practical application is integrated by using a wide range of teaching and learning methods. These include lectures, seminars, tutorials, clinical skills workshops, simulation using our Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Training suite (VERT), electronic and distance learning and placement learning in our partner radiotherapy departments.
Research-informed teaching methods promote lifelong learning, team-working and leadership skills and encourage critical reflection and self-awareness resulting in graduates who are highly responsive to health service needs.
'I would like to thank the Dean and let her know that as a mature student the decision to come and train at the University of Hertfordshire was the best decision I could take towards my future career as Therapeutic Radiographer. The level of support, understanding and respect we received from the radiotherapy team was vital to our success and second to none in my life as a student.'
Lauren - Week at a glance
My Typical Week at University
My typical week can vary dependent on the time of year, but I am always busy in some respect.
About half your time is spent at the University learning or recapping crucial content for us to becoming brilliant radiographers. Before COVID-19 I will have been in at least two, two-hour lectures a day, which fits my personality perfectly because I like to keep super occupied! Once I get back, I review the lectures, write any extra notes, and do any recommended wider reading. It may be to help review and expand my knowledge from the lectures that day or to help prepare me for my lectures for the rest of the week. I just repeat this cycle for much of the week. However, having online lectures now has been such an advantage as I can plan to have days of learning updated content and the next day to revisit and relax a little more.
There are two areas in the academic part of a radiotherapy student’s studies which can get even busier! This is the assessment seasons around Christmas and Easter. Assessments come in all forms such as essays, exams, and presentations. I find if I knuckle down and get work done but make sure I am available to chat with all my friends and speak to lecturers when I need help/advice this helps me get through!
The other half of the radiotherapy course is spent on placement, in hospitals all over the country. Personally, I have visited two departments, Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. While on placement you are working a four-day week (so you have one day off for study). Again, keeping myself busy! You are learning all the time and applying the theories you learn in the classroom to your practice. I sleep a lot which is needed when you are like a sponge absorbing so much new information and developing lots of your skills.
In my downtime, I am chatting with friends and family on zoom. Playing video games, reading, join and go to events ran by societies, I help run a youth group online and many more activities. All these things help me to relax and make sure I have a bit of ‘me time’ as well as all the hard work I am putting in to be successful. Alongside this, I work as a Student Ambassador, a really rewarding role and brilliant to put onto my CV. Time management and organisation are most certainly the key to be the best you can be!
Lauren - Guide to the facilities
Guide to Radiotherapy Facilities
The following blog will talk you through the facilities available to Radiotherapy and Oncology students and some of the ways you can use them!
Firstly, an amazing aspect about the University is the free Wi-Fi which you can pick up anywhere across both campuses (College Lane and de Havilland). It is an important asset when so many resources can be accessed online!
Learning Resource Centre (a.k.a. Onsite Library)
There are hundreds of books across both campuses; all the Health and Social care books are located at the College Lane Learning Resource Centre (LRC). A system within the LRC helps you find any book you need and the location using the Dewey Decimal Classification System. The LRC does not only have books though, it has hundreds of computers linked to printers with copying and scanning functionalities. As you travel up the floors of the LRC there are quiet zones or spaces for group and social work. Our LRC is open 24/7 with a café and sleep/relaxation pods!
This amazing database has all the possible books which are in the LRC many of which have online copies however it shows the location of the books across both campuses if an e-version is not available. Not only this, it shows every journal article which the University pays a licence to, meaning there are thousands of different resources linked to the University alone! So, don’t go and but your own subscriptions/books until you see if they are on the online library. The advantages do not stop there! When writing essays, the online library has a function to cite and reference items for you. (If you do not know what this means do not worry but… this will be very useful soon!)
Due to the current situation, all our lectures are now online. The University of Hertfordshire has its own software to accommodate student learning needs (two parts – Study Net and Canvas). Canvas allows for the following functionalities: PowerPoints are uploaded with speaker notes or narration present new information to students or to assist with revision. Extra reading (e.g. journals, trials, paper and more) can be provided. Online quizzes to test your knowledge (I find these particularly helpful). Discussion boards or chat function to talk to your classmates. Assignment portals. The most helpful part of Study Net for a lot of students now is the conferences functions, you can have a live lecture, being able to see and talk to your lecturers and peers directly. Study Net links directly to Canvas but shows different information. It shows updates of events happening around the University but also course-specific information including links to helpful external website links (e.g. imaging bases and anatomy sites), information for placement (e.g. accommodation) and instructions/help when you need extensions or further support.
This is a crucial part of the radiotherapy course. It is an expensive system which is in only one room of the University! We use it to contour parts of the body to add a practical aspect in learning of anatomy in the first year. By the end of your third year, you should be able to plan a patient’s radiotherapy treatment using your experience from placement and theory you have learned in the classroom.
Computer Tomography (CT) Scanner
A machine we share with the diagnostic radiography course. You will have the opportunity to use this machine throughout all three years to practice what happens during the CT stage in the patient journey. You will learn the processes using a phantom body which once scanned shows differences between bone and soft tissue! I love this facility as it is the most realistic representation of what we do in practice without doing it on a real patient.
Virtual Environment of Radiotherapy Training Suite (VERT)
Another incredible system which is installed in only one room! It allows for all students to practice using the controls of a linear accelerator (one of the machines which gives radiotherapy treatment). You can see a patient on the bed, see the patient’s scan in relation to the treatment bed, move the machine and panels around to get a feel for what it will be like when you attend placement. 3D goggles can also be worn (if you are comfortable) to create the experience of truly being in a treatment room! Also, there is a function to image match (the CT planning image to an image you take in the treatment room).
There are so many avenues of support within the University. One of these includes the radiotherapy office! (This is where all the lecturers sit). I would argue, the radiotherapy and oncology course have one of the best lecturing teams. They have an open-door policy for students to drop-in when you can, or you can contact them via phone or email with an amazingly quick response. Another good support is the Academic Support Services. They aid with academic literacy, referencing and numeracy with descriptive help on the website but if you continue to struggle you can email and organise to be put into a group or one-to-one session.
All these different facilities support the progression of all the students at some point throughout their studies and I know they have really helped me!
Lauren - Why I chose Herts
Why I Chose to Study Radiotherapy and Why at Herts!
Hey! I am Lauren, a Radiotherapy and Oncology student about to enter my third and final year of my degree. Before going to University, I studied my A-levels at school, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology. I have always loved my sciences and had a large passion for helping others. I wanted to find the perfect course that fit all my interests and after some researching and help from my earlier institution, I found radiography.
Next, it was the decision between diagnostic and therapeutic radiography. I went to visit some clinical departments in hospitals. I would highly recommend, it truly helped me make my mind up between the two professions. Personally, I chose the therapeutic route due to the patient rapport you build, seeing the same patient for a few weeks instead for a few minutes.
Why did I choose Herts though? Well on all my visits I got ‘the vibe’, you know the one where you feel safe and everything feels right! But if you want something a little more measurable...
All the staff members were supportive in my decision making throughout the selection and interviewing process. The facilities across the whole campus are brilliant; the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), the planning lab, the virtual environment radiotherapy training suite and Computer Tomography (CT) scanner.
However, there is not only course-specific advantages. Moving away can be a pretty big thing and knowing you are supported and safe while moving is crucial. The University of Hertfordshire gives you so many opportunities to access help to make your experience the best it can be. There are great accommodation facilities, I lived on campus for two years and for my final year I am commuting from Essex. The accommodation is new and modern with lots of different options and prices including central accommodation hub to help with all your queries. It is an on-campus university meaning everything you need is on-site, but you are not far away from a shopping centre, supermarkets and the train station which can get you into London within 30 minutes. There is a nightclub on campus and free transport to other clubs nearby (if that is your thing). Societies for me were one of my biggest supports and there are hundreds to choose from, I am part of the Christian Union where there are opportunities to meet three times per week.
I have grown so much since being at University, learning skills for my course, making new friends, and even just cooking, cleaning, and washing my clothes for myself. It has made me feel more independent and confident in the person I am becoming, and the University of Hertfordshire helped me do that!
Khan Asghar Iqbal
Meet Khan Asghar Iqbal who is saving lives everyday as a Newly Qualified Paramedic (NQP). He is currently working for the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.
|Current job role||Newly Qualified Paramedic|
|Year of graduation||2018|
|Course of study||BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science|
A unique degree and experience
Khan says his ambition to work in London and move out of his hometown in Cardiff was a key factor in choosing to study at the University of Hertfordshire. However, his course also provided a unique combination of theoretical and practical study which Khan says, 'prepared me to put my knowledge into practice while out on placement each term. The course also gave me a glimpse of future opportunities for paramedics such as teaching, management and advanced practice.'
The vocational nature of the degree enabled him to transition smoothly into his chosen career providing him with the essential professional skills and hands on experience he required to excel as a paramedic. He says, 'The course gives you the knowledge to make lifesaving decisions but also gives you more advanced knowledge regarding complicated conditions and the various medicines that come with each patient.'
Khan speaks fondly of his time at the University and says, 'I truly miss everyone I became friends with on my degree. Some of the nights out in the Forum were the best I've ever had and they will be everlasting memories, with friends both on and off of my course. I really came out of my shell and comfort zone and it has made me into the confident and outgoing person I am today.'
Get your dream job
Khan says that being a paramedic is the 'best job in the World' and, although he has just started his career, he hopes to go onto postgraduate study and experience new cultures by travelling.
Meet Ramutu Nguru who has excelled as a Registered Nutritionist since graduating in 2016. She currently works as a School Food Nutritionist for Herts Catering Limited (HCL).
|Current job role||School Food Nutritionist|
|Year of graduation||2016|
|Course of study||BSc (Hons) Nutrition|
Essential skills for the future
Ramatu graduated having studied Nutrition and has now entered her chosen career as a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition (AfN). She currently works as a School Food Nutritionist for Herts Catering Limited (HCL). Her course enabled Ramatu to achieve her career aspirations, providing invaluable experience which included work shadowing, volunteering and practical work placement opportunities alongside various registered nutritionists and dieticians.
Ramatu says, 'Many employers advertise for nutritionists who are already registered with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN). In order to register, you would need to be able to demonstrate that you meet the underpinning knowledge and professional skills required.' Studying a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition or related bioscience degree provides students with an abundance of practicable and transferable experience which will enable you to make crucial inroads into the profession.'
Experience is crucial
Experience is crucial and Ramatu attests that it is even more beneficial than good grades. She advises students to seek out as much opportunity as possible to gain professional experience and says, 'My priority is to continually develop professionally as a Registered Nutritionist as there is always room to improve my own practice and service delivery.' The University provides fantastic opportunities for students through work placements, study abroad schemes as well as the fantastic industry led practical elements embedded into the courses themselves.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.