BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • A unique career combining specialist patient care and technical skills
  • 2nd in the UK at 94% for student satisfaction (NSS 2021)
  • Hands-on learning in specialist practice placements

  • 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.
  • 95% of graduates are in work or doing further study 15 months after the course (Graduate Outcomes, 2019/2020)
  • Our Radiotherapy and Oncology programme is second in the UK at 94% for overall student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2021)
  • 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. 

Your main campus is College Lane

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.  

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.'

Eustáquio C. S. Neto

BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology

Student Blogs

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!

Student Blogs

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!

Online library

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!)

Online learning

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.

Planning Lab

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!

Student Blogs

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 -sychology. 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!

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Student Blogs

Sarah- Unibuddy

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Alumni Stories

Elise Woodbridge-Colella

Meet Elise. Elise’s journey to radiotherapy began when she supported a family member receiving cancer treatment. She is now a qualified Therapeutic Radiographer, who has worked for the NHS and in the private sector.

Read more stories BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology
Current jobTherapeutic Radiographer
Year of graduation2021
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology
A picture of Elise Woodbridge-Colella

Her ideal university

Elise had wanted to work in healthcare since childhood and discovered radiotherapy whilst supporting a family member receiving treatment for breast cancer. Elise says, ‘I visited a radiotherapy department and saw how therapeutic radiotherapy worked. It combines the best patient care with the latest science, and the treatment is unique in the fact that you treat patients for up to seven weeks. You get to know their situation and families very well, as you’re there for a large part of their cancer journey.’

For Elise, Herts was her ideal university. She says, ‘Herts is close to London, with good transport links that are great for going on placement and visiting home. It’s also a campus-based institution, with all the amenities you need on-site such as shops, pharmacies, and places to socialise.’

Elise was the first person in her immediate family to go to university and admitted that she was nervous when she started her course at Herts, but she met two of her best friends on her first day here. She says, ‘When we discovered that we all shared a birthday in the same week, we knew it was meant to be. We are still close, and we are looking forward to our first holiday together soon.’

Feeling supported

Elise wanted a course that combined in-class theory with a placement, which in her words, ‘gave me the opportunity to apply what I had learned in a work environment.’ She adds, ‘Our tutors were also very supportive, particularly when you went on placement. You still felt connected to the University and its support system throughout.’

At Herts, Elise was encouraged to take on extracurricular activities that complimented her learning. She was a Student Representative, she completed a student leadership programme, and she took part in a specialist proton beam therapy placement where she was invited to share her learning with peers once she returned to campus. Elise adds, ‘Throughout my course, you were encouraged to study and work with students from other healthcare professions, which prepared me well for interdisciplinary working once I qualified.’

At graduation, Elise received a Silver Go Herts Award in recognition of her engagement with extracurricular activities outside her course.

Her career and advice

Elise is now a Health and Care Professions Council registered Therapeutic Radiographer, who has worked in both the NHS and private sector. She says, ‘I love my job. It’s rewarding to be able to make a difference to patients every day. My degree at Herts gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to be a safe healthcare worker, and it opened my eyes to possible career paths I could take.’ She is now hoping to complete a postgraduate course and find her ideal specialism within cancer care.

Her advice to current and future Herts students is to make use of the support available here. She says, ‘Herts has an excellent careers support service, so it’s worth speaking to them if you need help with your CV or an application.’

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Alumni Stories

Jordan Murtagh

Meet Jordan. Driven by a passion for science and technology, he decided to move from Ireland to study radiography at Herts.

Read more stories BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging
Current jobCT Radiographer at the Bristol Royal Infirmary
Year of graduation2020
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging
A picture of Jordan Murtagh

Finding his passion

Jordan had a keen interest in science and technology at school, and after doing work experience at a hospital in his native Ireland he discovered that radiography was perfect for him. His next step was to choose which university he wanted to go to.

Jordan explains, ‘I had several options. I could have stayed in Ireland, but I saw the BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging course at Herts and was keen on it. I attended an open day and an interview, and my first experience was positive. The staff made me feel at home and everyone was welcoming. Current students were also at the open day to answer any questions I had, and we were given a tour of the facilities which are great.’

As an international student, the University’s proximity to London and its airports was important to Jordan, as it allowed him to travel back to Ireland easily to visit family and friends.

Immersing yourself

Jordan had a fantastic time at Herts, which he credits to his lecturers and friends he made along the way. Jordan says, ‘My lecturers made learning enjoyable and taught us in different ways. There were group exercises, image interpretation workshops, and lectures – and you were always encouraged to get involved in learning activities.

‘I went on placement too and the structure of it was great - it prepared me well for clinical practice as a qualified radiographer. I had a lecturer who would often check in to see if I was doing all right and I was assigned a clinical coordinator at the hospital who I could always rely on for support.’

Jordan immersed himself more in extracurricular activities during his second year and started playing rugby at Herts. He also frequented the gym and pool at Hertfordshire Sports Village on the de Havilland campus. Jordan adds, ‘Getting involved in your course or a club makes such a difference. I now live in the UK and many of my friends here are Herts graduates too. Because Herts is a campus-based university, it’s easy to make friends and meet new people.

‘This is true even in an academic sense. I will always remember graduating and being told by a lecturer that I was now their colleague, which added to the huge sense of pride I had completing the course.’

An exciting future in radiography

Jordan is now a CT Radiographer at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He says that the future of his profession is exciting, and he is looking forward to seeing how artificial intelligence will improve treatments for patients in the future.

His advice to Herts students and soon-to-be graduates is to, ‘Be curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get something wrong. Making mistakes is often where we learn the most. And most importantly, get involved and immerse yourself in your course and the student experience. Taking the initial step is difficult, but you will thank yourself afterwards.’