Entry requirements and training (therapeutic radiographer)

This page has information on the entry requirements and training needed to become a therapeutic radiographer.

To practise as a radiographer, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). In order to register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete an approved degree in radiotherapy

University courses

Degree courses take three or four years full time, or up to six years part time. There are also some postgraduate programmes that take two years. Courses cover anatomy, physiology and physics as well sociology, management, ethics and the practice and science of imaging. Courses differ but all involve a lot of practical work with patients.

To get onto a therapeutic radiography degree course you usually need two or three A levels, including physics, chemistry or biology/human biology, along with at least five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and science.

Or you could have alternative qualifications, including:

  • BTEC, HND or HNC which includes science
  • relevant NVQ
  • science-based access course
  • equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications

If you already hold a relevant first degree, you can apply for an approved 2 year accelerated programme in radiotherapy/therapeutic radiography.

However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully. Wherever you study, you will need to show that you have an understanding of radiotherapy. It is a good idea to spend some time with a registered diagnostic radiographer to see what the work is like.

Financial support while studying at university

You'll be entitled to receive at least £5,000 a year towards your studies while at university. Your personal circumstances may mean you could receive more. And the good news? You'll never have to pay it back

Degree apprenticeships

A degree standard apprenticeship in therapeutic radiography has been approved for delivery. To get onto a degree apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an apprentice position with a health care provider. You can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and Find an Apprenticeship website.

Once you’ve successfully completed a programme approved by the HCPC, you are then eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. Once registered as a practitioner, you’ll be required to retain your name on the register by keeping your knowledge and skills up to date and paying an annual retention fee.

Want to learn more?

  • Therapeutic radiographer need to be:

    • very safety conscious
    • interested in technology
    • able to understand and follow instructions exactly
    • patient and understanding
    • physically fit, as the job involves a lot of standing
  • Skills needed to be a therapeutic radiographer include:

    • good communication
    • ability to reassure patients
    • ability to explain procedures to patients
    • good organisation
    • good observation
    • ability to keep up to date and learn new skills
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