This course is the first of it's kind in the UK

First radiography degree apprenticeship launched in Exeter

The first degree apprenticeship in the UK for diagnostic radiography has been approved and will launch this March.

The University of Exeter has created the work-based learning programme, which will help increase the number of diagnostic radiographers utilising this innovative new model. NHS partners across the South West have helped develop the BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging programme along with patient and public support.

Dr Karen Knapp, Associate Professor in Musculoskeletal Imaging at the University of Exeter, said: “We’re thrilled that this route will open up opportunities for people who may not otherwise be able to access training routes to become diagnostic radiographers.”

Dr Christine Heales and Demelza Green, both Senior Lecturers at the University of Exeter, have developed the programme and will now lead it as we welcome our first students.

Dr Christine Heales said: “This is the first diagnostic radiography degree apprenticeship to be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and the Society and College of Radiographers. We’re proud that we received a number of commendations for the programme and the staff. We’re very excited to be able to offer this alternative route into the profession and to be able to run this alongside our award-winning undergraduate programme. We can’t wait to welcome our first group of students in March.”

The new degree apprenticeship opens up the opportunity for existing NHS and healthcare staff to develop their skills, as well as being open to staff new to the NHS and other healthcare providers. It complements the existing Medical Imaging undergraduate programme which is currently rated in the top five of three current university guides.

The course has already attracted interest from healthcare organisations across the country and involves distance learning with some week-long teaching blocks at St Luke’s campus in Exeter.

Gill Kite, Superintendent Radiographer & Radiology Governance Lead of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, said: "The Diagnostic Radiographer Apprenticeship course has come along at just the right time for us at Northern Devon Healthcare Trust. We have staff who are keen to up-skill and to qualify as radiographers, but they would struggle to fit full-time training into their lives due to family or financial commitments. This is a great solution.

"The University of Exeter has worked hard to involve us in the development of the Diagnostic Radiographer Apprenticeship course, to ensure that the course meets our needs. We’re looking forward to supporting our staff to grow their careers through this exciting new opportunity."

Emma Spouse, Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust’s Diagnostic Imaging Lead, said: “It’s brilliant news that the diagnostic radiography apprenticeship programme has been ratified. This apprenticeship is delivered by the University of Exeter working in partnership with NHS Trusts to deliver high quality radiographers for the future NHS workforce in our local hospitals across the South West and beyond. Diagnostic radiographers work at the heart of healthcare delivery and having an apprenticeship programme provides an important alternative route into this much needed profession.”


For more information on the new course visit our study webpages and follow @ExeterMed and @UoE_MI on Twitter.

Date: 3 February 2020

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