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Study information

Fundamentals of Radiographic Practice

Module titleFundamentals of Radiographic Practice
Module codePAM1020
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Mike Gundry (Convenor)

Dr Beth McGill (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will introduce physical and technical concepts relating to Medical Imaging. You will develop knowledge and understanding of physical principles, equipment and technical aspects involved in general and fluoroscopic radiography. You will undertake supervised practical sessions demonstrating the principles taught. You will also learn about and undertake supervised practice of patient positioning for projectional radiographs of various parts of the human body. This training includes the important clinical and radiation safety measures required for clinical practice.

Module aims - intentions of the module

You will develop essential skills and gain knowledge of the essential science underpinning the various radiation imaging modalities. The module further aims to provide introductory knowledge of radiation biology, physics and techniques sufficient for you to subsequently appreciate the legislative framework which is fundamental to clinical practice.

This module prepares you for your first year clinical placement using academic and practical experiences that will be directly relevant to your clinical experiences.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the physical and scientific principles on which image formation using ionising and non-ionising radiation is based
  • 2. Describe the radiobiological principles on tissue, and the use of radiation dosimetry
  • 3. Understand the justification and risks of ionising radiation including safety and legislative frameworks for general x-ray, fluoroscopy, theatre and mobile imaging
  • 4. Understand and apply the principles of ionising radiation production, interaction with matter, beam modification and radiation protection

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Use appropriate sources of information to develop own knowledge
  • 6. Display mathematical skills sufficient to support study of Medical Imaging
  • 7. Use appropriate IT packages used in Medical Imaging

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Manage time and, with guidance, prioritise workloads
  • 9. Demonstrate basic problem-solving skills
  • 10. Work cooperatively within a team

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

Mathematical skills

Numbers, physical quantities, symbols and units.

Operations: fractions; powers, roots, reciprocals,

Equations: simplifying, rearranging and solving.

Graphs and functions, Cartesian and polar coordinates, 2D and 3D.

Physics concepts

Molecules, atoms, nuclei, electrons, ions.

Size of atoms, atomic mass, isotopes.

Electromagnetic spectrum, photons.

X-ray production: Bremsstrahlung and characteristic radiation

Radioactive decay: alpha- , beta-, and gamma-decay.

DC circuits: current, voltage, resistance, energy and power.

Overview of digital electronics: bits and ADC.

Radiation, radiation protection and dosimetry

Overview of ionising radiation in diagnosis and therapy.

X-ray interaction: Rayleigh scattering, photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, and pair production.

Basic radiobiology.

Radiation dose, radiation units

Dosimetry: practical devices, including personnel monitoring.

Overview of legislation and regulations for radiation protection -The Ionising

Radiations Regulations 1999; The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations

2017 Local Rules

Technical aspects of x-radiography and fluoroscopy:

Standard equipment. Standard imaging procedures.

Patient care, infection control and hand hygiene.

Safe and efficient practice.

Evaluation and interpretation of images.

Patient positioning of the axial skeleton, appendicular skeleton, thorax and abdomen

Safe use of contrast agents.

Range of positions for standard imaging procedures: 

Practical imaging of phantoms

Digital radiography (DR)

Handling of the image receptor

Exposure factors

Field of view and positioning.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities13Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities7Seminars/Image evaluation
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Tutorial support (1 per term)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities20Practical Sessions
Guided independent study17Directed online learning activities
Guided independent study241Reading, private study and revision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Formative exam60 minutes1-8Marks returned, discussed in tutorials

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Coursework301500 words1-3, 5-9Written
Exam 135120 minutes1-8Marks returned, discussed in tutorials
Exam 2 35120 minutes1-8Marks returned, discussed in tutorials

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Coursework 30%Coursework (1500 words)1-3, 5-9August/September assessment period
Exam 1 (35%)Exam 1 (120 min)1-8August/September assessment period
Exam 2 (35%)Exam 2 (120 min)1-8August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Please also refer to the TQA section on general Referral/Deferral guidelines:

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bontrager K.L. (2017), Textbook of Radiographic Positioning and Related Anatomy (9th edition), Mosby, ISBN 0323481876
  • Carlton R.R. and Adler A.M. (2013), Radiographic Imaging Concepts and Principles (5th edition), Delmar, ISBN 1473720524
  • Graham D.T., Cloke P. and Vosper M. (2012), Principles and Applications of Radiological Physics (6th edition), Churchill Livingstone, ISBN 9780702052156 
  • Whitley AS, Jefferson G, Holmes K, Hoadley G, Sloane C, Anderson C. (2015) Clark's Positioning in Radiography (13th edition). CRC Press, London. ISBN 9781444122350
  • Bushong S.  (2017), Radiologic Science for Technologists (10th edition), Elsevier, ISBN 9780323353779
  • Lambourne R. and Tinker M. (2000), Basic Mathematics for the Physical Sciences, Wiley, ISBN 0-471-85207-4
  • Martensen, K. (2019), Radiographic Image Analysis (5th edition), Elsevier, ISBN 9780323522816
  • Sloane C., Whitley A.S., Anderson C. and Holmes K. (2017), Clark's Pocket Handbook for Radiographers (2nd edition), CRC Press, ISBN 9781498726993
  • UK Statutory Instruments (2017), Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017, The Stationary Office, Available from
  • UK Statutory Instruments (2017), The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017, The Stationery Office, Available from
  • UK Statutory Instruments (2018), The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, The Stationary Office, Available from
  • The Health & Safety Executive (2018), Work with Ionising Radiation. Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017: Approved Code of Practice and Guidance, HSE Books, ISBN 9780717666621

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Indicative learning resources - Other resources


Key words search

Medical Imaging, Radiations, Overview, Regulations, Circuits, Power, Decays, Energy, Matters, Electromagnetic Levels, Imaging, Position, Radiography, Practical, Patient, Procedures, Skeleton, Selecting, Factor, Image Receptor.

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

PAM1016, PAM1018, PAM1019

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date