New radiography course at Derby first in UK to be approved by College of Radiographers

“The University of Derby is the first university in the country to get a diagnostic radiography specific return to practice course approved." Sue Errett, Lecturer in Diagnostic Imaging

Date posted: 4 February 2016

A new course designed to get radiographers who have taken a career break to return to practice has been launched at the University of Derby.

The Return to Practice in Diagnostic Radiography course, which is due to have its first intake next month (March 2016), is the first course in the UK to be approved by the College of Radiographers.

And in addition, Health Education East Midlands have pledged to support 10 students by paying for their fees as well as providing a £500 bursary.

Sue Errett, Programme Leader for the new course and Lecturer in Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Derby, said: “This course has been developed as the Society and College of Radiographers identified that a number of radiographers nationwide are keen to return to the profession after a career break.

“Health Education East Midlands also asked the University of Derby to develop this course as a mechanism to increase the radiographic workforce in local NHS Trusts, which are often short staffed and relying on agency staff.

“The University of Derby is the first university in the country to get a diagnostic radiography specific return to practice course approved. Some universities do have generic return to practice courses which cover multiple health care professions but none which are specific to diagnostic radiography.”

Last year the Government listed Medical Radiographers on their 2015 Shortage Occupation List.

The six-month course at Derby offers a mixture of formal study in the academic setting, alongside a supervised clinical placement, to provide a structured way for returnees to meet the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) return to practice requirements.

It begins with theoretical classroom contact and simulation activities in the Clinical Skills Suite, followed by the opportunity to apply underpinning theory into current clinical practice in a supervised clinical placement.

Sue added: “At Derby we recognise that radiographers returning to practice will have different learning requirements.

“With this in mind we have tailored the course to meet the requirements of individual returnees by using a ‘gaps analysis’ exercise. This will take into consideration their previous experience, length of career break and their scope of practice/speciality.

“We have built flexibility into the course to ensure that returnees can secure part time hours during the practice element of the course if required.”

The course provides 20 credits at Level 6 and is available to diagnostic radiographers from both plain film and other imaging modalities who have previously been registered with the HCPC but have not practised their profession for more than two years.

It is also available to individuals who qualified as a diagnostic radiographer but then did not practice or register with the HCPC post qualification.

Emma Hyde, Head of Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Derby, added: “This course is an excellent way to prepare diagnostic radiographers who have been out of clinical practice, and let their HCPC registration lapse, to return to a clinical role.

“With the current UK shortage of qualified radiographers, this is an ideal time to for anyone thinking of returning to the profession to do so.”

To find out more about studying the Return to Practice for Diagnostic Radiography course, and to apply, visit:

For further press information please contact Kelly Tyler, University of Derby PR Officer, on 01332 591891 or email: