Study plan - Bachelor in radiography
Radiography revolves around imaging the human body through the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation. People are central to radiography, a technique in which highly technical equipment is used to help people achieve optimal health through various diagnostic, treatment and preventative goals. Radiography services are based on values and knowledge related to humanity’s needs when it comes to care, health, illness, ethics, and technology, on the individual and the system level. Technological developments and individually adapted services and interactions make specific requirements of the radiography service and thus of the contents of the bachelor’s degree in radiography.
The undergraduate degree in radiography will ensure that the candidate acquires a broad specialist understanding and a high degree of competence in performing diagnostic imaging examinations and in the treatment of patients referred to the specialist healthcare service. Disciplines within radiography include conventional x-ray imaging, computer tomography, magnetic resonance, nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography (PET), radiation therapy mammography, paediatric radiography, interventional radiography and ultrasonography. This programme ensures that the candidate is qualified to inform and guide the patient, ensure the safe use of the technology and radiation, administer medication and observe and take care of the patient’s needs for care. The work of the radiographer consists of planning, implementing, developing and evaluating procedures throughout the entire radiography process, from receiving the referral to the post-processing of the imaging materials, documenting the work, interacting with others and ensuring the flow of information.
Candidates educated on the bachelor’s degree programme in radiography are conscious of their responsibility, reflective and professionally competent as regards the work required of them in the radiography services, and have the attitudes and tools to encourage lifelong learning within the field of radiography. A central aspect of the undergraduate programme in radiography at HVL is the development of professional competence for the future through knowledge, interaction, sustainability and innovation. The simulation centre SimArena is an innovative learning arena with a diagnostic imaging department, an emergency room, an operating theatre and a ward in which specialist, professional and inter-disciplinary interaction and learning are facilitated.
Candidates educated at HVL gain a professional profile aimed at medical imaging treatments, artificial intelligence and innovation within the field of radiography.
An important part of the knowledge platform for this profile is the ability to use knowledge of the basic biological sciences, imaging treatment methods, image analyses and the visualisation of medical imaging. The focus here is on how advanced imaging treatment and artificial intelligence can benefit the patient.
The bachelor’s degree in radiography ensures that the candidate has a broad professional foundation and the competence to perform knowledge-based radiography that is grounded in up-to-date knowledge, professional responsibility and comprehensive care for each individual person, independently and through inter-professional and inter-disciplinary collaboration. By facilitating internationalisation, the undergraduate programme further ensures that the candidate can also demonstrate their performance and development within the profession from an international perspective.
The programme further provides students with the competence and mindset required to ensure equality for all members of society in their provision of such services. The programme is knowledge-based, professionally oriented and practice-focused and it follows societal, scientific and technological developments.
Suitability Assessment There are suitability requirements for this profession. Ongoing suitability assessments are carried out throughout the programme of study and consist of a comprehensive assessment of the student’s professional and personal qualities in regard to their suitability for the role of radiographer (cf. § 4 in the Regulations relating to suitability assessments in higher education). For more information, see the Suitability Assessment page on HVL’s website
Authorisation Upon completion of the programme and receipt of the qualification, those who participated in the authorisation scheme will be granted authorisation (cf. § 48 in the Act relating to Health Personnel etc. (Health Personnel Act)).
The curriculum for the bachelor’s degree programme in radiography is grounded in the Regulations for the common framework plan for health and social studies programmes and the Regulations for the national guidelines for radiography training.
The undergraduate programme at HVL is a full-time programme totalling 180 credits taught over three years.
A candidate who completes the bachelor’s degree in radiography will have achieved the following learning outcomes, categorised as knowledge, skills or general competence:
- has broad knowledge of the basic biological sciences, pharmacology and drug handling with relation to diagnostic imaging analysis and treatment
- has broad knowledge of physics and the theoretical foundation of the technology used in diagnostic imaging analysis and treatment, as well as of the methods for assessing image quality and image processing
- has broad knowledge of patient care, communication and ethics as a basis for caring for patients with different resources, challenges and needs from medical, clinical, social and healthcare points of view
- has broad knowledge of the laws, regulations and principles relating to the use of medical radiation and radiation protection, including the relevant laws, regulations, principles, and the effects and risks of radiation on the levels of the cell, the individual, the population and the environment, and is familiar with the principles and methods of quality control for medical equipment used for imaging
- has broad knowledge of the principles, systems and legislation for digitalisation of the healthcare services and of eHealth in general, especially with regard to imaging and information systems, artificial intelligence and teleradiology
- has broad knowledge of the research process, research ethics, philosophy of science, and knowledge-based practices such as methodology, and is familiar with the duties of responsibility and the role of the profession/radiographer in R&D in the field and in innovation
- has knowledge of healthcare policies and of society that will help ensure equal provision of such services for all members of society, with a special focus on meeting the needs of children and adolescents in the healthcare services and on safeguarding their contribution and rights
- can apply knowledge of the basic biological sciences and pharmacology in order to provide patient-centred services and adaptation of diagnostic imaging analysis and treatment
- can apply their knowledge of imaging technology and medical expertise when justifying the use of diagnostic imaging analysis and treatment, for optimisation and in the assessment of the technical and diagnostic quality of the procedures
- can provide and assess individually adapted care for patients by way of information, communication, patient observation, hygiene measures, risk assessment and the implementation of emergency medical measures in the event of the deterioration of a patient’s condition or complications arising as a result of the medical interventions
- can apply theoretical and methodical knowledge of medical radiation use and radiation protection in order to assess the justification and basis for optimisation, and can measure the required radiation dose so as to provide patients, their relatives and others with both information and advice
- has a strong command of communication skills and the implementation of data security through the use of eHealth systems, and is able to reflect on how eHealth systems affect the work of the radiographer and the institution as a whole
- can compile, critically assess and refer to different sources of knowledge in order to resolve specialist dilemmas and apply up-to-date knowledge in a methodological and scientific way through professional assessments and decision-making and by providing treatment in line with knowledge-based radiographer practices
- can apply up-to-date knowledge of the healthcare and welfare systems, laws, legislation and guidance in their provision of services
- can plan, carry out and disseminate knowledge-based radiography and critical assessments of quality and safety in their role of radiographer as a basis for safe diagnostics and treatment
- has insight into physics and imaging as a basis for disseminating, discussing and contributing to the development of knowledge within the field of radiography, both independently and through inter-professional collaboration
- has strong relational, communication and guidance skills and an insight into expert and specialist ethical dilemmas which will enable the candidate to interact with, disseminate knowledge to and provide guidance for patients and relatives, as well as in inter-professional contexts
- has an insight into the professional role of the radiographer and the scope of responsibility in medical radiation use, including justification, optimisation, safety, dissemination, guidance and the patient’s right to participate in shared decision-making
- has insight into and the ability to contribute to the development and use of applicable technology in digitalisation and eHealth at both individual and system levels
- can plan and implement relevant projects in the fields of research, professional development and innovation, including the documentation and dissemination of professional knowledge, and also has insight into new ways of thinking, innovation and quality-enhancing work processes, specifically in regard to national and international professional practices
- has insight into the connection between health, education, work and living conditions and how this applies to the professional practice of the radiographer, for both individuals and groups in society, and can contribute to better public health and inclusion
In line with the regulations for the national guidelines for radiographer training, this programme of study is based on seven competence areas. The programme enables the candidate to acquire competence in the following seven competence areas:
- Anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology
- Physics and imaging
- Patient care, communication and ethics
- Radiation protection
- Digitalisation and eHealth
- Research, professional development and innovation
- Healthcare policies and society
The competence areas are integrated into the programme’s 17 courses, which are taught over six semesters. The Building and Academic Craft course is common to all bachelor’s degree programmes at HVL and is taught during the first semester. Undergraduate students in the Department of Health and Functioning meet for on campus teaching for a total of two weeks for this course.
The courses on this programme reinforce each other and place progressively greater demands on the student’s competence, independence and ability to reflect on their own specialised knowledge.
A mobility opportunity offered to students through one of the fourth-semester courses and two of the sixth-semester courses involves participation in various exchange programmes.
Each year of study consists of both theoretical and practical courses. The practical training takes place over a total of 30 weeks, consisting of one period during the first year of study, two periods during the second year of study and two periods during the third year of study.
First year of study: Radiography and the body. The first year of study provides an introduction to the subject of radiography and the radiography process, paying close attention to the fundamental analysis methods in the use of conventional x-ray technology and computer tomography (CT), as well as providing a special focus on patient care. Anatomy, physiology, pathology, radiation physics, imaging, radiation protection, imaging treatment, pharmacology and medical treatments are all core areas of knowledge on this programme, all of which help lay the foundation for the safe and expert justification of the use of radiography.
Second year of study: Radiography, technology and medical imaging treatment. The programme’s professional profile with regard to medical imaging treatment is taught in the second year of study. This year’s themes are imaging, analysis and treatment methods and innovation in radiography.
Magnetic resonance (MR) and computer tomography (CT), optimisation of image capture, pathology imaging and advanced imaging treatment are all core areas of study in this year.
This year also covers basic analysis and treatment methods and the use of imaging in the fields of angio/intervention, mammography, ultrasonography, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. Particular attention is paid to patient care when patients are being checked and treated for cancer. Knowledge-based practice as a working method is central to this programme and helps provide the basis for ensuring a holistic and knowledge-based understanding of the professional practice of the radiographer, as well as for the development of knowledge and innovation in the field of radiography.
Third year of study: Radiography and society – the life cycle, development of knowledge and internationalisation. The focus of the third year of study is on the development of knowledge and internationalisation in radiography, with the discipline being approached from a societal and life cycle perspective. This revolves around the human’s natural life cycle, from childhood to old age, with a specific focus on interacting with paediatric and geriatric patients in the radiology services. The radiographer’s role with regard to societal health-related challenges, eHealth systems and the development of such systems at the individual and system levels are also thematised. The programme additionally focuses on systematic quality improvement, scientific working methods and knowledge dissemination as core aspects of the field of radiography.
The electronic learning support system and teaching tool used on this course is Canvas.
Practical placements are a core component of this programme. The practical placements are designed to ensure that learning outcomes can be achieved and are organised through both internal and external practice. During the practical placements, students gain experience of planning, carrying out and evaluating radiography practices. In regard to internal practice placements, students practise different procedures and simulations for various scenarios related to the treatment of patients and which are considered relevant to the upcoming practice period.
The external practical placement takes place in authentic professional situations and is included in five courses for a total of 30 weeks.
During the practice period, students are under the constant supervision of a radiographer with guidance expertise.
The radiography programme of study utilises practical placements on offer at the Western Norway Regional Health Authority (Helseregion Vest). The university organises the practical placements. Students can apply for facilitation for the practice period in line with the Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (see Chapter 7-6 Facilitation for supervised professional training placements).
Students must obtain their own housing and pay for their own travel expenses during the practice period. Some of the expenses are covered by the applicable regulations.
The practical placements are compulsory and students must fulfil a 90% attendance rate. Requirements for attendance cannot be waived due to illness. (cf. Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)).
This programme of study has a strong focus on teaching based on leading research, specialist development work and experiential knowledge. The forms of teaching and learning vary depending on the course and are described in more detail in the individual course plans.
40 hours per week of study are expected of a full-time student.
The supervised skills training is carried out on campus at the university’s own SimArena – a modern and well-equipped simulation centre for skills training, supervision, reflection, simulation and research. The use of SimArena is vital in all three years of study, as it ensures that students gain clinical treatment competence and improve their personal and practical skills.
Compulsory learning activities include active student participation throughout the learning process. (Cf. Assessment at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.) The main compulsory learning activities for this programme are skills training, group work, supervision and reflection, activity-based seminars, written assignments, examinations, practical placements and activity-based and experiential teaching. Compulsory learning activities are set out in more detail in the course plan and/or timetable.
An 80% attendance rate is required at all compulsory learning activities. Absences will be dealt with according to the Regulations for studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL).
Assessment refers to all formal testing required for the programme, which is listed in the individual course plans. All compulsory learning activities must be performed satisfactorily before the student can sit the course exam or attend their practical placement (cf. Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)).
The forms of assessment used for this programme of study include written examinations, take-home examinations, assignments, oral examinations, practical examinations and practical placements.
Assessments are either graded as pass/fail or graded on a scale from A to F where A to E are pass grades and F is a fail grade. Practical placements are assessed on a pass/fail basis.
In order to achieve the learning outcomes of each level of the degree programme, certain requirements are in place for the student’s study progression.
Specific courses may require prerequisite knowledge for admission to a course. The practical courses may have a further requirement for the student to have passed all previous practical courses.
All first semester courses must be passed before the student can begin the third semester. All second semester courses must be passed before the student can begin the fourth semester. All third semester courses must be passed before the student can begin the fifth semester. All fourth semester courses must be passed before the student can begin the sixth semester.
Previously acquired knowledge and its application are required in all subsequent courses.
Students who do not fulfil the requirements for progression will be moved down a cohort to repeat the year and will receive an adjusted individual education plan in order to satisfy the unfulfilled requirements. When a student is moved to a new cohort, the curriculum for that year applies.
The radiography degree programme benefits from membership of the European exchange programme ERASMUS Radiography Group, which involves cooperation among radiography degrees taught in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, the UK, Sweden and Austria.
All of the member institutions offer a specialised professional programme for radiography students in their final year of the bachelor’s degree programme. The exchange period takes place over three months and is organised every year from January to April (during the sixth semester). As a student studying radiography at HVL, you can apply for the exchange programme at any of the member institutions. The language of instruction for the courses taught at HVL during this period is English, as a result of the incoming international exchange students participating in the programme.
For more information, see the Erasmus Advice Group and Student Exchange.
Students carrying out part of their programme of study abroad for three or more months must satisfy the required study progression criteria in both the theory and practical courses.