About this case study

The BSc. (Hons) Radiotherapy programme is a well- established programme that has been delivered at BCU for over 20 years. The programme supports students as they develop in their role as trainee therapeutic radiographers. Therapeutic radiographers are an essential part of the multidisciplinary cancer care team and are responsible for the planning and administration of controlled doses of high energy radiation. Graduates go on to fill important roles within cancer care teams and have highly technical and specialist skills and are able to deliver high levels of patient care and provide compassionate clinical duties.

The programme consists of three years of ‘non-standard’ pattern of training (students are usually undertaking hospital practice across the summer). The course is divided equally into university-based teaching and learning activities, and hospital- based ‘hands-on’ clinical training. Practical and theoretical components of the course articulate with each other via our use of the Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy (VERT) facility, supported practice based learning (including portfolio completion) and individual tutorial support via our personal tutor support structures (provided within the hospital environment).

Students are recruited from a variety of educational backgrounds- typically only about one third of our intake arriving at BCU as school leavers- the remainder are comprised from students from varied educational backgrounds ranging from previous graduates and postgraduates through to those joining us from Access courses or foundation programmes.

This case study is centred largely on the staff’s efforts to try and fuse academic and theory components. Observations have taken place of our teaching relating to human anatomy and physiology (via classroom based workshops for instance) and practice-focussed practical sessions using our immersive teaching environment (VERT). The aim from the outset has been to assess whether we are truly bringing the reality of training for hospital practice to life- our intention is to move away from traditional concepts of ‘classroom-based information provision’ towards active learning whereby students apply theory and reflect on their own clinical experiences.

Case study participants

Staff members:

Mark Holland

Nick White

Student researchers:

Katherine Winfield

Mohammed Juber Ahmed

Shaun James

Case study details

Observation cycle 1 details

Observation cycle 2 details

Case study publications

White and Holland 2018 Radiotherapy Conference poster presentation

Case study highlights