January 2017 | Eanáir 2017

Increased Intake to UCD Radiography

Tue, 31 January 17 17:15

UCD Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging has announced an increase in the intake to its undergraduate radiography BSc (Hons) degree programme to address the demands of the Irish healthcare system.  From September 2017, the number of places available will increase from 57 (2016/2017) to 100 places (2017/2018). 

A European leader in the field, the UCD group offers the only undergraduate radiography degree programme in the Republic of Ireland.  The four-year degree programme is highly competitive with over 700 applicants per annum seeking one of 57 places leaving CAO cut off points typically 530 or higher.  Reflecting the growing importance of the radiography profession, the programme has become increasingly popular with over 25% of applicants placing it as their CAO 1st preference.  Intake to the UCD programme was increased from 40 to 57 in 2016/2017 and will further expand to 100 from September 2017.

Dr Shane FoleyCommenting on the programme expansion, Dr Shane Foley, academic director for the undergraduate radiography degree programme noted,

Our programme attracts dynamic and enthusiastic students who wish to pursue a career in diagnostic imaging, an increasingly important aspect of modern healthcare. Our programme is oversubscribed so this expansion in intake will ensure that a larger number of Irish students will be able to pursue their career choice.

Ireland was one of the first countries around the world to recognise the emerging of the radiography profession and introduced a formal undergraduate degree programme in 1987.  The UCD Radiography programme is delivered within Ireland’s leading Medical School and across a national network of clinical training centres that incorporates nine university teaching hospitals, several specialised imaging centres and the three Dublin paediatric centres. 

‌Dr Jonathan McNulty, Head of Radiography Education described the ideal candidates for a career in diagnostic radiography.

The ideal radiographer is someone who is technologically minded, who enjoys working with patients, and who can function as a specialist within a multi-disciplinary care team.

The Radiography degree offers students an internationally recognised and professionally accredited programme of study, and incorporates a range of multidisciplinary learning opportunities alongside medical, physiotherapy and biomedical science students.  UCD Radiography students all engage with research, often in collaboration with clinical departments and clinical staff, and many have gone on to present their work at national and international professional conferences.

UCD Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging has a very strong international reputation as a leading radiography centre in Europe.  Its students and staff frequently present at major radiology and radiography conferences, and participate at the highest level in European Radiography working groups.  Leveraging these connections, the UCD programme also offers students the opportunity to participate in an Erasmus exchange programme, with one of 17 partner institutions across Europe, and to engage with a number of international elective opportunities.  

Timely access to diagnostic services has been identified as a major priority for healthcare systems around the world and in an era of personalised medicine, radiology has become an integral part of care.  With the increasing diffusion of sophisticated imaging equipment across acute hospitals and primary care centres, an increased demand for radiographers is anticipated over the coming years.  There are excellent career prospects for students with many UCD Radiography graduates securing employment even before they have been conferred with their degrees. 

Assoc Prof Louise RainfordProf Louise Rainford, Associate Dean and Head, UCD Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging highlighted the changing demands of the healthcare system and the implications for the radiography profession.

“We work closely with the profession, the Irish Institute of Radiographers & Radiation Therapists (IIRRT), the Health and Social Care Professions Council (CORU), and the Irish healthcare system to anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s radiographers.  For example, as a member of the HSE Ultrasound Training working group, we recognise that as this technology becomes ubiquitous across our health system we need to have staff with the necessary clinical competence. Our health system needs  a greater number of radiographers with an expanded range of imaging expertise.”

I am delighted to announce this increase in intake to our programme. It represents an important milestone for the profession in Ireland and is only possible because of the number of excellent and experienced radiographers we now have throughout the country.  With the correct resourcing, this cohort of professionals can support not only an expanded clinical service but also an increase in clinical training capacity.

Dr Jonathan McNulty

The National Radiography Training Centre has grown substantially over the past decade and with the upskilling of the radiography profession in Ireland, the UCD group is now able to expand its undergraduate intake to meet future health system workforce needs.  The group has also developed an extensive portfolio of programmes that support continuous professional development of these radiographers in each of the modern imaging modalities.

Describing this portfolio, Dr Jonathan McNulty, academic lead for educational programmes noted,

“In addition to our undergraduate radiography programme, we offer over 30 postgraduate programmes at professional certificate & diploma, graduate certificate & diploma, masters and doctoral level across imaging modalities including Interventional radiology, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound.  We provide training in specialist applications of these technologies (e.g. obstetric ultrasound) and in application of these techniques to specific patient groups (e.g. paediatric radiography). 

Thus we support the educational needs of the radiography profession from graduation and throughout their career.  Each year over 200 qualified radiographers and other healthcare professionals participate in our training programmes on a full-time, part-time or occasional basis.”  

About BSc (Hons) in Radiography

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