RGU Celebrates 75 Years of Radiography Education in Aberdeen

Radiography professionals from across the UK will descend upon the city this weekend to celebrate 75 years of radiography education and training in Aberdeen.

Radiography anniversary 1Alumni and former members of staff from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) will join current teams from the city's departments of Radiography for a two-day programme of events over 28 and 29 October specially arranged to look back at the profession's development and forward to its future role within the healthcare sector.

The programme will begin on the Friday evening with a civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost in the Town House to welcome the 80 attendees. Saturday will be split into two sections, with delegates visiting the state-of-the-art facilities at the university's Faculty of Health and Social Care (FHSC) in the morning, before attending a reunion dinner at the Great Northern Hotel in the evening to close proceedings for the celebratory weekend.

Notable guests on the weekend include: Professor Audrey Patterson OBE, Director of Professional Policy at the Society and College of Radiographers; former Director of Radiography at RGU, Donald Graham; and Dr Sandy Yule, Chief Executive Officer of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists.

Radiography education in Aberdeen began in 1936, only 16 years after the Society and College of Radiographers (UK) was established. Based within ARI, the School of Radiography initially trained a small number of radiographers who undertook a diploma qualification. The training was delivered by radiologists, senior radiographers and specialists from within the x-ray departments. Scientific input from Robert Gordon Institute of Technology (RGIT) followed in the 1960s.

In 1990, radiography education transferred from the NHS to RGIT. The first Scottish degree programme in Diagnostic Radiography (DR) was launched within the Centre for Professionals Allied to Medicine in 1993. In 1995 and 1996 came the validation of a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound and the elevation of the BSc programme into a four-year honours programme.

Radiography anniversary 2Now held within RGU's School of Health Sciences, today's radiography programmes are highly subscribed to with an average of 80 students per year undertaking radiography education across undergraduate and postgraduate levels; plus specialist graduate certificates and continuous professional development programmes.

In January 2012, the university will launch its new MSc in Diagnostic Radiography which will provide a fast-track route for professionals in non-cognate disciplines to gain entry into a new career. It is expected to be of interest to a wide range of professionals including ex-forces and those from general science backgrounds.

Research practitioner in Radiography at RGU and former President of the Society and College of Radiographers (UK), Sandra Mathers, is one of the leading forces behind the reunion event.

She said: "My colleagues and I look forward to welcoming delegates to this event, which represents an important milestone for the radiography profession. Aberdeen has long been recognised for playing a pivotal role in the education of radiographers, with alumni going on to make significant contributions to the many facets of the profession including clinical practice, education, industry and management.

"Education for radiographers has changed dramatically over the decades and continues to evolve, reflecting the changes in technology and the place of radiographers within the modern NHS. As such, this weekend presents an ideal opportunity to take stock of the impact that both the university and ARI has on a profession that plays an integral role in modern day healthcare."


Facts about Radiography

  • A recent survey indicated that approximately 97% of the population will have contact with a radiographer during their lives. This can include attending:

-          An accident and emergency department following trauma.

-          An emergency admission to hospital when acutely unwell.

-          Ultrasound examinations during pregnancy or investigation of symptoms.

-          As part of a screening programme such as mammography.

-          For Computed Tomography (e.g. CT of the head).

-          Magnetic Resonance Imaging (e.g. MRI to investigate back pain). 

-          Nuclear medicine scan (e.g. a bone scan).


  • The role of radiographers has changed significantly over the decades, with many now also reporting on the images to provide an efficient service for patients. They are taking their place as autonomous practitioners improving patient care and also making increasing contributions to senior management within the NHS. In order to do so, they are required to take part in postgraduate study.


Issued by Sarah Grieve on behalf of:

Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206