Radiographer (Student)

Service:Surface Fleet
Hands on

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Once you’ve completed 10 weeks Initial Naval Training, you’ll join Birmingham City University to study for your BSc in Diagnostic Radiography, alongside other tri-service students and civilians. After your studies, you’ll join a Joint Hospital Group (JHG) unit in either Plymouth or Birmingham to continue developing your clinical skills and competencies as a qualified Radiographer. 

Whether serving at home or abroad, our personnel need the best medical treatment. This can only happen if they get the best medical diagnoses. As a Royal Navy Radiographer you are a critical component to all our medical assets. You could find yourself on a Role 2 Afloat team responding to a humanitarian crisis or on our Maritime Role 3 capability on board RFA Argus, responsible for the provision of Ultrasound, X-ray or CT scans to ensure our clinicians can quickly and accurately assess and treat our patients. You will be working as part of highly specialist multidisciplinary team delivering cutting edge care using the latest in medical innovations.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Gain your BSc in Diagnostic Radiography and then apply and develop your clinical skills in diverse environments
  • Work within a Joint Hospital Group Unit and be deployed all over the world when needed
  • Tailor your career to your ambitions, whether that’s further professional training in ultrasound and CT scanning, or serve with more specialised forces like the Royal Marines
  • Be part of a world-class medical service that’s respected far beyond the Armed Forces 

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • BSc (Hons) degree in Diagnostic Radiography
  • An opportunity to study further at Degree level 6 and Masters level 7 to top up your professional portfolio  
  • Leadership and Management qualifications

Skills you'll develop

  • How to provide a world-class diagnostic service, wherever you are in the world
  • Opportunity for further training in CT and ultrasound
  • Learn to be adaptable, flexible and disciplined

Career progression

What you'll need


  • Aged 17 and a half to 39
  • Multiple entry points exist to gain 120 UCAS points; check with MSAT PO as not all accepted
  • At least 5 GCSEs at grades A-C (9-4) (or Scottish equivalent), which must include English and Mathematics at grade B/6 or above
  • Be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • A caring and compassionate nature
  • Independent thinking, with the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • A highly organised team player
  • An adventurous spirit

Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application
    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form
  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)
    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA
  • Interview
    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role
  • Medical and eye tests
    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors
  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)
    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you
  • Radiographer (Student) Assessment Board
    This is a 1 day board (arriving the day before) in Portsmouth where you will deliver a 10-minute presentation on a clinical subject, take part in a team working exercise and sit a 30-40 minute interview with the Nurse Education Advisor and Specialist Medical Recruitment Team.  
  • Royal Navy Acquaint Course (RNAC)
    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course
  • Start training
    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh before joining Birmingham City University to start your degree

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

After you’ve qualified as a Radiographer you’ll join Joint Hospital Group (South West) in Plymouth or the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham as an Acting Leading Medical Technician Radiographer. You’ll spend at least a year there, working alongside other military radiographers and civilian counterparts. During this time, you’ll have access to CT scanning and will receive additional training on military specific equipment, and develop the skills you need to deploy as a military radiographer.

Once you’ve completed your mandatory competencies and relevant pre-deployment training you will be nominated to participate in medical exercises for clinical training and validation or be deployed around the globe on operations as required.