Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences


Dr Catherine Kealley and Dr Caroline Wright



  • Second semester 2016 (Online)


The focus of this unit is an in-depth understanding of the key facets of radiation physics. Students will be able to define radiation and radioactive decay. Students will be able to describe in detail the interactions of radiation with matter, and explain how radiation is detected and measured. Students will gain an appreciation for the importance of radiation safety, and will be encouraged to critically reflect on the implications of radiation protection in their clinical experiences. Students will also be given an introduction to medical radiations instrumentation and techniques, with emphasis on the fusion of the conceptual theory with the practical applications. Whilst studying these topics, students will be encouraged to critically reflect, analyse and synthesise relevant information from the literature and their previous experiences of studying physics.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Define and calculate radioactivity, and describe in detail radioactive decay processes;
  2. Explain the scientific concepts involving the production and properties of ionising and non-ionising radiation, and the physical processes involved in the interactions of ionising and non-ionising radiation with matter;
  3. Discuss the principles of, and equipment used for, radiation detection and measurement;
  4. Describe the importance of radiation safety and analyse the techniques and engineering controls used in radiation protection;
  5. Recognise and describe the basic design features, operating principles and the quality assurance checks for medical radiation equipment;
  6. Describe the principles and practice of Radiation Treatment Planning.


Two assignments (2,000 words each) (40%)
Mid-semester secure online test (1 hour) (10%)
Written invigilated examination (2 hours) (50%)

Hurdle: To pass this unit, students must:
Achieve a combined mark of 50% or more of the available marks for the assignments and mid-semester test combined,
Achieve 50% or more of the available marks for the written examination and
Achieve a total aggregate mark for this unit of 50% or more.

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Medical radiations and radiation therapy


RTS4102, RTS4103. Must be enrolled in Master of Medical Radiations or the Radiation Sciences stream of the Bachelor of Health Sciences.