RAD1022 - Medical radiation science: Physical principles - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Mark Strudwick


Dr Mark Strudwick

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)




BMA1012 and HSC1400


This unit introduces students to the scientific discipline of physics which is the foundation of the practice of radiography, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine technology.

The unit begins with an examination of the laws of physics, the units of measurement used within the discipline and the electromagnetic spectrum.

Students will learn about the physical properties of atomic structure and about the interaction of particles and waves including mechanisms for absorption and scattering of energy at the atomic level.

The unit will explain how x-rays, gamma rays and high frequency sound waves are captured as they interact with matter and describe the components of both diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy equipment designed for this purpose.

The unit will conclude with an examination of the effects of ionizing radiation at the cellular level and the methods used to calculate and record radiation dose to patients and radiation workers.


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

  1. Apply the laws of physics, units of measurement and dimensions to solve numerical problems relating to radiation science
  2. Explain the electric and magnetic properties of matter
  3. Describe the electromagnetic spectrum and electromagnetic waves
  4. Compare and contrast the components of modern x-ray and nuclear medicine diagnostic imaging equipment with that used to deliver a therapeutic dose of x-radiation.
  5. Describe how the interaction of x-rays and gamma rays with matter creates a detectable signal that can be captured to form a diagnostic image.
  6. Explain the effects of ionising radiation on cellular matter and the principles informing the calculation of radiation dose and its subsequent recording in relation to patients and radiation workers.


  • 4 x laboratory practical reports (250 words each) (20%)
  • Mid-semester test (1 hour) (20%)
  • iSAP clinical action plan and reflective analysis (2,000 words) (30%)
  • End of semester exam (90 minutes) (30%)

Hurdle requirements

  1. 80% attendance at tutorials and lab sessions to foster a professional approach to attendance.
  2. Students must pass all elements of assessment to pass the unit

Workload requirements

1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial per week and a 2 hour laboratory session every 2 weeks and 2 hours of teacher - directed interaction with Moodle based tasks per week.

Students will be expected to engage in additional self-directed readings to facilitate the development of knowledge and understanding of the physical concepts covered in the unit.

See also Unit timetable information

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