RTS4102 - Radiation therapy science 2 - 2018

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Caroline Wright


Ms Catherine Osborne

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (Online)


RTS4101, RTS4103.


This unit is the first of three units dealing specifically with the principles and applications of radiation therapy planning and treatment. This unit will cover anatomy, physiology, pathology and oncology of the: integumentary, female reproductive, male reproductive, lower respiratory, lower digestive, urinary and renal systems. In addition students will also analyse and evaluate the principles of radiation therapy planning for metastatic disease and palliative care. Students will appraise and identify cross sectional and 3D anatomy from a range of imaging modalities including CT, MRI and PET. Students will gain in-depth knowledge on the molecular basis of cancer. Students will be able to analyse and describe cancer management strategies, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy, and synthesis these with individual patient diagnosis and staging. This unit will introduce a series of professional issues; communication, ethics, patient care, cultural awareness and occupational health and safety as they relate to radiation therapy. Students will undertake a 1 week clinical orientation to allow for the development of beginner level professional and technical skills. Whilst studying these topics, students will be encouraged to critically reflect, analyse and synthesis relevant information from the literature and reflect on their clinical experiences to further develop and build their critical analysis skills.


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

  1. Describe in detail the principles related to cancer biology, the molecular basis of cancer, familial cancers, and the metastatic and systemic effects of cancer.
  2. Identify and describe in detail; structural and sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and oncology related to: male and female reproductive, integumentary, lower digestive, urinary and renal, and lower respiratory systems.
  3. Critically analyse radiation therapy planning, treatment and verification techniques with reference to international standards and the evidence-base for the male and female reproductive, integumentary, lower digestive, urinary and renal, and lower respiratory systems.
  4. Describe with reference to the evidence-base, acute and late radiation therapy side effects, analysing patient care and management strategies related to the above body systems.
  5. Evaluate the role of surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other management strategies used to treat malignancies.
  6. Appraise the influence of socio-cultural factors on patient attitudes and responses to radiation therapy.
  7. Describe and apply the principles of radiation safety, quality management, occupational health and safety and organisational policy related to radiation therapy practice.
  8. Analyse and synthesis communication principles and techniques related to radiation therapy practice.
  9. Evaluate the principles of multidisciplinary team working and apply these to radiation therapy practice.
  10. Describe the process of reflective practice and demonstrate critical reflection on experience.


1 week of clinical orientation.


  • Examination (3 hours) (50%)
  • Image recognition examination (1 hour) (20%)
  • Two assignments (3,000 words each) (30%)


  • All elements of assessment must be passed to pass the unit; and
  • Successful completion of the Clinical Orientation Workbook.

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