RTS4104 - Radiation therapy principles and practice 1 - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Caroline Wright


Dr Caroline Wright

Quota applies

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

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


BMA1011, BMA1012


M20024 or M2013, RAD3002


This unit is the first of two units dealing specifically with the principles and applications of radiation therapy planning and treatment.

This unit explores the use of radiation therapy to treat metastatic disease.

The principles of patient centred interdisciplinary oncology are also discussed. The unit introduces the fundamental concepts related to radiation therapy planning and dosimetry, building on what the student learned in RTS2101 (Fundamentals of cancer and its management).

A systems-based approach will be used to deliver anatomy, physiology, pathology and oncology of the; female reproductive and male reproductive systems.

For each of the cancers studied, radiation therapy planning and dosimetry and treatment will be explored. Patient care principles will be introduced together with alternate management strategies.

This unit will allow students to contextualise professional issues introduced in years 1 and 2 of the program such as; communication, ethics, patient care, cultural awareness and occupational health and safety as they relate to radiation therapy in the context of patient management in the radiation therapy centre.

This unit will include a 2 week clinical placement in a radiation therapy centre in planning or treatment. 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 will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe in detail; structural and sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and oncology related to the male and female reproductive systems
  2. Critically analyse radiation therapy planning and pre-treatment imaging techniques with reference to international standards and the evidence-base for the male and female reproductive systems.
  3. Critically analyse radiation therapy treatment and verification techniques with reference to international standards and the evidence-base for the male and female reproductive 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. Analyse, apply and reflect on theories of human communication, empathy, occupational health and radiation safety of the working environment, within a professional standards and ethical/legal context
  6. Implement radiation therapy planning or treatment and patient management protocols across a range of patients and evaluate their efficacy at the level of a 'beginner/novice practitioner';


Two weeks of clinical placement in a radiation oncology department.


  • Planning or treatment case analysis (1,000 words) (20%)
  • iSAP clinical action plan and reflective analysis (3,000 words) (30%)
  • End of semester exam (2 hours) (40%)
  • Clinical skills assessment and workbook (10%)


  • 80% attendance at tutorials and lab sessions
  • Students must pass each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

1 hour lecture, and a 2 hour tutorial per week, 9 hours of self-directed interaction with Moodle based tasks, readings and activities per week and online support sessions.

Two weeks of clinical placement in a radiation oncology department.

See also Unit timetable information

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