RTS4101 - Radiation therapy science 1 - 2019

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)

A. Prof Caroline Wright


A. Prof Caroline Wright
Dr Catherine Kealley

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


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


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.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Narrated Infographic (20%)
  • Presentation (20%)
  • Mid-semester test (1 hour) (10%)
  • Written invigilated examination (2 hours) (50%) (hurdle)

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