RTS5104 - Radiation therapy science 7 - 2019

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)

A. Prof Caroline Wright


Ms Catherine Osborne

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus block of classes)


RTS4101, RTS4102, RTS4103, RTS5101, RTS5102, RTS5103, RTS5110.


RTS5105 and RTS5120


Students must fulfil all university and clinical centres compliance requirements prior to commencing clinical placement.


This unit is the final unit addressing the principles and applications of radiation therapy planning and treatment. This unit covers paediatric radiation therapy, the central nervous, upper digestive, upper respiratory, endocrine systems, and organs of special sense. Students will analyse a range of imaging datasets and describe how they relate to individual patient management. The role and clinical applications of brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, tomo-therapy and proton therapy will also be included. The unit will also facilitate further skill development in radiation therapy treatment planning and plan analysis. The unit will also include 13 weeks of work-integrated learning.


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

  1. Identify and describe in detail; structural and sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and oncology related to paediatric tumours, upper respiratory, upper digestive, endocrine, central nervous systems, and organs of special sense.
  2. Complete a range of radiation therapy treatment plans and critically analyse radiation therapy planning, treatment and verification techniques with reference to international standards, the evidence-base and personal reflections for the above tumour groups.
  3. Evaluate with reference to the evidence-base and personal reflections acute and late radiation therapy side effects, analysing patient care and management strategies related to the above body systems.
  4. Appraise the role of CT, MRI, PET and Ultrasound imaging for diagnosis, radiation therapy planning and treatment verification.
  5. Apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology to evaluate images for radiation therapy patients.
  6. Describe in detail brachytherapy principles, protocols, and techniques.
  7. Demonstrate initiative, problem solving and decision making skills.
  8. Demonstrate critical reflection on practice.
  9. Act in a responsible, safe and ethical manner and apply these principles to practice.
  10. Incorporate the evidence based paradigm into their practice.
  11. Recognise the limitations of their knowledge and experience and seek advice when required.
  12. Practice their profession at the level of the intermediate beginner, advanced beginner and competent practitioner.


13 weeks of compulsory clinical placement, 5 weeks of which must be at a different clinical centre to where the student is placed in RTS5120.


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 3 hours and 10 minutes.

  1. End of semester written examination (3 hours) (50%)
  2. Image recognition examination (1 hour) (20%)
  3. 3000 word iSAP case (15%)
  4. Powerpoint presentation (15%)
    • 1000 word peer review and reflection (5%)
    • 10 minute presentation and 2000 word supporting notes document (10%)


    1. All elements of assessment must be passed to pass the unit
    2. Successful completion of online treatment planning activities
    3. Successful completion of clinical assessments, clinical workbook tasks and portfolio activities.

Workload requirements

This unit will run outside of the normal semester due to clinical placement requirements.

The academic elements comprise:

  • 12 hours of directed online interactive Moodle unit workbook activities delivered between weeks 1 and 9
  • 1x fortnightly 1 hour online synchronous video support session delivered between weeks 1 and 9
  • 4 hours of online directed Eclipse treatment planning learning packages and 4 hours of online self-directed treatment planning practice per week between weeks 1 and 9
  • 3 hours of self-directed study per week between weeks 1 and 9 (4 hours when there is no support session).
  • Work-integrated learning: 13 weeks of full-time clinical placement at a designated clinical centre.

Please note: The teaching dates for this unit vary from the standard teaching dates for this teaching period.

Unit discontinuation and penalty dates for these units are different to other units taught in the same teaching period.

Please refer to the information available on the Faculty's non-standard teaching dates page to avoid academic and financial penalties.

See also Unit timetable information

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