Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Radiotherapy Physics MED5302

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Radiotherapy treatment planning, dosimetry, technology


25 lectures over 20 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

At least a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in physics or engineering

Excluded Courses




Assessment is by examination of ninety minutes' duration.




In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Main Assessment In: March

Course Aims

The course aims to give a full understanding of the application of physics to:

■ the techniques of radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer

■ dosimetry, external beam and brachytherapy treatment delivery, treatment planning and radiation protection.

■ radiobiology and the effects of ionising radiation on biological tissues.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ detail and explain the radiobiological paradigm on which cell-killing by radiotherapy is based

■ critically appraise the literature on which new techniques such as IMRT/ charged particle therapy are predicated

■ critically appraise the literature on fractionation of treatment and discuss its various protocols

■ critically appraise the requirements for Quality Assurance on radiotherapy equipment and undertake Quality Assurance and dose measurements on radiotherapy equipment

■ explain the patient pathway in radiotherapy and analyse the associated risks

■ critically appraise the legislation governing safety in radiotherapy

■ discuss the physics of radiotherapy treatment machines and dosimetry equipment

■ undertake systematic assessment and treatment planning on a range of clinical conditions

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits