SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code M2B822663
Module Leader Jennifer Turnbull
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Radiotherapy
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Meeting university requirements to proceed to level 2

Summary of Content

This module encompases the physical principles and concepts relating to the use of radiation in the detection, diagnosis and management of malignant disease. It introduces students to the routine range of radiotherapy equipment to be found within the modern radiotherapy department in a global context. It also provides a comprehensive and applied approach to the role of imaging systems in the detection, staging and management of malignant disease, treatment planning, and verification and quality assurance procedures.


-108 1. Measurement of radiation a. Units of international measurement i. Absorbed dose ii. Dose equivalent iii. Exposure b. Dosemeters 2. Radiation interaction with matter a. Interaction of electrons with target, Interaction processes and their significance in radiotherapy treatment and imaging b. Attenuation processes - absorption and scatter, build up c. Linear energy transfer (LET) d. Transmission through heterogeneous and homogeneous materials e. Tissue Equivalent Materials - uses and applications f. Filtration, tissue compensators 3. Photon beams a. Characteristics, Distribution in tissues b. Depth dose, % depth dose, and factors affecting c. Units of exposure, absorption and kerma d. Quality and Intensity e. Half value layer (HVL f. Principles of dosimetry g. Exposure and Absorbed dose 4. Particle beams 5. Introduction to treatment planning 6. Capability, applications and range of technological equipment used for radiotherapy treatment delivery a. The Linear Accelerator i. Design, construction and function ii. Principles of electron accelerating systems iii. Photon and electron beam modes iv. Mounting systems, treatment head control v. Interlock, dose monitoring and control systems vi. Quality assurance checks vii. Beam modification - wedging, multileaf collimation viii. Flattening filter free treatment ix. Principles of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy b. Superficial and Orthovoltage Therapy Units c. Tomotherapy 7. Imaging in radiotherapy and oncology to include: a. Imaging for cancer; diagnostic, pre-treatment, treatment monitoring. b. Capability, applications and range of technological equipment used for imaging in radiotherapy and oncology i. General radiography ii. Ultrasound iii. Magnetic resonance imaging iv. Radionuclide imaging including PET CT v. Computed tomography vi. Image acquisition, storage, retrieval and manipulation vii. Imaging exposure factors relating to image quality and radiation dose viii. Conventional and CT simulation ix. Electronic portal imaging systems and image guided radiotherapy c. Principles of information and digital technologies 8. Radiotherapy in the global context

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:-1. Describe x-ray production, measurement and interactions with matter2. Describe the principles of operation of radiotherapy equipment up to 300 kVp3. Describe the principles of operation of megavoltage equipment in photon and electron beam modes4. Explain the significance of the interaction processes in radiotherapy5. Explain the principles of radiation dosimetry and beam modification6. Discuss and evaluate the role of imaging in oncology7. Describe the role of imaging in quality assurance procedures within the radiotherapy department.8. Describe the range and attributes of imaging methods employed in the diagnosis, staging and monitoring of malignant disease9. Discuss the imaging requirements associated with radiotherapy treatment planning and verification

Teaching / Learning Strategy

-108 This module will be delivered with a blended learning approach and will include keynote lectures, tutorials, student led seminars and learning in simulated environments.

Indicative Reading

-108 Texts 1. Symonds P, Deehan C, Meredith C, Mills JA (2012) Walter and Miller's Textbook of Radiotherapy: Radiation Physics, Therapy and Oncology, 7 th Edition. London, Churchill Livingstone 2. Bushong SC. Radiologic Science for Technologists: Physics, Biology and Protection. (2013) 10th Edn. Elsevier Mosby 3. Graham DT, Cloke P, Vosper M (2012) Principles and Applications of Radiological Physics.6 th Edition.Churchill Livingstone 4. Ball J, Moore AD, Turner S (2008) Ball and Moore's Essential Physics for Radiographers. 4 th Edition. Blackwell 5. Powsner <> R.A Powsner <> E R (2006)Essential Nuclear Medicine Physics Journals 1. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics 2. British Journal of Radiology 3. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 4. Clinical Oncology 5. Medical Physics Websites 1. Royal College of Radiologists <> 2. <> 3. American Association of Physicists in Medicine <> -108 4. British Institute of Radiology

Transferrable Skills

ICT skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, problem solving, critical thinking and clinical reasoning; collaboration and communication skills; task prioritisation and time management skills; academic writing

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Directed Learning 60.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Practicals (FT) 60.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Tutorials (FT) 40.00
Lectures (FT) 70.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 25.00 35% Coursework 1,500 words
Exam (Exams Office) 1.00 25.00 35% VLE Exam (Exams Office - Trimester A)
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Exams Office Exam - 2 hours (Trimester B)