Radiotherapy 1 (SPE157)

20 credits

Aim of this module

This module provides the trainee with the knowledge that underpins the specialist rotation in Radiotherapy Physics in the second year of the MSc.

Dosimetry and Treatment Equipment

To provide the trainee with development and experience in the performance of measurements relating to radiotherapy treatment and interpretation of results.

Treatment Planning

To provide development and experience in treatment planning for radiotherapy treatments, including planning, quality assurance and provision of advice.

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the radiobiological basis of radiotherapy.
  2. Explain the patient pathway in radiotherapy and the associated risks.
  3. Discuss the physics of radiotherapy treatment machines and dosimetry equipment.
  4. Describe and evaluate the requirements for QA on radiotherapy equipment and undertake QA and dose measurements on radiotherapy equipment.
  5. Explain and justify the quality framework in Radiotherapy Physics.
  6. Undertake treatment planning on a basic range of clinical conditions.
  7. Discuss the requirements for safe working in the radiotherapy environment.

Indicative Content


  • Radiobiology
  • Radiation interactions with the patient at a wide range of photon and electron energies
  • Dosimetry theory and methods in radiotherapy
  • The relationship between measurements and dose
  • Electron and photon codes of practice


  • The Radiotherapy Patient Pathway and associated dosimetry risks
  • Dose limits to organs at risk
  • Radiobiological models used in different tumour groups
  • Knowledge of isodose distributions and patient-related corrections


  • The physics, operation and performance limitations of treatment simulators, CT simulators, linear accelerators, and superficial and orthovoltage units
  • The physics, operation and performance limitations of dosimetry equipment
  • The physics, operation and limitations of in-vivo dosimetry systems, EPIDs
  • Characteristics of clinical beams

Treatment Planning

  • Principles of treatment planning
  • Target volume localisation: definitions and methods
  • Beam modifiers

Radiation Protection

  • Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999, Ionising Radiations Medical Exposure Regulations 2000 as applied to radiotherapy
  • Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, High Activity Sealed Sources (HASS) Regulations 2006 and other relevant legislation as applied to radiotherapy
  • Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 as applied to radiotherapy
    • the roles of operator and practitioner in radiotherapy planning and dosimetry
    • concomitant doses
  • Basic treatment room design and radiation protection

Quality Framework

  • The role of quality assurance systems, e.g. ISO9000 in Radiotherapy Physics
  • The basis of interdepartmental audit