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Physics of Radiotherapy, 5 Credits

Swedish name: Radioterapi

This syllabus is valid: 2018-01-08 and until further notice

Course code: 5RA022

Credit points: 5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Physics: Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

Grading scale: TH teknisk betygsskala

Responsible department: Department of Physics

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2013-10-18

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-11-16


The course deals with different methods and highlights key safety aspects of radiotherapy and provides a good basis for work as a medical physicist in a radiotherapy department.

The course covers methods of internal and external radiotherapy, intensity modulation, as well as combination treatment with surgery, chemotherapy or hyperthermia. Different calculation algorithms for treatment planning, the impact of inhomogeneities, simulation and control systems as well as radiation biological aspects of radiation therapy with models for fractional treatment are studied. Radiation protection aspects for both patients and staff is also included. The course includes  mandatory laboratory work.

The course includes two modules
1. Theory, 3.5 credits
2. Laboratory Work, 1.5 credits

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
- critically describe the basic principles for the construction of a radiation treatment room from radiation protection point of view.
- summarize the most common treatment techniques used in brachytherapy.

Skills and Abilities
- independently calculate absorbed dose to patient in photon and electron fields
- master the most common treatment techniques used in external radiation therapy.
- critically apply the international conventions used in Sweden for patient target definition and norms.

Validation ability and attitude
- critically evaluate biological models for radiotherapy.

Required Knowledge

University: Radiobiology and Radiation Protection 7.5 ECTS, Physics of X-Rays 7.5 ECTS and Applied Dosimetry 5 ECTS, or corresponding. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Examination modes

Part 1: Theoretical part 3.5 credits
The part is examined with written exam. The grade is  assessed with Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Credit (4) or Pass with Distinction (5).

Part 2: Laboration 1.5 credits.
The part is examined with written laboratory report. The grade is assessed with Fail (U) or Pass (G).

On the whole course the grades Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Credit (4) or Pass with Distinction (5) are set. To pass the course it requires that all examinations and obligatory tasks are approved. The grade is a summary assessment of the results of the examinations of the different parts, and is set after all mandatory elements are approved.

Students who received a passing grade on an examination may not retake the examination.

Students who do not pass the regular examination renewed examination in accordance with the Umeå University Regulations for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate level (FS 1.1.2-553-14) could be arranged. The first re-test is offered not later than two months after the first examination. When the ordinary examination takes place in May or June, d a first retesting opportunity is given within three months after the first examination. In addition, at least another re-test within one year of regular examination is offered.

In cases where the exam can not be repeated under the current rules for retesting the exam should instead be replaced with another task. The scope and content of such task should not be disproportionate to the missed exam.

A student who has taken two examinations in a course or part of a course without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (6 ch. 22, § HF). Requests for new examiners should be addressed to the head of the Department of Radiation Sciences.

Other regulations

In the event that the course expires or major changes are introduced, the students are assured at least three occasions of examination (including regular examination) as prescribed in the syllabus to the course that the student originally registered in over a period of a maximum of two years from the previous syllabus expired.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.