MDPH404-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Radiation Biology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Radiation measurement, radiation biology, carcinogenesis, ICRP system of radiation protection, radiation safety.

An introduction to the ICRP system of radiation protection, radiation safety, radiation measurement, radiation biology and carcinogenesis.

Summary of Course Content
The general topics covered by this course are:
 The development of radiation protection
 Radiation protection organisations
 ICRP system of radiological protection
 Effects of ionising radiation
 Quantities and units of radiation protection
 Basic principles for dose reduction technical aspects
 Basic principles for dose reduction – external and internal hazards
 Safety of the radioactive patient
 Effects of total body irradiation
 Natural and man-made radiation
 Organisation of radiation protection
 Transport, storage and disposal of radioactive material
 Basic radiation biology
 Structural shielding
 Radiation detection and measurement
 Radiation biology – survival curves
 Radiation biology – Fractionation, accelerated RT, Oxygen effect
 Radiation biology – Normal tissue tolerance
 Radiation biology – Heritable and foetal effects

Learning Outcomes

On completing this course you should be able to:-
 Use appropriate units to quantify radiation exposure
 Describe the principles underlying risk reduction
 Discuss relevant regulations pertaining to radiation safety
 Suggest procedures to minimise risk of radiation exposure
 Perform basic procedures that involve use of radiation
 Describe approaches for monitoring staff and work areas
 Understand cell survival curves
 Understand the effects of different types of radiation and biological materials
 Understand dose response curves
 Understand the use of radiation for treatment of cancer
 Understand mathematical modelling in radiobiology


Subject to approval of the Head of Department

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 239
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 09:00 - 10:00 Rehua 530
19 Feb - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 10:00 - 11:00 Rehua 530
19 Feb - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 2 Jun

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Steven Marsh


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Written report 15%
Final Exam 60%
Presenttion of report 10%
Mid-term Test 15%

Note that a pass in the final exam is required to pass the course.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

E Hall; Radiobiology for the Radiologist ; 2006.

Recommended Reading

E Podgorsak; Radiation Oncology Physics: A handbook for teachers and students ; 2005.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

Other specific requirements

Please consult the document General Information for Physics and Astronomy Students on the Physics and Astronomy Web Page:

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Physical & Chemical Sciences .

All MDPH404 Occurrences

  • MDPH404-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024