Course Title: Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Radiotherapy Treatment Planning

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Radiotherapy Treatment Planning

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: John Ryan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7909

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.08.016

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Enforced Pre-requisites: PHYS2092 Radiotherapy Physics and Modelling or equivalent course and BIOL2201 Human Structure and Function or equivalent course

Enforced Co-requisites:  None

Course Description

In this course, students will begin learning the theories and practices relevant to modern clinical Radiation Therapy.

Students will participate in:

  • Radiotherapy lectures where they will begin to explore the techniques and methodologies that are used in radiation oncology
  • Practical laboratories and tutorials where they can develop an understanding of department workflow and the fundamental skills required for radiation therapy
  • Practical exercises where they will be required to plan clinical treatment plans
  • Virtual simulation activities using a virtual Linear Accelerator

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1.  Begin to gain an understanding of the principles and practices of Radiation Therapy
  2. Apply this understanding to a variety patient cases
  3. Create and reflect on some standard radiation therapy treatment plans
  4. Communicate effectively in a team with peers and demonstrate reflective practice
  5. Begin to formulate an understanding of the concept of evidence based practice in the area of Radiation Therapy

Students will be expected to demonstrate understanding of the theoretical basis of Radiation Therapy and the applications of this theory to the clinical case studies covered in the lectures. The laboratories and tutorials are designed to equip students with skills required for basic procedures and establish the safety practices.


This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC215 Masters in Medical Physics;

1. Advanced and integrated understanding of the applications of physical processes to the diagnosis and treatment of disease, including an understanding of contemporary developments in professional practice.

4. Skills to investigate, analyse and interrogate scientific data to ensure quality control of complex technological systems and to diagnose causes of discrepancies.

5. Skills to identify problems, generate novel solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.

6. Communication and research skills to interpret Medical Physics issues and justify decisions for specialist and non-specialist audiences.

8. Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice in fields related to Medical and Health Physics.

9. Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability.

Overview of Learning Activities

The student will be involved in learning activities that include face to face activities (including lectures, tutorials and computer laboratories), virtual linear accelerator activities and self-directed study.

You will be involved in teaching and learning activities that include:

1- Active participation in laboratory activities in the VERT suite and in the treatment planning suite

2- Attendance and participation in Lecture and Tutuorial Sessions

3- Radiation Therapy Treatment planning case study

4- Self directed learning activity at the level expected of a post-graduate student

This course aims to encourage you to read outside the prescribed texts and study independently. Attendance at tutorials and laboratory sessions are compulsory.  Any reasons for non-attendance must be discussed with the course coordinator.

Throughout the semester you will receive FEEDBACK on your learning in various forms. Class and individual discussion on performance in tests, practicals and tutorials etc is one form of feedback that you should use to guide your learning. Self assessment tests and questions provided with practical exercises are designed to assist your learning and provide you with the opportunity to gauge your own learning of the course material.

Teacher Guided Hours: 50 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 100 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

The course will be supported by prescribed and recommended text books and online library-based resources. Students are encouraged to explore the course syllabus independently, and read widely in the area.


Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment tasks:

Assessment Task 1:  VERT Lab Assessments

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 2:  Treatment Planning Case Study

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 3: Written Examination and Online Test

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5