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Last modified: 20 Jun 2019 12:35

Course Overview

Ionizing radiation is at the heart of medical imaging modalities such as diagnostic x-rays, CT, Nuclear Medicine and PET. This course will cover the underlying physics of ionizing radiation and explore the interactions of radiation with tissues and detectors.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Foresterhill Sustained Study No
  • Professor Andy Welch

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description


  • To give instruction in the basic physics of ionising and non-ionising radiation as used in medicine.
  • To give an overview of the range of applications of radiation in the modern medical environment.

Radiation Physics 

Atomic and nuclear structure. Radioactivity. Interaction of photons and particles with matter. Units of radiation dose and exposure. Measurement of radiation dose. Bragg-Gray theory. Gas detectors. Scintillation detectors, solid and liquid types. Semiconductor detectors. Neutron detectors.

Maths for Imaging 

Including differential calculus, indices, exponentials and logarithms

Radiation Protection

Radiation hazards and methods of control. Design of radioactive laboratories. Epidemiological data and biological effects. International Guidance, UK legislation: IRR99, IR(ME)R 2000, RSA 93, EPR 2010 and ARSAC. Personnel dosimetry.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 3 Lectures during University weeks 7 - 9, 14 - 15
  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 10, 17
  • 4 Lectures during University weeks 11 - 13, 16
  • 2 Practicals during University week9
  • 1 Practical during University week10

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Written Examination (66%); Practical (17%); Single Best Answer (17%); Quiz (0%).

Resit: written exam.

Formative Assessment

Online quizes in radiation physics and maths for imaging.


Under normal circumstances all coursework is marked and returned to the students (with feedback) within two weeks of submission.

Course Learning Outcomes


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