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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PHYM017 Module Title: RADIATION BIOLOGY
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PHM-RAB
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: NISBET A Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Semester 1
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Closed book examination 100 %
Part-time Students: Same as for full time students

Module Overview

This course starts with an overview of human biology, followed by a discussion of the nature of the interaction of ionising radiation with biological systems. The course emphasises the effects at the cellular level and the impact that this has on the individual and across the population. The behaviour and effects of ingested and inhaled radionuclides are also covered.

Module Aims
To provide an understanding of the human body and the effect on it of ionising radiation.
Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, the student should be able to:

Module Specific Skills:
Critical analysis of basic molecular cell and tissue structure and function and description of the principles of anatomy

Discipline Specific Skills:
Describe the control systems of the human body
Application of radiation knowledge to understand basic radiobiology and genetics

Personal and Key Skills:
Appreciate science underpinning radiological protection standards

Module Content















Prof A Nisbet


Human Biology; the cell, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, nervous system and anatomy





Dr S Bouffler


Primary events in the cell; deposition of energy from low and high LET radiations; molecular events; DNA damage and repair; cellular radiosensitivity; dose-rate and LET dependence; molecular genetics of radiation cancer, human variation in radiation sensitivity





Dr E A Ainsbury


Acute (non-stochastic) effects after whole and partial body irradiation; damage to red bone marrow, gut epithelium, gonads, optic lens and developing brain of the foetus






Dr G Etherington



Radionuclides in man; the behaviour of radionuclides in the body including isotopes of tritium, caesium, strontium, iodine, radium and plutonium; ICRP biokinetic and dosimetric models; dose calculations; doses to the embryo and foetus







Dr R Haylock



Concepts of epidemiological studies







Dr A Peyman



Dosimetry, practical measurements and theoretical modelling, instrumentation, antennas






Methods of Teaching/Learning

This module is assessed in Paper IV which will consist of 6 questions. Students answer 4 questions from the 6. Full marks for a question will be equivalent to 100 % of the total marks available in assessment of this module.

Selected Texts/Journals
1. “Human Physiology: the Mechanisms of Body Function”, Venture, J.V., Sherman, J.H. and Luciano, D.S., McGraw-Hill, 1994 (6th edition)
2. “Principles of Anatomy & Physiology”, Tortora, G.J. and Grabowski, S.R., Harper-Collins, 1993 (7th edition)
3. “Concepts of Human Anatomy & Physiology”, Van de Graaff, K.M. and Fox, S.I., Wm. C. Brown, 1995.
4. “Radiobiology for the Radiologist”, Hall, E.J., Lippincott Co (3rd Edn or later)
5. “Molecular Biology of the Cell”, Alberts B
6. “Publication 60 - 1990 Recommendations of the ICRP”, ICRP, Pergamon Press, 1991 (ISBN 00 08 041144-4)
7. “Publication 66 - Human Respiratory Tract Model for Radiological Protection”, ICRP, Pergamon Press (ISBN 0 08 041154 1)
8. “Publication 68 - ICRP Dose Coefficients for intakes of radionuclides by workers - tract model”, ICRP, Pergamon Press (ISBN 0 08 042651 4)
9. “Publication 72 - Age-dependent doses to members of the public from intake of radionuclides”, ICRP, Pergamon Press
10. “Health effects of exposure to low-level ionising radiation”, Hendee and Edwards, IOP Publishing, 1996 (ISBN 0 7503 0349 2)
11. “Health effects of internally deposited radionuclides: Emphasis on radium and thorium”, Van Kaick et. al. (ISBN 981 02 2015 4)

Last Updated

13th December 2010