Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code PHYS857
Coordinator Mr CD Lee
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 10


The module aims that the students will develop an understanding of the science and clinical application of brachytherapy and unsealed source therapy. This aim is to make the students aware of brachytherapy and unsealed source therapy planning, dose calculation and dose measurement. The students should develop a thorough understanding and new and emerging techniques and clinical advances in brachytherapy and unsealed source therapy.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) A  knowledge of the recommended method of high dose rate source calibration in terms of air kerma including an understanding of the QA processes associated with brachytherapy treatment machines and planning systems

(LO2) A detailed knowledge of the legislation involved with brachytherapy and unsealed source therapy and a knowledge of emerging technological advances brachytherapy.

(LO3) A critical understanding of methods used for radiation dose calculation, their relative strengths and weaknesses and the need for independent dose checking

(LO4) A deep understanding of current clinical brachytherapy and unsealed source therapy techniques for common tumour sites

(LO5) Practical skills to produce clinically relevant plans using commercial software and to perform independent dose checks.

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Communication skills



Basics of radioactivity: concepts, definitions and units of activity, half-life and average life.  Radioactive decay. Characteristics of ideal brachytherapy sources and sources in current use including their design and construction dose calculations using Traditional and TG43 dosimetry - manual and computer calculation principles of afterloading brachytherapy dosimetry systems for intracavitary and interstitial treatments for common treatment sites radiobiological considerations brachytherapy treatment planning systems safe practice and radiation hazards; radiation protection and national legislation unsealed source therapy including dosimetry of unsealed sources QA in brachytherapy. There will be a one hour formative class test at the end of the module. There is a laboratory session using sources that are typically used in the clinical environment

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Series of one hour lectures
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided
Notes: Lectures are delivered by medical physicists who work in a clinical environment

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial
Description: Problem solving and revision
Attendance Recorded: No
Notes: Students get help with problems, will see model answers to problems and can ask any questions

Teaching Method 3 - Laboratory Work
Description: Work with radioactive sources that are used in a clinical environment
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Students carry out practical work relevent to the sources used for treatments

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 15



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 75


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Examination There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :end semester 2  2 hours    70       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assignment There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :mid semester 2 approx 4 weeks after t  3000 words (or equiv    30       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.