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Renowned for its excellence in teaching and research, the Department of Oncology has student-centred learning at the heart of its teaching ethos. Students have the assurance of being taught by specialists, many of whom are prominent authorities in their respective fields.

Learning is facilitated through following methods:

  • Lectures featuring in-depth discussions of key concepts in the subject areas, and summarising the established research.
  • Tutorials in smaller groups to enhance and consolidate knowledge, and for students to exercise problem-solving skills.
  • Laboratory practical sessions including live demonstrations and hands-on training to familiarise students with lab equipment and techniques.
  • Visits to allow students to gain insight and genuine field experience in their disciplines.
  • One-to-one supervisions for projects and dissertations. Our teaching and research staff are committed to helping students to develop their own ideas and produce high quality research.

The following is a brief summary of the taught Modules on MSc in Radiation Biology course. Each module includes between 6 and 12 theoretical lectures.

  1. ‘Physics & Chemistry of Radiation Action’ explores the science behind ionising radiation and other concepts related to medical imaging, radiation oncology, and radiation protection. (Module lead: Mark Hill)
  2. ‘Molecular Radiation Biology’ discusses the different types of DNA lesions produced by ionising radiation, how they are recognised, molecular repair systems, and consequences of errors in the repair process. (Module lead: Tim Humphrey)
  3. ‘Cellular Radiation Biology’ focuses on the response of cells to irradiation, and factors that can modify this response. (Module lead: Mark Hill and Monica Olcina)
  4. ‘Normal Tissue & Applied Radiation Biology’ discusses the pathogenesis of normal tissue reactions to radiation, and strategies for protection and mitigation. (Module lead: Ketan Shah)
  5. ‘Whole Body Exposure & Carcinogenesis’ considers the biological principles underpinning the response of the human body to ionising radiation exposures. (Module lead: Liz Ainsbury, Public Health England)
  6. ‘Radiation Epidemiology’ discusses the use of epidemiological studies to determine the consequences of exposure to radiation. (Module lead: Zhe Wang)
  7. ‘Imaging Technologies’ examines the different imaging methods and their underlying physical and biological principles. (Module lead: Mahon Maguire)
  8. ‘Tumour Microenvironment’ explores the microenvironment of the tumour and how this can influence the response to radiation. (Module lead: Geoff Higgins)
  9. ‘Applications of Radiation Therapy’ considers the latest techniques in radiotherapy, and offers a more in depth look at the physics of novel radiotherapy techniques. (Module Lead: Kristoffer Petersson)
  10. ‘Translational Radiation Biology’ looks at new biologically-based techniques being translated from the laboratory to clinical use. (Module lead: Eileen Parkes)
  11. ‘Clinical Radiation Biology’ discusses the principles of radiation oncology, exploring clinical developments from trials, with particular emphasis on selected tumours. (Module lead: Tim Maughan)
  12. ‘Radiation Protection’ examines how the international system of protection from stochastic and deterministic tissue effects is translated and applied in UK legislation. (Module lead: Daniel McGowan)

Independent study: It is vital that students cultivate habits of self-directed learning in order to thrive in an academic environment. We strongly recommend spending at least 15 to 20 study hours per week (outside classroom time) focusing on directed reading, preparation for lectures and tutorials, completion of formative essays and small group projects, completing course work, preparing for exams and independent research to further develop knowledge and expertise.


This course is reviewed annually and subject to minor changes in response to feedback and evaluation.