Medical Physics 1

Course content

The course covers a number of subjects related to hospitals physicists working in radiation therapy which is occupied in the treatment of cancer diseases. The subjects include:

Lectures and exercises:  

Particle interaction at high energies and small dimensions

Different kinds of radiation and its interaction with biological tissue

Basic radiation dosimetry and dose measurements

The dose concept

Basic radiobiology including models for calculation of biological effect

Biological effects of the different types of radiation

Anatomy/physiology in relation to cancer diseases.


Lab exercises:

The course includes a limited number of one-day exercises (computer or experimental) related to dose calculation and measurements, and, the effect of radiation on living cells.


BSc Programme in Physics

Learning outcome


After the course, the top student will be able to:

Describe malignant and benign tumor growth and how this is diagnosed and treated in general terms.

Explain how radiation is used in cancer therapy and how advantages and disadvantages are measured.

Explain photons, electrons and protons interaction with matter.

Explain how radiation dose from photons, electrons and protons is measured. Calculate point doses in a patient.

Demonstrate an ability to plan and carry out a schematic experiment for measuring dose in a water phantom.

Calculate the radiation effect in biological tissue by use of the linear-quadric model.

Describe the molecular mechanisms behind the damaging effects of radiation and the mechanisms that counteract radiation damage in tissue.


The student knows how radiation is applied in the treatment of cancer and has a basic understanding of the effects from different kinds of radiation. The student can calculate the radiation dose in a patient, and, plan and carry out experiments where knowledge of a specific dose is needed. The course gives the student an introduction to central concepts related to the work as a medical physicist employed at a Hospital.


The course will provide the student with a basic knowledge of radiation interaction and effects, and, radiation dosimetry. In addition, the student will be able to plan and carry out simple radiation experiments and evaluate and explain the results. Further, the course will give a basic knowledge about the effects of ionizing radiation on healthy as well as tumor tissue. The students will gain insight in some of the considerations involved when a radiation treatment is being planned at the hospitals.

Lectures, theoretical exercises, lab exercises and smaller projects.

Will be announced through the course website.

The student is expected to have qualifications corresponding to the mandatory physics and mathematical courses on the physics bachelor. Knowledge on programming in MatLab or similar can be an advantage but the teaching will be organized such that it can be acquired during the course.

The course is optional for students enrolled in the physics bachelor. Note, however, that it is highly recommended to follow the course if you expect to follow the “bio- and medical physics” track on the master’s program.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Individual oral examination based on reports (possible in groups) made during the course.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal exminers
Criteria for exam assessment

see learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Theory exercises
  • 34
  • Practical exercises
  • 18
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Project work
  • 80
  • Preparation
  • 45
  • English
  • 206