Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Emerging Areas of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Medical Physics

DESCRIPTION The number of specialties of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection are increasing as increasingly complex devices are employed in healthcare. Yet many technologies cannot be introduced because technology is advancing at a faster rate than the educational provision and the necessary expertise simply does not exist. This study-unit aims to survey ongoing developments in technology so that students would be prepared for their future introduction. The unit will also present the principles of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) which essentially answers the question: 'Should a new technology be introduced into clinical practice?' The precise content of the unit will be determined at the time when the unit is delivered so that content is state-of-the-art.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- Create an awareness among students about ongoing developments in healthcare technology;
- Lay the foundations of new specialties of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection;
- Explain the process of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in the introduction of new technologies into the clinical milieu;
- Improve the communication and writing skills of students with respect to the introduction of new technologies.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Discuss emerging healthcare and industrial technologies which involve medical devices or other equipment requiring the need for medical physics and/or radiation protection (and other physical agents) services;
- Define Health Technology Assessment as applied to medical devices and procedures;
- Explain the steps for the carrying out of an HTA, including use of primary data and secondary sources;
- Explain the importance of HTA reports in controlling cost in relation to benefit of a new technology under consideration.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Review the literature with regard to emerging technologies;
- Retrieve information from different sources;
- Articulate the importance of medical physics and protection from radiation and other physical agents in the process of insertion of specific emerging technologies in healthcare and/or industry;
- Carry out a basic HTA;
- Communicate orally and in writing;
- Criticise constructively and accept constructive criticism.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Since we are dealing with new technologies books are most times not available. Students will be directed to look up articles from research journals. All major Medical Physics and Radiation Protection journals are available in the library. A list of journals held by the library and internet based resources will be developed and made available to students at the time when the unit is actually delivered. This will ensure that the list is updated and reflects the state-of-the-art at the time.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Seminar and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment 50%
Presentation (15 Minutes) 50%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.