BSc Radiation Therapy

Academics & Calendar Information

  • Year 1

    Students wishing to apply to the Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy program in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta must first complete one year of pre-professional course work with a required minimum GPA of 3.2.

    The selection process is competitive, and applicants will be ranked primarily on academic achievement in the prerequisite courses. Get details.

  • Year 2 (Fall/Winter)

    RADTH 205 Patient Care Principles and Practices

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-1). Introduces the cancer disease trajectory and examines the principles of: palliative care psychosocial issues and factors affecting oncology patients; patient education; person centered care; and toxicity assessment. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

    ONCOL 233 Concepts and Applications in Medical Physics

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-1). Introduction into fundamental medical physics concepts including theory of atomic and nuclear structure, radioactivity, and electromagnetic and particulate radiation. Topics to be covered include production of medically useful radiation, interaction of radiation with matter, radiation dose, and an introduction to physics concepts used in a radiation oncology environment. Prerequisites: PHYS 124, 126, and MATH 113 or 114, or permission of the department.

    ONCOL 234 Therapeutic and Imaging Equipment in Radiation Therapy

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-1). Builds on the concepts covered in ONCOL 233, with a shifting emphasis towards how radiation is produced, shaped, and measured in the clinical environment. Specific topics include x-ray tubes and flatpanel detectors, CT scanners, brachytherapy afterloaders, linear accelerators, multileaf collimators, and various measurement devices including ion chambers and diodes. Prerequisite: ONCOL 233.

    ONCOL 243 Radiation Protection and Safety

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-1). Introduction of the fundamental concepts in radiation protection and safety for the patient, self, and general public. Topics include: general principles and practices of working with radiation in a healthcare environment, differences in protection required for different types of radiation, basic radiation shielding considerations and facility design, monitoring and measurement of radiation for protection purposes, and relevant regulatory agencies and associated standards. Prerequisite: Permission of the department.

    ONCOL 253 Cancer Biology

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-0). An introduction to the biology of cancer highlighting features that distinguish normal cells from cancer cells. Specific topics include the genetic basis of cancer, control of cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis, mechanism of action of cancer drugs and the development of resistance. Prerequisite: CELL 201. ONCOL 254 Clinical Oncology I Œ3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-0). Basic concepts in clinical oncology including epidemiology, cancer screening, cancer staging and pathology, molecular diagnostics, all modalities of treating primary, metastatic and resistant cancers. Prerequisite: Permission of the department.

    ONCOL 254 Principles of Oncology

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-0). A survey course outlining the basic concepts in clinical oncology including epidemiology, cancer screening, cancer staging and pathology, molecular diagnostics, all modalities of treating primary, metastatic and resistant cancers. Prerequisite: Permission of the department.

    PHYSL 210 Human Physiology

    *6 (fi 12) (two term, 3-0-0). Introductory course in human physiology. Prerequisites: BIOL 107; plus 6 credits in University level Chemistry. Credit may be obtained in only one of PHYSL 210, or 212 and 214. See PHYSL 212.

    CELL 201 Introduction to Molecular Cell Biology

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-0). An introductory Cell Biology course suitable for students interested in pursuing Cell Biology specialization/honors. This course focuses on the molecular aspects of modern cell biology. Topics covered include the nucleus and gene expression; membrane structure and function; signal transduction; organelle biogenesis; cytoskeleton and cell motility; cell adhesion; the cell cycle; cancer; differentiation and stem cell technology. Reference will be made to key investigations and new technologies that have defined modern cell biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 107 or SCI 100. Pre or corequisite: CHEM 164 or 261 or SCI 100. Note: Not to be taken by students with credit in BIOL 201, in addition, not available to students currently enrolled in BIOL 201.

    ANAT 200 Human Morphology

    *3 (fi 6) (either term, 3-0-0). An introductory survey course in general human anatomy. The course covers the gross and microscopic anatomy of the tissues, organs and organ systems of the body, with emphasis on the relationships, interactions and functions of major structures.

  • Year 2 (Spring/Summer)

    RADTH 260 Radiation Therapy Clinical Practicum I

    *6 (fi 12) (Spring/Summer, 30 Hours/week - 5 weeks). Provides an introduction to the patient experience through the radiation therapy planning and treatment trajectory. Enables and requires introductory participation in a variety of clinical environments. Prerequisites: ONCOL 233; 234; 243 and RADTH 205.

    ONCOL 255 Introduction to Oncology

    *3 (fi 6) (Spring/Summer, 30 hours/week - 4 weeks). Principles and concepts of clinical oncology. Prerequisite: ONCOL 254.

  • Year 3 (Fall/Winter)

    RADTH 301 Principles and Practices in Radiation Therapy

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-0). The principles and practices of radiation therapy will be examined with a focus on the patient and the practitioner as well as technological factors. Prerequisite: RADTH 260.

    RADTH 328 Health Care Advocacy and Policy

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-0). Examines the role policy plays in health care. It

    provides an overview of the professional, social, regulatory, national and global trends and issues affecting care delivery and cancer screening and prevention strategies. Codes of ethics, standards and scopes of practice, and national and provincial legislation will be considered. The concepts of informed consent, quality improvement, and best practice will be studied. Prerequisite: RADTH 260.

    ONCOL 309 Radiation Oncology I

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-1). The field of radiation oncology is introduced, definitions for the application of medical terminology is addressed as well as the evaluation and treatment of tumours with ionizing radiation. Students will begin the study of the various modalities of radiation treatment, and the respective treatment regimens and techniques utilized for the most common tumour sites. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

    ONCOL 306 Imaging Principles/Pathology

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-2). An overview of the principles of medical imaging, including the principles of MRI, CT and PET imaging. Students will learn the relative advantages and limitations of the different techniques, and will be invited to apply the principles of cross-sectional anatomy to the identification of normal and abnormal structures seen in each of the different modality presentations. This course will facilitate clinical interactions in the course of developing treatment plans, treating patients and verifying treatment field placement. Prerequisite: ANAT 305 or permission of the department.

    ONCOL 310 Radiation Oncology II

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-1). The study of the field of radiation oncology is further developed. By the completion of the course, students will have developed an understanding of the various treatment options for each of the tumour sites, and the respective treatment regimes, techniques, schedules, results, and toxicities of treatment with ionizing radiation. Prerequisite: ONCOL 309.

    ONCOL 335 Radiobiology

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-0). An introduction to the physics, chemistry and biology of radiation effects on cells and tissues. Concepts discussed include the biological factors that influence the response of normal and neoplastic cells to radiation therapy; cell survival curves; linear energy transfer and relative biological effectiveness; effects on tissues of time, dose and fractionation of radiation treatment; and emerging concepts in radiobiology. Prerequisites: ONCOL 253 and 254.

    ONCOL 355 Treatment Planning and Dosimetry I

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-2). Foundation of treatment calculations for 3 dimensional treatment planning and the principles of radiation dose deposition within the patient will be applied in order to develop an appropriate treatment strategy for typical tumour locations. The course will focus on high energy X-ray beam dose calculations. Prerequisite: ONCOL 233, 234.

    ONCOL 356 Treatment Planning and Dosimetry II

    *3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-2). Concepts from ONCOL 355 are explored in more detail. Advanced topics in treatment planning will be covered, including 4 dimensional treatment planning, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, Inverse planning, Arc therapy, and Brachytherapy planning. Prerequisite: ONCOL 355.

    ANAT 305 Cross-Sectional Anatomy

    *3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-2). A study of human gross anatomy from a regional perspective, with a particular emphasis on cross-sectional structure and threedimensional relationships. Students will apply their knowledge to correlate prosected human cadaveric specimens with radiological images derived from a variety of techniques. This course is intended to prepare students who are considering a career in applied radiological imaging and radiotherapy. Prerequisite: ANAT 200 or permission of the Department.

    INT D 410 Interprofessional Health Team Development

    *3 (fi 6) (two term, variable). A course intended to provide knowledge, skills and experience in building interprofessional (IP) health care competencies. (Offered jointly by the following faculties: Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences; Medicine and Dentistry; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Physical Education and Recreation; and Rehabilitation Medicine.) (Priority will be given to students in health professions where this is a required course.) [Health Sciences Council].

  • Year 3 (Spring/Summer)

    RADTH 360 Clinical Simulation and Reasoning

    *12 (fi 24) (Spring/Summer, 30 Hours/week - 13 weeks). This course facilitates the integration and application of didactic knowledge when performing in a simulated clinical setting. While transferring skills across tumour sites and various procedures, students will demonstrate clinical reasoning and decision making in the simulated environment. As well, students will develop key attitudes, judgments and behaviours necessary for a practicing radiation therapist. Prerequisites: RADTH 260, ONCOL 306, 335 and 356.

    RADTH 401 Radiation Therapy Research Methodology

    *3 (fi 6) (Spring/Summer, 3-0-0). Examines a broad scope of research methods and components. Students will examine the action research process; research ethics; clinical trial methods and outcomes; and statistical methods in more depth. Development of a research project proposal and the ethics review process will be started. Prerequisites: ONCOL 335 and RADTH 328.

  • Year 4 (Fall/Winter)

    RADTH 460 - Radiation Therapy Clinical Practicum II
    *16 (fi 32) (first term, 35 hours in 16 weeks) Involves the progression of application and integration of knowledge gained from all academic course and skills attained in the simulation environment to put into practice in the clinical environment. Skills learned will enable the student to perform safe and accurate treatments and patient interactions under the supervision of qualified healthcare professionals. Students will begin to prepare and conduct a research project that demonstrates: evidence-based inquiry; reflection; critical thinking; analysis of data; synthesis of outcomes and personal practice; and the Ethics Review process. Prerequisite: RADTH 360 and RADTH 401.

    RADTH 461 - Radiation Therapy Clinical Practicum III
    *20 (fi 40) (second term, 35 hours in 17 weeks) Involves the demonstration of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, effective problem-solving, and competent performance in all areas of entry-level radiation therapy practice. Successful completion of all components in mandatory for eligibility to access the CAMRT national certification examination. Students will continue work on their research report. Upon completion of their report they will present it to the radiation therapy community. Prerequisite: RADTH 460.