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MSc Advanced Radiotherapy Practice

Advanced Radiotherapy Practice Taught

Course Title MSc Advanced Radiotherapy Practice
Qualification MM.Sc. / P.Grad.Dip.
Duration Two Years
Next Intake September 2017

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Our exciting post graduate programs offer a unique opportunity for front line staff to expand their skills and meet the increasing demand for radiotherapy services expansion worldwide.

This course aims to develop students' knowledge and skills in the advanced radiation therapy management of cancer patients and to enable students to critically evaluate and participate in research in this area.

This course will take place on a part-time basis to facilitate radiation therapists working in clinical practice.

The MSc course has two separate strands:

  • Clinical Practice: This course aims to develop students' knowledge and skills in the advanced radiotherapy management of cancer patients and to provide the skills required to further research into cancer management.
  • Treatment Planning: This course develops students' skills in the area of radiation therapy treatment planning. All components of treatment planning are taught from 3D Conformal Radiotherapy to IMRT treatment planning and treatment planning for specialist techniques such as stereotactic radiotherapy and brachytherapy.

Course Objectives

1. Clinical Practice Strand
On completion of this strand, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to use evidence-based medicine to underpin their radiation therapy practice
  • An understanding of the manifestation of treatment-related side effects and their management
  • Proficiency in undertaking research in the field of radiation therapy
  • An understanding of management processes and their application in oncology
  • An awareness of the psychological issues associated with cancer care
  • Familiarity with radiological anatomy and the acquisition of optimal imaging for radiation therapy

2. Treatment Planning Strand
On completion of this strand, students will be able to:

  • Prepare 3D and IMRT treatment plans
  • Analyse and discuss treatment plans for specialist techniques
  • Undertake research in the field of radiation therapy treatment planning
  • Identify radiological anatomy and discuss optimal imaging for radiotherapy, from diagnosis to on-treatment verification
  • Understand the principles of contouring and become proficient in contouring for radiotherapy

Course Outcomes

On successful completion of this M.Sc. students should be able to:

  • Apply evidence-based practice to patient care and / or treatment planning
  • Devise, plan and carry out research in an area relevant to their practice
  • Appraise their own practice and make changes where appropriate
  • Compare practice in other centres and participate in audit in their area
  • Develop their scientific writing and presentation skills

Admission Requirements

Applications will be accepted from those who:

  • Hold a primary degree in Radiation Therapy or Medical Physics
  • Hold an equivalent qualification
  • Have confirmed access to a treatment planning department (Treatment Planning strand only)

Candidates cannot be accepted onto the programme unless they have access organised at the time of application. Otherwise satisfy the course admission committee that they have the ability to complete and benefit from the course.

Programme Structure

Student performance will be assessed by coursework that is completed throughout the year. Coursework will include case-based questions, case studies, essays, practical assignments and examinations. An individual research project on an aspect of radiation therapy shall be completed by students in year 2. Students shall be assigned a supervisor with whom the research topic must be agreed. The dissertation will involve regular meetings between the student and supervisor.

Course Timetable

The course is delivered using a blended learning approach. Teaching will include lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials delivered both in the classroom and in the online environment.

Year 1:
a) Clinical Practice: Year 1 consists of six taught modules:

  • Management (10 ECTS)
  • Research Methodology and Statistics (10 ECTS)
  • Contouring for Treatment Planning (10 ECTS)
  • Radiobiology (10 ECTS)
  • Imaging: Physical Properties, Clinical Application and Radiological Anatomy (10 ECTS)
  • Evidence-based Radiation Therapy Practice (10 ECTS)

b) Treatment Planning: Year 1 consists of six taught modules:

  • Treatment Planning for 3D Conformal Radiotherapy (10 ECTS)
  • Research Methodology and Statistics (10 ECTS)
  • Treatment Planning for IMRT (10 ECTS)
  • Contouring for Treatment Planning (10 ECTS)
  • Imaging: Physical Properties, Clinical Application and Radiological Anatomy (10 ECTS)
  • Treatment Planning for Specialist Techniques (10 ECTS)

Year 2:
Students who progress to Year 2 will undertake a research dissertation (30 ECTS). The dissertation will be submitted by the end of September of the second year. Students who pass the taught component and have completed 60 ECTS may exit with a postgraduate diploma if they do not wish to proceed to the
dissertation in Year 2.

Facilities

The discipline has a 40 desktop computer lab dedicated to radiation therapy skills training, with software for:

  • Virtual simulation
  • Treatment planning
  • Treatment machine emulation

Students will be able to communicate virtually with module coordinators and fellow students using the Blackboard Collaborate™ platform.
Students taking the treatment planning strand will become familiar with Radialogica®. This software facilitates the sharing of treatment plans from different planning systems between students .

Fees

Up-to-date information about course fees can be found at the Academic Registry.

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For full details on applying for postgraduate courses follow this link

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Contact Details

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Laure Marignol, at marignl@tcd.ie