Skip to main content
Till KTH:s startsida Till KTH:s startsida

HL2003 Radiation Physics and Biology 6.0 credits

Radiation has for several decades, been used to treat tumours. Different types of radiation such as photons, electrons, neutrons, protons or light ions can be used. The clinically most used treatment modalities are photons and electrons. The course gives a basic knowledge in the physical and biological effects of ionising radiation in tissue and an overview of methods for treatment optimisation to get the best therapy outcome.

About course offering

For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Target group

No information inserted

Part of programme

Master's Programme, Medical Engineering, åk 2, DATV, Optional

Master's Programme, Medical Engineering, åk 2, ELEK, Optional

Master's Programme, Medical Engineering, åk 2, FYSK, Optional


P2 (6.0 hp)


28 Oct 2024
13 Jan 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location

KI Solna

Number of places

Places are not limited

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code



For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students


Emely Kjellsson Lindblom,; Iuliana Toma-Dasu,


No information inserted

Course coordinator

No information inserted


No information inserted
Headings with content from the Course syllabus HL2003 (Autumn 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Basic interaction processes of ionising radiation with matter. Basic concepts of dosimetry, dosimetric quantities and units. Accelerators for radiation therapy, principles of linear and circular accelerators. Beam transport through treatment head to patient. Optimal design of the therapy beam. Principles of optimal treatment planning. Algorithms for calculations of dose distribution in the patient. Quality control and assurance.
Introduction to biology of the cell. Basic chemical reactions in cells. Lesions produced by radiation in DNA molecules. Cell survival models. Radiation effects on normal tissues and tumours. The biological basis of radiotherapy, oxygen effect, dose rate dependence, dose fractionation.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to give a basic knowledge in radiation physics and biological effects of ionising radiation in order to understand the principles of radiation therapy.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Bachelor's degree in technology or science. 4 credits in physics, 4 credits in anatomy and/or physiology. English 6/B

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


No information inserted

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • TEN1 - Examinsation, 6.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Written examination and exercises.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Electrical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

5A1414 Radiation Detectors and Medical Imaging systems, 5 p
7E1112 Implants and biomaterials, 4p,
7E1115 Engineering in intensive care and anesthesia, 4p,
7E1113 Medical instrumentation and signal processing, 4p,
7E1110 Quality and regulatory aspects on medical devices, 2p.


Emely Kjellsson Lindblom,; Iuliana Toma-Dasu,