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Course summary

The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2022). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via The MSc in Radiobiology is a one-year, full-time course, designed for individuals interested in a career in academic research in radiobiology or radiation oncology, or in professions that require a knowledge of radiobiology. The main aim of this course is to combine the principles of radiobiology at molecular and cellular level with their clinical applications, providing a thorough grounding in radiobiology for MSc students, who may go on to a research degree, to complete a medical degree, or into an industry role or allied profession. The course is based on a series of overarching learning outcomes, which you will be able to demonstrate on completion of your studies:

  • Explain the underpinning physics which governs the interactions between ionising radiation and biological tissues
  • Critically analyse the effects of ionising radiation on DNA and the associated DNA damage response, with respect to their effects on cell survival
  • Critically appraise the irradiation response of cells and tissues, including the factors that modify this response, with respect to how this may affect clinical practice
  • Evaluate the relationship between the characteristics of the tumour microenvironment and the response of that tumour to irradiation
  • Critically discuss the risks associated with radiation exposure, at the whole body and population level, and precautions which can be taken to mitigate these risks
  • Critically appraise the use of novel external beam radiotherapy techniques for the treatment of cancer
  • Explain the rationale and mechanisms of action of common treatments used as alternatives to, or in combination with, external beam radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer
  • Explain and evaluate the research approaches used in applied and translational research within the field of radiobiology
  • Apply the scientific method to address research questions within the field of radiobiology


You will take eight compulsory modules, which are delivered in two-week blocks, following on from each other: 1- Physics of Radiation Interactions 2- Molecular Radiation Biology 3- Radiobiology of Cells and Tissues 4- Tumour Immuno-Microenvironment and Radiation Response 5- Hazards of Radiation 6- Clinical Radiation Oncology 7- Combination Therapies and Theranostics 8- Translational Research Methods and Applications Modules one to four are delivered in Michaelmas term and build a picture of the biological responses to radiation from the sub-atomic level through to the effects on whole tissues, in both tumours and normal tissue. Modules five to eight are delivered in Hilary term and cover the application of the underpinning principles of radiobiology in examples ranging from individual cancer patients through to whole populations in studies of radiation exposure.

Assessment method

You can expect to receive seven to eight lectures and three to four tutorial or practical classes per module. There will also be preparatory reading, independent study tasks, and formative assessments set throughout the course, to be completed in the non-contact hours. Alongside the module specific tutorials, you will also attend a series of compulsory Directors’ Tutorials throughout the year. These cover overarching themes such as critiquing a scientific paper, or essay writing skills, and help to prepare you for specific assessment methods, including the dissertation.

Entry requirements

**Degree-level qualifications** As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent: a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a biological or medical science subject. Entrance is competitive and most successful applicants will have a first-class degree or the equivalent. For applicants from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0. If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements. **GRE General Test scores** No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought. **Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience** - Peer-reviewed publications are not requirement for the course, but will be viewed positively - Students will be required to complete a DBS check and enhanced security screening for certain research projects. This is completed while on course and will not affect admission, but will affect the research projects available **IELTS:** Minimum overall score - 7.5 Minimum score per component - 7.0 **TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'** (Institution code: 0490) Minimum overall score - 110 Listening - 22 Reading - 24 Speaking - 25 Writing - 24

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

**For complete and up-to-date information about fees and funding for this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via**
Radiobiology at University of Oxford - UCAS