Exams after the reopening

As a general rule, exams will be conducted without physical attendance in the autumn of 2021, even after the reopening. See the semester page for information about the form of examination in your course. See also more information about examination at the MN Faculty in 2021.

Course content

The course gives an overview of the physio-chemical principles of absorption of radiation energy at a molecular and cellular level. Special emphasis is then placed on the effect of radiation on DNA and the principles for repair and misrepair of DNA damages including the connection with genetic injuries and cancer. Several mathematical models for cell inactivation and its dependency on the dose-rate are included. Central themes are also the variation in radiosensitivity with the cell-cycle stage, radiomodifying factors, and the influence of radiation damage on cell-cycle regulation and cell death (apoptosis/necrosis). The last few lectures give an introduction to the radiobiological principles forming the basis for the mathematical modeling of time-dose relations within radiotherapy including dose-fractionation, calculation of iso-effect curves, and brachytherapy.

Learning outcome

After having completed the course you will:

  • be able to describe eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, and for eukaryotic cells internal and external organization and function, regulation of cell proliferation and growth, some aspects of metabolism and macromolecular synthesis as well as types of DNA damage, chromosomal aberrations, and DNA repair.
  • know the mechanistic relation between cell-cycle progression, DNA-repair, and cell survival.
  • understand and be able to describe energy deposition by different types of ionizing radiation in solid substances as well as in aqueous solutions. This includes the target theory and concepts like LET and RBE.
  • be able to describe the mechanisms for cell inactivation as based on the so-called cellular suicide experiments with incorporated radionuclides.
  • understand the tight correlation between cell-cycle regulation and the effect of ionizing radiation in general.
  • be able to perform calculations and evaluations based on different models/derivations for cell survival after irradiation.
  • understand the role of hypoxia in radiation response and cancer development.
  • understand dose rate- and fractionation effects and the underlying biological mechanisms
  • be able to use the alpha-beta-model as a basis for the development of the BED/EQD2-model used for planning of dose-fractionation in radiotherapy.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

The following courses must be passed before the first mandatory laboratory exercise in FYS4720:

Overlapping courses


The course extends over a whole semester with four hours of lectures per week.

In addition, one week is reserved for the laboratory exercise. The students are divided into groups. The number of hours for laboratory exercise per student (hours by the clock) is approximately 20.

The laboratory exercise is mandatory, including a final report. The laboratory report must be approved before you can take the final exam. The laboratory report is presented to the examiner during the final oral exam.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


  • Final oral exam which counts 100 % towards the final grade

This course has mandatory exercises that must be approved before you can take the final exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: ​FYS9720 – Cellular Radiobiology

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Nov. 27, 2021 7:15:18 PM

Facts about this course


If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)