Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

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 development of the BED/EQD2-model used for planning of dose-fractionation in radiotherapy

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

The following courses must be passed before the first mandatory laboratory exercise in FYS9720:

Overlapping courses


The course runs 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 2 or 3 groups. The number of hours for laboratory exercise per student (hours by the clock) is approximately 20.

The laboratory exercise is compulsory including a final report. The laboratory report must be approved before you can sit the final exam. The laboratory report  is presented to the sensor 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.


The laboratory report must be approved before you can sit the final exam.

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

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: FYS4720 – Cellular Radio Biology

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. 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) Oct. 21, 2020 10:12:10 AM

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)