The University of Sydney

Life, Health and Radiation

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

8,564 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Mark McEntee
Ernest Ekpo

Instructors: Mark McEntee


(298 reviews)

12 hours to complete
3 weeks at 4 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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There are 5 modules in this course

Welcome to the MOOC! This week, we will drill down and examine the world of atoms. By first understanding the structure of atoms, we can then look at how radiation interacts with them. In this module, we will also unpack the two kinds of radiation: particulate and electromagnetic. We will then take our first glimpse at the electromagnetic spectrum.

What's included

11 videos4 readings2 quizzes1 discussion prompt

This week, we begin our journey across the electromagnetic spectrum, starting at the long wave radiations. These are essentially radio waves, which cover a wide range of frequencies and properties, and infrared waves. Long wave radiations are not ionising and are therefore not carcinogenic, however there are still many misconceptions about them. Come explore the many applications of long wave radiation in everyday life and dispel the myths surrounding some of them.

What's included

7 videos3 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

We continue on our journey across the electromagnetic spectrum. Next stop: visible light and ultraviolet radiation. We will investigate how ionising radiations are able to interact with our atoms and the kinds of damage they can subsequently have on our bodies. We will also examine how our bodies repair these kinds of damage and (in most cases) protect us from their harmful effects.

What's included

6 videos5 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

This week we go further down the electromagnetic spectrum to the range with the smallest, most energetic frequencies: X-rays and gamma rays. We will explore how these radiations are produced, the fascinating histories behind their discoveries, plus how they're useful in medical imaging. We will also discuss the link between ionising radiations and cancer, and examine the concept of personalised risk.

What's included

7 videos4 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

As we have now finished our journey across the electromagnetic spectrum, we will now put everything we have learnt so far into a health context. In other words, we will examine how different radiations are used in medical imaging and even for certain treatments. Along the way, you will meet many of my colleagues here at the University of Sydney’s Discipline of Medical Radiation Science.

What's included

9 videos3 readings2 quizzes2 discussion prompts


Instructor ratings
4.9 (112 ratings)
Mark McEntee
The University of Sydney
1 Course8,564 learners
Ernest Ekpo
The University of Sydney
1 Course8,564 learners

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