Graham Hills Building in sunshine.

Centre for Lifelong LearningRadiation protection

AURPO/University of Strathclyde Certificate of Professional Development in Radiation Protection

This course was originally developed in 2002 by the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the Association of University Radiation Protection Officers (AURPO), with input from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and RPA 2000. Since 2002 the course has been continually updated by its team of experienced, accredited RPAs.

The Certificate of Professional Development in Radiation Protection course is now full for 2022-23. Applications for the next cohort starting September 2023, will open on the 3rd of April 2023.

Who is the course for?

This course assists people seeking a career as a radiation protection professional to demonstrate the required core of knowledge and core competencies in accordance with Annex 3 of the HSE Statement on RPAs (or the Environment Agencies RWA syllabus).

This course does not make people radiation protection professionals, rather it assesses and demonstrates core competencies that will assist people going on to seek accreditation as an RPA (or an RWA) from an awarding body such as RPA 2000.

A university degree in a physical science or acceptable alternative qualifications and relevant work experience in the field of radiation protection.

This course has been designed to allow students to study by distance learning through the use of text-based course content with online tutor support via Myplace, the University's virtual learning environment.

The course will involve a minimum of 120 hours of study (plus a minimum of 40 hours for preparation of assessed work) depending on prior knowledge and experience. Success on this course is dependent on a high degree of time management and application.

The syllabus of the course is as follows:

  • Basis of Radiation Protection: basis of radiation protection standards; ICRP principles – justification, optimisation, dose limitations
  • Basic atomic physics and radiation biology: basic atomic and nuclear physics; basic biology; interaction of radiation with matter; biological effects of radiation; quantities and units
  • Detection and measurement of radiation: detection and measurement methods; monitoring – area, personal dosimetry (external, real time and external), biological
  • Legislation: legal and regulatory basisinternal recommendations/conventions; European Union legislation; IRR17; other relevant health and safety legislation
  • Practices, interventions and exposure situations: sealed sources and associated practices; unsealed sources and practices; X-ray sources and practices; other sources and practices; interventions (including natural radiation, especially radon)
  • Control of exposureoperational radiation protection; hazard and risk assessment; minimisation of risk; control of releases; critical dose concept/dose calculation for critical group; ergonomics; operating rules and contingency planning; emergency procedures; remedial action/decontamination; analysis of past incidents including experience feedback
  • Organisation of radiation protection: role of qualified experts; safety culture; communication skills; record keeping; permits to work and other authorisations; designation of areas and classification of workers; quality control/auditing; dealing with contractors
  • Management of Radioactive materials and waste disposalregistration and authorisation of practices (and exemptions); waste management – principles of management, principles of disposal; environmental impact assessments; transport (including exemptions)

The next course will run from the 19 September 2022 to 29 May 2023.


Registration deadline

Registration is open from the 3 April until 14 August 2023. Applications can be submitted from the 3 April by completing our online application. 

Course fee - £2500.00

Cancellation policy

Cancellations notified by 21st August 2023 will not incur an administrative charge. Cancellations received after this date will be subject to a charge of £100.

Please visit the University's Data Protection webpage for updated Privacy Notices for Students and Website Privacy Policy for information on how we will use your personal data and your rights under data protection legislation.