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Master of Radiopharmaceutical Science


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Master of Radiopharmaceutical Science (MRadiopharmSc)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in chemical sciences, biological sciences or natural and physical sciences
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 1 year - 2 years depending on RPL granted
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 2 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points 64
Minimum number of credit points at 600 level 16
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 48
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

600 level

Medicinal Chemistry (4)
4cp from
Organic Synthesis (4)
Chemical Analysis I (4)
Analysis and Measurement (4)
Synthesis (4)
8cp from
Organic Synthesis (4)
Physical and Environmental Chemistry I (4)
Chemical Analysis I (4)
Microbiology (4)
Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 1 (4)
Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 2 (4)
Analysis and Measurement (4)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4)
Microbiology and Molecular Biology (4)
Biochemistry (4)
Synthesis (4)
Introductory Statistics (4)

800 level

Application of Nuclear Science to Medicine (4)
Chemical Analysis II (4)
Advanced Medicinal Chemistry (4)
Laboratory Quality Systems (4)
Major Research Project in Molecular Sciences (16)
16cp from
Entrepreneurship in Business (4)
Protein Discovery and Analysis (4)
Functional Proteomics (4)
Molecular Biology and Genomics (4)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4)
Analytical Measurement Uncertainty and Method Validation (4)
Molecular and Medical Biotechnology (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree
CRICOS Code 084701J
Overview and Aims of the Program The Program has been developed in collaboration with the professional Radiopharmaceutical Scientists in the Australian community to train graduates with a chemistry or biomolecular sciences background in the uses of radiopharmaceuticals in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. Whilst the program caters for those intending to enter the profession, it will also be highly attractive for other potential students with a chemistry background who may want to enter other emerging areas of science involving applications of radiolabelled molecules.

The Program reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the profession, providing a highly integrative course that spans physics, chemistry, biomolecular sciences and medicine. It encompasses nuclear science, radiation safety, and chemistry, particularly of relevance to drug design and the radiolabelling of molecules and biological macromolecules. It contains a component of laboratory management, with emphasis on quality control, quality assurance and documentation to a standard required by external auditing authorities. Importantly, it also aims to develop research skills, including literature searches, project planning, experimental design, statistical analysis and scientific communication.

The program is part of the pathway to professional certification through ACPSEM. It aims to develop the skills of chemistry graduates for this emerging area of science. It has been constructed to expose students to the best possible mix of routine scientific endeavour and the discipline and rigour required, together with the requirement to develop strong independent research and decision making skills.

The program covers the following areas and aims to teach:
o basic nuclear science, radiation safety, and the uses of radionuclides in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine
o Chemistry, particularly that relevant to drug design and the radiolabelling of molecules and biological macromolecules
o laboratory management, with emphasis on quality control, quality assurance and documentation to a standard required by external auditing authorities such as Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)
o research skills, including literature searching, project planning, experimental design, statistical analysis and scientific communication
o introduction to current areas of expertise in biomolecular sciences, such as proteomics and molecular biology.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated that students should be able to:

1. demonstrate that they have acquired a body of knowledge that includes:
1.1 understanding of fundamental methodologies and research principles applicable to the field of learning (K)
1.2 detailed awareness of recent developments in the discipline (K)
1.3 breadth of knowledge across related areas of learning, including, for example, biochemistry, proteomics, and laboratory management (K, T)

2. Show that they have developed:
2.1 skills that demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and critical reflection on practice in the discipline (K, T)
2.2 cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, theories and concepts (T, P)
2.3 cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level (T, P)

3. Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills by:
3.1 bringing creativity and initiative to problem solving in new situations (T, P)
3.2 displaying high level autonomy and accountability (E, J)
3.3 collecting, accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from scientific data (K, T, P)
3.4 planning and executing a substantial research based project (K, T, P, C)
3.5 showing understanding of safety issues and regulatory frameworks, and personally practising ethical conduct (C, E, J)

4. Demonstrate well developed communication skills that include:
4.1 technical and communication skills to articulate ideas, elaborate on theory, and show mastery of content (K, C)
4.2 communication and technical skills to justify and interpret theoretical positions, methodologies and conclusions (K, C, T)
4.3 ability to understand, interpret and critically reflect upon scientific literature (K, T, C, E, J)
4.4 understanding of how scientific results and data are translated into biological knowledge suitable for publication in scientific literature (K, C, E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods Students are exposed to a variety of teaching techniques including:
o instructional/explanation - lectures, face to face or potentially on-line
o demonstration/site visits - exposure to various sites where different aspects of radiopharmaceutical science is practiced in CBMS810
o experiential - practical chemistry-based sessions in the core units CBMS825, CBMS881, chemical modelling in CBMS810 and CBMS842, and research projects in CBMS810, CBMS881 and CBMS861, along with practical chemistry and biomolecular sciences-based sessions in the elective units
o collaborative laboratory work and projects - as well as independent laboratory work and other projects, students get to work in teams during laboratory sessions and assignment tasks
o discussions, facilitated by the lecturer, to engender confidence in the expression of ideas and opinions
o students will be actively engaged in a 'lectorials' incorporating discussion, problem solving and engaging in the application of the lecture material to real problems in CBMS810, CBMS842 and CBMS861
o students in CBMS810, CBMS825 and CBMS842 will be supported with self-assessment tasks and web based guided learning.
Assessment Across the units, there are three commonly used modes of assessment:
• assignments - a mix of quantitative and descriptive tasks
• laboratory reports - a mix of written reports and verbal presentations
• mid-session and final exams.

In several units, students are also required to complete a research project and students are to submit a written report and verbally present the work in front of the class. Students often also have small early and frequent in-class of on-line spot tests or quizzes.

A full-time research project supervised by a radiopharmaceutical scientist in the field is conducted as part of CBMS881. A thesis is presented, marked by external examiners, and the research is presented as an oral presentation to a panel of examiners.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Career opportunities include:
• radiopharmaceutical scientist in hospitals or commercial radiopharmacies
• research radiopharmaceutical scientist in pharmaceutical companies and universities
• production radiopharmaceutical scientist
• regulatory affairs specialist
major employers
• hospitals (public and private)
• centralised radiopharmacies such as Global Medical Solutions (GMS)
• cyclotron facilities such as Cyclopharm Ltd, PETNET Solutions Australia and Cyclotek
• regulatory authorities such as Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
• manufacturers of radiopharmaceuticals such as the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
• pharmaceutical companies in research and development
• educational institutions in research, development and teaching

Employment trends:
Since 2009, the number of scientists identified as radiopharmaceutical scientists has doubled. This figure is supported by data from the NSW Ministry of Health, which also demonstrates the number working in public hospitals in NSW has likewise doubled in that time.
Functional imaging is fast becoming recognised as the best non-invasive technology available to diagnose and manage a large number of pathological conditions, to non-invasively probe the in vivo behaviour of new pharmaceuticals, and its role in research is increasing rapidly.
The increase in number of cyclotrons both public and private, and the ever-increasing range of radio-labelled tracers is also increasing the demand for radiopharmaceutical scientists.
The profession has been identified as a 'small but critical workforce' but the NSW Ministry of Health. They are keen to assist with sustainability of this program and have awarded a grant to Macquarie University to assist with 6 identified projects that will assist in making this course sustainable and, over time, accessible to a wider demographic than it currently is.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

A named award would be assessed by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) by the completion of the first intake of students into the renewed programme (end 2016)

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148