MSc Medical Physics
- Programme director
- David Bradley
- Programme length
- Full-time: 12 months
- Programme start date
- September 2013
One third of all practising medical physicists in the UK are graduates from this internationally renowned MSc.
Surrey’s Medical Physics MSc is well established and internationally renowned. Approximately one-third of all practising medical physicists in the UK are graduates of our programme. We have trained nearly 1,000 medical physicists, of whom more than 500 are from overseas and the European Union.
The programme includes all aspects of the modern applications of physics to medicine. It is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).
We have close links with specialist teaching and regional Trust hospitals, as well as research institutes. These all provide lecturers with both up-to-date experience and outstanding opportunities for project research work.
A first-class or 2.1 honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in the physical sciences, electronics or in a relevant engineering discipline.
English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 6.5
IELTS minimum by component:
We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Fees and funding
All fees are subject to increase or review for subsequent academic years. Please note that not all visa routes permit part-time study and overseas students entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa will not be permitted to study on a part-time basis.
|Programme name||Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees|
|MSc Medical Physics||Full-time||Sept 2013||£6,720||£17,585|
The MSc Medical Physics comprises nine modules, including a summer research project.
The syllabus is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and experience required for a modern graduate medical physicist. It places more emphasis than many other courses on topics beyond ionising radiation (X-rays and radiotherapy), for example, on magnetic resonance scanning and blood dynamics. Although applications of ionising radiation seem likely to remain a major branch of medical physics, other fields are increasing in importance, and modern medical physicists are now involved in the wide range of physical problems which arise in clinical medicine.
Thirty-three hours of lectures including: atomic and nuclear physics and the interaction of radiation with matter, plus introductory material describing detector operation and dosimetry.
Thirty-three hours of lectures focusing on human biology, the nature of the interaction of ionising radiation with biological systems and the effects of ingested radionuclides. Effects at the cellular level and the impact that this has on the individual are also covered.
Thirty-three hours of lectures providing you with a detailed understanding of the physical and chemical principles underlying the operation of a wide range of techniques for the detection or dosimetry of ionising radiation. This will enable you to make appropriate choices of instrumentation in practical situations.
Radiation Laboratory Skills
Sixty-six hours of laboratory sessions designed to give you practical experience in handling radioactive substances, detectors and instrumentation. This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the experimental use of radioactive materials, radiation counting, spectroscopy equipment, dosimetry measurements and standard radiation experimental techniques.
Applications of Ionising Radiation Physics
Thirty-three hours of lectures, labs and hospital sessions including: X-rays and diagnostic radiology; nuclear medicine; radiotherapy and treatment planning.
Applications of Non-ionising Radiation Physics
Thirty-three hours of lectures and labs including: electronics and instrumentation; NMR spectroscopy, imaging and signal analysis; haemodynamics; biodielectrics; clinical neurophysiology; lasers in medicine; UV radiation and blue light.
Ultrasonics and Audiology
Thirty-three hours of lectures, labs and hospital sessions including: ultrasonics theory; ultrasonics, instrumentation and practice; audiology; audiological testing.
Through thirty-three hours of laboratory-based lectures and hands-on computing laboratory sessions, you will learn the basic use and implementation of the FLUKA Monte Carlo simulation software. The module culminates in a group-based design project, where you will normally do a library-based project.
Research Project and Dissertation
You will undertake a supervised project, either on campus or off (off-campus projects are typically supervised by a hospital medical physicist). The project lasts eleven weeks. You will give a mid-project seminar and write a dissertation at the end of the project.
Each of the nine modules is sub-divided into its various primary sections, as shown.
Module 1: Radiation Physics (33 hours of lectures)
- Atomic and nuclear physics
- Radiation physics
Module 2: Radiation Biology (33 hours of lectures, tutorials and practicals/demonstrations)
- Cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, integumentary and immune
- Neurological function and the senses
Module 3: Radiation Measurements (33 hours)
Module 4: Radiation Laboratory Skills (66 hours)
Module 5: Applications of Ionising Radiation Physics (33 hours of lectures, labs and hospital sessions)
- X-rays and diagnostic radiology; MTF and ROC analysis
- Nuclear medicine
- Radiotherapy and treatment planning
Module 6: Applications of Non-ionising Radiation Physics (33 hours of lectures and labs)
- NMR spectroscopy, imaging and signal analysis
- Clinical neurophysiology
- Lasers in medicine
- UV radiation and Blue Light
Module 7: Ultrasonics and Audiology (33 hours of lectures, labs and hospital sessions)
- Ultrasonics theory, instrumentation and practice
- Audiology and audiological testing
Module 8: Extended Project (33 hours)
Module 9: Research Project and Dissertation
Teaching and assessment
Subject knowledge and skills
The subject material is delivered through lectures, laboratories and directed reading/research. You are given guidance on how to manage your learning, and at each stage in your development you are expected to take responsibility for your own learning. Understanding is developed and consolidated through interactions in group meetings, by laboratory work and by private study. Project work, leading to the dissertation, is used to integrate material and make knowledge functional. The need for physics or engineering graduates to acquire a background knowledge of human biology is supported through dedicated anatomy and physiological function lectures.
Core academic skills
The advanced lecture modules deliver knowledge in depth and breadth, while applications at the frontiers of the subject expose you to cutting-edge modern medical physics. The programme also develops your ability to think logically and analyse problems, and to apply these skills to problem-solving in a clinical setting.
The project module develops the ability to plan and execute a substantial project, developing a careful and critical approach to experimental design and/or mathematical modelling, and the maintenance of accurate records.
Personal and key skills
Teaching and learning of a range of transferable skills (ability to exercise independent judgement, use of information technology, oral and written communication, presentation, accessing information and group work) are embedded within the programme.
Facilities, equipment and academic support
A student common room is available for the use of all Physics students.
The University Library
The University Library holds journals and the recommended textbooks. These may be borrowed using the University Library Card. This card is issued to students upon registration and contains their University Registration Number (URN).
The University has an extensive range of PC and UNIX machines, full internet access and email. The University has invested in resources to allow students to develop their IT skills. It also has an online learning environment, SurreyLearn. Computers are located in dedicated computer rooms. Access to these rooms is available 24 hours per day.
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
This MSc degree has been developed and is accredited to provide students with the knowledge base defined by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM). IPEM is the UK’s professional body for the application of physics and engineering to medicine.
IPEM is dedicated to bringing together physical science, engineering and clinical professionals in academia, healthcare services and industry, to share knowledge, advance science and technology, and inform and educate the public, with the purpose of improving the understanding, detection and treatment of disease and the management of patients.
The programme is undertaken over one year full-time and is divided into units of study called modules. This programme is intended to:
- Provide education and training of high quality in medical physics
- Stimulate and encourage a questioning and creative approach, thus developing enthusiasm for medical physics and a capacity for independent judgement
- Facilitate personal development through the acquisition and use of transferable skills
- Provide you with a state-of-the-art knowledge of medical physics, preparing you for employment or further study
- Produce postgraduates who are well prepared for professional work in medical physics and related areas, meeting the national need for qualified postgraduates as identified by the relevant professional accrediting bodies
Student prizes and sponsorship
The Department has the following prizes which are awarded on an annual basis:
A prize in memory of Professor Valentine Mayneord will be awarded to the student with the best overall performance, on the recommendation of the examinations board.
Professor Mayneord was one of the pioneers of medical physics, who had a long association with the Department and encouraged the growth of teaching and research in the field.
A prize of £250, donated by the British Nuclear Energy Society, London, is awarded to the student graduating from the MSc Medical Physics programme who submits the best project with a nuclear/radiation content.