Why choose this course
Can the application of physics concepts, theories and methods save lives?
On Surrey’s internationally renowned Medical Physics MSc, you’ll explore this question, discovering the latest techniques which are extending the limits of medicine.
We have trained more than 1,000 medical physicists and we’re accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), so you can look forward to high-quality teaching during your time here.
What you will study
The syllabus for our MSc will provide you with the knowledge, skills and experience required of a modern graduate medical physicist.
Our course places more emphasis than many other similar programmes on topics beyond ionising radiation (X-rays and radiotherapy), allowing you to study areas such as magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and the use of lasers in medicine.
You’ll learn the theoretical foundations of modern imaging and treatments, and you’ll acquire a set of experimental skills that are essential to a modern medical physicist’s job. You’ll gain these through experimental sessions in our department, as well as through practical experiences using state-of-the-art clinical facilities at collaborating hospitals.
Academic performance prizes
A prize of £200 is awarded annually for the best research dissertation in the field of medical physics by a student on this MSc. Sir Godfrey Hounsfield was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1979 for his work on Computed Tomography.
A prize of £200 in memory of Professor Valentine Mayneord will be awarded to the student with the best overall performance on this MSc. 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.
Glen Knoll Prize
A prize of £300 in memory of Professor Glenn Knoll is awarded annually to a student with outstanding performance in radiation physics and radiation measurement on any of the Department’s MSc courses. Professor Knoll was a world-leading authority in radiation detection with a long association with the Department.
IPEM Student Prize
A prize of £250 will be awarded to a student on this MSc with outstanding performance in their dissertation.
Equality and diversity
We are committed to fostering the next generation of physicists in an environment that is diverse and inclusive, ensuring equal opportunities for all, independent of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected characteristics.
We’re a member of the Institute of Physics’ equality and diversity initiative, Project Juno. This scheme rewards physics departments for promoting gender equality in physics.
We also have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) programme with the goal of growing the diversity of our student body and ensuring a welcoming environment for everyone.
Teaching Assistant Scheme
Every year, our Teaching Assistant Scheme enables MSc students in the Department to earn while they study, providing teaching support to undergraduate students. Teaching assistants are involved in a range of duties, including laboratory supervision, in-class tutorial support and support with computing classes. Find out more about the Teaching Assistant Scheme.
Study and work abroad
There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.
MSc - Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).
Accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
As a graduate of this course, you’ll have skills that are highly sought after for working at the interface between physics and medicine, with an emphasis on advanced technologies.
Graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of employees, including:
- Institute of Cancer Research
- Elekta Ltd
- GE Healthcare
- GlaxoSmithKline Ltd.
Other employers include UK and international universities, hospitals and government organisations.
90 per cent of our physics postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA).
Academic year structure
Full-time students complete four modules per semester, whereas part-time students typically complete two modules per semester. The dissertation topics are normally allocated towards the end of the spring semester. Dissertation project work will be carried out during the summer period. Part-time students will work on their dissertation in the summer of their second year.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in chemistry, engineering, biomedical engineering or physics, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
We'll also consider relevant work experience if you don't meet these requirements.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any queries.
Start date: September 2023
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 2 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
- If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
There may be associated costs with this programme:
- Commuting (local travel expenses): Unable to specify amount - Potentially travel costs for the dissertation which may be reimbursable.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.