Why choose this course
Nuclear science has a wealth of applications, but with its use comes a high level of environmental responsibility.
Established in 1972, our MSc in Radiation and Environmental Protection is one of the UK’s longest-running courses in the field of nuclear science and its applications.
Our course is taught by a combination of inspirational nuclear physics academics and pioneering experts from the UK’s radiological protection and nuclear industries.
What you will study
This course will give you a thorough understanding of the radiation and environmental protection aspects of nuclear physics.
This includes in-depth knowledge of radiation protection, showing you how the technical and organisational procedures of the discipline may be applied to the broader concept of environmental protection. The substantial practical element of this course enables you to relate taught material to industry-relevant applications.
Formal lectures are complemented with work in specialist radiation laboratories. These were recently refurbished as part of a £1m upgrade to our facilities. In these facilities, you will work with a wide range of radioactive sources and radiation detectors. There is also an extended project in the spring and an 11-week MSc dissertation project in the summer.
Teaching Assistant Scheme
Every year, our Teaching Assistant Scheme enables MSc students in the Department of Physics 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.
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.
As a graduate of this course, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to work in a range of sectors on an international scale.
Previous graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of employees including: EDF-Energy, the Environment Agency, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Transport, the Embassy of Pakistan, the UAE Government, and several international universities, hospitals and government organisations.
Academic year structure
If you wish to study full time, you’ll complete our course over a one-year period starting at the end of September. You can also take our course over two years. This would be on a day-release basis while you continue to work at your current place of employment.
Our course consists of eight taught modules, and four of these are taught in Semester 1 during the autumn. You’ll also engage with another four during the spring semester. During the summer months, you’ll focus on your dissertation module.
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.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2021/22. This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 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 Timetabling Policy (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 either Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Physics, Radiography or Radiological Science, 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 this applies to you, 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, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and 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.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
Start date: October 2021
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 2 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2021-22 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course.
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.
Grand total: Unable to specify amount.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Funding opportunities are also available for MSc students within the Higher Education Sponsorship Scheme offered by the Society for Radiological Protection, and the Bursary Scheme from The Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund (TNIBF).
The Department of Physics offers MSc students the opportunity to earn while they study through the MSc Teaching Assistant Scheme.
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 policies and 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 an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: 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 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 more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.