Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Medical Physics
MSc Medical Physics

Programme Details

Our MSc in Medical Physics will improve your knowledge of how technology can help diagnose disease, while you learn about all the major aspects of physics as applied in the modern clinical/health environment.

The University of Aberdeen has an internationally renowned reputation and an enviable history in developing new techniques for medical imaging, including being the first place in the world to build a whole-body sized MRI scanner and conduct a diagnostic MRI scan.

On this MSc programme you will study such specialisms as nuclear medicine, which includes learning about diagnosing disease using radioactive tracers, radiotherapy, medical electronics and magnetic resonance imaging. The programme is aimed at individuals who want to obtain an MSc from a top tier UK university. Applicants typically include recent physics and engineering graduates, people who are on the NHS Medical Physicists training programme and those in employment as medical physicists and radiologists.


MSc 12 months full-time| On-campus learning | September start

Why Choose Aberdeen?

  • The University and the adjacent teaching hospital are home to cutting-edge medical technology, including a new £2m PET-CT scanner, a brand new radiotherapy centre with state-of-the-art linac treatment machines, as well as 3T and 1.5T MRI scanners. All of these facilities are used during the MSc.
  • You will have the opportunity to contribute to the continued research within the department expanding knowledge of medical imaging technology and techniques such as Fast-Field Cycling MRI, functional MRI of the brain and PET scanning.
  • You will be immersed in a clinical culture and environment at the Foresterhill Health Campus, which includes a large teaching hospital and the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nutrition
  • You will be part of a select group of students being taught by academics who are active researchers and key opinion leaders
  • The MSc will help you establish a professional network and provide access to those working in the field of medical physics to assist you with career development
  • The University places a strong emphasis on developing students’ applied skills and expertise, so that your qualifications and experience are closely aligned to employers’ needs.

Contact Information

Syllabus

Programme Content

The MSc programme consists of three terms each composed of a number of individual courses. The first term comprises lectures and practicals covering the whole range of the subject; in the second term students specialise in three areas. The third term is a research-style project.


Compulsory Courses

Biomedical & Professional Topics in Healthcare Science (15 credits)

This course includes students to fundamental aspects of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, in order to develop a basic understanding of cells, tissues and organs and how they may be altered by disease. The course also includes a range of topics around Professional Issues, Management of Medical Physics, Statistics and Safety. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Imaging in Medicine (15 credits)

This course provides instruction in the basic physics and engineering principles of imaging techniques used in medicine. It also provides an overview of the range of applications of imaging techniques in the modern medical environment. The course covers Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emission Tomography, Radiodiagnosis (X-ray imaging), Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound Imaging. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Computing in Medicine (15 credits)

The use of computers is pervasive in medical physics. This course provides an introduction to underlying principles and practical examples of computing in medical physics.  Hands-on learning is provided to build confidence with computer software. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Radiation in Medicine (15 credits)

This course introduces students to fundamental aspects of radiation physics, including the mechanisms of interaction of radiation with matter. The basic concepts and techniques of radiation therapy are covered, as are the fundamentals of radiation protection. Applications of non-ionising radiation in medicine are also covered. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Generic Skills/I-SEE (0 credits)

This course will improve your employability skills. I-SEE (Individualised self-assessment to enhance employability) is a bespoke online resource developed to help identify your strengths and areas needing improvement. The self-assessment process allows you to identify development areas for employability skills like communication, IT and numeracy skills and personal attributes like creativity, organisation and timekeeping, flexibility, team working. This leads to automated, tailored feedback and signposting to self-study to assist in improving your CV. Reflection and an e-portfolio will assist in articulation of these enhanced skills/attributes during mock interviews. Some sessions are compulsory, but otherwise it involves self-directed learning. Read full details in our course catalogue.


Elective Courses

Each student must take three of the following courses in the second half-session. Choices are made in consultation with senior staff, based on students’ interests, career plans, and their performance in the first half-session courses. Links take you to our course catalogue in a new tab/window.


Research Project (60 credits)

The project is intended to encourage development of interest in a particular aspect of the overall field of study. The student will also develop an understanding of research methods and skills including information retrieval, planning a work schedule and organisation of a working routine.

Other transferrable skills that will be developed include initiative and independent thought by the student as well as the communication skills required for production of a thesis and for delivery of an oral presentation on the project. The research project lasts approximately 13 weeks (including write-up time).

Examples of recent MSc projects include:

  • Reconstruction filtering of gamma camera PET data
  • Multi-leaf collimators in radiotherapy
  • Measurement of T1 values in dynamic breast MRI
  • Computer analysis of ultrasound scans of the eye.

Assessment

Students are evaluated through continuous assessment in the form of essays, laboratory practicals, individual and group presentations and written examinations. The MSc project is assessed by thesis and oral presentations of the project findings.

Each course throughout the programme is assessed by continuous assessment in the form of practical write-ups, essay assignments, student presentations and written examinations. The MSc project is assessed by thesis, a student presentation and an oral examination of the project findings.

Teaching

Our Medical Physics programme is taught through traditional lectures and practicals with some courses making use of seminars and practical sessions. Many lectures are recorded via Camtasia and can be viewed again by students whenever they are needed.

The MSc enables you to learn outside the classroom in our state-of-the-art facilities, including MRI scanners, the John Mallard Scottish PET Centre and the recently opened radiotherapy centre. This will enable you to apply both theory and practice to medical physics projects. You will also have many opportunities to engage with staff from the Medical School and Foresterhill Health Campus, one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe.

Some of the teaching methods employed in the programme include:

  • Tutor-based support throughout
  • Insight into current medical physics projects
  • Research-led teaching taught by key opinion leaders

On-going support is provided by the University’s dedicated team of experienced researchers, who will be tutoring you.

Much of the teaching on this course involves participatory research work. Students are expected to engage with research work as well as classroom teaching and independent study in their own time.

Careers

Completing the MSc programme in Medical Physics at the University of Aberdeen will provide you with a solid base to pursue a career in healthcare and science, within hospitals, academic institutions and in industry. You will develop the knowledge, understanding and practical insight that will enable you to help diagnose and treat disease using techniques including nuclear medicine, MRI, medical electronics and computer technology and radiotherapy.

Some of the career options available to you include:

  • Further study (PhD)
  • Academic jobs in university settings, e.g. lecturer, researcher
  • Medical device risk management
  • Jobs in hospital-based medical physics
  • Radiation physics specialist

An MSc in Medical Physics from the University of Aberdeen will show employers that you have a broad knowledge base, first-hand research experience and the relevant skills required to bring value to their organisation. Links with the University, the John Mallard Scottish PET Centre and the Foresterhill Health Campus will enhance your credibility and help establish your reputation as a contributor to essential research projects.

The MSc programme meets the educational requirements of the Part I Training Scheme for Medical Physicists and Clinical Engineers in the UK’s National Health Service.

Physical science or Engineering second-class Honours degree.


Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Document requirements

For this application we need at least:

  • An official full Bachelor degree transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) so far (original & official English translation)
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)
  • Academic reference letter OR a reference letter from your employer (if you have 2+ years of work experience in an industry relevant to the programme)
  • Detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Ideally - current CV/resume

It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible. Any missing document may result in delay.

English Language requirements

Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements (certain countries may be exempted from this requirement). Full details are available on our English language requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency.

University of Aberdeen offers also pre-sessional English courses that when successfully completed will remove language conditions for studying at the University of Aberdeen. Further details are available on the Language Centre website.

Fees

Tuition Fee Rates 2016/17 - MSc Medical Physics

  • UK/EU students: £4,500
  • International students: £17,200

Further information about tuition fees and cost of living for both UK/EU and International students can be found on the Finance and Funding web pages.

Funding

Prospective students should visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database

University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. 

Contact

Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
The Hub
King's College
ABERDEEN AB24 3TU

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272576
Email: sras@abdn.ac.uk