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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 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (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 MRI. 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.
The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.
The Medical Physics programme covers the full range of applications of physics to healthcare, including diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy. The curriculum is based on the requirements of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and the programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).
introduces 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
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.
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
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. The course also covers basic concepts of analogue and digital electronics and its application in a clinical setting.
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.
This course covers all aspects of radiotherapy physics
including radiobiology of radiotherapy treatment, charged particle therapy,
dosimetry, treatment planning, brachytherapy, radiotherapy equipment, quality
assurance, safety and radiation protection in radiotherapy. In addition to
attending lectures and tutorials, students spend time in the state-of-the-art
Radiotherapy department of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, to attend demonstrations
in CT treatment planning, gynaecological brachytherapy, megavoltage beam data
acquisition and linear accelerator QA. Hands-on practical sessions are also
held there. The course involves a high degree of student participation,
including class discussion sessions following prescribed reading, tutorials and
You will gain hands-on experience of a modern
gamma camera during the practical. Departmental visits allow access to
state-of-the-art imaging systems and radioisotope production facilities. Lectures
are delivered by experienced clinical staff and leading academics. They reflect
current best clinical practice and provide content around research methods and
analysis techniques. This ensures the course remains current and reflects the
full range of applications of the technique. It provides an overview of career
possibilities in medical imaging applications of radiation and provides a
knowledge base to make informed choices around future careers or study.
The wide range of related subjects covered, including basic Magnetic
Resonance Imaging theory, practical applications and hands on experience, gives
you a broad understanding of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
You will be in the advantageous position of learning in an environment that
was pivotal in the early development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and
continues to contribute to its development.
The lecturers will be academics who are leading researchers, to ensure the
course content is rooted in today’s best practice and science.
The Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Protection Deeper Study will give
you to opportunity to learn about a wide range of diagnostic modalities used in
clinical practice, such as computed and digital radiography, fluoroscopy, CT
and mammography. You will also learn
about Radiation Protection legislation in the UK and how this is applied. The course will include hands-on practical
work in ARI where you will have the opportunity to use x-ray equipment and a
variety of detectors. This course
provides a solid knowledge base for going on to work in a medical physics
This course comprises a research
project, lasting approximately 13 weeks (including write-up time). 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.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
Our Medical Physics programme is taught through traditional lectures and practicals with some courses making use of seminars and specialised practical sessions. Many lectures are recorded and can be viewed again by students when required.
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.
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 a 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.
Why Study Medical Physics?
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 Medical School.
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.
The University of Aberdeen has been delivering Medical Physics programmes for over 30 years and was the first place in the world to build and conduct a whole body MRI scan.
The Queen’s Anniversary Prize was awarded to the University in recognition of its achievements in developing new medical imaging techniques.
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Life Sciences and Medicine Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.
If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
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 industry. You will develop the knowledge, understanding and practical insight that will enable you to help diagnose and treat disease using techniques such as 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.
Medical Device Risk Manager
Radiation Physics Specialist
NHS Grampian GE Healthcare Philips Healthcare Siemens Healthcare
The MSc is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
What our Alumni Say
Speaking with people who had previously studied medicine and medical physics in Aberdeen convinced me that the course in Aberdeen had the right combination of support and challenge to really motivate me.
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow
I enjoyed being immersed in the multidisciplinary environment. My peers and I were exposed to clinicians, computer scientists, physicists, and biologists, and this led to a variety of interesting and educational exchanges
I chose the University of Aberdeen because it ranked highly in the medical sciences and had made significant contributions to my field of study especially in the detection and treatment of cancer.
Product Manager, MRI guided Radation Theraphy.
I really enjoyed the second segment of the course wherein the students had the opportunity to choose electives and specialize in real world applications of Medical Physics.
Trainee Medical Physicist
One of the best aspects of my MSc was the availability of equipment and facilities. For example: one of the research MRI scanners was a great learning resource, with the option to tinker with the technology and really see how it works.
The programme will be delivered by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of internationally renowned researchers and NHS staff.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Professor David Lurie describes how our MSc will give you the skills you need to pursue a career in healthcare and science.
Our 3.0 T Philips Achieva research MRI scanner, is located in the Lilian Sutton Building (LSB) at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) on the Foresterhill Health Campus.
Clinical PET scanner
The clinical PET scanner (a GE Discovery STe PET CT) is located in a purpose built facility, adjacent to the tracer development facility, nuclear medicine and MRI units.
Foresterhill Health Campus
The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.