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Medical physicists fill a special niche in the health industry. The role includes opportunities for laboratory work, basic and applied research, management and teaching, which offers a uniquely diverse career path. In addition there is satisfaction in contributing directly to patient treatment and care.
This three-year programme in Clinical Science (Medical Physics), hosted by the College of Medicine, builds on an existing collaboration with the NHS in providing the primary route for attaining the professional title of Clinical Scientist in the field of Medical Physics.
The Clinical Science (Medical Physics) programme is accredited by the NHS and provides the academic component of the Scientist Training Programme for medical physics trainees, within the Modernising Scientific Careers framework defined by the UK Department of Health, and offers students the chance to specialise in either radiotherapy physics or radiation safety. This Master’s degree in Clinical Science (Medical Physics) is only suitable for trainees sponsored by an NHS or an equivalent health care provider.
The MSc in Clinical Science (Medical Physics) is modular in structure, supporting integration of the trainee within the workplace. Students must obtain a total of 180 credits to qualify for the degree. This is made up of 120 credits of taught-course elements and a project that is worth 60 credits and culminates in a written dissertation.
The Clinical Science (Medical Physics) MSc is accredited by the Department of Health.
Modules on the Clinical Science (Medical Physics) MSc typically include:
• Introduction to Clinical Science
• Medical Imaging
• Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging
• Radiation Protection
• Radiotherapy Physics
• Research Methods
• Advanced Radiotherapy
• Specialist Radiotherapy
• Advanced Radiation Safety
• Specialist Radiation Safety
The MSc in Clinical Science (Medical Physics) provides the main route for the professional qualification of Clinical Scientist in Medical Physics.
Additionally, the need for specific expertise in the use of medical radiation is enshrined in law. The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IRMER) 2000 defines the role of Medical Physics Expert, required within any clinical context where radiation is being administered, either a diagnostic or therapeutic.
The close working relationship between Swansea University and the NHS in Wales, through the All-Wales Training Consortium for Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, provides the ideal circumstances for collaborative teaching and research. The Consortium is recognised by the Welsh Government. A significant proportion of the teaching is delivered by NHS Clinical Scientists and other medical staff.
The close proximity of Swansea University to Singleton Hospital, belonging to one of the largest health providers in Wales, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) health board, as well as the Velindre NHS Trust, a strongly academic cancer treatment centre, provide access to modern equipment, and the highest quality teaching and research.
The Institute of Life Science (ILS) Clinical Imaging Suite has recently been completed and overlaps the University and Singleton Hospital campuses. It features adjoined 3T MRI and high-resolution CT imaging. ILS has clinical research of social importance as a focus, through links with NHS and industrial partners.
Swansea University offers a vibrant environment in medically-oriented research. The Colleges of Medicine has strong research links with the NHS, spearheaded by several recent multimillion pound developments, including the Institute of Life Science (ILS) and the Centre for NanoHealth (CNH).
The University provides high-quality support for MSc student research projects. Students in turn make valuable progress in their project area, which has led to publications in the international literature or has instigated further research, including the continuation of research at the doctoral level.
The College of Medicine provides an important focus in clinical research and we have the experience of interacting with medical academics and industry in placing students in a wide variety of research projects.
Medical academics have instigated projects examining and developing bioeffect planning tools for intensity modulated radiotherapy and proton therapy and devices for improving safety in radiotherapy. Industry partners have utilised students in the evaluation of the safety of ventricular-assist devices, intense-pulsed-light epilators and in the development of novel MRI spectroscopic methods. The student join teams that are solving research problems at the cutting-edge of medical science.