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Medical Physics - MSc

Course Description

Our Medical Physics MSc programme is well-established and internationally renowned. We are accredited by IPEM (Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine) and we have trained some 1,000 medical physicists, so you can look forward to high-quality teaching during your time at Surrey.


The syllabus for the MSc in Medical Physics is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and experience required for a modern graduate medical physicist, placing more emphasis than many other courses on topics beyond ionising radiation (X-rays and radiotherapy).


This programme is studied full-time over two academic years. It consists of ten taught modules and a dissertation project. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Radiation Physics
-Radiation Measurement
-Experimental and Professional Skills for Medical Physics
-Introduction to Biology and Radiation Biology
-Therapy Physics
-Diagnostic Applications of Ionising Radiation Physics
-Non-ionising Radiation Imaging
-Extended Group Project
-Research Project


The primary aim of the programme is to provide a high quality postgraduate level qualification in Physics that is fully compatible with the spirit and the letter of the Bologna Accord.


The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
-Concepts and theories: Students will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the concepts, theories and ideas of a specialized field in physics in Radiation Physics through the taught elements of one of the component MSc programmes MSc in Medical Physics.
-Instrumentation and materials: Students will understand the operation, function and performance of the key radiation detection devices and technologies or principles of the physics relevant to applied radiation physics, in particular medical applications.
-Methods and best practices: Students will become fully acquainted with the scientific methods and best practices of physics and exposed to a specialized field described in the handbook documents of the validated MSc in Medical Physics.

During their 60-credit Research Project students will gain further practical, analytical or programming abilities through working on a more extended investigation. This may be an experiment- or modelling-based project, for which the student will be encouraged to propose and set in place original approaches.

The dissertation required at the end of the Research Project has the objective of encouraging students to write clearly and express their understanding of the work, thereby developing the required skills of scientific writing.

Knowledge and understanding
-Knowledge of physics, technology and processes in the subject of the course and the ability to apply these in the context of the course
-Ability to research problems involving innovative practical or theoretical work
-Ability to formulate ideas and response to problems, refine or expand knowledge in response to specific ideas or problems and communicate these ideas and responses
-Ability to evaluate/argue alternative solutions and strategies independently and assess/report on own/others work with justification

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-The ability to plan and execute, under supervision, an experiment or theoretical investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions
-Students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare their theoretical (experimental) results with expected experimental (theoretical) outcomes, or with published data
-They should be able to evaluate the significance of their results in this context
-The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Professional practical skills
-Technical mastery of the scientific and technical information presented and the ability to interpret this in the professional context.
-Ability to plan projects and research methods in the subject of the course.
-Understand and be able to promote the scientific and legal basis of the field through peer and public communication.
-Aware of public concern and ethical issues in radiation and environmental protection.
-Able to formulate solutions in dialogue with peers, mentors and others.

Key / transferable skills
-Identify, assess and resolve problems arising from material in lectures and during experimental/research activities
-Make effective use of resources and interaction with others to enhance and motivate self –study
-Make use of sources of material for development of learning and research; such as journals, books and the internet
-Take responsibility for personal and professional development
-Be self-reliant
-Responsibility for personal and professional development

Subject knowledge and skills
-A systematic understanding of Medical Physics in an academic and professional context, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the state of the art
-A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to research projects in Medical Physics
-Familiarity with generic issues in management and safety and their application to Medical Physics in a professional context

Core academic skills
-The ability to plan and execute under supervision, an experiment or investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions (students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or with published data; they should be able to evaluate the significance of their results in this context)
-The ability to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
-The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Personal and key skills
-The ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, the conclusions of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, accurately and informatively
-The ability to manage their own learning and to make use of appropriate texts, research articles and other primary sources


We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Visit the Medical Physics - MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

Student Profiles

The Braithwaite Family Foundation Medical Physics MSc scholarship - Single Award

Surrey's MSc in Medical Physics is well established and internationally renowned. Approximately one-third of all practising medical physicists in the UK are graduates of our programme. The programme includes all aspects of the modern applications of physics to medicine. It is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM). For further details, see http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/medical-physics.We have close links with specialist teaching and regional Trust hospitals, as well as research institutes. These provide lecturers with both up-to-date experience and outstanding opportunities for project research work. Students have opportunities for practical experience in a hospital.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Applications are invited from candidates for The Braithwaite Family Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship will cover the fees of an MSc in Medical Physics at the Department of Physics, University of Surrey, for a UK student.

Application Procedure

A good undergraduate degree (First or Upper Second) in Physics or a related subject is required.
Please send a CV, including the names of two referees, and a covering letter explaining your motivation and interest in medical physics to Mrs Jane Clarke, Taught Physics Programmes Postgraduate Administrator, BB04, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH; e-mail jane.clarke@surrey.ac.uk. Informal enquiries can be made to the programme director, Dr Silvia Pani (email: s.pani@surrey.ac.uk). Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview in the week commencing 18th August 2014.The scholarship covers the full UK/EU fees (£7,055 in 2014/15) for the one-year course.Closing date: 4pm on Friday 11th July 2014.

Further Information



Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on feesandfunding@surrey.ac.uk.


GREAT Surrey Scholarships India - 6 Awards

Funded by the University and the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, up to six scholarships worth £5,000 (paid in the form of a fee discount) are being offered on postgraduate taught courses from the following subjects:- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Chemistry
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Environment and Sustainability
- Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- PhysicsWHO CAN APPLY?You can apply for a GREAT Surrey Scholarship if:- You hold a high first-class degree from an Indian university (the minimum requirement is 65 per cent from a prestigious university or 70 per cent from a regional university).
- You hold an offer from Surrey to study any MSc course within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as listed above (you must hold an offer before submitting an application for a scholarship)

Value of Scholarship(s)



The GREAT Scholarship – India programme is aimed at high-calibre Indian students who want to study for a postgraduate programme in engineering.

Application Procedure

To apply, you will need to complete the online form - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/great-scholarships-india-2016

Further Information



Teaching Assistantships - 6 Awards

Our department-led scholarships enable you to assist with the teaching of Physics undergraduate students through laboratory sessions, tutorials, problem-solving classes, computing and other teaching activities depending on suitability. Open to home or international, full-time or part-time students, the University of Surrey gives out approximately six of these awards per annum. The Teaching Assistantship award is available on all MSc Physics programmes, and if successful, you can earn up to £3,000 throughout the year.

Value of Scholarship(s)

up to £3,000


Eligible MSc applicants will be sent an application form by email in August 2016 and the application procedure includes an interview (which can be completed by telephone).

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A 2.2 honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in the physical sciences, electronics or in a relevant engineering discipline.

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