Established in 1972, Surrey's MSc in Radiation and Environmental Protection is one of the UK’s longest running programmes in the field of nuclear science and its applications.
The programme is taught by a combination of world-leading nuclear physics academics and leading experts from the UK’s radiological protection and nuclear industries.
Our programme will give you a thorough grounding in the radiation and environmental protection aspects of nuclear physics.
This includes in-depth knowledge of radiation protection and 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 programme enables you to relate taught material to real-world applications. Formal lectures are complemented with work in specialist radiation laboratories that were recently refurbished as part of a £1m upgrade to our facilities.
Here you will work with a wide range of radioactive sources and radiation detectors. There is also an extended project in the spring and an eleven-week MSc dissertation project in the summer.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
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.
-Nuclear Power & Non-ionising Radiation
-Introduction to Biology and Radiation Biology
-Environmental Physics and Environmental Protection
-Extended Group Project
-Radiation Laboratory Skills
-Research Project and Dissertation
The programme material is taught by a combination of academics from the Department of Physics at Surrey and specialists provided by industrial partners. The Surrey academics are part of the Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics which houses the largest academic nuclear physics research group in the UK.
In addition to the formal lectures for taught modules, the programme provides a wide range of experimental hands-on training. This includes a nine-week radiation physics laboratory which takes place in the specialist radiation laboratories within the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey
These were recently refurbished as part of a £1 million upgrade to the departmental teaching infrastructure. Within the Department, we also have a common room and a departmental library, which contains copies of earlier MSc dissertations.
As well as the laboratory training, you will also undertake a research project at the beginning of the Spring semester as a precursor to the eleven-week research dissertation project which makes up the final part of the MSc.
There are many opportunities for both the spring research project and summer dissertation project to be taken in an external industrial environment.
The programme has produced over 500 UK and overseas graduates, many of whom have gone on to well-paid positions in companies in the nuclear and radiation sectors. In the UK we need to decommission old reactors and build new ones to provide a low-carbon source of energy.
This, together with, for example, the importance of radioisotopes in fields such as medicine, means that the career prospects of our graduates are excellent.
EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME
The programme integrates the acquisition of core scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills with a focus on professional career development within medical physics and radiation detection, and related industries.
The principle educational aims and outcomes of learning are to provide participants with advanced knowledge, practical skills and understanding applied to medical physics, radiation detection instrumentation, radiation and environmental practice in an industrial or medical context.
This is achieved by the development of the participants’ understanding of the underlying science and technology and by the participants gaining an understanding of the legal basis, practical implementation and organisational basis of medical physics and radiation measurement.
PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES
Knowledge and understanding
-A systematic understanding of Radiation and Environmental Protection in an academic and professional context together with a critical awareness of current problems and / or new insights
-A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research project in Radiation and / or Environmental Protection
-Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of radiation-based, experimental research projects
-An ability to evaluate and objectively interpret experimental data pertaining to radiation detection
-Familiarity with generic issues in management and safety and their application to Radiation and Environmental Protection in a professional context
Intellectual / cognitive skills
-The ability to plan and execute under supervision, an experiment or investigation and to analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions from them. Students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of uncertainty analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions and/or with published data. -Graduates 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 of radiation protection
-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
-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
-Responsibility for personal and professional development. Ability to use external mentors for personal / professional purposes
Key / transferable skills
-Identify and resolve problems arising from lectures and experimental work
-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
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.
A minimum 2.2 honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in the physical or environmental sciences, electronics or in a relevant engineering discipline.