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Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

This programme pathway is identical to the campus-delivered radiation physics stream but is designed for students who are unable to travel to London because of their work duties or international location. Teaching is delivered for each module via video lectures, top-up online tutorials and additional e-learning resources, with coursework and supervised examinations which are arranged across the world by the British Council.

Degree information

Students study in detail the physics theory and practice that underpins modern medicine, and learn to apply their knowledge to established and emerging technologies in medical science. The programme covers the applications of both ionising and non-ionising radiation to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease and disorder, and includes a research project and the development of computational skills needed to apply this theory into practice.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, eight core modules (120 credits), is offered. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Clinical Practice
-Computing in Medicine
-Ionising Radiation Physics: Interactions & Dosimetry
-Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Biomedical Optics
-Medical Imaging (Ionising)
-Research Project
-Treatment with Ionising Radiation
-Ultrasound in Medicine
-Professional Skills Module

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a research report of up to 10,000 words, a poster and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, tutorials, assignments and a research project. Lecturers are drawn from UCL and from London teaching hospitals including UCLH, St. Bartholomew's, and the Royal Free Hospital. Assessment is through supervised examination, coursework and assignments, a research dissertation and an oral examination.


A large percentage of graduates from the online Master's programme commence or continue training or employment within the healthcare sector, mostly in UK and overseas hospitals. Online learning offers the ability to up-skill or re-skill in physics disciplines applied to medicine while also training or practising in the field.

Postgraduate study within the department offers the chance to develop important skills and acquire new knowledge through involvement with a team of scientists or engineers working in a world-leading research group. Graduates complete their study having gained new scientific or engineering skills applied to solving problems at the leading-edge of human endeavour. Skills associated with project management, effective communication and teamwork are also refined in this high-quality working environment. The department has a recognised track record for producing excellent graduates that go on to hold leading roles in universities, companies and hospitals around the world.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The spectrum of medical physics activities undertaken in UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering is probably the broadest of any in the United Kingdom. The department is widely acknowledged as an internationally leading centre of excellence and students receive comprehensive training in the latest methodologies and technologies from leaders in the field.

The department operates alongside the NHS department which provides the medical physics and clinical engineering services for the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as well as undertaking industrial contract research and technology transfer. The department is also a collaborator in the nearby London Proton Therapy Centre currently under construction.

Students have access to an exceptionally wide range of expertise, laboratory, teaching and clinical facilities in the department and associated hospitals. A large range of scientific equipment is available for research involving nuclear magnetic resonance, optics, acoustics, X-rays physics, radiation dosimetry, and implant and interventional device development.

Visit the Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper-second class UK Bachelor’s degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in physics, engineering, computer science, mathematics, or other closely related discipline. Workplace knowledge and expertise are also considered. Applicants with a lower than upper-second class degree may be invited for a short online interview with programme tutors as part of their application process.

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