Doctoral Training Programme in Medical Physics and Bioengineering


The UCL Doctoral Training Programme in Medical Physics and Bioengineering provides research training in this diverse and multi-disciplinary field. The training will involve taught courses in the first year as part of an MRes programme followed by a research project for the remainder of the 4 year programme. Students on the programme will form part of an interactive network of researchers across many disciplines and will benefit from the strengths of UCL in the healthcare field.

Students entering the programme with a Masters degree in a relevant subject can enter the programme at the second year and do 3 years of research leading to a PhD.


During the first year students will attend an MRes course in Medical Physics and Bioengineering. This will involve 4 taught masters level modules and a research project. The taught modules can be taken from a wide range of the department’s courses in the subject area. Good performance in the MRes programme will lead to entry into the 2nd year of the programme where the research project is continued. At the end of the 2nd year students will be put forward for an upgrade exam in order to transfer to PhD status. Provide good progress is made submission and examination of the PhD will occur in the 4th year.

All students will be appointed a primary and secondary supervisor and there will be a number of assessments throughout to support the student and encourage good progression.

Course Units

The course covers all forms of ionising and non-ionising radiation commonly used in medicine and applies it to the areas of imaging and treatment.

Ionising Radiation Physics: Interactions and Dosimetry (MPHYGB30)

This module covers the interaction of different radiations with matter and provides the basic material about the detection and quantification of the energy deposited in materials.

Medical Imaging (MPHYGB10 and MPHYGB11)

These module cover imaging using ionising and non-ionising radiation and provides the basic theory behind the imaging techniques. It also includes a breakdown of the components of each imaging system, and describes the clinical applications of each method. The associated topics of image processing and assessment are also covered since the principles involved find wide application throughout this technology.

Clinical practice (MPHYGB17)

This module covers the information that is essential for an understanding of the clinical physics working environment. It covers basic anatomy and physiology as well as the various safety aspects of medical physics, for example, electrical, chemical and biological hazards.

Treatment with ionising radiation (MPHYGB19)

This module broadly covers the application of radiation to the therapeutic treatment of patients. It ranges from the technical aspects of generating the radiation, to the biological effects of that radiation on the tissue and then considers, in detail, state-of-the-art radiotherapy techniques.

Medical electronics and control (MPHYGB20)

This module provides foundation knowledge from the disciplines of electronic engineering, signal processing and control theory.

Bioengineering (MPHYGB21)

An overview of biomaterials, biomechanics and tissue engineering is described, with clinical examples. Both current and future applications are considered.

Optics in medicine (MPHYG886)

All aspects of optics in medicine are covered, from light interactions with tissue, to different types of light sources, to clinical applications at both the routine and the research level, and finally safety aspects.

Computing in medicine (MPHYGB27)

This module covers the most common clinical requirements of computing and provides both taught knowledge and practical skills. Image data handling is explained, including image file formats, data storage and archiving, and image processing. The remainder of the course teaches Matlab and introduces students to a hands-on approach to programming.

Medical devices and applications (MPHYGB22)

This module illustrates how the foundation knowledge of bioengineering is used in the provision of clinical services. Topics include EEG/ECG/EMG, respiratory measurement, rehabilitation engineering and aspects relating to medical devices.

Foundations of Anatomy & Scientific Computing (MPHYGB13)

This course provided by the UCL Anatomy Department specifically for students on the MSc's in the Medical Physics Department. The course comprises of lectures and dissecting room demonstrations.

Image Processing (COMPGV12)

This module is provided by the Computer Science Department. The module is delivered as a series of lectures with supporting practical sessions. Topics include: digital images: digital camera, data types, 2D representation of images, characteristics of grey-level digital images: discrete sampling, quantisation, noise.

Computational Modelling in Biomedical Imaging (COMPGV17)

This module is provided by the Computer Science Department. It is delivered as a series of lectures with supporting practical sessions. It aims to expose students to the challenges and potential of computational modelling in a key application area. To explain how to use models to learn about the world. To teach parameter estimation techniques through practical examples. To familiarize students with handling real data sets.

Programming Foundations for Medical Image Analysis (MPHYGB24)

A course in programming aimed at those doing medical image analysis. (Introduction to programming, MATLAB, C/C++)

Information Processing in Medical Imaging (MPHYGB06)

The module concentrates on deriving information from medical imaging data with an emphasis on software.

Image Directed Analysis & Therapy (MPHYGB07)

The module covers how information is extracted from medical images and how this is increasingly being used to guide interventions and therapy.


Research themes of the department are:

How to apply

Research programmes have a number of start dates throughout the year and applications are welcomed at any time. Please complete and submit an application form along with 3 references.

Contact Us

For further information please send an email: