Physics and Engineering in Medicine: Medical Image Computing MSc

Options: PG Diploma

This programme stream is designed for students with a developed interest in the fundamental concepts and applications of computing in modern medicine. Students gain an understanding of medical imaging with advanced computational techniques to solve real-world clinical problems through lectures, problem-solving sessions, a research project and collaborative work.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Flexible up to 5 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £10,450
  • UK/EU Part-time: £TBC
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700
  • Overseas Part-time: £TBC

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students gain an understanding of the relatively new but growing area of medical image computing. In addition to studying core physics and engineering, students learn the principles and application of computer programming, image analysis, and computational modelling and scientific computing methods. The role of medical imaging for the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of disease is emphasised.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL is internationally recognised as a leading academic and clinical centre for medical imaging and medical image computing. The UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) is one of the largest research groups internationally in the field and is widely acknowledged as an internationally leading centre of excellence. Combined with the extensive expertise of staff in the UCL Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering, students on this programme 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 service for the UCL Hospitals Trust, as well as undertaking industrial contract research and development and technology transfer to industry.

Students have access to an exceptionally wide range of workshop, laboratory 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, radiation dosimetry, and implant development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of seven core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma is offered.

Core Modules

  • Interactions of Radiation with Matter
  • Imaging with Ionising Radiation
  • Imaging with Non-ionising Radiation
  • Clinical Practice
  • Programming Foundations of Medical Image Analysis
  • Information Processing for Medical Imaging
  • Image Processing


  • Students choose one of the following:
  • Image-directed Therapy and Analysis
  • Computational Modelling for Biomedical Imaging


All MSc students undertake an independent research project with a substantial computing content, which culminates in a written report of 10,000 words, a poster and an oral presesntation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, practicals, hospital visits, and the research project. Lecturers are drawn from UCL and from London teaching hospitals including UCL, St. Bartholomew's, and the Royal Free Hospital. Assessment is through two-hour examination, coursework, and the project dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

This programme is aimed at students with a first degree in physics, computer science, engineering, or a closely related subject, but those with other backgrounds may apply and are considered on individual merit. Successful candidates are expected to have a strong interest in medical imaging, have studied mathematics at least to A-level, and understand basic concepts in computing.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Medical Image Computing at graduate level
  • why you want to study Medical Image Computing at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The department has a recognised track record for producing excellent graduates who go on to hold leading roles in universities, companies and hospitals around the world.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • UCL, Research Associate, 2011
  • Imperial College London, PhD in Medical Computing, 2010
  • University of Nottingham, PhD in Mathematical Biology, 2009
  • Pfizer Ltd., Radiation Physicist, 2011
  • Procter & Gamble, Scientist, 2011


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.

Next steps


Dr Dean Barratt

T: +44 (0)20 7679 0253


Medical Physics & Bioengineering

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Student View

"The access to industry I have gained at UCL has been particularly valuable: I managed to secure funding from the UCL Graduate School to spend one month in a proton therapy centre in the USA. This was vital as part of my work as we currently do not have such facilities or expertise in the UK."

Paul Doolan

Degree: Medical Physics PhD

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Degree: PhD in the Photoacoustic Imaging Group