Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning MSc

Options: PG Diploma

This programme stream is designed for students who are unable to travel to the London campus, normally 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 exams arranged locally.

Mode of study

  • Part-time 2 years
  • Flexible up to 5 years
  • Distance learning

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £16,200
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,200

Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students study in detail the engineering and physics principles that underpin modern medicine, and learn to apply their knowledge to established and emerging technologies in medical imaging and therapy. The programme covers the applications of both ionising and non-ionising radiation to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease and disorder, as well as the electronic and computational skills needed to apply this theory into practice.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The spectrum of medical physics activities undertaken in UCL Medical Physics & Bioengineering 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.

UCL Medical Physics & Bioengineering operates alongside the NHS department which provides the medical physics and clinical engineering services for the UCL Hospitals Trust, as well as undertaking industrial contract research and technology transfer.

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits) three optional modules (45 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, part-time two years, flexible up to five years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, part-time two years, flexible up to five years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Interactions of Radiation with Matter
  • Imaging with Ionising Radiation
  • Imaging with Non-Ionising Radiation
  • Clinical Practice
  • Viva module
  • Treatment with Ionising Radiation


  • Clinical Practice
  • Treatment with Ionising Radiation
  • Medical Electronics and Control
  • Bioengineering
  • Optics in Medicine
  • Computing in Medicine
  • Medical Devices and Applications


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

Study material, including downloadable lecture podcasts, interactive tools and conventional lecture notes is delivered via Moodle, UCL's virtual learning environment. Students will have regular contact sessions with an assigned UCL academic tutor and will interact with other students through subject forums and collaborative assignments. Assessment is through written examination, coursework and the research 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

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, or other closely related discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Workplace knowledge and expertise are also considered.

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?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in engineering (although a physics degree is also acceptable) who wish to develop an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving in healthcare, and in particular those seeking employment as medical physicists or as biomedical engineers in hospital, industry or university environments.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Physics and Engineering in Medicine at graduate level
  • why you want to study this programme at UCL
  • whether you have relevant industrial, clinical or workplace experience
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging 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 MSc programme has been accredited for many years by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) and the department is working towards ensuring compliance with the new IPEM accreditation standards being published later in 2013.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Pfizer Ltd, Radiation Physicist, 2011
  • University of Oxford, Cardiac and Vascular MRI Physicist, 2011
  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, Clinical Scientist (training), 2011
  • Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, Radiotherapy Physicist, 2010
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, PhD student, 2009


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.100

Next steps


Dr Jamie Harle

T: +44 (0)207 679 0253


Medical Physics & Bioengineering

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Student View

"I am beginning a training placement at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a Trainee Clinical Scientist in Medical Physics. I'm so excited and would not have got the job without having done the programme at UCL."

Jessica Johnson

Degree: Physics and Engineering in Medicine – Medical Physics MSc

Student View

"The Science Library is a vast resource for written publications and I couldn't do my research without access to the many electronic journals to which UCL subscribes."

Joanna Brunker

Degree: PhD in the Photoacoustic Imaging Group