PDF version of Medical Physics MSci


Admissions Tutor, Medical Physics programmes

Dr Karin Shmueli

Email: k.shmueli@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0256

Admissions Tutor, Engineering (Biomedical) programmes

Dr Terence Leung

Email: t.leung@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0272

Fees and Funding

UK & EU Fee

£9,000 (2013/14)

Overseas Fee

£19,500 (2013/14)

General Funding Notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

60% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Departmental website

Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

Medical Physics MSci

UCAS Code: F350

This four-year programme offers an extra year over the Physics with Medical Physics BSc, in which you will extend your knowledge by taking additional advanced courses. You are advised to apply for the MSci programme initially, but transfer between the BSc and MSci is possible during the first two years.

Entry Requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA-ABB
Subjects Mathematics and Physics preferred.
AS Levels A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 34-38
Subjects A score of 16-18 points in three higher level subjects preferably including Mathematics and Physics, with no score lower than 5.

Other Qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International Qualifications

International Qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Selected country's equivalent grades will appear here

University Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The University Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree Summary

Degree Benefits

  • We have close links to several major teaching hospitals and our staff work side-by-side with doctors and health professionals.
  • With our highly rated research, the expert knowledge of our staff will directly benefit the lectures and teaching sessions you attend.
  • Most medical physics classes are small (fewer than 35 students) providing you with an informal, interactive teaching environment in which you can easily raise questions.
  • The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) providing the first step to chartered physicist status.

We offer the option of studying a three-year Physics with Medical Physics BSc or a more in-depth four-year Medical Physics MSci programme. The first two years of study for both programmes are identical and transfer between the two is possible up to the end of the second year. We advise applying for the MSci initially which makes it easier to defer your decision.

In the first year, you will receive an exciting introduction to all the major medical imaging techniques employed in modern hospitals, including X-ray imaging, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, nuclear isotope imaging and electroencephalography.

In your second year, you will explore the physics of the human body - covering such topics as blood flow, lung function and thermal regulation - and biophysics, in which you will focus on topics like biological polymers, gas and fluid transport processes, membranes and nerve signals.

During years three and four you will choose three medical physics courses each year from a range of options and, in your final year, you will work on a major project with one of the department's research groups.

Your Learning

As well as attending lectures, you will also undertake tutorials and practical work, including projects. Projects are conducted in active, well-equipped research groups, often involving collaborations with local hospitals. Many medical physics lectures and projects are taken by a mix of medical physics and medical students, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the work performed in hospitals and universities.


Courses are normally assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination.

Degree Structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Atoms, Stars and the Universe
Classical Mechanics
Introduction to Medical Imaging
Mathematical Methods I
Mathematical Methods II
Practical Skills
Thermal Physics
Waves, Optics and Acoustics

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Atomic and Molecular Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
Introduction to Biophysics
Mathematical Methods III
Physics of the Human Body
Practical Physics
Quantum Physics
Statistical Thermodynamics

Optional courses

All second year courses are compulsory.

Year Three

Compulsory courses

Experimental Physics
Group Project

Optional courses

You will select three of the following:

Electromagnetic Theory
Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solid State Physics
Quantum Mechanics

Plus three of the following Medical Physics options:

Aspects of Bioengineering
Medical Devices and Applications
Medical Electronics and Neural Engineering
Medical Imaging with Ionising Radiation
Medical Imaging with Non-Ionising Radiation
Optics in Medicine
Physiological Monitoring
Treatment Using Ionising Radiation.

Final Year

Compulsory course

Medical Physics Project

Optional courses

You will select 1.5 credits of further medical physics options, plus 1.0 credits from suitable physics or approved outside options.

Further details available on degree page of subject website:

Your Career

The first thing to note is that studying Medical Physics at a university doesn't commit you to a career in Medical Physics. Our degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics and give you access to the same wide diversity of careers as any other UCL physics degree.

Physicists tend to be logical, numerate problem solvers and there is a demand for people who have developed such skills in a wide range of careers. If, however, you want a career in Medical Physics there are three main paths.

First, you can train as a Medical Physicist in the Health Service. Second, you can follow a career in industry: MRI scanners, radiotherapy equipment, and physiological monitoring equipment, for example, all need researching, manufacturing, supplying and maintaining. Third, you may pursue a career in research, probably initially by taking a higher degree - an MSc or a PhD.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2009-2011) of this programme include:

  • Science Technician, Burlington Danes Academy (2011)
  • Full-time student, PGCE Secondary Physics at the University of Cambridge (2011)
  • Full-time student, MSc in Medical Image Computing at UCL (2009)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


Your Application

Your application will be especially interesting to us if you can demonstrate your interest in the medical applications of physics and engineering. You should be motivated by a desire to apply your training to the pursuit of improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Relevant work experience, project work and your knowledge of issues and current affairs surrounding this field will assist your application.

How to Apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


Wherever possible, we will invite you for interview and to tour UCL and the two departments in which your teaching will take place. During your visit you will be able to view our facilities and meet staff and current students. If you are based overseas we will conduct a telephone or Skype interview.

Page last modified on 19 mar 14 15:02