This three-year programme offers an excellent education in a thriving field of science and engineering. The foundation in core physics together with the major areas of physics applied to medicine prepare you for a wide variety of careers inside and outside medical physics, including those in scientific research and industry.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Mathematics and Physics required; grade A in Mathematics preferred.
- 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
- A score of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics (grade 6 in Mathematics preferred), with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Edexcel Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF), or Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma (NQF) with Distinction*, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18-23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics and Physics required. D3 in Mathematics preferred.
A,A,A-A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher - A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher). Mathematics and Physics at Advanced Higher required
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-AAB. Mathematics and Physics required.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
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 be of direct benefit in 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. Our department scored highly (89%) for overall satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.
The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) providing the first step to chartered physicist status.
This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics. Holders of accredited degrees can follow a route to Institute of Physics membership and the Chartered Physicist (CPhys) professional qualification. Graduates of accredited integrated undergraduate Master's (MPhys or MSci) degrees have fulfilled the educational requirements for CPhys status, while graduates of accredited Bachelor's (BSc) degrees have partially fulfilled these requirements.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering.
- 95% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules 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).
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 including biological polymers, gas and fluid transport processes, membranes and nerve signals.
During your final year you will choose three medical physics options from a range and will work on a major project with one of the department's research groups.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Atoms, Stars and the Universe
Introduction to Medical Imaging
Mathematical Methods I
Mathematical Methods II
Waves, Optics and Acoustics
All first year modules are compulsory.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
Introduction to Biophysics
Mathematical Methods III
Physics of the Human Body
All second year modules are compulsory.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Medical Physics Project
You will select three of the following:
Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solid State Physics
Plus three of the following medical physics options:
Aspects of Biomedical Engineering
Applications of Bioengineering
Computing in Medicine
Medical Electronics and Neural Engineering
Medical Imaging with Ionising Radiation
MRI and Biomedical Optics
Treatment with Ionising Radiation
Ultrasound in Medicine
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.
Modules are normally assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Physics with Medical Physics BSc.
The first thing to note is that studying medical physics at university doesn't commit you to a career in the field. 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 you are focusing on a career in medical physics there are three main paths.
Firstly, you can train as a medical physicist in the health service. Secondly, you can follow a career in industry: MRI scanners, radiotherapy equipment, and physiological monitoring equipment, for example, all need researching, manufacturing, supplying and maintaining. Thirdly, 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 (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:
- Trainee Clinical Scientist (Medical Physics), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS Manager, St George's Healthcare NHS Trust
- Buyer, Jaguar Land Rover
- Full-time student, PhD in Medical Physics at University of Cambridge
- Full-time student, PGCE Science: Physics at University of East London (UEL)
Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for 2018 entry will appear here as soon as they are available.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2017/18 - see below)
- Overseas students
- £23,710 (2017/18)
The UK/EU fee quoted above may be subject to increase for the 2018/19 academic year and for each year of study thereafter and UCL reserves the right to increase its fees in line with UK government policy (including on an annual basis for each year of study during a programme). Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.
Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
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.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to visit UCL and tour 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.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.