Doctoral Training Programme in Physics of Cancer Therapy


We are pleased to annouce a new Doctoral Training Programme in the Physics of Cancer Therapy. This is a growing field, especially here at UCL where we are to host the UK's first high energy proton cancer centre.

In the first year, you will study for an MRes in Physics of Cancer Therapy. This will include taught courses drawn from the Department's MSc modules, or from wider across UCL as appropriate, and a substantial research project. Following successful completion of the MRes, you will develop the research project into a full PhD project

You will join an interactive network of researchers across many disciplines and benefit from the strengths of UCL in the healthcare field.


Year 1 will consist of an MRes in Physics of Cancer Therapy. This will involve 5 taught masters level modules and a research project. The taught modules can be taken from a wide range of the department’s modules in the subject area. Three modules will be technical scientific modules and two will concentrate on generic research skills. Good performance in the MRes programme will lead to entry into Year 2 where you will continue the research project as an MPhil student. At the end of Year 2, you will be examined and, if successful, will transfer to full PhD status. If good progress is made, you will submit your PhD thesis towards the end of Year 4.

There will be additional assignments and other opportunities throughout to provide support 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. Recommended modules include the following.

Ionising Radiation Physics: Interactions and Dosimetry (MPHYGB28)

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.

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.

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. 


You will carry out your research project in one of the Departments research groups. Topics include, but are not limited to, all aspects of radiotherapy physics (including proton therapy, adaptive therapies, dosimetry, treatment planning, image guided radiotherapy), high intensity focussed ultrasound, laser ablation and monitoring therapies using a range of methods, etc.

How to apply

Applications are welcomed at any time. Please complete and submit an application form along with 2 references. Please also email the Programme Co-ordinator.  Students must meet UCL's English language requirements. Please note that funding is not currently available on this programme and will be charged at UCL rates plus £4000 per year to cover research expenses.

We will review applications at the end of March and invite successful candidates to join the programme starting the following October.

Contact Us

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