Physics and Engineering in Medicine MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The programme is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in physics or engineering who wish to develop an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving in health care, and in particular those seeking employment as medical physicists, biomedical engineers, or clinical scientists in hospital, industry or university environments.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£16,100
£8,050
Pathways include:
Radiation Physics (TMSRPHSING10)
Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging (TMSMPHSBMI10)
Medical Image Computing (TMSPHYSMIC10)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Pathways include:
Radiation Physics (TMSRPHSING10)
Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging (TMSMPHSBMI10)
Medical Image Computing (TMSPHYSMIC10)
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper-second class UK Bachelor’s degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in physics, engineering, computer science, mathematics, or other closely related discipline. Workplace knowledge and expertise are also considered. Applicants with a lower than upper-second class degree may be invited for a short online interview with programme tutors as part of their application process.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2: Overall score of 7.0 and a minimum of 6.5 in each component.

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree


Students study in detail the engineering and physics principles that underpin modern medicine, and learn to apply their knowledge to established and emerging technologies for example in cancer treatment, medical imaging and patient monitoring. The programme covers the physics and engineering applications across the diagnosis and measurement of the human body and its physiology; as well as the electronic and computational skills needed to apply this theory in practice. A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered.

Who this course is for

The programme is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in physics or engineering who wish to develop an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving in health care, and in particular those seeking employment as clinical or biomedical engineers in hospital, industry or university environments.

What this course will give you

The MSc programme is offered by UCL's Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering: a hub for interdisciplinary research and collaborations between computer scientists, physicists, mechanical engineers, biomedical scientists and medical practitioners across UCL and its affiliated teaching hospitals. Students joining this Department benefit from its network of internationally leading research, learning directly from the research staff in this close-knit community. The Research Excellence Framework in 2021 rated the department’s research as 97% 4* ("world-leading") or 3* ("internationally excellent") and UCL was the second-rated university in the UK for research strength.

Students have access to a 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 radiotherapy, proton therapy, nuclear magnetic resonance, optics, acoustics, x-ray imaging, electrical implant development, robotic surgery interventions as well as the biomedical engineering facilities at the Royal Free Hospital and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

The foundation of your career

This programme pathway is designed for students with an interest in the aspects of applied technology in modern medicine, with specialist pathways in Radiation Physics and Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging. Students gain an understanding of the principles and practices used in hospitals, industries and research laboratories through lectures, applied problem-solving, individual and group research projects.

Employability

Graduates have obtained employment with a wide range of employers in health care, industry and academia sectors. The IPEM Accredited Radiation Physics pathway of the MSc is a recognised part of the NHS Clinical Scientist “Route 2” training (explained further in 'Full-time').

Accreditation

MSc Physics and Engineering in Medicine provides three pathways, depending on your career objectives. This includes an IPEM-accredited pathway; Radiation Physics (IPEM-accredited pathway). This pathway is for students who wish to become a professional medical physicist or clinical scientist/engineer. Being a medical physicist or clinical engineer in a hospital requires extensive training and vocational experience. In the UK, medical physicists and clinical engineers must be state-registered. This generally involves completing an MSc degree that is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), and undergoing further vocational training working under supervision in a hospital medical physics department (or equivalent) to achieve chartered scientist or chartered engineer status (indicated by the designations C.Sci or C.Eng).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, practicals, assignments and a research project. Lecturers are drawn from UCL and from London teaching hospitals including UCLH, St. Bartholomew's, and the Royal Free Hospital. Assessment is through supervised examination, coursework, the dissertation and an oral examination.

Pathways include:

  • IPEM Accredited Radiation Physics (TMSRPHSINA10)
  • Radiation Physics (TMSRPHSING10)
  • Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging (TMSMPHSBMI10)

Compulsory modules for pathways:

  • All Pathways:
    • Medical Imaging with Ionising Radiation
    • Biomedical Ultrasound
    • MRI and Biomedical Optics
    • Clinical Practice
    • Medical Device Enterprise Scenario
    • MSc Research Project
  • IPEM Accredited Radiation Physics pathway:
    • Ionising Radiation Physics: Interactions and Dosimetry
    • Radiotherapy Physics
    • Computing in Medicine
  • Non-Accredited Radiation Physics pathway:
    • Ionising Radiation Physics: Interactions and Dosimetry
    • Radiotherapy Physics
    • + one optional module
  • Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging (BEMI) pathway:
    • Medical Electronics and Control
    • + two optional modules

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered.

Modules

The Physics and Engineering in Medicine (PEM) MSc programme provides three pathways, depending on your career objectives:

IPEM-accredited Pathway [(1) Radiation Physics IPEM-accredited]:

This pathway is for students who wish to become a professional medical physicist or clinical scientist/engineer. Being a medical physicist or clinical engineer in a hospital requires extensive training and vocational experience. In the UK, medical physicists and clinical engineers must be state-registered. This generally involves completing an MSc degree that is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), and undergoing further vocational training working under supervision in a hospital medical physics department (or equivalent) to achieve chartered scientist or chartered engineer status (indicated by the designations C.Sci or C.Eng).

If you choose this pathway, your degree will be accredited by IPEM and therefore will meet the minimum educational requirements for UK medical physicist/clinical engineer training programmes.

In terms one and two, you will study medical imaging (using ionising and non-ionising radiation), essential physics of ionising radiation used in imaging and treatment, proton and radiotherapy, computing (including computer programming), and basic anatomy and physiology. You will also be exposed to elements of medical device design and entrepreneurship through a group project that extends into term three.

Early on in the programme, you will choose a research project, supervised by at least two members of research staff, which will become your main focus in term three. Research projects are available covering a wide range of areas, but typically involve developing and implementing a method to solve part of a healthcare problem (e.g. software to analyse a medical image or a device to measure a physiological signal), and perform experiments to test and validate the method. Most MSc research projects are linked with a specific UCL research group, and may be part of a larger research project, such experiments may make use of data collected from human volunteers, including patients. In most projects, you will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with university research staff with expertise in the area of your project.

Group and individual projects are designed to give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have developed elsewhere in the programme, and to practise your oral communication skills via reports and presentations. There is also an oral examination in term three, where you will have the chance to further prove your oral communication skills.

Non-accredited Specialist Pathways [(2) Radiation Physics (no IPEM-accredited) and (3) Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging:

This pathway is available for students who prefer more flexibility in the modules they study and do not require an IPEM-accredited degree to meet their career ambitions. Students in this category often wish to pursue a career in industry or academia and sometimes have a strong sense of the area they wish to specialise in.

If you choose this pathway, you will be able to choose an area of specialisation at the start of the programme. The current specialisation areas are Radiation Physics and Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging.

In terms one and two, you will study medical imaging modules, a module covering basic anatomy, physiology, and electrical safety. The additional compulsory and optional modules you will study will depend on which specialisation route you choose. For instance, if you choose the biomedical engineering and medical imaging route, you will be able to select from two optional modules in topics such as orthopaedic engineering and other applications of biomedical engineering.

Early on in the programme, you will choose a research project, supervised by at least two members of research staff, which will become your main focus in term three. Research projects are available covering a wide range of areas, but typically involve developing and implementing a method to solve part of a healthcare problem (e.g. software to analyse a medical image or a device to measure a physiological quantity), and perform experiments to test and validate that method. Such experiments may make use of data collected from human volunteers, including patients since research projects are usually linked with a specific UCL research group, and may be part of a larger research project. In most projects, you will therefore have the opportunity to learn from and interact with university research staff who have expertise in the area of your project.

The research project, in particular, will provide you with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills developed elsewhere in the programme, and will enable you to develop written and oral communication skills through reports and oral presentations.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students complete 180 credits (120 taught course credits and 60 credit research project) for the MSc, or 120 credits (120 taught course credits) for the Postgraduate Diploma. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning MSc

When you study for our postgraduate degrees, you’ll learn from world-leading practitioners, gain the experience to help tackle major healthcare challenges and participate in projects with a real-world impact, such as developing cutting-edge methods for diagnosing, treating or managing medical conditions. Join our virtual Q&A where you’ll have the opportunity to meet the programme team and ask them questions about our postgraduate degrees and future career opportunities for MPBE graduates.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £16,100 £8,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Pathways include:
Radiation Physics (TMSRPHSING10)
Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging (TMSMPHSBMI10)
Medical Image Computing (TMSPHYSMIC10)

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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 Physics and Engineering in Medicine at UCL
  • whether you have relevant industrial or workplace experience
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally after 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.