UCL Graduate degrees


Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning MSc

This programme pathway is identical to the campus-delivered radiation physics stream but is designed for students unable to travel to London because of their work duties or international location. Teaching is delivered via video lectures, top-up online tutorials and additional e-learning resources, with coursework and supervised examinations arranged across the world by the British Council.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Flexible: up to 5 years
Distance learning: available

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£14,300 (FT)
£7,150 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (PT)

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

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Accreditation: Institute of Physics and Engineering and Medicine (IPEM)
Location: Distance learning programme

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.

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

Students study in detail the physics theory and practice that underpins modern medicine, and learn to apply their knowledge to established and emerging technologies in medical science. The programme covers the applications of both ionising and non-ionising radiation to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease and disorder, and includes a research project and the development of computational skills needed to apply this theory into practice.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, eight core modules (120 credits), is offered.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning.

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 is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Ionising Radiation Physics: Interactions and Dosimetry
  • Medical Imaging with Ionising Radiation
  • MRI and Biomedical Optics
  • Biomedical Ultrasound
  • Radiotherapy Physics
  • Clinical Practice
  • Computing in Medicine
  • MSc Research Project
  • Medical Device Enterprise Scenario

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.


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

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, tutorials, 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 and assignments, a research dissertation and an oral examination.

Additional costs

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


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.


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


A large percentage of graduates from the online Master's programme commence or continue training or employment within the healthcare sector, mostly in UK and overseas hospitals. Online learning offers the ability to upskill or reskill in physics disciplines applied to medicine while also training or practising in the field.   


Postgraduate study within the department offers the chance to develop important skills and acquire new knowledge through involvement with a team of world-leading scientists and engineers. As well as developing key science and engineering knowledge, graduates learn project management, communication and team working skills which they are then able to apply to solving problems at the forefront of human endeavour. The department has a recognised track record for producing excellent graduates who go on to hold leading roles in universities, companies and hospitals around the world.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The spectrum of medical physics activities undertaken in UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering is probably the broadest of any in the United Kingdom. The department is an internationally leading centre of excellence and students receive comprehensive training in the latest methodologies and technologies from leading experts in the field.

The department operates alongside the NHS department which provides the medical physics and clinical engineering services for the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as well as undertaking industrial contract research and technology transfer. The department is also a collaborator in the nearby London Proton Therapy Centre at UCLH, which is due to open in 2020.

Students have access to an exceptionally wide range of expertise, 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 physics, radiation dosimetry, and implant and interventional device development. 

Department: Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL in itself, with its amazingly diversified biomedical research, is an endless source of ideal collaborators, most of whom are world leading. There are by far more interesting projects than there is time to be able to carry them out."

Professor Alessandro Olivo

Physics and Engineering in Medicine MSc
Alumni view

"I decided to study via distance learning because at the time I was based overseas and I was interested in pursuing a degree from a top UK university. The most useful aspect about studying via distance learning is the flexibility that this route offers. I was able to watch the pre-recorded lectures at my own time and pace and have the opportunity to watch them more than once if I wanted to. Distance learning has improved significantly in the past couple of years, as technology has evolved. The availability of e-books, Skype meetings with tutors, and question walls on Google have removed many of the challenges I faced when I first started. Not being part of the student community or to have regular or impromtu face-to face-meetings with your lecturers does bring its own challenges. But being able to plan and allocate study in your own time and at your own pace is really advantageous and convenient if, like me, you need to fit your studies around work and family commitments."

Georgia Vasileiou

Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning MSc ()
Alumni view

"There are two clear benefits to studying via distance learning - you can choose when to study and where. I could schedule my studies around my other daily routines and duties, and also go to nice places during holidays and study there. But there are also challenges. There is no daily schedule or routine coming from outside and you have to manage your study time yourself. It takes a lot of self-management and discipline. That can be challenging in combination with a full-time job and other duties, but if you like the freedom to manage yourself, and are disciplined, then it could be a good option for you. The support and assistance you receive from the tutors is excellent. Every piece of coursework came back with feedback and the tutor always had time to discuss any issues in more detail if I needed guidance. This programme has helped me both personally, and in my career. I’ve not only got my MSc now, but a fantastic new job as well!"

Stefanie Kaess

Physics and Engineering in Medicine by Distance Learning MSc (2017)

Application and 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in physics - although an engineering degree is also acceptable - who wish to develop an interdisciplinary approach to applying their skills in health care, and in particular for those seeking employment as medical physicists in hospital, industry or university environments.

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
30 July 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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 UCL programme by distance learning
  • 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 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021