Physics with Medical Physics BSc

London, Bloomsbury
Physics with Medical Physics BSc (2024)

This three-year programme offers an outstanding education in the thriving fields of science and medical physics. You will gain a strong foundation in core physics as well as specialist knowledge of how physics is applied to medicine, which will prepare you for a wide variety of careers inside and outside medical physics, including those in healthcare, scientific research and industry.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£37,500
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code
F351

Entry requirements

Grades
A*AA
Subjects
Mathematics and Physics required. A* must be in one of the required subjects. Biology, Chemistry and Further Mathematics preferred.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

Points
36
Subjects
A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics at grade 6, with no higher level score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects including Mathematics and Physics. D2 must be in one of the required subjects.

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Mathematics and Physics at Advanced Higher required. A1 much be in one of the required subjects.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA to include Mathematics and Physics.

International applications

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

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview


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. These courses take place in both the UCL Medical Physic and Biomedical Engineering (MPBE) department, and the UCL Physics and Astronomy (P&A) department, giving you an unique opportunity to learn from and within two research-intensive and world-leading departments. 

What this course will give you

A strong degree where you gain and demonstrate an in-depth fundamental knowledge in Physics, and a specialist knowledge of Medical Physics, i.e. how Physics can be applied to healthcare and medical scenarios. This programme gives you the tools and knowledge to excel in a wide range of careers where scientific, analytical and practical skills are required.

This programme is run by two very strong yet different departments, so you will experience a rich and extensive range of learning and networking opportunities that will be beneficial within the worlds of physics and medical physics.

UCL had been rated 2nd overall for research power in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. By choosing to study in UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering and UCL Physics & Astronomy, you will have direct access to the expertise of these two distinguished departments throughout your academic journey. You will benefit from networking opportunities, lab tours, studentships, and research projects, which can help you excel in your studies.

You will experience learning in different scenarios and with different groups of students, giving you an excellent opportunity to meet with a diverse set of students in terms of background, career focus, interests, etc. Most of the medical physics classes are small, providing you with an informal, interactive teaching environment in which you can easily raise questions. You might also share classes with Medical students, Biomedical Engineering students or Master’s level students from the department, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the work performed in hospitals and universities. For your Physics classes, you will join other Physics, Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics students in very large classes. 

You will have a range of opportunities to participate within UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and their research during your degree, e.g. via paid summer internships, student ambassador schemes, networking and social events, participation in the research and publications via the final year research projects. In addition, in year 2 you can take part voluntarily in the “research experience scheme” if you are interested in early exposure to academic research.

In UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, we have close links to several major teaching hospitals and our staff work side-by-side with doctors and health professionals.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Physics with Medical Physics.

Modules

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. 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.

In the first year, you will acquire a firm foundation in mathematics, classical physics like classical mechanics, thermal physics and waves, optics and acoustics as well as practical skills related to experimental practices, data analysis and programming skills. You will also 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 continue studying fundamental Physics with compulsory modules in quantum physics and its application to atoms and molecules, statistical thermodynamics, electromagnetic theory and further mathematics and practical skills. You will also explore the physics of the human body - covering topics such 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 3rd and final year, you will select 6 modules from a range of options from both Medical Physics and Physics topics, such that you can specialise in the areas that are most interesting to you, and uniquely tailor your curriculum to your preferences. In addition, you will work on a major individual research project (30 credits) within one of the research groups in UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, contributing to state-of-the-art research in that field.

Your learning

Teaching is delivered through lectures, laboratory practical sessions, and supervised problem-solving tutorials. The tutorials are designed to deal with lecture-based questions, expand on topics addressed in lectures, and allow for clarification and in-depth discussion of new concepts. 

Research projects (e.g. your final year individual project) are conducted in active, well-equipped and internationally leading research groups, often involving collaborations with local hospitals.

Each 15-credit module typically consists of around 36-40 contact hours spread over a ten-week term (excluding reading week). During each week, you should therefore expect about 20 contact hours – more if there are practical sessions scheduled. This time is made up of formal learning and teaching events such as lectures, seminars and laboratory sessions, completing assignments and self-study.

You will need to spend your own time in addition to the timetabled hours reviewing the material and completing coursework. You should expect to spend at least 40 hours per week on your studies.

Assessment

Modules are normally assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examinations. The final year individual project is assessed mainly via a scientific presentation and a dissertation.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

Medical physicists can work in hospitals directly with clinicians and their patients, or take a research approach and develop new techniques and technologies within industry or academia.

Learn more about graduate career paths, and find out where some of our alumni are working on our website.

Employability

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. Following a degree in medical physics, students tend to pursue careers in clinical, industry or research settings.

Medical physicists can work in hospitals directly with clinicians and their patients, or take a research approach and develop new techniques and technologies within industry or academia.
As well as a career in medical physics, you will have access to the same wide diversity of careers as with any other UCL physics degree.

Accreditation

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 the accredited Integrated Undergraduate Master’s degree (MSci) have fulfilled the educational requirements for CPhys status, while graduates of the accredited Bachelor's degree (BSc) have partially fulfilled these requirements.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

It is expected that students will provide their own laptop that would allow them to have access to the Virtual Learning Environment used at UCL (Moodle), where students will access the module content and submit assignments. This device should also allow students to install certain pieces of software, e.g. to programme in Python. Laptops with 8GB RAM cost approximately £300-£400 and above (as of January 2024). 

You will require the approved model of calculator for use in exams. Currently this is either the Casio FX-85GT X or Casio FX-83GT X, which can be purchased for around £11 - £15. For details please see the UCL examinations guide.

You might also be required to purchase stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying services.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.

Scholarships

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.

Next steps

Your application

Medical Physics undergraduate students have a good disposition for science, but also show a genuine commitment to advancing healthcare through the application of physics principles. Your innovative mindset will propel you to seek inventive solutions, and an enquiring nature enables you to navigate the complexities of merging physics and medicine. Choosing UCL, renowned for nurturing disruptive thinkers who change the world for the better, ensures that you join a university committed to fostering these qualities and making meaningful contributions to the transformative intersection of physics and healthcare.

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.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.