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Undergraduate prospectus 2021

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Physics with Medical Physics BSc

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
Duration
Full-time: 3 years
Accreditation
Institute of Physics
Application deadline
15 January 2020
Location
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades
AAA
Subjects
Mathematics and Physics required at grade A.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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

Contextual offer

Grades
AAB (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
Mathematics and Physics required at grade A.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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

IB Diploma

Points
38
Subjects
A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Mathematics and Physics, with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

Points
36 (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Mathematics and Physics, with no score lower than 5. Grade 6 in Higher Level Mathematics required.

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

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics and Physics required.

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A 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 to include Mathematics and Physics.

International applications

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

UCL 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.

Degree benefits

  • 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.

  • The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) providing the first step to chartered physicist status.

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 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.

Degree structure

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).

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.

Modules

An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

  • Atoms, Stars and the Universe
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Introduction to Medical Imaging
  • Mathematical Methods I
  • Mathematical Methods II
  • Practical Physics and Computing 1 
  • Thermal Physics
  • Waves, Optics and Acoustics

Optional modules

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
  • Practical Physics and Computing 1 
  • Quantum Physics
  • Statistical Physics of Matter

Optional modules

All second year modules are compulsory.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Medical Physics Project

Optional modules

You will select three of the following:

  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics


Plus three of the following medical physics options:

  • Applications of Biomedical Engineering
  • Computing in Medicine
  • Medical Electronics and Neural Engineering
  • Medical Imaging with Ionising Radiation
  • MRI and Biomedical Optics
  • Physiological Monitoring
  • Treatment with Ionising Radiation
  • Biomedical Ultrasound

Students are able to take an appropriate module outside of those listed above at the discretion of the Programme Tutor.


Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available

Your learning

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.

Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Assessment

Modules are normally assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination.

Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Physics with Medical Physics BSc.

Careers

Our degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics and, 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.

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.

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

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2020/21 academic year. The UK/EU 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 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£28,610 (2020/21)

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

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding

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.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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

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 2020



Selection

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.


Page last modified on 22 June 2020