Course Overview

This MSc programme is designed to meet the demand for qualified medical physicists. It is primarily geared toward training for physicists in the application of radiation physics in medicine but maintains a reasonable exposure to key aspects of clinical engineering so that students receive a comprehensive knowledge of the application of the physical sciences and engineering to medicine.

The course is unique in that it is closely integrated with the University Hospital Galway.
The majority of lectures and course materials are delivered by hospital staff.
The course provides a unique opportunity to see the operation of a busy academic hospital.

September 2015: NUI Galway’s MSc in Medical Physics is the first European MSc programme to be awarded accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programmes (CAMPEP) and the second programme worldwide. Read more here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Selection is based on the candidate's academic record at under-graduate level and their aptitude for the course. Candidates may be interviewed to determine suitability.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assssments take the form of assignments, essays, presentations and conventional exams. There is an increasing emphasis on self-directed learning. A small research project counts for about 30% of the overall marks.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Graduates must hold at least a Second Class Honours, Level 8 degree (or equivalent international qualification) in Physics or Experimental Physics, Electronic Engineering, or another relevant discipline as determined by the College of Science. Candidates with a primary degree without honours and with three years’ relevant and appropriate practical experience may be also considered.

Additional Requirements

Garda vetting/police clearance is required for this programme.
Duration

1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

Up to 20

Closing Date

8 July 2018

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

PAC code

GYS10

Course Outline

The MSc consists of a fairly intense programme of lectures, workshops, laboratory sessions, tutorials and self-directed learning, followed by a four to five-month research project. The syllabus contains modules covering traditional Medical Physics topics, such as Radiation Fundamentals, and Hospital and Radiation Safety, but also provides an introduction to other areas like Clinical Instrumentation, Modules in Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Informatics and Safety and Risk Management. 

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Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required SI317: Human Body Function


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

The ‘Human Body Function’ module teaches students the complex nature of how the mammalian body functions through the study of its component organ systems. Specifically, the following areas are covered: Body fluids and fluid compartments, haematology, nerve and muscle physiology, cardiovascular physiology, respiratory physiology, immunology and endocrinology.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Know the distribution of water between the body fluid compartements and understand the role of body water in cell and system function.
  2. Know the components of blood, understand the process of blood clotting and understand the principles of the ABO and rhesus blood groups.
  3. Know the structure and function of nerve and muscle cells.
  4. Understand how a nerve impulse is generated and propagated.
  5. Understand the process of muscle contraction, and how nerves can stimulate muscle cells.
  6. Understand the autonomic nervous system.
  7. Know the structure and function of the heart and its electrophysiology, focusing on the electrical and mechanical events at each stage of the cardiac cycle.
  8. Know the importance of blood pressure, and understand the basic principles of regulation.
  9. Understand how breathing is performed and know the volumes and capacities associated with respiration.
  10. Understand how oxygen and carbon dioxide are transported, and how oxygen delivery is regulated and controlled.
  11. Understand the basics of hormone function, with a focus on glucose metabolism and the functions of growth hormone.
  12. Understand the basics of immune defense.
  13. Know the divisions of the central nervous system and have a basic knowledge of how the different areas function.
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (70%)
  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Human Physiology" by Stuart Ira Fox
  2. "Introduction to the Human Body" by Tortora & Derrickson
The above information outlines module SI317: "Human Body Function" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5110: Research Project


12 months long | Credits: 30

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH5110: "Research Project" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5104: Medical Imaging


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH5104: "Medical Imaging" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5103: Radiation Fundamentals


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH5103: "Radiation Fundamentals" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5102: Clinical Instrumentation


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH5102: "Clinical Instrumentation" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required AN230: Human Body Structure


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Human Body Structure is delivered by the anatomy department to students at the first, second and masters level in university for whom anatomy is not a core degree element who require a sound basic knowledge of the structure of the human body. The content will cover topics including the following: * Organisation of human body, anatomical terminology, the principles of support and movement, the control systems of the human body, maintenance and continuity of the body and finally, biomechanics and functional anatomy of the limbs.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Established a sound basic knowledge of the organization and structure of the human body including the location and anatomical relations of the major organ systems
  2. Developed a basic understanding of the principles of support and movement, the control systems of the body, maintenance and continuity of the human body.
  3. Understand and describe the biomechanics and functional anatomy of the human limbs and musculoskeletal system
  4. Explain how specific aspects of human anatomy relate to your field of study
  5. Begun to develop your ability to look up and synthesize anatomical subject matter in a self-directed manner
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (70%)
  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Introduction to the human body" by Gerard J. Tortora, Bryan Derrickson.
    ISBN: 9781118583180.
    Publisher: New York; Wiley
  2. "Human Anatomy" by Michael McKinley,Valerie O'Loughlin,Ronald Harris,Elizabeth Pennefather-O'Brien
    ISBN: 9780073525730.
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
    Chapters: 2018-08-12T00:00:00
The above information outlines module AN230: "Human Body Structure" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required ST314: Introduction to Biostatistics


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This course will introduce students to statistical concepts and thinking by providing a practical introduction to data analysis. The importance and practical usefulness of statistics in biomedical and clinical environments will be demonstrated through a large array of case studies. Students attending this course will be encouraged and equipped to apply simple statistical techniques to design, analyse and interpret studies in a wide range of disciplines.

Learning Outcomes
  1. understand the key concept of variability;
  2. understand the ideas of population, sample, parameter, statistic and probability;
  3. understand simple ideas of point estimation;
  4. recognise the additional benefits of calculating interval estimates for unknown parameters and be able to interpret interval estimates correctly;
  5. carry out a variety of commonly used hypothesis tests
  6. understand the difference between paired and independent data and be able to recognise both in practice;
  7. understand the aims and desirable features of a designed experiment;
  8. calculate the sample size needed for one and two sample problems.
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (70%)
  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module ST314: "Introduction to Biostatistics" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5107: Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to skills required to anticipate, evaluate and control workplace hazards

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the importance of the role of exposure measurment within the Health and Safety Function
  2. Identify, locate and interpret health and safety legislation, guidance and standards relevent to the measurement and control of workplace hazards
  3. Describe techniques used to evaluate exposure risk from physical, chemical and biological hazards in the work environment
  4. Interpret and communicate occupational exposure data
  5. Appreciate the need for suitable workplace exposure control
  6. Appreciate the need for continuous professional development and the role of professional ethics in this area
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Monitoring for health hazards at work." by J.W. Cherrie, R.M. Howie and S. Semple.
    Publisher: Blackwell Science.
  2. "Occupational Hygiene" by K. Gardiner and J.M. Harrington (Ed’s)
The above information outlines module PH5107: "Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5106: Hospital and Radiation Safety


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH5106: "Hospital and Radiation Safety" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PH5105: Physics of Radiotherapy


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH5105: "Physics of Radiotherapy" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PH333: Quantum Physics


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This module provides an introduction to quantum physics. It describes the origin of quantum physics using the theories of Planck for blackbody radiation and Einstein for specific heat. The course then progresses to describe matter using wave functions. The Schrodinger equation is introduced and solved for a number of model problems. The development of operators to extract information from matter waves is considered next. The formal structure of quantum mechanics is then introduced. The course finally considers a two identical particle problem and introduces the concept of the Pauli Exclusion Principle.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Define terms and explain concepts relating to the physical principles covered by this module’s syllabus
  2. Describe the physical laws that connect terms and concepts covered by this module’s syllabus and, where appropriate, derive the mathematical relationships between those terms and concepts.
  3. Outline applications to real-world situations of the physical principles covered by this module’s syllabus.
  4. Analyze physical situations using concepts, laws and techniques learned in this module.
  5. Identify and apply pertinent physics concepts, and appropriate mathematical techniques, to solve physics problems related to the content of this module’s syllabus.
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (85%)
  • Continuous Assessment (15%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH333: "Quantum Physics" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional BES5102: Cell & Molecular Biology: Advanced Technologies


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This module it is designed to bring students to a common point where all will share the appropriate biological knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals in cellular and molecular biology. The module explores the following: cell composition; sub-cellular organelles; structure of DNA and RNA; transcription, protein synthesis; cell signalling, cell cycle; PubMed, DNA recombination, PCR; transformation, transfection; advanced molecular and cellular biology techniques.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Illustrate the structure of DNA, explaining how DNA is replicated during the polymerase chain reaction technique.
  2. Explain what is meant by the 'genetic code' and how it relates to protein synthesis.
  3. Carry out a Pubmed search in order to identify molecules implicated in a human disease chosen by you.
  4. Use the National cancer and Biological Institute (NCBI) nucleotide database to discover the DNA sequence encoding a protein of your choice and determine the length of the coding sequence and the number of amino acids contained in the protein encoded.
  5. Describe how mammalian cell culture, PCR, DNA recombination, DNA plasmids, bacterial transformation and cellular transfection can be used to understand protein function, localisation and possible relevance to disease.
  6. Name the major structural components a mammalian cell and its constituent organelles.
  7. List cytoskeletal, extracellular matrix, membrane and signalling proteins involved in mammalian cell interactions with each other and with the extracellular environment.
  8. Explain how the mitochondria meet the energy requirements of the cell.
  9. Recognise cellular organelles involved in trafficking newly-synthesised proteins through and out of the cell.
  10. Summarise the main steps and in the cell cycle and proteins involved in regulation of each stage.
  11. Study and present on advanced technologies in cell and molecular biology
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "The Cell: A Molecular Approach" by Geoffrey M. Cooper, Robert E. Hausman
    Publisher: ASM press
The above information outlines module BES5102: "Cell & Molecular Biology: Advanced Technologies" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PH335: Nuclear & Particle Physics


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

In this module students learn how subatomic particles form nuclei, study nuclear properties, and radioactive decay, and see how nuclear energy may be released in fission and fusion processes. Students also study fundamental particles, which are the building blocks of nature, and consider the ways in which these particles interact with each other. Prior knowledge is assumed to the level of material covered in PH2XX Thermodynamics and Atomic Physics and PH333 Quantum Physics.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Define terms and explain concepts relating to the physical principles covered by this module’s syllabus.
  2. Describe the physical laws that connect terms and concepts covered by this module’s syllabus and, where appropriate, derive the mathematical relationships between those terms and concepts.
  3. Outline applications to real-world situations of the physical principles covered by this module’s syllabus.
  4. Analyze physical situations using concepts, laws and techniques learned in this module.
  5. Identify and apply pertinent physics concepts, and appropriate mathematical techniques, to solve physics problems related to the content of this module’s syllabus.
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (85%)
  • Continuous Assessment (15%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PH335: "Nuclear & Particle Physics" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The course has been successful in its aims in providing individuals with a good grounding in Medical Physics.

A recent survey of graduates showed that around 75% of them had found employment in a Medical Physics-based career. This includes several individuals who have pursued or are pursuing a PhD. About 20% are employed abroad, in countries like the UK , the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,015 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€6,791 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€25,000 p.a. 2018/19
 For further information on postgraduate funding & scholarship opportunities see here.

Find out More

Programme Director

Dr Christoph Kleefeld
T: 
+353 91 542 870
E: christoph.kleefeld@hse.ie