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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Medical Physics (PHYS11064)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will provide a solid background in the physics, methods and technologies employed in modern medical physics.
Course description Modern medicine is underpinned by technological developments, many of which have their root in fundamental physics. This course will provide an introduction to the rich field of medical physics. The course will begin by outlining the mechanisms of particle interactions in matter and biological tissue, as well as methods employed to monitor and measure radiation. Subsequently the physics of a range of modern radiotherapy techniques willl be presented. This includes traditional gamma beam therapy as well as recent advances using protons, heavy ions and other particles. The methods and signal processing techniques employed in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, single photon emitting computed tomography (SPECT) imaging and ultrasound will be discussed. The methods for the production of radiopharmaceuticals for imaging will aso be presented. The course will include lectures by and interaction with medical physicists employed at the imaging centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The project work is designed to enable a deeper and more practical understanding of the material in the course. It also provides and introduction to the GEANT4 particle simulation software. This software is used widely in modern medical physics analysis and equipment development, nuclear physics, particle physics, astronomy and in industrial applications. The project will utlise a cloud based framework to access the GEANT4 software from your laptop or a university computer.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% Coursework
70% Examination
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the detailed interactions of radiation with matter and biological tissue. Apply this knowledge to understand a range of radiotherapy techniques
  2. Understand the detectors and methods used to monitor radiation dose and biological damage
  3. Understand the principles of MRI, SPECT, PET and ultrasound imaging and how it is realised in practical devices
  4. Apply computer simulations to investigate aspects of medical physics and detector design
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Paul Clegg
Tel: (0131 6)50 5295
Course secretaryMs Nicole Ross
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