MSc Medical Physics in Cancer Radiation Therapy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our MSc in Medical Physics in Cancer Radiation Therapy is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in medical physics or cancer research involving ionising radiation. With around 40% of all cancer cures involving radiotherapy as part of treatment the need for multidisciplinary scientists in this field has never been greater.

The course will cover all aspects of the radiotherapy patient pathway including: the accurate delivery of radiation and the optimisation of bespoke treatment plans for every patient; the delivery of particle therapy; the use of imaging throughout the patient pathway; state-of-the-art adaptive radiotherapy techniques; translation of new interventions or research into clinical pathways and methods to evaluate clinical impact.

We will introduce you to cancer biology and radiobiology to provide context for the effect of radiation on cancer cells and normal tissues. Finally, we will develop your skills in cutting edge data science and machine learning and show their potential application within medical physics.

As well as providing detailed background theory the masters will have a strong application component. We will introduce you to python as the primary scripting language and use this skills throughout the course to demonstrate techniques learnt. Our collaboration with The Christie will allow you to undertake unique research projects in its radiotherapy facilities that cannot be carried out anywhere else in the UK or most of Europe.

This course will enable you to train as a multidisciplinary scientist in this area by covering a variety of subjects and content that is delivered by staff with a range of expertise, including physicists, biologists, engineers, clinical scientists and clinical oncologists.

Aims

This course aims to help you:

  • develop a sound scientific knowledge of medical physics in the field of cancer radiation therapy, including delivery of radiation, imaging, research an translational skills;
  • gain an understanding of cancer biology and how radiation interacts with cancer cells and normal tissues;
  • learn cutting edge data science and machine learning skills and their application within medical physics;
  • build the confidence to apply scientific principles of radiotherapy to practical situations;
  • develop multidisciplinary skills required for world-leading cancer research and treatment delivery;
  • gain knowledge that can form a basis for your future research into existing and emerging treatment modalities.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught by academics from the University and clinical scientists/oncologists at The Christie, meaning both fundamental science and its clinical application will be covered in depth.

Units will be delivered throughout each semester with a mix of face-to-face content delivery and online delivery, as well as hands-on practical sessions.

There will be a number of assessed and non-assessed activities to develop your key skills and expand your knowledge base.

After completion of the taught units, there will be a supervised research project that will allow you to apply your knowledge to a practical clinical research problem. During these projects you will be embedded in a academic or clinically focused research group.

Coursework and assessment

The taught units will be assessed primarily through practical assignments, aiming to allow you to show application of your gained knowledge.

The research project will be assessed through the submission of a publication style dissertation.

Course unit details

The master's consists of the following modules:

  1. Science of Radiotherapy
  2. Basics of Cancer Biology
  3. Advanced Radiotherapy
  4. Particle Therapy
  5. Imaging for Cancer Radiation Therapy
  6. Clinical and Translational Medical Physics
  7. Radiobiology
  8. Application of AI/Data Science Methods in Medical Physics

Course collaborators

Course units with strong clinical components will be delivered through a collaboration with The Christie, providing access to state-of-the-art expertise and facilities.

Facilities

Teaching and practical components will be lead by university academics working on research projects to improve the precision and efficacy of radiation therapy from within the division of cancer science.

Furthermore, our collaboration with T he Christie means we have access to teaching by clinical scientists and oncologists with knowledge of the practical application in the clinical environment in one of the largest cancer hospitals in the world. Facilities at The Christie include, an MRI image guided radiotherapy linear accelerator and a proton therapy centre incorporating a dedicated research room.

You will also be able to access a range of library and IT facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

CPD opportunities

Individual taught units from this MSc may be offered to industry and healthcare professionals as part of a career and professional development programme. Please contact us for further information.