How to become a medical physicist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a trainee scheme

University

To become a medical physicist, you'll need a degree that includes a high level of physics, for example:

  • applied physics
  • physics and mathematics
  • astrophysics

You would then complete the 3-year NHS Scientist Training Programme.

You'll need a first or upper second class honours in your degree to apply, or a postgraduate master's qualification in a relevant subject like theoretical physics.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and physics
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through a degree apprenticeship as a healthcare science practitioner.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

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Other Routes

You may be able to apply for a place on the NHS Practitioner Training Programme without a degree.

You would study for a degree in healthcare science, which includes work-based training. You could then go on to specialise in medical physics.

To apply, you'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • at least 2 A levels including maths or a science

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Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in medical physics through Health Careers and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • science skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role, you could:

  • develop and test new systems to help investigate patients' conditions
  • monitor equipment to make sure it’s accurate, safe and well-maintained
  • train hospital staff
  • plan treatment programmes and explain procedures to patients
  • carry out procedures and analysing test results
  • use computer simulations and mathematical modelling in research and development work

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory or in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could go on to lead a department, work in higher education, research, or in the medical equipment manufacturing industry.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a medical physicist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Higher Education - Science

  • Provider: NORTHAMPTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: NORTHAMPTON

Access to HE Social Science

  • Provider: ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 19 January 2021
  • Location:

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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