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Medical physicist

Alternative titles for this job include Clinical scientist, healthcare scientist

Medical physicists design, develop and test the scanning and imaging equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Average salary (a year)

£35,000 Starter


£58,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Medical physicist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a trainee scheme


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
  • physics with nuclear technology

You would then move on to the the 3-year NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

You'll need a first or upper second class honours degree to apply for the STP, 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

More Information


You can train for this job by applying for a place on a Healthcare Science Practitioner Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

This combines work-based learning with study at university.

The first 2 years cover broad based science. In your third year you can specialise in medical physics.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More Information


You might be able to start work as a healthcare science assistant or associate and with experience, move on to a degree apprenticeship.

Other Routes

You could 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

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

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

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • science skills
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a medical physicist, you could:

  • design and develop systems to diagnose and treat health conditions
  • monitor equipment to make sure it’s accurate, safe and well-maintained
  • plan treatment programmes and explain procedures to patients
  • carry out procedures and analyse test results
  • do research using computer simulations and mathematical modelling
  • write reports and present to scientific and non scientific audiences
  • train hospital staff in the safe use of equipment

Working environment

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

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • become a principal medical physicist
  • manage a hospital department
  • work in higher education and research
  • move into the medical equipment manufacturing industry

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

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

ASCENTIS Access to HE Dip: Science (Physics) FL3

  • Provider: NCG
  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry

  • Start date: 10 September 2024
  • Location: Paignton

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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