PhD Medical Physics

Graduate Research (level 10 nfq)

Medical Physics is the branch of Physics that applies the concepts and principles of physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. The PhD in Medical Physics is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in Medical Physics, either in a clinical environment or in research.

The programme comprises of a PhD research project in an area of medical physics. The programme also consists of a number of taught modules which provide a strong foundation in diagnostic imaging physics, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology physics and radiation protection, as well as the essential anatomy and physiology knowledge required to understand a patient’s anatomical structure and physiological processes.

The UCD School of Physics is in the process of seeking accreditation for the PhD in Medical Physics from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programmes (CAMPEP).

Careers & Employability

The programme provides an accepted route to enter a career in Medical Physics or academia.

CAMPEP accreditation allows graduates to apply for CAMPEP residency programmes in Ireland and internationally. Prospective employers include Medical Physics Departments in hospitals and clinicals across Ireland and abroad, medical device manufacturers and regulatory bodies.

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Medical Physics is the branch of physics that applies the concepts and principles of physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. The PhD in Medical Physics is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in Medical Physics, either in a clinical environment or in research. The programme comprises of a PhD research project in an area of medical physics and provides a strong foundation in diagnostic imaging physics, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology physics and radiation protection, as well as the essential anatomy and physiology knowledge required to understand a patient’s anatomical structure and physiological processes. 

We aim to produce high quality medical physics graduates with the basic and applied scientific knowledge that is necessary both for further education and research in medical physics and for entry into a medical physics residency leading to a career in clinical medical physics. The taught programme is strongly supported by teaching hospitals through curriculum delivery. Indeed, a significant proportion of the curriculum is delivered by practising clinical medical physicists who bring the latest knowledge and practice in the field. Our inter-disciplinary learning environment relies on staff with a deep level of expertise and emphasises research work through clinically-relevant tasks and assignments. We strive to produce highly motivated, independent thinkers who meet the high standards necessary for progression into medical physics residency and/or further education and research, and are endowed with professional values including scientific integrity and ethical behaviour.

The research component of the PhD in Medical Physics aims to enable students to develop the capacity to recognise, evaluate and critically analyse problems in physics and medical physics. Students will learn to apply the basic principles of project and time management and will develop presentation skills. Students will work in a collaborative capacity across multidisciplinary teams in a clinical and academic setting. The work of the PhD will be communicated to multidisciplinary teams encompassing medical doctors, radiographers, radiation therapies, nurses and others. The student will learn to critique the published literature, guidelines and legislation in medical physics and how to apply these to particular contexts. As part of the PhD programme, students will make a significant contribution to the application of knowledge and skill, involving novel contexts to improve patient care and safety.

We encourage and educate our students to become active, lifelong and autonomous learners with good prospects of employment in healthcare sectors related to medical physics or for further research. The student learning is supported through lectures, practical work, team projects and seminars in the taught modules. A variety of assessment strategies are employed, including classical written examinations, written assignments, presentations, interviews and case studies. By making use of a blended learning approach, group assignments encourage collaborative and interpersonal skill development, requiring team work, discussion and communication of finding via group presentations. These skills are considered essential for developing the required professional and communication skills expected for a medical physicist. 

PhD Medical Physics (F253) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 8020
nonEU    fee per year - € 15440

PhD Medical Physics (F254) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5360
nonEU    fee per year - € 10300

***Fees are subject to change

Informal queries on admission to the PhD in Medical Physics may be made to the Programme Directors luis.leon@ucd.ie or s.cournane@ucd.ie . PhD candidates should contact potential supervisors that will support the research and, after consultation with the Programme Directors, then develop a research proposal. 

Information on the PhD application process is available on the UCD Graduate Studies website at https://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/studywithus/applicationprocess/.