Medical Physics with Distinction in Radiotherapy and Biomedical Optics
|Degree:||Master of Science|
|Course start:||winter term (September) only|
|Course duration:||1 year full-time|
|Language requirements:||English (on application)|
|Language of instruction:||English|
|Tuition fees:||EUR 2,500 per semester (full-time/2 semesters)|
The M.Sc. (Master of Science) programme in Medical Physics is an interdisciplinary course intended for graduates in
- physics (B.Sc. or higher)
- natural sciences (with adequate knowledge of physics and mathematics)
- engineering (with adequate knowledge of physics)
The course provides an introduction to two fields of Medical Physics, radiation physics/radiation therapy and imaging physics. Unlike the approach to Medical Physics normally found in physics Faculties, the programme focuses strongly on clinical issues and is intended for those working – or planning to work - in the medical field (either as a medical physics expert or in research) later. Accordingly, the course provides not only a theoretical background but also many practical sessions where the knowledge can be applied in the context of modern clinical systems.
Despite its clinical bias, the programme operates at the same level as other lectures courses in physics and hence requires a sound understanding of mathematics and physics.
Aims & learning objectives
The programme enables graduates students to work in clinical contexts and/or carry out independent research in the field of Medical Physics.
After completing this course, students will have
- acquired basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, genetics
- acquired basic knowledge of biophysics and engineering mathematics (numerically oriented), including programming
- acquired detailed knowledge of radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, medical imaging
- been trained to bridge the gap between technologists and physicians
- performed a scientific (life-science related) project
- successfully tackled technical issues related to Biomedical Engineering
- acquired expertise in the critical assessment of technical systems in medicine
Graduates’ career prospects are best in health-care/life-science sectors, e.g. hospitals, research organisations and the medical technology industry (producers of biomedical instruments/imaging systems, health-care-oriented software companies, the pharmaceutical industry, etc.). Successful completion of the course may also qualify graduates for further certification as a state radiation-protection commissioner (depending on the country in question). In Germany, for example, the status of a certified medical physics expert can be attained after two additional years of supervised practical work in a qualified radiation therapy department and an additional examination specified in the German Radiation Protection Ordinance.
Tracks and modules
The study programme is divided into basic, advanced and specialist modules. The first three months of the programme cover the mandatory introductory and advanced modules as a basis for subsequent specialization.
Thereafter, modules can be selected according to interest. Two different specialist areas are selectable, radiotherapy and biomedical imaging. The modules offered include biomedical engineering, radiation biology, radiation protection, nuclear medicine (gamma camera, SPECT, PET/CT, molecular radiotherapy), medical imaging (MRI, CT, US), diagnostic and therapeutic radiation, detailed chain of radiation therapy (imaging, treatment planning, use of dose-calculation algorithms, quality assurance methods, technical performance of linear accelerator, etc.), insight into dose-calculation algorithms, and medical image analysis. The specialist modules emphasise programming skills as a binding link between physics and medical research. Besides lectures, in-depth knowledge is acquired in hands-on sessions in different clinical departments.
Additional information about the programme structure and the Module Handbook can be found here.
Two international workshops are organized regularly by our institution and our cooperating partners. A one-day workshop on “Robotic and Image-Guided Radiotherapy” (end of August) is organised by the Clinic of Radiation Oncology of the University Medical Centre Mannheim. A one-week workshop on “Medical Physics” takes place in Shanghai and includes a one-day Sino-German radiotherapy workshop.
Subjects for the M.Sc. thesis are offered by a variety of research groups at the Medical Faculty Mannheim. For excellent students, the closing thesis may be undertaken at partner institutions like Harvard Medical School. Excellent students may be offered the option to complete their master thesis abroad at one of our cooperating partner institutions (Harvard University/ Boston, Duke University/ Durham, Jiao-Tong University/ Shanghai).
Teaching and learning Methods
Learning takes place in lectures, interactive seminars, workshops and lab rotation. Theoretical aspects are enriched by practical sessions using up-to-date medical equipment and software available at the University Medical Centre Mannheim. Intensive study is supported by a well-equipped library and a laptop pool as well as workplaces with Internet access for private laptops. Courses designed to facilitate the acquisition of presentation skills, paper writing proficiency and project organisation are part of the course programme.
In accordance with the European and German state requirements for Master programmes, student evaluation is continuous throughout the programme. This process includes both written and oral exams, as well as the assessment of group projects and lab reports. The programme concludes with the defence of the M.Sc. thesis and an exam on the classes attended. Successful candidates are awarded an M.Sc. (Master of Science) degree.
Heidelberg University was founded in 1386 and is the oldest university in Germany. It is a leading European institution in research and teaching. The university has two renowned Medical Faculties, one in Heidelberg, the other in nearby Mannheim, both offering innovative courses of study in human medicine.
At the Mannheim medical campus, M.Sc. courses specialising in health-related fields are offered alongside clinical medical training. Selected, highly qualified medical students at the Medical Faculty Mannheim may be admitted to an M.Sc.-level course in their 4th and 5th year of study while continuing with their medical education. Ultimately, they are then awarded a dual degree.
Medical Physics is a major field of interdisciplinary research throughout the Heidelberg and Mannheim campus with their institutes and hospitals at the University Medical Centres. The M.Sc. in Medical Physics programme is organized by the Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology (including Experimental Radiation Oncology) and Computer Assisted Clinical Medicine
Both nationally and internationally, the M.Sc. programme in Medical Physics is linked with leading institutions in research and education for radiotherapy and medical imaging. Our institution and cooperating partners have contributed to the development of a diverse and globally engaged science and engineering workforce. The eXtreme REsolution microscopy Lab at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz is a reputed German research centre focused on the development and application of nanoscopic fluorescence microscopy techniques. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Centre of Harvard Medical School are ranked among the top US cancer research and treatment centres. The Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, is one of the most outstanding technical universities in China, with an impressive record in engineering and biomedical science.
The course is open to students coming from medicine, the natural sciences (e.g. physics) and engineering (e.g. biomedical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering). Applicants are expected to have an extremely sound knowledge of physics and mathematics. An initial academic degree equivalent to 230 ECTS is required (usually a Bachelor degree involving at least 4 years of full-time academic education).
The language of instruction is English. Applicants whose mother-tongue is not English must provide evidence of proficiency, usually an IELTS band 6.5 or equivalent TOEFL score. The institutional TOEFL code number for Medical Faculty Mannheim at Heidelberg University is 6446. Exemption from this requirement may be granted to those students who have completed their higher education in English (written proof required).
The application closes on April 15th every year. The course commences on September 4th. To access the application form, please follow this link: Application Form
Please note the list of required documents on the last page of the application form. Kindly ensure that all required documents are verified copies.
A verified (notarised) copy is a photocopied document stamped and signed by an authorised person such as a solicitor, barrister, university staff member authorised by the student registration office, or a consular employee of a German Embassy. This person will need to see the original document and will check that the copy is genuine and unaltered. They will then date, sign and stamp the photocopy with an official stamp stating ‘certified original seen/ this is a true copy of the original’.
Please note that we do not accept unverified photocopies, scanned or faxed papers as a basis for admission.
For further Information about the programme look at FAQs.
Examination regulations / Study regulations
Academic year/ Time schedule
Each academic year starts September 1 and is split into two semesters (September-February/ March-August).
Full-time study means that students finish the taught parts of the programme in the first semester (winter term) and write their thesis in the second semester (summer term).
Tuition fees: The tuition fee for the programme is EUR 2,500 per semester (full-time). In addition, Heidelberg University charges an administration fee and a Studentenwerksbeitrag (Student Services contribution) each semester.
Dr. Frank Giordano
Department of Radiation Oncology,
Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University