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Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Physics

This postgraduate diploma is for those who want to explore aspects of medical physics, in particular medical imaging and the physics of radiotherapy, at postgraduate level. Both the compulsory modules use the innovative teaching methods pioneered by The Open University to provide you with a good knowledge of the subject as well as giving you a chance to explore a topic of your choice in further depth. The diploma encourages you to develop and demonstrate a wide range of skills associated with postgraduate level study.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

Completing this postgraduate diploma course will equip you with a base of postgraduate level knowledge and understanding in medical physics as well as providing you with some key transferable skills which will be relevant to your career. You will learn to carry out critical evaluation of current research and advanced scholarship in your field of study as well as evaluating research methodologies. You will learn the basic science behind radiation protection of patients and staff and be able to discuss some of the ethical issues associated with imaging and radiotherapy.

You will learn to communicate information and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences including professional audiences, demonstrate originality in tackling and solving problems and plan and implement tasks at a postgraduate level.

The nature of this qualification will develop your independent learning skills and enhance your ICT skills in locating information and communicating with others in both professional and academic contexts.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Modules

For this postgraduate diploma you require:

120 credits from the following compulsory modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Imaging in medicine (S809)

Explore the diagnostic and therapeutic use of medical imaging - including X-ray; ultrasound; magnetic resonance and radionuclide - and consider the risks and social issues involved.

See full description.

60 Jan
Radiotherapy and its physics (S819)

Explore the application of physics to the techniques of radiotherapy in medicine (focusing on cancer), and consider the effects of ionising radiation on biological tissues.

See full description.

60 Jan

We recommend that you take these modules in this order.

Educational aims

The overall aim of the qualification is to develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, key skills and practical and professional skills in the study of medical physics, with particular emphasis on radiotherapy and medical imaging.

The intention is that you will develop:

  • an understanding of the scientific principles underlying the main areas of medical physics
  • an awareness of the risks present in medical physics and of the social context of the subject
  • skills essential to postgraduate study in science.

After completing the qualification you should be able to:

  • use electronic means of communication, information searching and retrieval
  • critically assess literature in medical physics
  • prepare a mini-review, a poster and a presentation that critically engage with current theoretical, methodological and/or practical issues in medical physics.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have:

  • a systematic understanding and knowledge of the areas of medical imaging and radiotherapy
  • an awareness of the role of medical physics and the future development of the subject
  • techniques applicable to advanced scholarship in the study of medical physics.

Cognitive skills

On completion of the qualification, you will be able to:

  • learn effectively from unstructured, resource-based learning materials
  • evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the areas of medical imaging and radiotherapy
  • make links and connections, and recognise associations and relationships between subject areas.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of the qualification, you will:

  • be able to critically assess primary and secondary literature in the area of medical physics
  • have an appreciation of the importance of and methods of quality assurance in medical physics
  • be aware of the social and ethical issues that arise in medical physics
  • be able to act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level.

Key skills

On completion of the qualification, you will be able to:

  • communicate information and conclusions both to specialist and to non-specialist audiences
  • use information and communications technology (ICT) to locate information, to analyse, present data and to communicate
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems.

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