Master of Science in Medical Radiation Physics


Program Description

Ever since the discovery of X-rays and radioactivity in the late 1800s, ionizing radiation has been used in medicine for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Today, half of all the cancer patients in the world are treated with radiotherapy, and diagnostic methods based on both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation represent a major cornerstone of modern medicine. As a medical physicist, you are the medical expert on both the physical and biological aspects of radiation, and you are responsible for the safe and optimized use of radiation.

Our Master of Science’s program provides you with the profound, interdisciplinary knowledge required to fulfill these responsibilities, as well as trains you to be a leader in the constant development of the clinical practice. It also prepares you for a career in the industry, at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, and in research. After gaining proficiency in Swedish and adding a short introductory course to your curriculum, you will also obtain the professional degree of a medical physicist.

Reasons to choose Stockholm University

Study on the edge of science, in the heart of history

Stockholm is home to Radiumhemmet, the first oncological clinic in Sweden established in 1910. Since 1938, Radiumhemmet is part of Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, where the Medical Radiation Physics division is also located. Here, many of the modern radiotherapy techniques such as brachytherapy, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) that treat and cure thousands of patients around the world every year were developed. It is also here that the Master of Science's program in Medical Radiation Physics is given, by active researchers in the field in close collaboration with the clinical experts from the hospital.

First-class, translational education with many possibilities

Medical radiation physics is a highly interdisciplinary science spanning across many fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. This implies particular challenges when studying medical radiation physics, and puts high demands on the quality of the education. It also emphasizes the importance of collaborations with experts from other fields. As the Master of Science program is run by the research division for medical radiation physics, all teachers are both very invested in and dedicated to education. All teachers are also active researchers in the field with ongoing projects with national as well as international collaborators from several fields.

As a student on the Master of Science program, you will, therefore, receive education of the highest quality and be in close contact with the latest research. In addition, you will also gain a profound understanding of the clinical reality from the many teachers from the hospital, where you will also do your clinical practice included in the program. Depending on your interests and the kind of career you would like to pursue after graduation (e.g. clinical, academic, etc.), the degree project of 30 credits can be done at the hospital, with one of the researchers at the division, or in collaboration with the industry.

126159_photo-1562415072-ee88155b809a.jpg Valentyn Mytchyk / Unsplash

Program structure

As the Master of Science’s program in medical radiation physics is equivalent to the last two years of professional education to become a medical physicist, all courses are mandatory. In the first year, you will study radiobiology and radiation protection, as well as cover the diagnostic specialties of medical physics including clinical practice in all diagnostic departments at the hospital.

The second year is dedicated to radiation therapy (including five weeks of clinical practice) and to the degree project, which is fixed to 30 credits. The topic of the project does not have to have a clinical connection, and many of our graduates go on to work in the industry, at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, and/or pursue a career in research.

The Swedish credit system is compatible with the European standard ECTS. 30 ECTS is equivalent to one semester of full-time studies.

First year

  • Image and System Analysis FK7064 9 credits
  • Basic Radiobiology FK7065 9 credits
  • Radiation Protection and Environmental Radiology FK8030 7.5 credits
  • Physics of Diagnostic Radiology FK8031 10.5 credits (start)
  • Physics of Diagnostic Radiology FK8031 10.5 credits (continued)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging FK8032 10 credits
  • Physics of Nuclear Medicine FK8037 11 credits
  • The Professional Role of the Medical Physicist FK8038 3 credits

Second year

  • Radiation Therapy Physics and Biology FK8035 22.5 credits
  • Clinical Radiotherapy Physics and Biology FK8036 7.5 credits
  • Degree Project FK9006 30 credits

Examples of recent degree projects

  1. Clinical optimization of a regularized reconstruction algorithm in PET. (2018)
  2. Risk of second cancer from proton therapy of breast cancer – the impact of physiological and radiobiological uncertainties. (2018)
  3. Ray Cast/Dose Superposition algorithm for proton grid therapy. (2017)

Career prospects

With a Master of Science of Science degree in Medical Radiation Physics from Stockholm University, you will be able to find work in several areas including radiation protection and the industry involved in producing the hardware and software needed for the medical applications of ionizing radiation. You will also be able to pursue a career in research (both in Sweden and abroad).

Gaining proficiency in Swedish and adding our basic course on Introduction to Anatomy, Physiology, and Oncology to your curriculum will allow you to also obtain a professional degree as a medical physicist. This makes you eligible to apply for a certificate to work as a medical physicist in the clinic. The certificate is granted by the National Board of Health and Welfare.

Why Stockholm University?

Studying at Stockholm University makes a difference

Stockholm University is one of the 100 highest-ranked universities in the world and Sweden’s largest institution of higher education with top-quality education and outstanding research in a wide variety of fields.

Our campus is situated in the Royal National City Park, just minutes away from the center of Stockholm city. Stockholm has recently been rated the safest capital in Europe and is famous for its many green and clean areas. Stockholm is leading in areas such as social welfare, equality, IT, sustainability and innovation. Known for being an open society, Sweden is also ranked second in the world in the Social Progress Index.

Eligibility requirements

Bachelor of Science Degree, including at least 90 credits in Physics, as well as knowledge corresponding to:

  • Radiation Sources with Medical Applications, 7.5 hp (FK5028)
  • Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter, 9 hp (FK5029)
  • Radiation Detectors and Measuring Methods, 7.5 hp (FK4016)
  • Radiation Dosimetry, 7.5 hp (FK4014)
  • Basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and oncology

Knowledge equivalent to Swedish upper secondary school course English B/Englis.

Application and tuition fees are required unless you are EU/EEA citizen or have long-term/permanent residency status in Sweden (or temporary residency for reasons other than studies).

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Science at Stockholm University is the largest science faculty in Sweden and is among the top hundred science faculties in the world on the Shanghai ranking. The Faculty offers top-clas ... Read More

The Faculty of Science at Stockholm University is the largest science faculty in Sweden and is among the top hundred science faculties in the world on the Shanghai ranking. The Faculty offers top-class education in a number of programs and courses, at the Master's level more than 30 study programs are given in English. Read less