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Going into Medical Physics (UK)

  1. Jul 7, 2008 #1


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    I've just got a 2:1 MSci in Physics and I weighing up my options. I'm seriously considering going into Medical physics for various reasons; although I've only done one medical physics module in my course. I've looked into it and I'd obviously have to do an additional training on a programme accredited by the IPEM (and maybe an MSc/PhD). I was wondering if anyone had any insight into the world of a medical physicist in the NHS or possibly other career paths.

    The whole things a bit of a pipe dream at the moment, as my circumstances have changed very quickly, and I've only really considered this option recently, hence my ignorace.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2008 #2


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    Out of curiosity, what does 2:1 mean?

    Generally to work as a medical physicist the minimum education you'll need is an M.Sc. Jobs available to those with a bachelor's degree are usually at the level of physics assistant which involve a lot of routine QA duties.

    Medical physics offers great career potential in my opinion as there's a decent balance between clinical duties (which translates into stable, well-paying jobs) and research. The road however is a long one.
  4. Jul 7, 2008 #3


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    A 2:1 is an upper second class degree.
    >70% = 1
    60-69% = 2.1
    50-59% = 2.2
    40-49% = 3rd

    Is it different in the US? I thought it was the same.
  5. Jul 7, 2008 #4
    Nope. Different system. I'm not even sure the theoretical grades are equivalent.

    We go on a (usually) four point GPA system. 2.0 (C = 70%) is "average", 3.0 (B = 80%) is "above average", 4.0 (A=90%) is "significantly above average".

    We (U.S.) are fighting with grade inflation here, where some schools or individual teachers give way more A/B grades than is justified by student performance. Some of us actually monitor our class statistics and try to give appropriate A/B/C/D/F grades. I'm one of the ones that monitors carefully.
  6. Jul 9, 2008 #5
    Are the grades curved?
  7. Jul 9, 2008 #6
    In the US? Depends on the teacher/instructor. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And what kind of curve and how it is applied can vary.
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