Medical Physics

medical physics students with scanner

Medical Physics applies the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis and therapy of human disease.

Modern medicine relies heavily on physical tools, techniques and principles developed in the physical sciences.

The complexity and precision required in the operation of the related diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and the quest to improve them has led to the subspecialty of Medical Physics.

A medical physicist applies scientific knowledge and technological skills to help prevent, diagnose and treat many kinds of diseases and health conditions. They are a mix of research and clinical scientists who play a pivotal role in providing physics support to various areas of the health sector to provide better outcomes for patients. They also ensure the safety of staff and patients exposed to radiation. 

A medical physicist is typically a member of multidisciplinary team and may be involved in several activities relating to diagnosis and/or treatment in radiology, nuclear medicine or radiation therapy.

This programme is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

The range of qualifications in Medical Physics is extensive, reflecting the demand for skilled graduates.

See all courses in Medical Physics.

UC has a long history of research in in medical imaging, biomedical engineering and in radiation therapy.

We have a number of collaborations with industry and work closely with the University of WashingtonCanterbury District Health Board, The New Zealand Brain Research Institute, and the University of Otago's Christchurch Medical School.

Research projects

Advance radiotherapy techniques

  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plan optimisation strategies
  • Lung tumour tracking, modelling and adaptation
  • Proton mini-beam treatment development
  • Interferometry-based dosimetry systems

X-ray detection and imaging

  • Development of a Medipix All Resolution Scanner (MARS) for spectroscopic CT imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging

  • MRI studies of patients with Parkinson's disease
  • Quantitive susceptibility mapping and cognitive impairment in Parkinson's

Within the University we work closely with HIT Lab NZ, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

A medical physicist applies scientific knowledge and technological skills to help prevent, diagnose and treat many kinds of diseases and health conditions. They are most often clinical scientists who play a pivotal role in planning and implementing patient treatment programmes. A medical physicist is typically a member of a multi-disciplinary team and may be involved in several activities relating to diagnosis and/or treatment in radiology, nuclear medicine or radiation therapy.

What industries are Medical Physics graduates found in?

Our graduates are employed by hospitals in various departments including radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. They are involved in research and development of new devices and technology in both industrial and academic environments. They also help to regulate the safe use of medical technology, including radiation safety.

Helpful links for Medical Physics jobs

For all enquiries contact:

Steven Marsh

Medical Physics director
Rutherford Room 704
Internal Phone: 94225