Programme Coordinators

Prof. Palee Mahawette
Department of Nuclear Science,
Faculty of Science,
University of Colombo
Colombo 03,
Sri Lanka.

Work Phone: 0112158368  


Department of Nuclear Science,
Faculty of Science,
University of Colombo
Colombo 03,
Sri Lanka.

Work Phone: 0112158368

Master of Science in Medical Physics

Medical physics is a branch of applied physics using concepts and methods of physics to help diagnose and treat human disease. The fusion of medicine, physics, technology and basic sciences makes Medical Physics one of the most fascinating sub-specialties of physical sciences A medical physicist is an expert in radiation physics. He practices medical physics, interacts directly with the radiation oncology team and is responsible for radiation treatment planning. The medical physicist guarantees the accurate measurements of the radiation beam. His goal is to compute the correct radiation dose that can best destroy malignant tumors while minimizing damage to normal tissue. In addition, he also plays a major role in the radiation protection, safety and functioning of radiotherapy units, radiation sources, and radiation detection equipment Employment for a Medical Physicist is wide and possible in institutions such as hospitals, cancer centers, nuclear power plants, radiopharmaceutical production facilities and the academia and foreign opportunities are many. The foremost pathway to becoming a medical physicist requires a postgraduate degree such as a master’s (M.Sc) or a doctorate (Ph.D) in medical physics. In addition, clinical practice under the supervision of a Medical Physicist is also required.

Want to know more about medical physics? Refer the below lecture done by Dr. Sarasanandarajah Sivananthan.


B.Sc. Degree from a recognized University with Physics as a subject or any other equivalent qualification acceptable to the Senate of the University of Colombo

Lecture Panel

Program Structure

The MSc program will consist of lecture courses, practical work and a research project. The duration of the complete program consisting of two parts part I and part II will be 24 months. The students who maintain a GPA of 2.50 in part I will be allowed to proceed to part II. Those who are unable to proceed to part II may be awarded the post graduate diploma based on their performance in part I. The M.Sc degree and the post graduate diploma will be awarded according to the general guidelines of the Faculty of Science.

MSc in Medical Physics Syllabus

PartTitleCredit valueLecture/Practical
part I
MMP5008Anatomy and Physiology330 L, 30P
MMP5009Radiation Physics330 L, 30P
MMP5010Fundamental of Dosimetry345L
MMP5011Physics in Radiation Oncology345L
MMP5012Physics in Radiology I230L
MMP5013Physics in Radiology II230L
MMP5014Physics in Nuclear Medicine345L
MMP5015Radiation protection, safety and radiobiology230L
MMP5016Practical sessions in hospitals130P
MMP5017Other applications of Physics in medicine and statistics330L, 30P
MMP5018Professional and medical ethics115L
part II
MMP5019Research Report ( guided independent study)5150P

Detailed Syllabus

MMP 5008 Anatomy and Physiology (3C, 30L, 30P)
Introduction to human body, Cells tissues and structure, organization of the body, Cross sectional anatomy, Skeleton, Muscular, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Alimentary, Urinary, Nervous, Lymphatic, Reticuloendothelial, Reproductive systems, Eye, Ear, Mammary gland, Endocrine gland, Anatomical landmarks and surface marking of different organs, A brief overview of the various types of clinical conditions relevant to the medical physicist.

MMP 5009 Radiation Physics (3C, 30 L, 30 P)

Introductory concepts of modern physics, atomic and nuclear structure, Radioactivity, Interaction of radiation with matter: Photon interaction, charged particle interaction, Neutron interaction, introduction to Monte Carlo Methods.

MMP 5010 Fundamentals of Dosimetry ( 3C, 45 L)

Energy transfer and deposition, Quantities and units according to ICRU: activity, fluence, energy fluence, exposure, KERMA, absorbed dose, equivalent dose, effective dose, Electronic equilibrium concept. Cavity theory and charged particle equilibrium,: Bragg gray theory, spencer Attrix theory, Burlin theory ,Total CE, Transient CPE, Fano theorem, Detectors and dose meters: Gas based dosimeters: Ion chamber, GM counter, Proportional counter., Solid state dose meter :TL, Scintillation, Diodes, Mosfet, others, chemical dosimeter, Film, Frick, Calorimetry, International dose calibration chains.

MMP 5011 Physics in Radiation Oncology (3C, 45 L)

External Beam Radiation therapy equipment, Dosimetry equipment, Photon beams, Electron beams, Beam calibration, Imaging in Radiation Oncology, Immobilization and localization for radiation oncology, Treatment planning, Principles of quality assurance in radiotherapy, Informatics and networking, Brachytherapy. Advanced treatment techniques: Total body photon irradiation (TBI), Radio surgery (SRS), IMRT, IGRT, Total body electron treatment, Tomotherapy, Cyber knife.

MMP 5012 Physics in Radiology I (2C, 30L)

X ray production, X ray Imaging detectors (conventional/digital), Planar imaging (radiography/fluoroscopy), Breast imaging/mammography, Additional imaging modalities,: dental radiography, duel X ray energy absorptiometry, contrast enhancement studies, Image processing and analysis. Patient clinical dosimetry, Image quality evaluation and optimization, principles of quality assurance in radiology, networking in radiology, facility design and shielding calculation and verification.

MMP 5013 Physics in Radiology II ( 2C, 30L)

CT, Basic physics and applications of MRI :Principle of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Generation of resonance magnetic signals, Free induction decay, TI relaxation, T2 relaxation, Pulse sequences (T1, T2 weighting), Gradient (slice selection, frequency encode and phase encode, Component of MRI device, Basic physics and applications of ultra sound imaging.

MMP 5014 Physics in Nuclear Medicine ( 3C, 45L)

Radionuclide production, Radio-pharmacy, In vitro techniques, NM instrumentation, NM imaging devices, Image reconstruction, processing and analysis (including fusion), Fourier transform, Quantitative imaging, Principles of QA in nuclear medicine, Diagnostic applications in Nuclear Medicine(Planar, tomographic and functional), Radioactivity measurements and internal dosimetry, Diagnostic reference levels, Radionuclide therapy, Facility design and shielding calculation and verification.

MMP 5015 Radiation Protection, Safety and Radiobiology ( 2C, 30L)

Radiation protection, safety (15 L)

Principles and philosophy, Regulatory infrastructure, Radiation survey instruments, Waste and source management and transport, Occupational, medical and public exposure, Radiation emergency procedures.

Radiobiology (15 L)

Classification of radiation, Effects of radiation on cells, tissues and organs, Radiation damage and repair, Survival curves, Dose rate effect, Fractionation (time-dose, volume index), Pregnancy (radiation effect on embryo and fetus).

MMP 5016 Practical Sessions in Hospitals (1C, 30P)

Medical physics practical session in hospitals; Radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, Radiology, Students will be assessed by continuous assessment.

MMP 5017 Other Application of Physics in Medicine and Statistics ( 3C, 30 L, 30P )

Other Application of Physics in Medicine ( 15L)

Electrodes, Transducers, Temperature and blood pressure measurements, ECG, EEG, Pacemakers, Defibrillation, Surgical diathermy, Infusion pumps, Audiometry, Optometry, Communication aids, Respiratory and cardiovascular mechanics, Biomechanics of the musculo-skeleton system, Properties of bioengineering materials, Effects of temperature on tissues and organs, Hypothermia, Cryosurgery, Thermography, UV, RF, microwave, lasers and fiber optics uses in Medicine.

Statistics (15L, 30P)

Introduction to Statistics and Probability, Data Collection, Descriptive Statistics: presentation of data tables, pie charts, histograms, Measures of locations and dispersion, Statistical distributions, Binomial, Poisson, Normal and central limit theorem and normal approximations to binomial/Poisson, Hypothesis testing, comparison of means and proportions, Association between variables, Z test, t test, X 2 test, Goodness of a fit. Curve fitting, regression analysis. Errors and their propagation, Fourier transform (Temporal and spatial), Modulation transfer function, correlation techniques.

MMP 5018 Professional and medical ethics ( 1C, 15L)

Ethical principles, professional conduct, clinical practice ethics relevant to medical physicist.

MMP 5019 Research Report ( 5C, 150 P)

Students are expected to do a guided independent study on a topic in Medical Physics and produce a report (research based or literature review). Evaluation is based on the final report.

MMP 5020 Research Project (30 C, one year)

Students are expected to do a research project of 1 year durations. Evaluation is based on dissertation 50%, presentation 25% and viva 25%.