Radiation Medicine

Medical Physics

Areas of Study | BSc (Med) (Honours)

The Division of Medical Physics strives to promote safe and effective use of radiation in the medical environment in line with the needs of the 21st century. The Division forms part of the Department of Radiation Medicine, and liaises closely with the Divisions of Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine to offer effective healthcare services, and support research, teaching and training. 

Formal training programmes are offered for registrars studying towards their college exams, as well as medical physics students studying towards BSc (Med) (Hons), MSc and PhD degrees. The unit is registered as an HPCSA accredited training institute for Medical Physics interns.

Areas of study

In order to work as a Medical Physicist in South Africa you need to be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.  Registration requires a four year professional degree/BSc Honours degree (or equivalent), including all of the medical physics subjects, followed by a two year internship at an accredited training facility.

The Division of Medical Physics at GSH/UCT offers a BSc (Med) (Hon) degree and is also an accredited training institution for this programme. Training includes all aspects of Medical Physics relating to Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Protection.  Interns are required to complete programmes in all four areas in order to register in South Africa.

BSc (Med) (Hons)

Programme convener: Dr Annemari Groenewald (Deputy Manager: Medical Physics)
Admission requirements:
 FHK1 - A BSc degree with a major in Physics. (2019 syllabus for entrance criteria)
NQF credits: 127
Plan code: MH001RAY02
The written examination comprises 9 three-hour papers over one year.

Programme structure and outline

The qualification is designed to teach students the fundamentals and advanced knowledge of Medical Physics, as applied in Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine, Radiology and Radiation Protection, as well as prepare them for the scope of practice of a modern-day medical physicist. The qualification as a whole, or equivalently a BSc(Hons) Physics with the six Medical Physics courses as addenda, allows for registration as a Medical Physics intern with the HPCSA.


NQF Credits

Modern Physics for Medical Physicists  
  Radiation Physics and Interactions with Matter 9
  Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 9
The Physics of Diagnostic Radiology 9
The Physics of Nuclear Medicine 9
The Physics of Radiotherapy 9
Radiation Protection and Dosimetry 9
Radiotherapy Treatment Planning 9
Radiobiology and Cancer Biology 9
Introduction to Medical Imaging and Image Processing 12
Medical Physics Research Project 30
Elective courses; choose 1 of the following: 13
  Healthcare Project Management  
  Healthcare Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship  
  Health Information Systems