Your career as a medical physicist
Medical physicists oversee the safe use of radiation and other physical phenomena for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases.
What you will study
This degree covers a range of physical science topics with applications in medicine, such as radiotherapy and imaging.
A strong emphasis is placed on the protection of workers, patients and staff from harmful effects of radiation.
Develop specialist knowledge in quantitative measurement and the evaluation of safe radiation exposure for patients and staff.
Medical physicists are employed in the fields of radiotherapy, medical imaging, nuclear medicine and associated research and regulatory divisions of non-hospital institutions.
You’ll develop the skills to critically evaluate and optimise the performance of medical equipment and procedures and use your problem-solving abilities to analyse outputs, diagnose problems and provide quality assurance for patient treatments.
Using your initiative together with a high degree of independence, you’ll be instrumental in the evaluation and implementation of new technologies and in the translation of research into professional practice.
Medical physicists are important advisors to their team of professionals who often include oncologists, radiologists, therapists, technologists and biomedical engineers.
Your learning environment will be a broad mix of study modes including lectures, seminars, workshops and practical classes, using face-to-face, online and other flexible delivery mechanisms.
Site visits to external facilities as well as lectures by guest presenters from industry will enhance your understanding.
The majority of this program consists of specialisation courses, while the rest focuses on a research project which is assessed by your performance and a final thesis.
You’ll apply your knowledge to design and conduct a research project that addresses practical challenges facing scientists in this field. This may be done in collaboration with an industry partner or external institution.
The Master of Medical Physics is closely linked with all major Melbourne hospitals through teaching and research collaborations.
Other organisations, such as radiation protection authorities and research facilities, are also closely connected employers of our graduates.
Courses taught in the program have been developed in consultation with practising professionals in the fields of radiotherapy, oncology, medical imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation protection.
Work-integrated learning (WIL) is embedded in this degree in the research project and throughout course content.
You will either identify a research project from a workplace scenario you have encountered or will be selecting a topic proposed by your academic supervisors or industry collaborators in relation to their research activities or clinical responsibilities.
Your research project will have an industry consultant as a co-supervisor who will jointly assess the research project outcomes with the academic supervisor. This experience enables you to get to know the workplace and connect with potential future employers.
The Master of Medical Physics consists of 192 credit points. After completing 96 credit points of study approved by the program manager you may exit with a graduate diploma.
There may be opportunities to apply for credit transfer for some subjects if you have already completed the same or similar subject in an undergraduate physics degree or a science degree with a physics major. Students may select one elective from four subjects relevant to medical physics.
Approximately 75 per cent (144 credit points) of this degree consists of coursework components. The remaining 25 per cent (48 credit points) consists of a research project.
The research project is conducted over two semesters to build and develop close partnerships with industry collaborators. The research project will be assessed partially via a submitted thesis, as well as by oral presentation, and project planning documents.
In your final year, you'll be assisted by an industry consultant as a co-supervisor and complete a research project relevant to an industry or clinical setting.
Examples of subjects offered include:
- Radiotherapy Physics and Modelling
- Medical Imaging Physics
- Advanced Medical Imaging
- Introduction to Human Biosciences
- Radiation Physics and Radiation Protection
- Radiobiology for Medical Physicists
- Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Radiotherapy Treatment Planning
- Research Methods
- Research Project.
These subjects provide an understanding of advanced physics topics such as: radiation, quantum physics, and nuclear physics, as well as radiobiology and basic human biology, structure and function.
The technical aspects of medical physics will be covered in subjects concerning medical imaging, radiotherapy and radiation transport modelling.
You’ll also apply your knowledge in subjects related to radiation measurement, radiation protection and radiotherapy dosimetry.
Choose a program structure
|Master of Medical Physics||City Campus||
2 years full-time; 4 years part-time
2 years full-time
Choose a program structure
Program code: MC215
Qualified medical physicists are highly sought after due to an increasing ageing population and the expansion of radiation oncology and medical imaging facilities and services.
RMIT graduates in the areas of medical physics, radiation and health physics are employed in the fields of:
- medical imaging
- nuclear medicine
- radiation protection
- mining and prospecting
- government regulatory agencies
- associated research activities of non-hospital institutions.
Our graduates are employed throughout Australia, as well as the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Australia is experiencing an expansion of radiation oncology and medical imaging facilities and service, with the construction of new treatment centres, particularly in regional centres. The current national workforce demand has been forecast to grow significantly over the next two decades. Similar demand and growth is being experienced worldwide.
A postgraduate qualification in medical physics is mandatory to become a certified practising medical physicist in Australia.
This program is accredited by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) who oversee a professional accreditation program that recognises and certifies experienced medical physicists.
To be certified as a professional medical physicist in Australia, you must complete the requirements stipulated by the ACPSEM. These include:
- undergraduate Bachelor of Physics or Bachelor of Science with physics major and strong maths subjects, or ACPSEM approved equivalents
- an ACPSEM accredited postgraduate degree in medical physics (usually masters or higher), or ACPSEM approved equivalents. You must also meet the bachelor degree requirements (above)
- completion of the ACPSEM Training, Education and Accreditation Program (TEAP) while employed as a Medical Physics Registrar at an accredited clinical centre
An Australian bachelor degree with a GPA of at least 2.0 out of 4.0 in a physical science, biomedical engineering or equivalent, having substantial physics and mathematics components.
International qualifications are assessed according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
To study this program you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:
- IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.5 (with no individual band below 6.0)
- TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 58 (with no communication band less than 50)
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 176 with no less than 169 in any component.
For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.
Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Plus Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.
If you have successfully completed one of the following qualifications majoring in physics you will be eligible for exemptions as follows:
Remaining program duration
Bachelor degree in science with a physics major at AQF Level 7
Up to 24 credit points relating to some or all of the following courses:
168 credit points (equivalent to three semesters of full-time study)
Bachelor of Science with a physics major (Honours)
Up to 36 credit points (subject to the courses completed in the Honours year.
156 credit points
Applicants with Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master or PhD qualification majoring in a different discipline may also be eligible for exemption of up to 48 credit points (equivalent to one semester of full-time study).
Information is available on the RMIT University website about how to apply for Credit Transfer or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
Upon completion of the following courses totalling 96 credit points you will be eligible to exit the program with the Graduate Diploma in Medical Physics.
Upon successful completion of this program you may be eligible to undertake further studies in related programs at RMIT University, including PhD in Physics by research, subject to each program’s entry requirements.
Entry for this program is primarily through Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs).
Government financial assistance is available to eligible students regardless of the type of place you enrol in.
2021 indicative fees
- Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$3,700 to AU$14,500*.
- Full-fee places: AU$32,640*.
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$313 maximum fee for 2021.
- Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.
Annual fee adjustment
Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.
Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.
Defer your payment
You may be eligible to apply for a HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
For more information and to learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees see postgraduate study fees.
Payments and refunds
For information on how to pay your fees or how to apply for a refund, please see Paying your fees and applying for refunds.
If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.
Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set on an annual basis by the government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of your individual enrolled courses, not the overall program.
How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?
The Australian Government has announced amendments to university funding and student contribution fees under its Job-ready Graduates Package.
The fees in the table below apply to students commencing their program in 2021 and are subject to the passage of legislation. Fees for continuing students are available at fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Each course (subject) falls into a band. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.
Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.
You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at Fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2021
Student contribution band by course (subject)
Maximum annual student contribution amount in 2021
Agriculture, english, languages, mathematics, nursing, postgraduate clinical psychology, teaching
|$$3,700 per standard year
$462 per standard (12 credit point) course
Architecture, creative arts, engineering, environmental studies, health, information technology, science
$7,700 per standard year
Dental, medical and veterinary science
$11,300 per standard year
Arts, commerce, communications, economics, humanities (excluding languages), law, management
$14,500 per standard year
How does a HELP loan work?
If your FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying).
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
This program is approved for income support.
You may be eligible for student income support payments from the Commonwealth Government if you are undertaking a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or an approved professionally oriented masters by coursework program. For more information see Income support for Masters students.
If you are enrolled in an eligible program you will also need to satisfy all other student payment eligibility requirements. You can contact Centrelink or Services Australia for further information about student income support entitlements, your eligibility and how to apply.
In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student. The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2021 is $313.
For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.
You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.
In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) in each calendar year.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) - Student visa holders must have cover for the total duration of their visa.
- Some programs incur additional expenses.
You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.
Looking for answers or more general infomation?
For frequently asked questions or how to find more information regarding applications and enrolments, fees, student support services, university policies and more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.