Bio- and Medical Physics – University of Copenhagen

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Physics > Specialisations > Bio- and Medical Physics

Bio- and Medical Physics

Bio- and Medical Physics is a specialisation at the Master of Science Programme (MSc) in Physics.

Modern biological physics or biophysics is a mixture of physics on nano-scale, the physics of complex systems and quantitative biology. The understanding of life and life processes is a key scientific objective as well as a method of developing new disease control tools. In a medical context, physics is used, in particular, for radiation treatments and medical diagnostic imaging. Both areas require in-depth understanding of physics.

Graduates with a specialisation in biophysics have an understanding of the physical characteristics of life's molecular building blocks. You have also learned to develop testable mathematical-physical models of how the individual parts interact to form working feedback systems.

Furthermore, you have built up a solid academic grounding in the border zone between physics and molecular biology, and insight into both biophysical and molecular biological experimental techniques, e.g. single-molecule techniques and super-resolution microscopy.

Study Tracks

It is a good idea to use your elective and restricted elective courses to design a study track that allows you to study a subject area in depth during the specialisation. You can target your specialisation in one of the following directions:

However, you can also customise your programme with a mixture of courses and projects which are relevant to you.

Skills

As a graduate with the specialisation in Bio- and Medical Physics you acquire special skills in: 

  • quantitative descriptions of biological systems.
  • development of theoretical models for life processes, building blocks and networks
  • modern, experimental biophysics techniques, including single-molecule techniques.
  • critical evaluation of biological data sets, including determining the criteria used to identify significant trends.
  • techniques and the background knowledge needed to understand and use physics for medical purposes, e.g. as a hospital physicist or in the medical industry, which are major employers of biophysics graduates.
  • to assess the risks and effects of irradiation of sick and healthy tissue.

Knowledge

You will also possess specialist knowledge of: 

  • how to describe in quantitative terms the physical processes of biological systems at levels down to the individual molecule.
  • setting up models that describe complex biological interactions in complex systems.
  • the possibilities and limitations of experimental, modern techniques in biophysics.
  • how physical methods can be used for medical diagnostics and treatment.
  • the latest research at the academic interface between physics and molecular biology.

Programme structure

The Bio- and Medical Physics specialisation can be structured in two different ways, depending on when you begin your thesis.

Course of study 1 – starting your thesis in the first year of the programme:

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Biophysics of Cells and Single Molecules Dynamical Models in Molecular Biology
Thesis
Year 2 Thesis
Thesis

One block equals nine weeks and 15 ECTS

Course of study 2 – starting your thesis in the second year of the programme:

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Biophysics of Cells and Single Molecules Dynamical Models in Molecular Biology
Year 2 Thesis

One block equals nine weeks and 15 ECTS

     Compulsory course
     Restricted elective course
     Elective course

Restricted elective courses

Choose your restricted elective courses from the lists below. Click on each course for a detailed description.