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MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation

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  • Objectives
    The Department of Physics has one of the largest nuclear and applied radiation physics research groups in the UK, and this programme builds on the Group's strong international reputation in detector physics and technology, and our existing strong links with industry and government institutes in the areas of radiation physics, environmental monitoring, and detector technology. The MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation provides training and expertise in the use of radiation detectors, instrumentation techniques and data processing, and their application across a range of fields including medical physics, nuclear and particle physics, astronomy, and homeland security. Various industrial sectors use radiation detection as a core technology, including medical imaging, security and baggage scanning, the nuclear power industry, the defence services and scientific research organisations (specifically nuclear physics, high energy physics, and space science). There is currently a particular renewed interest in nuclear power and remediation work, and also in homeland security and counter-terrorism activities. Through its research activity and its long-standing MSc programmes in Radiation and Environmental Protection, and Medical Physics, the Department has extensive associations with many of the major industries and institutes in the sector. This new MSc programme is subject to validation and will take its first student entry in September 2008.
  • Entry requirements
    Typical entry requirements An honours degree in the physical sciences
  • Academic Title
    MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation
  • Course description
    MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation Module overview

    The MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation is a modular programme containing eight taught modules in the Autumn and Spring semesters (totalling 120 credits) plus a summer dissertation project (60 credits).

    The programme is provided in collaboration with the University of Sussex, and includes optional taught modules at Sussex, covering the applications of radiation detection in high energy physics and astronomy. These modules are taught by academic staff from the Department of Physics at Sussex who are research leaders in these fields.

    In common with all our MSc programmes, students carry out a summer project (approximately three months) which can be taken at either Surrey or Sussex Universities, or at a sponsoring company. The summer project culminates in a dissertation, which represents 60 credits of the total of 180 credits for the complete MSc.

    The provisional module titles are:

    Autumn Semester

    Radiation Physics
    The main concepts in atomic, nuclear and radiation physics, covering basic nuclear structure physics, nuclear models, decay modes of the nucleus and the origin of radioactive decay modes.

    Radiation Measurement
    Interaction of radiation with matter, including the physical principles behind radiation detection and measurements, and overview of the basic categories of radiation detectors and associated instrumentation.

    Advanced Detector Concepts
    More detailed exploration of radiation detector concepts with an emphasis on semiconductor detectors, gas detectors and scintillation detectors, plus related topics such as energy resolution, charge transport and statistical processes.

    Core Radiation Laboratory
    A range of experiments designed to provide familiarity with the full set of radiation detector systems, including alpha and beta particle detection, X- and gamma-ray spectroscopy and neutron detection.

    Spring Semester

    Advanced Nuclear Instrumentation
    Various instrumentation topics including the performance and use of preamplifiers and spectroscopy systems, digital pulse shape discrimination and MCA systems, plus performance of ASIC-based detector readout.

    Radiation Detection Applications
    Students choose two modules from the following five:

    -High Energy Physics (taught at Sussex)
    -Astronomy (taught at Sussex)
    -Radiation Protection
    -Medical Applications of Ionising Radiation
    -Radiation Imaging for Security Applications

    Programme length
    One year full-time

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