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MSc-PGDip in Radiation and Environmental Protection

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  • Objectives
    Radiation and environmental protection is a well-developed science concerned with maintaining and improving environmental quality in the face of increasing technological activity. The University of Surrey MSc is a physics-based degree that has been recognised by the EPSRC since its inception in 1975. The programme aims to provide a thorough grounding in radiation protection and to show how the technical and organisational procedures of the discipline may be applied to the broader concept of environmental protection. The substantial practical element of the programme enables the student to relate taught material to its real-world application. In addition to attending formal lectures, students carry out work in radiation laboratories. There is also a five-week Spring project and a eleven-week MSc dissertation project. Students use a wide range of radioactive sources and radiation detectors. The programme in Radiation and Environmental Protection gains depth from the strong research base in the Department. Our extensive use of external lecturers, who are specialists in their own fields, adds a significant strength to our teaching capability. The programme's long-standing reputation within the field and strong industrial links ensure that our graduates are highly sought after for well-remunerated positions in both the public and private sectors.
  • Entry requirements
    Typical entry requirements An honours degree in the physical sciences or environmental sciences
  • Academic Title
    MSc/PGDip in Radiation and Environmental Protection
  • Course description
    MSc/PGDip in Radiation and Environmental Protection Module overview

    The MSc in Radiation and Environmental Protection comprises nine separate elements, each of which is mandatory.

    Autumn Semester

    Radiation Physics
    This module provides a general overview of atomic and nuclear physics and the interaction of radiation with matter. It provides the student with an understanding of the structure of matter, radioactivity, types of radiation and the mechanisms by which radiation interacts with matter.

    Radiation Measurement
    This module will give the student an understanding of the physical/chemical principles underlying the operation of a wide range of techniques for detection/dosimetry of ionising radiation, enabling the student to make appropriate choices of instrumentation in practical situations.

    Nuclear and Non-ionising Radiation
    This module describes the physical propagation of electromagnetic radiation, its interaction and effect in biological tissue, and methods for calculating dosimetry of non-ionising radiation. Students develop an understanding of the biological effects of time varying electromagnetic fields and radiation on humans, animals and isolated cell preparations. Following an introduction to neutron interactions and the underlying concepts in reactor physics, this module also describes reactor operation, control and changes in fuel composition and concludes with an overview of reactor decommissioning, fuel storage and disposal.

    Laboratories
    The laboratory module is designed to provide the student with practical experience in handling radioactive substances. Initially laboratory work comprises scripted experiments, but subsequently students are asked to design their own experiment. The practical work is backed up by taught material in the form of brief lectures on statistics, computing and laboratory techniques.

    Spring Semester

    Radiation Protection

    International legislative frameworks of radiation protection are discussed at the beginning of this module. From this starting point the module covers population and personal exposures to radiation, the principles of dose calculations, and example procedures for implementing radiation protection programmes.

    Radiation Biology
    This module begins with an overview of human biology, followed by a discussion of the nature of the interaction of ionising radiation with biological systems. The module emphasises the effects at the cellular level and the impact that this has on the individual and across the population. The effects of ingested radionuclides are also covered.

    Environmental Physics and Environmental Protection

    This module describes the legislative framework of environmental protection, describing the major concepts in the field. It reviews the establishment and verification of systems for environmental protection, considering both legal and economic aspects. The module concludes with a practical review of environmental protection as applied in the nuclear and related industries.

    Spring Project
    A five-week intensive research project is carried out at the beginning of the Spring semester.

    Summer Dissertation Project
    An eleven-week, extensive dissertation project is carried out during the summer.

    Programme length
    12 months full-time; 24 months part-time

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