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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PHM-GSM
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BRADLEY DA Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Autumn and Spring Semesters


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)


Test and coursework


100 %


Part-time Students:


Same as for full time students


Qualifying Condition(s) 


There is one test on Probability and Statistics, seminars by each student (for the section Computers in Medicine). There are two pieces of writing (one each for sections Communication Skills and Electrical Safety Aspects of Medical Physics). The marks are equally divided among the four individual components of the assessment with 25 % of the available marks assigned to each item.
Module Overview

An introduction to the use of computers in medicine, laboratory peripherals and simple interfacing. Basic ideas in probability and statistics will also be covered with a view towards valid interpretation of an inference from data. The applications used to illustrate these ideas will be drawn from content relevant to the course. A half-day communication skills workshop will address the need for the science professional to communicate in an effective manner, in accord with the accepted norms.


Also provided will be comparison of types of medical imaging that allows both differing and complementary characteristics to be compared in relation to the state of formal imaging theory. Methods of image display and hard copy output are considered, together with factors affecting visual perception.


Safety is of paramount importance in the hospital situation and students will also be expected to understand a wide variety of safety procedures, in particular in regard to electrical safety.  
Module Aims
To provide each student with programming skills and the knowledge to enable them to effect typical laboratory interfacing tasks. To convey an essential understanding of the principles of probability and statistics and how they can be applied to practical problems. To create an appreciation of the basic ideas engendering effective communication skills. To provide an overview of the electrical hazards that can arise when equipment is connected to patients and review the ways in which the risks to both patients and operators can be minimised. To provide an overview of the imaging process as related to medical equipment and methodology.
Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, the student should be able to:


Module Specific Skills:


  • design and implement simple programmes in C and understand the principles involved in interfacing to peripheral equipment;


  • apply probability distribution theory and statistical inference to sets of data;


  • perform calculations for random and systematic errors, curve fitting, hypothesis and significance tests and apply these techniques to a variety of problems;


  • be aware of the duties and responsibilities of a clinical scientist and other health professions, to ensure both professional safety at work and also that of the patient;


  • understand the similarities between imaging techniques and the relative advantages of different approaches to underpin more detailed courses  in this programme;


  • represent and defend a piece of work at a seminar.



Discipline Specific Skills


  • demonstrate familiarity with the techniques of statistical analysis;  test for significance, confidence limits etc;


  • be conversant with data manipulation, and the techniques of image formation and display;



Personal and Key Skills:


·         solve problems in a systematic manner;


·         possess IT skills.


ability to evaluate the risks involved in a particular application.
Module Content















Mr N. Tomlinson




Prof BN Murdin










Dr D. Faux (DF)


Dr K. Wells (KW)


Dr E. Lewis (EL)







Dr DA Bradley



Mr A Deller


The Nations Health and the Role of Medical Physics



Probability and Statistics


Probability, conditional probability, Bayes' rule, independence, random variables, expectation, some standard distributions.


Statistics:  samples and populations, estimation, significance tests, some applications



Computers in Medicine


To provide an overview of the application of computers in medicine and a specific understanding of the role of computers in imaging applications.






Communication Skills



Electrical Safety Aspects of Medical Physics


An outline of electrostatic, and current electricity macroshock and microshock hazards.  National and International standards.  Risk analysis. Examples of hazards taken from current publications.
















2 (DF)



























3 hrs lab (DF)


8 hrs seminar (KW/EL)






Methods of Teaching/Learning
The module is taught by lecturers from the Faculty of Electronics & Physical Sciences, industry and hospital professionals.
Selected Texts/Journals

Selected Texts/Journals


Each lecturer recommends his/her own set of reference books. The current list is as follows:


(i) Essential Reading


Statistics for Technology, C Chatfield, 3rd Edn, Chapman & Hall, 1983


Practical Statistics for Medical Research, DG Altman, Chapman & Hall, 1991


Medical Technology, D W Hill & R Summers, Chapman & Hall, 1994


The Physics of Medical Imaging, Ed S Webb, IoPP, 1988, 2002


Imaging Systems for Medical Diagnostics, Ed E Krestel, Siemens, Berlin , 1990


(ii) Supplementary Reading


A Handbook of Public Speaking for Scientists & Engineers, P. Kenny, Adam Hilger,1982


Scientists Must Write: A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students, R Barass, Routledge Falmer; 2nd  Edn (2002)


Practical Statistics for Medical Research, DG Altman, Chapman & Hall, 1991


PACS, Basic Principles and Applications, HK Huang, 1999


PACS, A Guide to the Digital Revolution, KJ Dreyer & JH Thrall, 2002


PACS & Imaging Informatics, Basic Principles and Applications, HK Huang 2004


Last Updated
19 August 2008