Medical applications using radionuclides are of increasing importance in today’s world. Tomographic imaging techniques such as PET (positron emission tomography) and SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) are important components of the molecular imaging and the development and use of radionuclides for tumour therapy require special education. The Master Programme in Medical Nuclide Techniques is highly interdisciplinary and brings together leading scientists and clinicians from Uppsala University to create a unique and stimulating educational environment.
Uppsala University has been world leading in this area for many years. This education is at the forefront of research and meets the increasing demand for knowledge in nuclide techniques for physicians, pharmacists, physicists, biologists and chemists.
Why this programme?
The programme provides theoretical and practical skills through a variety of different teaching methods and in close contact with current research projects. The development of radioactive compounds for preclinical research, medical imaging or tumour therapy requires competence from several areas.
The first semester focuses on the unique properties of ionising radiation and radionuclides and includes theoretical and practical training about radiation types and sources, medical use, development of pharmaceutical compounds and techniques to optimise detection and measurement. An important part of the education involves good manufacturing practice (GMP), i.e. how to assure product quality and patient safety in the production of pharmaceutical compounds.
During the second semester you will apply your knowledge from the previous semester with emphasis on potential strategies for research and clinical applications of radionuclides for medical imaging and cancer therapy. The semester ends with a Degree Project where you have the opportunity to focus on a research area of your specific interest.
The first year also features a seminar series covering a variety of topics such as project leadership, design methods, biostatistics, presentation techniques and research ethics.
The overall aim of the third semester is to give advanced knowledge on methods used for radiolabelling of biologically interesting molecules of low and high molecular weight aimed for use in molecular imaging studies (mainly PET and SPECT), preclinical evaluation of radioligands, and an overview of their clinical use. You will be trained in experimental design as well as to independently analyse and interpret research results and data generated by current methods and technologies.
The programme is concluded with an independent Master’s degree project in the field of medical nuclide techniques, which may be performed within the academy, at a biotech/pharma company or in the public sector.
The programme leads to a Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with Medical Nuclide Techniques as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Medical Science (60 credits).
During the first semester you will focus on methods and technologies for producing, assessing and measuring ionising radiation. You will study physical and biological aspects on ionising radiation, including sources of radiation, measurements and estimates of radiation effects and risks. The choice of labelling method is critical for functional molecules in radionuclide-based imaging and therapy and you will study various techniques for labelling and purification of radionuclides for preclinical applications. Further studies involve function and application of detectors and imaging modalities in research and for clinical practice, including PET (positron emission tomography) cameras and how to assure product quality and patient safety in the production of pharmaceutical compounds. The first year ends with an individual project where you can study, as a literature project or combined with experimental work, an area of specific interest. The programme will also give you insights into presentation techniques and research ethics.
The second year includes studies on strategies for compound development, labelling techniques, testing and evaluation of radionuclide-labelled compounds aimed for in vitro and in vivo (PET, SPECT) research and clinical practice. During the last semester you will undertake an independent degree project in a research group at an academic department, in a company or other agency in Sweden or abroad. You conclude the degree project by writing a thesis, compiling the research results, and giving a research seminar.
Courses within the programme
Year 1 Radiation Protection and Medical Effects, 6 credits Nuclide Production and Radiochemistry, 9 credits Detection Techniques and Dosimetry, 12 credits Good Manufacturing Practice, GMP, 6 credits Nuclide Diagnostics and Therapy, 12 credits Degree Project, 15 credits
Year 2 Labelling Chemistry and Compound Development, 30 credits Degree Project, 30 credits
Teaching is made up of scheduled lectures, laboratory exercises, seminars, problem-oriented group assignments, demonstrations and study visits. The programme is given in Uppsala.
All lectures are closely connected to current international research and include presentations of on-going research at the departments as well as instruction by invited scientists. The seminars are designed to develop the ability to understand, interpret and critically evaluate scientific literature. This also includes exercises in discussing results, choices of methods and summarising facts and hypotheses both orally and in writing.
The increasing depth of theoretical knowledge is measured in the examination of course components. The ability to analyse, evaluate and draw conclusions from scientific data is judged in specific seminars and theoretical tasks. The curriculum requires full-time studies. Practical experience of experimental strategies and scientific problem solving are integrated as compulsory parts of the studies. Your creativity and problem-solving abilities will develop through in-depth assignments and the Master’s degree project.
With an advanced education in medical nuclide techniques you are expected to go on to careers in research, healthcare systems, pharma or biotechnology companies, and governmental organisations. The interdisciplinary training, with focus on development of radionuclide labelled compounds, and knowledge about new methods and applications are highly important for progress of molecular imaging in research as well as in healthcare. The strong association with research in the programme gives you an excellent basis for further academic research and PhD studies in the field.
The second round of application is open and closes on April 15. This round is primarily for students not requiring visa, since admissions will not be decided until beginning of July. Applications must be through the Swedish application system, www.antagning.se. For more information, please contact the programme before applying.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be medicine, pharmacy, physics, radiophysics, chemistry, biology, or a similar field of study.
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90