Frequently asked questions

What are the requirements for obtaining a PhD?

The PhD in Bioengineering is a research degree and it is awarded on the basis of the research and the submitted thesis. Although there is no formal teaching element of the degree, students are encouraged to sit in on relevant postgraduate courses that are being offered.

In addition, it is a College requirement that PhD students attend selected training courses offered by the Graduate School. Examples of these these are courses in writing technical reports or public speaking.

How does the application process work?

This is covered in the application pages of the postgraduate prospectus, but the official process is as follows:

  • applicant contacts chosen supervisor to discuss potential projects
  • online submission of an application via the Imperial College Postgraduate Admissions webpage
  • distribution of the application to the department(s) indicated by the student
  • circulation of the application to the relevant staff member(s) within the department
  • interview of applicant by supervisor plus one further member of academic staff (if not already arranged)
  • supervisor's decision sent to the Registry Admissions Office for processing
  • student is notified of the result of their application via email from the College Registry

Please note that you should decide on your preferred topic and supervisor before making your application.

Where will I live and what will it cost to live in London?

This is a very open ended question. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world and South Kensington is one of the most expensive boroughs in London. However, more affordable options exist in the surrounding areas within the radius of a few Underground stops.

There is a limited amount of postgraduate housing available through Imperial College. This housing is generally limited to the first year of postgraduate study.

The College regularly assesses the maintenance costs for its students and publishes their findings. Check the College Student Financial Support pages for details.

Where will I work?

PhD students are an integral part of the research life of the Department. All of our students are given desk and laboratory space within the department, generally near their supervisor together with other students in the same area. In order to encourage the interdisciplinary nature of bioengineering research, we also try to accommodate students with different backgrounds together.

In 2008 the Department moved into new space on levels 3 and 4 of the Royal School of Mines Building, and now also occupies office and lab space in the adjacent Bessemer Building.

What can I do after my degree?

Based on the different groups that were forerunners of the department, the largest percentage of our PhD graduates has gone into Academia. This is not surprising since, until recently, we have been a primarily research oriented department. However, an increasing number of our PhD graduates are now going into industry and R&D positions.

MRes and PhD Programmes (1+3 degrees)

Any of our MRes programmes (MRes Bioengineering or MRes Medical Device Design) can form the first year of effectively a 4 year PhD (1 year MRes + 3 year Phd), but you have to apply for each programme separately. The application is done through Imperial’s central service. Admissions on the MRes does not necessarily mean admissions to the PhD programme.

All of this, of course, requires that Imperial's entry criteria are met: