Research in the Department covers a variety of areas and involves collaborations with several departments at Imperial, as well as leading national and international research institutions. Core research areas include biomechanics and mechanobiology, detection, devices, design, implants and regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular bioengineering, neural engineering and human and biological robotics. See our research pages for further details.

Our PhD students are encouraged to interact with researchers working in different areas and are commonly co-supervised by academics from other departments. Such interdisciplinary training fosters the intellectual capabilities and practical skills needed to cooperate with engineers, clinicians and scientists from a variety of academic backgrounds. Some examples of recent PhD projects are given in the list of departmental theses.


PhD degree & student milestones

"PhD students from the Department of Bioengineering are also expected to present their work at national and international conferences and have won several prizes for their work."

The PhD in Bioengineering is a research degree awarded on the basis of the thesis submitted, and typically takes three or four years to complete.

Our PhD training aims to provide students with a qualification of international standing that is suited for an industrial or academic career. To achieve this, we complement work on the research project with three further elements of training:

  • Departmental courses or modules on relevant topics, which students may attend to deepen their project-specific understanding.
  • Interdisciplinary research seminars and courses taught at the College and elsewhere, from which students can acquire knowledge of new areas.
  • A variety of courses offered by the College’s Graduate School which are designed to broaden the student's range of transferable skills.

The major milestones that our PhD students encounter are detailed in our ‌. See also the Registry Research Degrees page.

How to apply

Graduates with a degree in engineering, any of the physical sciences, mathematics, biological sciences, physiology or medicine may be accepted for a PhD. We will normally only accept applicants with a good 2:1 or 1st class degree from a UK university, or non-UK equivalent.
  1. Check the Imperial College entry requirements to ensure you meet the minimum entry criteria for research.
  2. Visit the research and academic staff pages of the Bioengineering website to identify topics of interest and appropriate supervisors.
  3. Contact your chosen supervisor(s) directly, to devise or discuss potential projects.
  4. Make your official PhD application via the Imperial College online application system. Make sure you state your chosen topic and supervisor(s) on the form and details of any department/College funding you may be applying for, as well as attaching all necessary documents.
  5. Your supervisor will contact you to arrange for an interview.
  6. After your interview, your supervisor will tell you if they will be nominating you for funding (if appropriate).
  7. You can expect to receive a decision on your application within 8 weeks of applying (usually via your student e-service account).


  • Candidates wanting to work with Prof Molly Stevens should apply via the Materials Department not Bioengineering.
  • If applying for funding, please contact your chosen supervisor well before the funding deadline to ensure that they have time to review your application and arrange an interview. Candidates who do not meet the relevant deadlines can be considered for the PhD programme but may not be considered for funding.
  • If you plan to start in October you should apply no later than July in the year you plan to start to allow time to process applications and obtain any necessary visas.  Although most PhD students start in October, it may be possible to start at other times in the year according to funding deadlines etc. Please discuss your start date with your potential supervisor.


The amount of money you will need to fund a PhD will vary according to your fee status (UK, EU or overseas). See the College Student Financial Support pages for information on fees, living costs and College-administered scholarships.

Students in the department are funded from a variety of sources, including UK Research Councils, industry, College scholarships and departmental funding.  Current funding opportunities available to Bioengineering applicants are advertised on our PhD studentships page.