FAQs for intercalated students
Here you will find some answers to frequently asked questions about the Department of Bioengineering's intercalated BSc in Biomedical Engineering. If your question is not answered below, please contact the Student Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who should I contact with general queries?
What is the support like for students on this course? Having done no engineering previously, will there be enough support for me?
All students will take an online pre-sessional module, with online tutorial support. We will allocate all intercalating students a Personal Tutor to provide pastoral support and general academic guidance (as is the case for all our students). The Department has an excellent Academic Tutor who supports students with specific academic issues, or welfare matters. Graduate Teaching Assistants will also support modules through weekly study group classes (problem classes). The Department is renowned for being welcoming and supportive so you will settle in quickly.
There is also the student-led Bioengineering Society which provides a community for all bioengineers and runs many social activities throughout the year, thus providing an invaluable peer support network.
We understand that intercalating students may not have an engineering background and this will be taken into account throughout the programme.
When does the programme finish?
We know that your 5th year of study begins in June, straight after the BSc programme. We have specifically planned the structure and assessment of the intercalated BSc Biomedical Engineering programme to ensure you have completed your studies by this point.
How many students will be able to take this course?
2017 will be the first year this programme is run so we do not have previous intake numbers. However, we anticipate that the first cohort will be of approximately 10- 20 students, from both Imperial’s School of Medicine and other universities.
Entry requirements & pre-sessional learning
If I have not done a Physics A-Level, how difficult would it be for me to grasp the concepts of engineering necessary for this programme?
The most important thing is your performance in mathematics, since in our experience this is a more reliable indicator of likely performance in engineering. This is why a minimum of a ‘B’ in A-Level Mathematics (or equivalent) is a prerequisite for this intercalated degree. Physics A-level would be helpful since it introduces key concepts in both electrical and mechanical engineering. Finally, it is very important that you are enthusiastic about learning engineering.
Is the pre-sessional work compulsory? Do I have to do it over the summer before term starts?
Yes, it is essential that all students of this programme complete the online pre-sessional module before starting the programme. The module is planned so it can be completed over approximately 6 weeks, with around 5 hours of structured learning every week. For some students it will also be necessary to dedicate additional time to developing a sound understanding of the concepts covered. Without this fundamental knowledge, students would be unprepared for the start of lectures in October and may then struggle to catch up, which would impact on performance in assessments.
Why is it necessary to have achieved at least a 2.1 in the first two years of study?
It is likely that most students will find this programme very intellectually challenging (and rewarding), and quite different from medicine. In the absence of other relevant qualifications, performance in the academic part of the MBBS is likely to be a reasonable predictor of success.
Group research project
How does the group research project work?
Intercalated students will join bioengineering students in their 3rd year MEng project groups. The project work is continuous throughout the academic year and a substantial commitment to the project is required throughout the autumn and spring term, with the summer term devoted largely to finishing off experimental work and writing up. Assessment of the intercalated students will be separate from the rest of the group since the timings of the end of the academic year are different. In addition to the group project work, you will also undertake a substantial literature review related to the project.
What are the research opportunities with this BSc, and is there a chance of getting a publication from the research?
The main research project is undertaken in a group with other bioengineering students who are in the third year of a MEng degree. Each project will be unique so the opportunities to publish will also vary (and will depend on the quality of the work produced). However, some students in the Department have gone on to publish in peer-reviewed journals or present their work, though this would typically be in collaboration with research supervisors and their groups.
You can find out more about student impact on our website.
Which year of study will the bioengineers that we work with be in?
For the group project, you will work with the MEng Biomedical Engineering students, who will be in their third year.
For some taught modules, you will be taught alongside 3rd year, 4th year, or MSc students. However we have selected a restricted range of modules which we think are appropriate for the programme. Assessment of the taught components will be separate from the other students.
Will I be able to take modules from the Department, other than those listed for the intercalated biomedical engineering programme?
No. The structure of the programme has been carefully designed so that you develop a breadth of engineering knowledge whilst still being able to delve more deeply into areas of particular interests. Whilst the Department runs many modules which could be of interest, it is important to ensure that the programme is cohesive and that you study modules pitched at the right level and with a relevant focus.
How would I know which elective modules to select?
All successful applicants to the programme will be supported in making their elective module choices, and provided with further information about the content of each module. You will be allocated a Personal Tutor, who will be able to advise you, and the Department’s Academic Tutor will be available to help you make an informed decision.
How much teaching is there per week?
The likely number of hours of teaching per week is dependent on your personal timetable, and the electives you have selected. However, students should expect to be busy with a full timetable of lectures, laboratory sessions, project work and study groups. All students have at least a 1-hour lunch break, and lectures are scheduled from 09.00-18.00 Monday - Friday (but Wednesday afternoons are kept free for student activities).