Minimally invasive robotic surgery

UCAS code: H160
ECTS: 240
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 4 years full-time

LocationSouth Kensington

Bioengineering brings together engineering, biology and medicine, and applies engineering principles to biological and medical problems.

With an ageing population and advances in technology, molecular bioengineering plays an integral role in global issues such as healthcare and well-being.

About the course


Our four-year MEng degree in Molecular Bioengineering utilises a strong engineering approach to focus on understanding the links between molecules, cells, tissues, organs and limbs generating function, health and disease.

The Department offers a number of courses. The main difference between this course and our Biomedical Engineering degree is that Biomedical Engineering takes a top down approach, looking first at the whole organism, injury or problem and then working down to a cellular level.

By contrast, Molecular Bioengineering takes a bottom-up approach, first looking at cells and molecules, then building up from tissues, organs to the whole organism or human.

The Molecular Bioengineering programme offers extensive laboratory time developing cell culture, molecular biology and chemistry skills. The Biomedical Engineering programme, meanwhile, offers the chance to develop a deeper understanding of electrical or mechanical engineering, through mechanics/electrical workshops and computational laboratory sessions.

By taking an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating engineering, biology and chemistry, you will seek to understand how vital molecular level interactions can benefit human health and well-being.

You will develop a specialist understanding of biochemical, physiological and biological processes coupled with advanced practical laboratory skills in chemical biology, molecular biology, synthetic biology, analytical sciences, microfluidics and device engineering.

You will specialise further by completing a research project in your field of interest, and write a thesis on your findings.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that not all combinations of optional modules may be possible due to timetabling constraints.

Year 1

Core modules

You take all of the core modules from the list below.

  • Bioengineering in Action
  • Biomolecular Engineering 1
  • Digital Logic and Programming
  • Mathematics 1
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineering mini-modules
  • Medical Science 1
  • Molecular Bioengineering Laboratories 1
  • Molecules Cells and Processes 1
  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Year 2

Core modules

You take all of the core modules from the list below.

  • Analytical Sciences
  • Biomolecular Engineering 2
  • Mathematics 2
  • Medical Science 2
  • Molecular Bioengineering Design Project
  • Molecular Bioengineering Laboratories 2
  • Molecules, Cells and Processes 2
  • Signals and Control

Year 3

Core modules

You take all of the core modules from the list below.

  • Bioengineering solutions for cancer
  • Biomaterials
  • Group Project
  • Modelling in Biology
  • Probability and Statistics for Bioengineering
  • Synthetic Biology
Optional modules

You choose three optional modules from the lists below, with no more than one module from Group 2.

Group 1
  • Biomimetics
  • Image processing
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Inter-Departmental Exchange
Group 2
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Imperial Horizons

Year 4

Core modules
  • Individual Project
Optional modules

You choose three optional modules from the lists below, with no more than one module from Group 2.

Group 1
  • Advanced Chemical Sensors
  • Advanced Medical Imaging
  • Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • Advanced Synthetic Biology
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Imperial Horizons
Group 2
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Imperial Horizons

Teaching and assessment

You will learn through lectures, tutorials, study groups, laboratory sessions and make, build and test activities.

The laboratory sessions will include wet laboratories, computing and mathematics laboratories, which provide a practical side to teaching and assessment.

Assessment varies between modules, but for the majority it involves a combination of written exams, practical and continuous assessment of coursework. You will also complete online progression tests, give presentations and conduct laboratory practical exercises.

The final degree mark is awarded at the end of your studies and includes performance from all four years of the course.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Additional details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (Key Information Set).

The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.

The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via unistats.

Please note this course is new and therefore the employment and student satisfaction data provided at the bottom of this page is an illustration of provision in the subject area rather than specific data for this course. The surveys this data is drawn from are completed after all four years of the course, and this course will first be available in 2017/18 so no specific data is available as yet.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.

All engineers must use physical principles to understand the problems they are addressing. One major approach is to use mathematical models to describe the processes and systems that they are investigating and to predict their performance. A thorough understanding of mathematics is therefore essential. 


The normal A-level requirements are A*AA, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A in Chemistry
  • A in another science subject
Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

International Baccalaureate

38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in a third subject at higher level

English language requirements (all applicants)

All applicants must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Other qualifications

Places will also be available to those with other equivalent qualifications, e.g. Advanced Placement Tests, European Baccalaureate, some of the national Baccalaureates in the European Union, Scottish Qualifications, Irish Leaving Certificate, and to applicants with appropriate educational experience or other competencies.

See admission of students with other competencies.

Selection process

The Department of Bioengineering has an admissions policy which ensures that all applications are dealt with in the same way.

If you are likely to meet the entrance requirements and live within reach of London, you will normally be invited to visit the College and see our Department.

You may also be interviewed by one or more members of the academic staff.

When assessing applications, we will consider your examination results (already gained and predicted), your motivation and understanding of biomedical engineering as a career, your potential for leadership and teamwork, your interests and the referee’s report.

Tuition fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£9,250 per year

The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time. 

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£27,750 per year

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.

Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.

Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.


The below item is mandatory for all Molecular Bioengineering students:

  • Biomolecular modelling kit (approximately £25.00)

You can purchase the item from the Department during the first term, and payment is made in cash.

Laptop computer

You will need a laptop for some classes and coursework. The laptop must meet a minimum specification. For the 2017–18 academic year this was:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 5th Gen processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD HDD

The Department has a number of laptops available for loan for the duration of your course. A deposit of £100 is required, refundable when you return the laptop at the end of your course.

You will have the chance to indicate whether you wish to take part in the laptop loan scheme when contacted by the Department in the September before you start your course.

If you choose to borrow a laptop, you will be sent an invoice for the deposit amount which is payable online before the start of term. A variety of payment methods are available.

Bursaries and scholarships

Imperial Bursary

The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.

It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.

As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.

The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.


Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.

They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.

A wide range of other scholarships is also available. Find out which scholarships you may be eligible for by using our scholarships search tool.

To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017. 

The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.

Students at a school/college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.

To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS

If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed your application and it’s been submitted through UCAS’s Apply system, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

Professional accreditation and associateship

You will receive an associateship of the City and Guilds Association in addition to your degree.

What our graduates do

You will graduate with unique skills ensuring you are extremely well placed to contribute to addressing the global challenges of today in the health and well-being agenda, personalised medicine and new biomedical technology industries.

As molecular bioengineering is a new course for October 2017 there are not examples of careers pursued by graduates.

You can expect to pursue the following careers as a graduate of this course:

  • Drug delivery design
  • Research careers
  • Medical device design

Information for offer holders for 2017

This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened on 1 September 2016.

All core modules are displayed on this page; the optional modules represent an indicative list of those that are likely to be available rather than all optional modules that will be offered every year. As a result, the changes recorded only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

  • 18/08/2017 – the module titled Physiological Imaging and Monitoring has been amended to Bioengineering Solutions for Cancer.
  • 18/08/2017 – the two modules titled Control Systems and Signals and Systems have been merged into a new module called Signals and Controls.

For more information about these changes, please contact the Department using the contact details in the left hand column. Keep checking back for future updates.