Students working in bioengineering lab

Develop skills and knowledge in engineering, biology and chemistry to understand how vital molecular level interactions can benefit human health.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

5 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A* A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

4 : 1

Based on 2020 entry data

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • ECTS: 300
  • Start date: October 2022

* Apply initially for MEng Molecular Bioengineering (H160)

Apply on UCAS

Overview

Molecular Bioengineering considers how we might engineer biological systems to solve challenges in health and wellbeing.

Through this course, you will develop the scientific understanding and laboratory expertise of a life-scientist with the technical knowledge and problem-solving skills of an engineer.

With this unique combination of skills, you will be well placed to address the global challenges of today: health and well-being agenda, personalised medicine, new biomedical technology industries.

You will gain a theoretical understanding through lectures, study groups and taught classes. During practical wet and dry labs and activities, you will work on real-world projects in medicine and biology with life-changing potential.

Our graduates have the ability to become leaders in their chosen areas. This programme is designed to develop your leadership, communication and teamwork skills, introducing you to professional standards and developing your understanding of engineers’ obligations to society, the profession and the environment.

Study programme

Student using microscopeYou follow a pathway of core modules in years one and two. These modules are designed to build a breadth of core engineering and biomedical engineering knowledge, as well as a specialist understanding of biochemical, physiological and biological processes.

You will undergo extensive wet laboratory training gaining extensive practical skills in the first two years.

In your third year you will begin to tailor the course to by choosing optional modules in areas that interest you. You are also required to select an I-Explore module hosted outside of the department, broadening your education experience in a new context. Alongside these modules you will also undertake a group project.

Year in industry

Your placement year will normally take place in your fourth year. This placement makes the total length of your degree five years.

You will have to demonstrate your employability skills by applying for and securing a placement. You will do this with support from the department’s Industrial Liaison Manager who will monitor and support you during your placement.

In your role, you can expect to work effectively, keeping a logbook of your activities. This can be used as evidence towards gaining chartership with some of the professional engineering bodies.

Towards the end of your placement, you prepare a presentation for your peers, giving an overview of your year. This year is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not contribute towards your final degree mark.

Limited spaces mean competition for placements is strong and selection cannot be guaranteed. Normally only students achieving marks of 60% and above at the time of selection will be eligible.

Final year

You will spend six months exclusively working on a substantial individual research project. You undertake this during your fifth and final year.

This project will be hosted within a research group and allows you to gain an understanding of the latest developments in the Bioengineering. Your ability to work independently will be developed across the year.

In addition, you will choose advanced modules during the year.

Transfer between courses

The Department also offers the MEng in Biomedical Engineering, with options to complete a year in industry or study abroad for a year.

The main difference between this course and our Biomedical Engineering course 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 and organs to the whole organism or human.

Transfer between the MEng Biomedical Engineering and the MEng Molecular Bioengineering is rare and you would need to have met the entry requirements for both programmes.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your student visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

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 them.

Year 1

Core modules

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

  • Molecules and Energetics 1
  • Medical and Biochemical Science 1
  • Mathematics and Engineering 1
  • Computer Fundamentals and Programming 1
  • Design and Professional Practice 1

Year 2

Core modules

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

  • Molecules, Materials and Measurement 2
  • Medical and Biochemical Science 2
  • Mathematics and Engineering 2
  • Programming 2
  • Design and Professional Practice 2

Year 3

Core modules

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

  • Probability and Statistics for Bioengineering 
  • Group Project
  • Biomaterials
  • Synthetic Biology
  • I-Explore
  • Modelling in Biology

Your I-Explore module offers you choices from a range of subjects hosted outside of the department. Here you will be taught alongside students from other courses with options including business, management and many more.

Optional modules

You choose three optional modules from below.

  • Image Processing
  • Digital Biosignal Processing
  • Programming 3
  • Human Centred Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Microfluidic Technology for Analysis 3
  • Advanced Imaging Technologies for Systems Biology
  • Communicating Biomedical Science and Engineering
  • Hearing and Speech Processing*
  • Biomimetics*

* Modules marked with an asterisk are level 7 modules. You will need to complete a minimum number of level 7 modules by the end of your degree.

Year 4

You will spend this year working in industry, applying your knowledge in a practical setting.

Year 5

Core modules

In your final year, you will spend 6 months exclusively working on a substantial Individual Project.

This individual project will be hosted within a research group and allows you to gain an understanding of the latest developments in the Bioengineering field as well as develop your ability to work independently.

Optional modules

You choose four optional modules from Group 1 and one from Group 2.

Modules that appear in both groups may only be taken once.

Group 1
  • Advanced Synthetic Biology*
  • Advanced Chemical Sensors*
  • Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis*
  • Biomedical Imaging*
  • Tissue and Molecular Imaging*
  • Cellular and Molecular Mechanotransduction*
  • Animal Locomotion and Bioinspired Robotics*
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship*
  • Hearing and Speech Processing*
  • Biomimetics*
  • Advanced Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering*
  • Industrial Applications of Cellular Engineering*
  • Nanotechnologies for Cancer Diagnosis and
    Cancer Therapy*
Group 2
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship*
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists

* Modules marked with an asterisk are level 7 modules. You will need to complete a minimum number of level 7 modules by the end of your degree.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore


Download the programme specification‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.

Professional accreditation

This degree is professionally accredited by the following organisations on behalf of the Engineering Council:

Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency.

Achieving this accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC.

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

We are seeking accreditation from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM). There will be a First Output Review after the first graduating class in 2021. If successful, the accreditation will be back-dated to the first intake of students.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will experience a variety of teaching styles, which combine theory and practice:

  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Guest lectures
  • Make, build and test activities
  • Tutorials
  • Study groups

Our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, is used as a repository for teaching materials including ecordings of all lectures, lecture notes and problem sheets. Learning technologies will be used to support teaching activities including in-class polling with Mentimeter, online self-diagnostic quizzes and online class forums.

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

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of face-to-face sessions and independent learning. While your actual contact hours may vary according to the optional modules you choose to study, the following gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the programme.

The expected total study time is 1500 hours per year.

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5
Lectures, seminars and similar 400 hours 400 hours 250 hours Year in industry 250 hours
Independent study, group projects and individual research project 1,100 hours 1,100 hours 1,250 hours Year in industry 1,250 hours
Based on the typical pathway through the course

 

Assessment

Assessment varies between modules, but for the majority, it involves a combination of written exams, practical and continuous assessment of coursework. You complete group work in your second and third year as well as a substantial individual project in your fourth year.

Other assessment methods may include:

  • Assessed coursework (problem sheets, laboratory reports, practical demonstrations, project reports, oral presentations, poster presentations, academic tutorials)
  • Industry logbook
  • In class progress tests
  • Mastery examinations (online/written)
  • Written examinations

Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5
Coursework 34% 53% 47% 100% 59%
Examinations 66% 47% 53% 41%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

You can use the KIS to find out how this course compares in areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

Please note this course is new and therefore the employment and student satisfaction data provided below 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 three years of the course, and this course was first available in 2017/18.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2022 entry is A*AA overall, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A in Chemistry
  • A in another subject 

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2020 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: A*AA–A*A*A

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.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2022 entry is 39 points overall, to include:

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

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2020 entry was 39–40 points.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2022

For entry in 2022, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level, but Analysis and Approaches is preferred.


Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus AB or BC
  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in another subject (Physics 1, 2 or C or Biology are preferred)

You may also require a relevant language qualification for this year abroad degree.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Other qualifications

Places will also be available to those with other equivalent qualifications, e.g. 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

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Post-application open day and interview

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.

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our entry requirements and you may be invited to an online interview.

Additional activities will include a talk from our department, a group activity and a virtual tour of our department.

Foundation programmes

A foundation course is a one-year preparation course, designed for international students, which leads to undergraduate programmes in the UK. Foundation programmes are normally for school-leavers who have studied a non-British curriculum but wish to pursue a degree at a UK university.

Foundation programmes are offered by many UK universities, but only UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE) is considered for entry to Imperial.


UCL UPCSE

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. Students must complete four modules across the year – two compulsory and two elective modules:

ModuleStatus
Research and Academic Skills: Science and Society Compulsory
Academic English Compulsory
Biology Elective
Chemistry Elective
Mathematics Elective
Physics Elective
Information correct at time of publishing, but subject to change
Summary of the table's contents

To be considered for admission to Molecular Bioengineering, international students studying UCL UPCSE must achieve:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics + Chemistry

Contextual admissions

We want to make sure that the Imperial learning community is as diverse as the society we serve. So to make our admissions process as fair as possible, we have introduced admissions schemes for Home students that allow us to consider your application in the full context of any additional barriers you may face.

Find out if you meet the eligibility criteria for our contextual admissions schemes. 

If your predicted grades meet the minimum College entry standard of AAA at A-level or an equivalent level qualification in the relevant subjects, this department will guarantee you an interview.

Read more about the contextual admissions scheme in this department and others.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates 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.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

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

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

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Competence standards

Our competence standards highlight the core skills students should be able to demonstrate by the end of this course.

View the Department of Bioengineering's competence standards [PDF]

We believe in providing the widest practicable access to all of our degree programmes and will make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support your study. For more information, please contact the Department using the contact details below.

Department of Bioengineering

T: +44 (0)20 7594 2259
E: be.ugadmissions@imperial.ac.uk

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Home rate of tuition

2022 entry

The fee for Home students has not been confirmed for the 2022-23 academic year. The fee is controlled by the UK government and we will update this page when it is announced.

As a guide, the Home fee for 2021-22 was £9,250.

Year in industry

For the 2021-22 year in industry, the fee was £925 for that year.

Read more about funding for year in industry placements.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts.

For example, the RPIX value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication). 

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

Overseas rate of tuition

2022 entry

£35,100 per year.

Year in industry

10% of the relevant fee for that year.

Read more about funding for year in industry placements.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication). 

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021.

Additional course costs

This section outlines additional costs relevant to this course. These are not included in your tuition fees. It's possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Figures are approximated, usually based on costs in the most recent academic year. They are likely to change each year but it's useful for you to be aware of the things you may have to pay for. This can help you budget for life at Imperial.

Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you can opt-out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (boiler suit) Mandatory £20
Equipment (electronics kit) Optional £13
Equipment (laptop computer) Optional n/a
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Equipment

The nature of the academic work you will be completing means you will need to wear protective clothing during practical sessions.

You are required to have a boiler suit, which you will need during the second year of the course.

You have the option of purchasing an electronics kit.

You can buy both items from the Department in advance of when they are needed. Payment is in cash.

Laptop computer

Though a laptop computer is not a mandatory requirement, if you are to use one for classes and coursework, it is recommended that your laptop computer meets a minimum specification. For the 2018–19 academic year this was:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 6th/7th generation processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD HDD

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

Alongside a breadth of core engineering and biomedical engineering knowledge, graduates of this course gain a specialist understanding of biochemical, physiological and biological processes allied to excellent advanced laboratory skills in chemical biology, molecular biology, synthetic biology, analytical sciences, microfluidics and device engineering.

These unique skills will ensure graduates are well-placed to help address the global challenges of health and well-being.

Our degrees will not only prepare you for a career in the rapidly growing field of biomedical engineering, but also provide a foundation for careers in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and synthetic biology, regenerative medicine and cell therapy and opportunities arising as a result of new tools of data analysis, genomics sequencing, artificial intelligence and mathematical modelling.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Graduate Engineer, Orthopaedic and neurosurgery company
  • GSK Future Leaders Programme, GSK
  • Biomedical Imaging Scientist, Medtech company
  • Trainee Clinical Bioinformatician, NHS
  • PhD student, Francis Crick Institute

 

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: H160
  • UCAS institution code: I50
Apply on UCAS

Apply on UCAS

You can start and track your application on UCAS Hub. There you can add this course as one of your choices.

 

Application deadlines

26 January 2022 at 18.00 (UK time).

If your application includes a medicine course, the deadline is 15 October 2021 at 18.00 (UK time).

Any questions?

Explore our step by step guide on how to apply. You can also find answers to your questions about admissions.

If you have a disability or impairment, the Disability Advisory Service are here to support you and answer your questions.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Connect with us

Bioengineering student

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 2259
E: be.ugadmissions@imperial.ac.uk

Department of Bioengineering

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