Year abroad regulations

This document details the course selection rules and algorithms for converting marks for students spending their final year abroad in 2023-24. 

Imperial students going abroad

The Department of Bioengineering currently offers a Year Abroad option to students enrolled on the MEng Biomedical Engineering degree programme. Currently there are exchange options to six campuses at top universities worldwide:

Students go abroad in their final year and complete a similar number of courses to that required of MEng students at Imperial. In addition they are required to complete an independent research project. They graduate with an MEng Biomedical Engineering with a Year Abroad degree from Imperial College London.

All courses abroad are taught in English, but students are encouraged to learn the language of the host country. Up to three students will be selected every year. For the University of California, one student will be selected from the Department to compete at the Faculty of Engineering level for an exchange visit to the University of California, but is not guaranteed a position. A link to this year's talk can be found on BlackBoard here - Bioengineering Year Abroad and Year in Industry Intro Sessions

If you would like to find out more information from those who have experienced a year abroad you can contact the following: 

Information about the Year Abroad

Application procedure

You should follow these steps if you wish to apply for the Year Abroad programme:

  1. Write a one page essay describing why you want to go abroad and what you will gain from it.
  2. Submit a list of modules you will take while abroad.
  3. Submit a 2 pages CV
  4. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed

Please submit all your application materials as one single PDF to  then click on the Year 3 folder and submit by Monday the 27th of November at 5 pm.

An information session about the exchange process will take place during welcome week in October, which will be announced by email to all undergraduate students. Applications for the next academic year will open shortly after the session, but the deadline will be at the end of November as announced during the information session.

We select the candidates that we feel are most suitable for the Year Abroad according to the information we gain from the essay and the interview, and academic results. A minimum of an overall result at 2:1 level after Y2 is required.

Timeline for 2023 application

Application deadline: Monday the 27th of November at 5 pm

Shortlisting result: Monday 4th of December

Interview: The week of December 4th

Decision: Monday 11th December

Start drafting study plan: Feb 2024

Formal application deadline: April 2024 (varies depending on the host institute)

Please contact Dr Huai-Ti Lin for questions about the departmental nomination.

Exchange universities

ETH Zurich Biomedical Engineering - Students will take MSc courses. They will not take the full complement of courses as they will be required to do an independent research project. Consult their website for more information and course lists.

Grenoble Institute of Technology, France (School of Physics, Applied Physics, Electronics, and Material Science) - Students will be in the Systems and Microsystems for Physics and Biotechnology specialisation.  Students will take courses from Semester 3, 4, and 5 as well as completing a project. 

The University of California has 9 campuses.  Not all of them offer Biomedical Engineering. Though you cannot be guaranteed a position at a particular campus, the following campuses have strong programmes in Biomedical Engineering:

  • University of California, Berkeley - Bioengineering - Students will take final year (senior) courses or 200 level courses. A course list can be found here. Students are advised to take BioE 196 to satisfy their project requirement.  It is critical to ensure the prerequisites are satisfied before enrolling in a course.
  • University of California, San Diego - Bioengineering - Students will take Graduate courses. A course list can be found here.  Students are advised to take BEng 199 to satisfy their project requirement.  It is critical to ensure the prerequisites are satisfied before enrolling in a course. 

National University of Singapore. Students will be affiliated to the Department of Bioengineering, but may be able to follow courses in other departments if suitable. Students will typically take courses from Semester 5 and above, as well as complete a project. For a list of undergraduate modules please click here, and information for exchange students at NUS can be found here. Note that the first term starts early August and the academic year finishes about one month earlier than at Imperial.

A normal course load would be 3 - 4 courses per term plus the project.  Ensure the total course hours are equivalent to the final year courses at Imperial, and we would expect you to take an equivalent number of credits abroad (about 30 per term, plus project work).  European schools use the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) for counting credits. Exchange students can normally take classes outside of the host department but with some restrictions specific to the host department. You can view the regulations for the MEng Biomedical Engineering (Mechanical Engineering pathway), MEng Biomedical Engineering (Electrical Engineering pathway), and MEng Biomedical Engineering (Bioengineering pathway).

Students abroad wishing to study at Imperial

We offer official exchanges only with the above universities.  Erasmus exchanges with other universities are currently not being considered.  However, if students from abroad would like to study at Imperial for a year, they are welcome to apply as Non-Exchange Occasional Students.  This requires that they pay Imperial fees.  Because of our course structure and exam schedule, visiting students are required to come for the entire year (we do not accept visiting students for a single term).  If after careful consideration a student wishes to apply, they should email Adrian Hawksworth. (The Erasmus Code is UK LONDON015)

Students abroad wishing to do project work at Imperial

The first step for completing project work at Imperial is contacting a potential supervisor in the Department of Bioengineering.  If a member of academic staff agrees to supervise, there are a number of different routes available.  For undergraduate project work, students can be registered either in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) or as Non-Exchange Occasional Students.  For postgraduate project work, students must be registered as Non-Exchange Occasional Students.  The supervisor can advise which application route is suitable.  The maximum stay for project work is 6 months.