Year abroad regulations

This document details the course selection rules and algorithms for converting marks for students spending their final year abroad in 2018-19. 

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 two 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.

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. Candidates will be interviewed before the final selection is made.

An information session about the exchange process will take place in the middle of  November, which will be announced by email to all undergraduate students. Applications for the next academic year will open typically one week after this session, and an interview will be conducted to select the candidates shortly after.

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.

Please contact Dr Firat Güder for questions about the exchange programme.

Exchange universities

TU Delft 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 on-line Digital Study Guide for a list of courses.

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.

University of Melbourne - Students can take courses from the third year Bioengineering Systems undergraduates studies as well as from the Master of Engineering (Biomedical). A description of all courses can be found here.  It is possible to take other relevant courses, provided that all prerequisites are met. Note that you would have to second with their second semester (find out more about Melbourne's term dates). The exam period would then go all the way to the end of November (but you would only be examined on one semester) and then Australian summer breaks until march. Then there is another semester from march till June (which is Semester 1 of the new academic year, but it would be semester 2 for you) and then another examination period until the end of June (so in line with the end of Imperial’s summer term).

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. 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.