Bioengineering students

Key facts

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
3rd in the UK in General Engineering based on proportion of world leading research

Study in bioengineering employs fundamental methods primarily developed by natural scientists, physical scientists and engineers in order to advance understanding in biology, physiology and medicine.

The major research activities of the Department are concerned with the functioning of body systems, devising means of examining them, and providing support during therapy or surgery, as well as other technical applications.

Detailed analysis of these systems is a key factor in understanding and treating the most disabling medical conditions in a large and increasing proportion of the world’s population, such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis, osteoarthritis, bronchitis, arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, and strokes.

Imperial leads the bioengineering agenda both nationally and internationally, advancing the frontiers of our knowledge in the discipline. In the REF 2014, 95 per cent of the Department’s returned research was judged either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our staff come from diverse academic disciplines including all main branches of engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and medicine. The rich collaborative environment ensures our research benefits from both engineering rigour and clinical relevance.


The Department’s state-of-the-art laboratories provide excellent research facilities to support a wide range of studies. These offer equipment for undertaking studies in:

  • Physiological mechanics
  • Molecular and cellular biology
  • Instrument design and testing
  • Neuroscience
  • Medical imaging
  • Signal processing

Studies involving human subjects are performed in the appropriate clinical facilities at the medical campuses. These also provide access to equipment required for MRI, ultrasound, X-ray and PET scanning, and biodynamics.

The Department has extensive computing facilities including networked workstations and high-performance PC clusters.

Study opportunities

The Department offers a number of study options to help you take your knowledge to the next level.

Graduates with a suitable degree in the physical or biological sciences, engineering, mathematics or medicine are accepted to undertake research leading to a PhD degree. Alternatively, graduates in medicine can undertake research for an MD(Res) degree.

Our research is interdisciplinary, and involves extensive collaborations with departments from all the College's faculties and with leading London hospitals, as well as with leading universities and research centres across the world. Because of this, the research is best reflected in terms of the following main themes:

  • Biomechanics and mechanobiology
  • Biomedical sensing, diagnostics and imaging
  • Computational and theoretical modelling
  • Medical devices
  • Molecular and cellular bioengineering
  • Regenerative medicine and biomaterials
  • Neurotechnology and robotics

If you are interested in Doctoral study, it’s important to gain support for your application from your potential supervisor before making a formal application to the College.

Tabbed information block

Master's courses

MRes courses

MSc courses

Research programmes

  • MD(Res) Bioengineering research
    (2-4 years full-time; 4-6 years part-time)
  • PhD Bioengineering research

    (2-4 years full-time; 4-6 years part-time)

  • MRes + PhD Neurotechnology
    (1 + 3 years full-time)

    Delivered by our Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health

Postdoctoral fellows are accepted to undertake advanced research which may be submitted for the Diploma of the Imperial College (DIC).

Research fellows from other institutions, including hospitals, can work part-time on projects in the Department and can present work that is jointly supervised for a higher degree.

Arrangements can often be made for medical graduates to continue clinical work on a part-time basis. Commonly, research students and fellows from different disciplines will be working together on projects and hence will not only develop research skills in their own area but will also increase their knowledge of other fields.

Further education is also offered by regular seminars, in which members of the Department and invited speakers present work in progress.

For enquiries, please contact Dr Anil Bharath at