Bioengineering students

Key facts

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

1st in the UK (Engineering) – based on the proportion of world-leading research

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

University of the Year (Overall) and University of the Year for Student Experience

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. 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.

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Master's courses

The Department offers a selection of both MRes (Master of Research) and MSc (Master of Science) courses.

MRes courses

The MRes includes a major research project, alongside taught modules. The emphasis is on developing your individual research skills, building a strong foundation for a PhD and a career in research.

MSc courses

The MSc consists of a larger taught component with around two thirds of the time allocated to module-based learning. The one third is focused on an individual research project. This provides an opportunity to expand your theoretical knowledge of the field providing a good base for either a PhD or a role in industry.

Research programmes

There are Doctoral research programmes available through the Department and our Centre for Doctoral Training. Find out more about: