Engineering for Biomedicine

Learn how to solve problems in biomedical engineering through this cross-disciplinary course.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2022
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits
Apply now

Overview

Bioengineers are leading the way in tackling modern healthcare challenges. From the development of rapid testing technologies to designing new life-saving devices.

At the interface of engineering and medicine, Bioengineering advances knowledge in engineering, biology and medicine, improving lives through cross-disciplinary activities.

Our Master's degree for Engineering in Biomedicine first began in 2020 and has been developed for a world where working together to solve global health problems is more important than ever. This course allows outstanding clinical and life sciences graduates to develop their technical skills and understanding of biomedical engineering. It enables them to apply these skills and knowledge to the development of life-saving technologies.

This course prepares you to analyse and solve problems in bioengineering using an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. During the course, you will develop your knowledge and be able to share your own skills and expertise through interaction with students on other programmes in the Department.

Location 

Teaching will be shared across our South Kensington and White City Campuses, and you will be expected to attend lectures, study groups and labs on either site.

This is an exciting time, with the opening of The Sir Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub that will drive clinical translation of MedTech innovation through integrated clinical and imaging facilities and by virtue of its proximity to the Hammersmith Hospital campus.

Careers

Our career-focused degrees ensure graduates are well-placed to gain employment in a growing industry. The global population is ageing which increases demand for biomedical engineers to create new medical devices.

There are many areas of employment open to you as a graduate of this course, and previous graduates have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • Healthcare
  • Medical device industry
  • Research
  • Medicine
  • Start-ups
  • Teaching
  • Consultancy
  • Finance

Around 60% of our Postgraduate graduates go into employment upon completion of their degree while just over a third go on to further study or training. Graduates have gone on to work at such companies as:

  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • GE Healthcare
  • GSK
  • Philips Healthcare

Find out what Bioengineering graduates have gone on to do in recent years.

Structure

This page reflects the latest version of the curriculum for this year of entry. However, this information is subject to change.

The curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for this year of entry.

We recommend you check this page before finalising your application and again before accepting your offer. We will update this page as soon as any changes are confirmed by the College.

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 any changes made.

Page last reviewed on 25 October 2021.


Your first two terms focus on lectures and practical work, followed by full-time work on a research project. A range of seminars and workshops will help deepen and broaden your research skills-base. 

Tailored courses in mathematics and computing will enable you to engage with the fundamentals of bioengineering.

In your core modules, you will learn the basics of engineering maths, biomedical imaging, programming skills, statistical and data analysis tools and medical device certification. You’ll also learn how to assess critically relevant scientific literature.

Through optional modules, you will have the chance to learn about a diverse range of topics. These will be relevant to regenerative medicine, diagnosis and treatment of disease, orthopaedics, and synthetic biology. This gives you the opportunity to develop specialist expertise in areas that interest you.

Your studies culminate in a substantial research project hosted by one of our world-leading research groups.

This course runs for 12 months, starting in late September. You will be expected to spend the summer months working full-time on your individual research project. We do not recommend this course for students who would like to take up clinical jobs starting in early August.

Structure

Core modules

The following core modules are compulsory for all students:

  • Fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering – This module will provide basic principles of mathematics, computational thinking, basic electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics.
  • Statistical and computational methods for research – In this module, you will provide a foundation in programming and statistical methods to prepare students for their extended research project.
  • Principles of Biomedical Imaging – explains how images of the body can be obtained using different forms of penetrating radiation, and details how different forms of imaging such as Computer Tomography (CT), X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound work.
  • Medical Device Certification – focuses on the key knowledge and skills needed by professional engineers in the development of medical systems and devices, specifically in the preparation of regulatory approval.
  • Journal Club – A seminar-based module that will develop your ability to critically analyse the latest research in Biomedical Engineering and advance your scientific writing and presentation skills

Optional modules

You will typically choose one module from Group A and three from Group B

Group A

  • Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis – focuses on the core aspects of biological and clinical measurement such as data handling, sampling and measurement.
  • Biomaterials for Bioengineers – an introduction to the major classes of biomedical implant materials, including metals, ceramics and polymers, their use in the body and reasons for failure.
  • Medical device entrepreneurship – introduces various aspects of medical device entrepreneurship, looking at case studies from start-ups, industry and investment firms to give you a sense of the process and challenges in developing your own business idea.
  • Advanced Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering - showcases the frontiers of biomaterials research and innovation, which are closely linked to tissue engineering in regenerative medicine and beyond.
  • Biomimetics – explains the scope of biomimetics and investigates the principles that help engineers solve technical problems using inspiration from nature.

Group B

  • Bioengineering Approaches to Cancer – provides an understanding of the broad fundamental biological and biophysical processes that are involved in the initiation, maintenance and progression of cancer.
  • Orthopaedic Biomechanics – introduces the basic mechanics of the musculoskeletal system, covering the structure and function of the musculoskeletal tissues, the mechanics of the tissue, diseases and injury.
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – introduces fundamental concepts in normal tissue development and discusses their imitation within a lab setting.
  • Industrial Applications of Cellular Engineering – introduces the different industrial applications of cellular engineering and synthetic biology and show how academic research can lead to applied science with direct impact in industry and society.
  • Cellular and Molecular Mechanotransduction - examines biomechanics on a cellular scale and investigates methods of sensing and cell manipulation.

Individual project

The individual research project is an important part of the Bioengineering degree course. Projects give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the rest of the course to current research problems. They also help you to develop important project management, teamwork and communication skills that are highly valued by employers and international research groups.

Throughout the year you will carry out an extended research project. You will be assessed by a planning report, submitted in early March, a written dissertation and an oral presentation to be held by the middle of September.

You will carry out your project under the direction and guidance of a member of the academic staff and their research group. They are by far the most important pieces of work in the degree programme. They provide the opportunity for you to demonstrate independence and originality, to plan and organise a large project over a long period, and to put into practice some of the techniques you have been taught throughout the course.

Previous projects

Examples of previous project titles and outlines are below. Please note these are historic examples and may not be offered on future courses.

Fine Tuning a Novel Hemostatic Bandage for Commercialization

Dr Choon Hwai Yap

During serious wounds, such as automobile accidents, battlefield wounds, terrorist knife wounds, blood loss is the number one reason for death. The next most important cause of death is infection. We recently discovered a new nano-fibrous material that can be an excellent hemostatic material to address these two factors. This material is superhydrophobic, and has extremely repellency of fluids such as blood, so that it can repel blood fluid and prevent it from leaking or seeping out of the wound. Secondly, it causes fast clotting to seal the wound even without soaking up the blood. Thirdly, after clotting, it peels off with extremely small forces. We can remove the hemostatic bandage without re-tearing the wound again, and causing infection. Finally, the materials surface structures prevent bacteria attachment to it.

This combination of excellent qualities makes the material very suitable for commercialization as a hemostatic medical device. This material is patented, and published in a good journal. We now need to perform further tests to optimize the material design, and collect more data for clotting effectiveness, as well as understand the mechanism of clotting better.

The work entails designing the physical form of the hemostatic device, fabricating the material with various composition concentrations and testing with human blood to determine clotting effectiveness, and performing assays to understand the clotting pathways. The candidate will collaborate with hematology and critical medicine experts, as well as commercialization champions.

Neural manifold analysis of social cognition in rats

Professor Simon Schultz

This project will involve collaboration with the group of Richard Morris in Edinburgh, on analysing data from experiments in which microendoscopic probes are used to image calcium signals in populations of prefrontal cortical neurons in rats performing a social interaction task. The main focus of the project will be applying nonlinear dimensionality reduction methods to visualise the population code for various facets of social cognition.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Teaching across the programme is through a mixed mode delivery which includes:

  • Demonstrations
  • Group exercises
  • Guided practical classes
  • Individual research project
  • Laboratory work
  • Lectures (conventional and flipped)
  • Presentations (live and pre-recorded)
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

Assessment

Written exams

  • Short questions/essays/multiple choice
  • Coursework
  • Written reports
  • Laboratory write-ups
  • Risk analyses and technical files
  • Paper/grant review commentary
  • Marked problem sheets
  • Grant writing exercises
  • Lab book completion
  • Mastery assessments

Online

  • Online multiple-choice progression tests
  • Online quizzes

Other

  • Laboratory practical exercises
  • Oral presentations

Course timetable

You will receive your course timetable by the beginning of your studies in October and the core teaching hours for the College are 09.00 to 18.00.

Overall workload

The expected total study time is 2,250 hours per year.

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.

For a typical 5 ECTS module, it is expected that 27 hours would be spent in lecture and/or tutorials/labs, and 98 hours in independent study.

For the research project, we expect that students spend 100 hours in training, meetings and other research group-related activities, and 900 hours engaged in independent study and research.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum entry requirement is a 2.1 degree(or equivalent) in a clinical or life science degree. A 2.1 degree in a physical science will also be considered where there is significant human biology content.

Students from a Physical Sciences background may wish to consider our MSc Biomedical Engineering.

Applications for the programme are competitive, applications with less than a 2.1 or international equivalent will be unlikely to receive offers.

Applicants awarded an unclassified clinical degree (e.g MBBS, MBChB and MChD/BChD) are expected to show good academic standing (typically within the top 50% of their medical school cohort). Where a graded intercalated degree has been undertaken at least a 2.1 should have been achieved.

An ‘A’ grade in A-level maths (or equivalent) is desirable.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

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 postgraduate applicants.

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.pgadmissions@imperial.ac.uk

How to apply

How to apply

Application deadlines

We consider applications to this degree in two rounds. When you apply will determine which round your application is considered in.

Please note, a completed application includes your most recent transcript, personal statement and two acceptable references. Make sure you check that these aspects of your application are received by the relevant date.

We recommend applicants keep track of whether their references have been sent and be proactive in following up with their referees if necessary.

  • First round deadline:  Friday 7 January 2022
    • Latest decision date:  Friday 11 February 2022
  • Second round deadline:  Friday 18 March 2022
    • Latest decision date:  Friday 29 April 2022

Second choice applicants

Applicants with MSc Engineering for Biomedicine as their second choice will only be considered if they are unsuccessful at gaining a place on their first-choice programme. Applicants will be placed in the gathered field based on when their complete application becomes eligible for this programme, normally the first working day after they have received a decision on their first-choice programme. 

Applications received after 18 March 2022 are not considered. It is your responsibility to liaise with your first-choice course if you wish to withdraw from that choice in order to be considered for MSc Engineering for Biomedicine.

Late applications

Applicants are advised to apply within the gathered fields to ensure equal consideration. We occasionally have spaces for applications made after 29 April 2022 please email be.pgadmissions@imperial.ac.uk before applying.

Waiting list

We endeavour to give a final accept or reject decision on all applications by the published date. However, a small number of applicants may receive a “waiting list” decision, to allow us to fairly compare applicants across gathered fields. Applicants on the waiting list will receive a final decision by 29 April 2022 or sooner.

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

Application fee

If you are applying for a taught Master’s course, you will need to pay an application fee before submitting your application.

The fee applies per application and not per course:

  • £80 for taught Master's applications (excluding MBAs)
  • £135 for MBA applications

There is no application fee for MRes courses, Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or research courses, such as PhDs and EngDs.

If you are facing financial hardship and are unable to pay the application fee, we encourage you to apply for our application fee waiver. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate

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

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, Visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2022 entry

£15,400

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI 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.

Overseas rate of tuition

2022 entry

£35,700

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI 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.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2021-22 entry, the maximum amount is £11,570. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Departmental scholarships

The Department of Bioengineering has a limited number of partial scholarships available for some courses.

All students who submit a completed application for this course (with two references) before Friday 19 March 2021 are considered for these scholarships.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

A number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students. Find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

If you are an Iranian national and are accepted to study at Imperial starting this October, you may be eligible to apply for the Irani family scholarship.

Accommodation and living costs

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

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Bioengineering

Got a question?

Admissions Tutor and Enquiries
T: +44 (0)20 7594 5146
E: be.pgadmissions@imperial.ac.uk

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