Medical Device Design

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

This course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of term, we want to reassure you that your academic Department has made plans which make it possible to offer you a  high-quality remote educational experience during the Autumn term.

Your  teaching  will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote learning (online). We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery. Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the ‘multi-mode’ balance may be subject to change. We hope to be able to offer you increased on-campus teaching and learning activities throughout the year.

For more information about multi-mode delivery, your learning experience and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits

Applications are now closed


You focus on the understanding of neuromechanics, biomimetics design, signal and image processing and the application of robotics in health and everyday life.

Our one-year full-time MSc in Human and Biological Robotics is a wide-ranging course covering robotics for humans and society, service and social robotics, rehabilitation technology, as well as machine vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This Master's course has a unique focus on engineering methods which investigate human and animal sensing and sensorimotor control, and on the design of biomimetic systems and assistive devices for humans. It builds upon the unique strengths of the Department of Bioengineering and the wider College in this new field.

You will be well supported by the Robotics Forum, which groups together robotics researchers at Imperial doing multidisciplinary research at the cutting edge of several disciplines.

The course is taught by the Department of Bioengineering, where you will spend most of your study time, with additional input from the Departments of Aeronautics, Computing, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Dyson School of Design Engineering.


You will follow an exciting programme of study at the forefront of an emerging discipline, which aims to ensure graduates develop a deep understanding of human and biological robotics.

There is also an emphasis entrepreneurship and collaboration with other disciplines, which makes sure graduates are highly employable across many types of organisations.

Our graduates are well placed for the following fields:

  • Further research in universities, research institutes, industry and healthcare
  • Design and production (of medical devices and biomimetic systems)
  • Freelancing, entrepreneurship and start-ups
  • Technical and commercial consulting

Professional accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Our accreditation agreements are renewed every five years and the current agreement runs between 2018 and 2023.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that 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 your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified 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 changes we have made.


Core modules

You take all of the core modules from the list below.

  • Human Neuromechanical Control and Learning
  • Machine Learning and Neural Computation
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship
  • Robotics 1
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Systems Physiology

Optional modules

You choose five optional modules in total. At least four of these modules will be from Group 1.

Group 1

You choose four or five modules from the list below. Typically options include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Biomimetics
  • Brain Machine Interfaces
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Machine Learning for Computer Vision

Group 2

You choose up to one module from the list below. Typically options include:

  • Embedded C for Microcontrollers
  • Human Centred Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices
  • Robotics

Research project

The MSc Individual Project allows you to specialise in a relevant area of your choice, perhaps to suit interests, or future career plans.

The project will account for around 825 study hours and attribute 38.9% of your overall MSc grade.

Teaching and assessment


  • Demonstrations
  • Group exercises
  • Guided practical classes
  • Laboratory work
  • Lectures
  • Individual research project
  • Presentations
  • Seminars
  • Workshops


  • Coursework including multiple choice progression tests, problem sheets, and quizzes
  • Oral presentations
  • Written examinations (open and closed book)
  • Written reports, including a dissertation

Staff expertise

You will be taught primarily in the Department of Bioengineering with potential for input from other Departments. Additionally you will benefit from close links with the Imperial Robotics Forum, a multidisciplinary group made up of over 20 laboratories, more than 30 principal investigators and 150 researchers and PhD students.

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 9am–6pm.

Entry requirements

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


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in an engineering, physical sciences or mathematical subject.

This is a mathematically-demanding programme and students are expected to have robust quantitative skills.

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 here 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.

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 pro-active in following up with their referees if necessary.

Application roundDeadline dateLatest decision date
First Friday 13 December 2019 Friday 17 January 2020
Second Friday 20 March 2020 Friday 1 May 2020

The final deadline for application to this course is, therefore, Friday 20 March 2020.

Second choice applicants

Applicants who select this course as their second choice will be placed in the application round based on when their complete application becomes eligible for this course. This is normally the first working day after they have received a decision on their first choice course.

Applications received after 20 March 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 Human and Biological Robotics.

Late applications

This course is highly competitive. We do not normally consider any applications received after 20 March. After this date, you may consider applying our MSc Biomedical Engineering or MRes Neurotechnology courses.

Waiting list

We endeavour to give a final accept or reject decision on your application by the latest decision date above. However, a small number of applicants may receive a “waiting list” decision. This allows us to fairly compare applicants across application rounds. Applicants on the waiting list will receive a final decision by Friday 1 May, often sooner.

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

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

ATAS certificate

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

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.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Department scholarships

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

All students who submit a completed application (with two references) before Friday 20 March 2020 are considered for these scholarships.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry

£14,000 per year

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 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

£32,500 per year

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 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


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.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

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


Got a question?

Admissions Tutor and Enquiries
T: +44 (0)20 7594 5146

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