Bioengineering

Develop a breadth and depth of engineering skills and knowledge to address problems in medicine and biology.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

4 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A* A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

3 : 1

Based on 2018 entry data

  • UCAS course code: BH9C
  • ECTS: 240
  • Start date: October 2020

Overview

Biomedical engineers use their technological knowledge and understanding to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives. You learn a broad range of engineering skills, develop your ability to collaborate and solve problems, and work on projects in medicine and biology with life-changing potential.

You study many subjects, including engineering mathematics, mechanics, nanotechnology, biomaterials, electronic engineering, physiology, programming and design. You develop a deep understanding of fundamental engineering principles and an extensive knowledge of how the human body works.

As you move through the course you progress to more advanced engineering studies that apply the quantitative aspects of engineering analysis and design to a broad range of biomedical problems. 

You also have access to a range of state-of-the-art facilities. These are designed to support practical activities across the subjects covered by this field. This creates an interdisciplinary community that you are very much part of.

Study programme

Laboratory sessionAll Biomedical Engineering students follow a compulsory programme of study for the first two years, covering foundational engineering topics such as mathematics, computing, electronics and mechanics and develop your understanding of the human bod

In the second year, you apply these skills to practical problems through an engineering design project, where you work in teams to solve local and global challenges such as the need for low-cost assistive technology in the developing world or designing equipment to help Paralympians.

In the third and fourth years, you choose modules tailored to your interests and can specialise in one of three pathways:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

You cover core and optional modules and a group project in this year. Whichever pathway you choose, you study a mixture of core and optional modules. 

Your study reaches Master’s level in the fourth year, including advanced modules from our MSc course in Biomedical Engineering, which we have been teaching since 1991. Studying to this level means that graduates require fewer years of work experience to become a Chartered Engineer (see Professional accreditation).

In addition, a major individual project in your final year gives you the chance to showcase your research and project management skills. This begins early in the academic year and runs through until approximately mid-June.

Transfer between courses

We also offer this course with a Year Abroad and with a Year in Industry. Students interested in these opportunities should apply for this course (BH9C) in the first instance. Transfer to the Year Abroad or Industry options are possible up to the beginning of the third year, on completion of the shared syllabus in years one and two. You need to meet certain academic requirements to be eligible for transfer to the Year Abroad course.

BioengineeringThe Department also offers a new MEng in Molecular Bioengineering. The main difference between this course and the new course is that Biomedical Engineering takes a top-down approach, looking first at the whole organism, injury or problem and then working down to a cellular level. By contrast, Molecular Bioengineering takes a bottom-up approach, first looking at cells and molecules, then building up from tissues and organs to the whole organism or human.

It may be possible to transfer between the MEng Biomedical Engineering (BH9C) and the MEng Molecular Bioengineering (H160) programmes within the first few weeks of term. This would be at the Department's discretion, and you would need to have met the entry requirements for both programmes.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Please note that the curriculum of this course 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.

Year 1

You take all of the core modules listed below.

  • Bioengineering in Action
  • Biomolecular Engineering 1
  • Digital Logic and Programming
  • Electrical Engineering 1
  • Electromagnetics, Vibration and Waves
  • Mathematics 1
  • Mechanics 1
  • Medical Science 1
  • Molecules, Cells and Processes 1
  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Year 2

Core modules

You take all of the core modules listed below.

  • Electrical Engineering 2
  • Electromagnetics 2
  • Engineering Design Project
  • Heat and Mass Transport 2
  • Manufacturing Technology for Bioengineers
  • Mathematics 2
  • Mechanics 2 Fluids
  • Mechanics 2 Solids
  • Medical Science 2
  • Programming 2
  • Signals and Control
  • Wet-Laboratory Skills 2

Year 3

Bioengineering pathway

Core modules

You take all of the core modules listed below.

  • Bioengineering Solutions for Cancer
  • Biomedical Advanced and Computational Stress Analysis
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Group Project
  • Modelling in Biology
  • Probability and Statistics for Bioengineering
Optional modules
Group 1

You choose two optional modules from the list below.

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomimetics
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Human Centred Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices
  • Image Processing
  • Physiological Fluid Mechanics
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Mechanical Engineering pathway

Core modules

You take all of the core modules listed below.

  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Advanced and Computational Stress Analysis
  • Group Project
  • Modelling in Biology
  • Physiological Fluid Mechanics
  • Probability and Statistics for Bioengineering
Optional modules
Group 1

You choose one optional module from the list below.

  • Bioengineering Solutions for Cancer
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Biomimetics
  • Fundamentals of Fracture Mechanics
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Human Centred Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices
  • Machine System Dynamics
  • Manufacturing Technology and Management
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Electrical Engineering pathway

Core modules

You take all of the core modules listed below.

  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Digital Biosignal Processing
  • Group Project
  • Image Processing
  • Modelling in Biology
  • Probability and Statistics for Bioengineering
Optional modules
Group 1

You choose two optional modules from the list below.

  • Advanced Electronic Devices
  • Advanced Signal Processing
  • Bioengineering Solutions for Cancer
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Advanced and Computational Stress Analysis
  • Biomimetics
  • Control Engineering
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Human Centred Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices
  • Optoelectronics
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Year 4

Bioengineering pathway

Core module
  • Individual Project
Optional modules

You choose five optional modules in total from Group 1 and 2 below, as well as one module from Group 3.

Group 1

You choose at least three optional modules from the list below.

  • Advanced Medical Imaging
  • Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Biomimetics
  • Brain Machine Interfaces
  • Cellular Biomechanics
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Human Neuromechanical Control and Learning
  • Machine Learning and Neural Computation
  • Orthopaedic Biomechanics
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Group 2

You choose up to two optional modules from the list below.

  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • MEMS and Nanotechnology
  • Nanomaterials
Group 3

You choose one optional module from the list below.

  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship
  • Individual Project

Mechanical Engineering pathway

Core module
Optional modules

You choose five optional modules in total from Group 1 and 2 below, as well as one module from Group 3.

Group 1

You choose at least three optional modules from the list below.

  • Advanced Medical Imaging
  • Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Biomimetics
  • Cellular Biomechanics
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Human Neuromechanical Control and Learning
  • Machine Learning and Neural Computation
  • Orthopaedic Biomechanics
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Group 2

You choose up to two optional modules from the list below.

  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Advanced Stress Analysis
  • Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Computational Continuum Mechanics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Finite Element Analysis and Applications
  • Fundamentals of Fracture Mechanics
  • Machine System Dynamics
  • Manufacturing Technology and Management
  • MEMS and Nanotechnology
  • Modelling of Multi-Body Mechanical Systems
  • Nanomaterials
  • Tribology
Group 3

You choose one optional module from the list below.

  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship
  • Individual Project

Electrical Engineering pathway

Core module
Optional modules

You choose five optional modules in total from Group 1 and 2 below, as well as one module from Group 3.

Group 1

You choose at least three optional modules from the list below.

  • Advanced Medical Imaging
  • Advanced Physiological Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Biomimetics
  • Brain Machine Interfaces
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Hearing and Speech Processing
  • Machine Learning and Neural Computation
  • Medical Device Certification
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Group 2

You choose up to two optional modules from the list below.

  • Current-mode Analogue Signal Processing
  • Data Analysis and Probabilistic Inference
  • Full-Custom Integrated Circuit Design
  • Graphics
  • High-performance Analogue Electronics
  • Information Theory
  • Machine Learning
  • MEMS and Nanotechnology
  • Modelling of Multi-Body Mechanical Systems
  • Optimisation
  • Radio-frequency Electronics
  • Spectral Estimation and Adaptive Signal Processing
Group 3

You choose one optional module from the list below.

  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Medical Device Entrepreneurship

Download the programme specification [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.

Professional accreditation

This degree leads to a Master’s level qualification. It is professionally accredited by the following organisations on behalf of the Engineering Council:

This quadruple accreditation will not only prepare you for a career in the rapidly growing field of bioengineering, it also provides a technical foundation for careers in mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, materials engineering and medical physics Biomedical engineering by demonstrating to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency.

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our accreditation agreements with IOM3, IPEM, IMechE and IET are renewed every five years. The next accreditation visit is expected to be in the 2018/19 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will experience a variety of teaching styles, which combine theory and practice:

  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Make, build and test activities
  • Tutorials
  • Study groups

The laboratory sessions will include wet, computing and mathematics laboratories which provide a practical element to teaching and assessment.

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar430 hours401 hours289 hours223 hours
Independent study1,095 hours1,142 hours1,236 hours1,302 hours
Placement
Based on the typical pathway through the course

Assessment

Assessment varies between modules, but for the majority it involves some combination of written exams, practical and continuous assessment of coursework. Other assessment methods include:

  • Assessed coursework (problem sheets, technical files, reports, projects, tests, reviews, lab book completion, and others)
  • Examinations (in-class, online, and written)
  • Oral and poster presentations

Assessment types

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework24%14%47%59%
Practical4%
Written76%82%53%41%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats information below.

You can use the Unistats website to find out how this course compares in areas such as student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2020 entry is A*AA overall, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A in Physics
  • A in another subject (Biology, Chemistry or Further Mathematics is recommended)

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2017-18 to at least 80% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*AA–A*A*A

Four A-level offer: A*A*AA–A*A*A*A

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.

Mathematics MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your maths exams.

You must study A-level Mathematics to apply for this degree.

The course has been built around the A-level syllabus and will help familiarise you with how mathematics is taught at university.

Start the course now

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2020 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in Physics at higher level
  • 6 in a third subject at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2017-18 to at least 80% of applicants studying IB was 38–40 points overall.

Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021

For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level, but Analysis and Approaches is preferred.

Mathematics MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your maths exams.

You must study Mathematics as part of your International Baccalaureate to apply for this degree.

The course has been built around the A-level syllabus, but is relevant to your curriculum too. It will help familiarise you with how mathematics is taught at UK universities, and prepare you for study at Imperial.

Start the course now

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus AB or BC
  • 5 in Physics
  • 5 in another subject

Other qualifications

Places will also be available to those with other equivalent qualifications, e.g. Advanced Placement Tests, European Baccalaureate, some of the national Baccalaureates in the European Union, Scottish Qualifications, Irish Leaving Certificate, and to applicants with appropriate educational experience or other competencies. See admission of students with other competencies.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant.

Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2017 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

Post-application open day and interview

When assessing applications, we will consider your examination results (already gained and predicted), your motivation and understanding of biomedical engineering as a career, your potential for leadership and teamwork, your interests and the referee’s report.

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our entry requirements and you live within easy travelling distance of the College, you will normally be invited to an applicant day to visit the College and our Department.

The applicant day will include an introductory presentation giving information about the course and how it is taught. There is also a presentation on the Department's research and the kinds of careers you could pursue as a graduate. You will have an interview with a member of staff.

You also participate in a group session where you are divided into small groups along with the other applicants to look at medical artefacts. The task is to identify the object, describe how it is used and suggest potential improvements. The day will include a tour of the campus and Department.

The Department may offer an online test and/or Skype interview, in place of the above, where applicants do not live within travelling distance of the College.

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 undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

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

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government and has not yet been confirmed for the 2020–21 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2019–20 academic year was £9,250.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU students

The UK government has not yet confirmed the fees and funding arrangements for EU students entering UK universities in 2020–21.

Please see the Imperial and the European Union webpages, which will be updated as soon as more information is available.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

The fee for Overseas and Islands students is controlled by the College and has not yet been confirmed for the 2020–21 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas and Islands rate of tuition for the 2019–20 academic year was £30,250 per year.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an inflationary amount. 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 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Additional course costs

This section outlines any additional costs relevant to this course, which are not included in your tuition fees. It is possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.

This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you will be free to opt out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (boiler suit) Mandatory £26
Equipment (electronics kit) Optional £13
Equipment (laptop computer) Optional n/a
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Equipment

The nature of the academic work you will be completing means you will need to wear protective clothing during practical sessions. You are required to have a boiler suit (cost approximately £26.00), which you will need during the second year of the course.

You have the option of purchasing an electronics kit (approximately £13.00).

You can buy both items from the Department in advance of when they are needed. Payment is in cash.

Laptop computer

Though a laptop computer is not a mandatory requirement, if you are to use one for classes and coursework, it is recommended that your laptop computer meets a minimum specification. For the 2017–18 academic year this was:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 6th/7th generation processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD HDD

Accommodation and living costs

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

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. 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.

Careers

Forbes ranks biomedical engineering as the best job in Engineering and IT (ten-year forecast estimated from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Our degrees will not only prepare you for a career in the rapidly growing field of bioengineering, but also provide a technical foundation for careers in mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, materials engineering and medical physics. Some graduates also launch their own startup companies, whilst others apply to enter graduate medical programmes.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Device Development Engineer, Roche
  • Graduate Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • PhD student, ETH Zurich
  • Research Programmer, MIT
  • Trainee Clinical Scientist, King's College Hospital

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: BH9C
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2020 for entry in October 2020.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2020 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2019.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Dept

Got a question?

Admissions Tutor
T: +44 (0)20 7594 8157
E: be.ugadmissions@imperial.ac.uk

Read more on the Department of Bioengineering website.

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