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Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College

Imperial College London offers a postgraduate course in Biomedical Engineering. The course is well-designed and tailored to impart high standard education. Currently, the department offers a redeveloped MSc course with four separate streams:

  • Biomedical Engineering with Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Engineering with Medical Physics
  • Biomedical Engineering with Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering with Neurotechnology

The Medical Physics stream offers graduates special training in the physical understanding required for medical and healthcare research. This research focuses upon neuroscience, human physiology and clinical imaging systems, signal and image processing methods required for design and optimal use of such systems in research and diagnosis. This stream is recognized by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine as a component of the NHS Grade 'A' Training requirements.

The Biomechanics stream lays emphasis upon bioengineering problems associated to major diseases that are related to an ageing population such as glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, and joint and bone disease. These are main causes of morbidity and mortality and this stream prepares engineers for a career in these major growth areas. This stream is recognized by IPEM.

The Neurotechnology stream focuses upon the development of new technology for the study of brain function, emphasizing upon the application of this to benefit society. The Biomaterials stream is offered in cooperation with the Department of Materials. It focuses upon the selection and use of biomaterials in surgical and medical devices comprising their properties, application, interaction with drawbacks and tissues.

New and existing biomaterials are studied comprising biodegradable and bioactive materials, dental and implants materials. Modules also focus on the development of materials for new applications. The response of cells and design materials as scaffolds for tissue engineering involves modifying materials so that they guide stem cells to generate new tissue. Students shall be needed to choose their stream at the time of application. All four streams culminate to the award of the MSc in Biomedical Engineering. The course, currently, has an annual intake of approximately sixty students.

Eligibility Criteria

The least requirement is a degree equivalent to upper second class Honours in physical science, engineering or mathematics. However, applicants shall generally have a background in physical science or engineering. The course is open to those from medicine or life sciences provided applicants have proven mathematical ability.

Course Structure

Formal teaching will take place from October to June during the three academic terms. Students need to undertake a major research project from April until late September. The MSc degree is awarded on the basis of coursework, written examination and the research project dissertation.

Core Modules

  • Statistics and data analysis
  • Systems physiology
  • Journal club
  • Biomedical imaging
  • Health and safety regulatory and engineering requirements for medical devices

Medical Physics stream modules

At least four from:

  • Introduction to biomaterials
  • Radiotherapy and radiobiology
  • Advanced medical imaging
  • Image processing
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Biomechanics
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Health economics with decision making in healthcare industries

Biomechanics stream modules

  • Biomechanics

In addition, minimum three from:

  • Microsystems and nanotechnology
  • Cellular biomechanics
  • Introduction to biomaterials
  • Orthopaedic biomechanics
  • Neuromuscular control
  • Decision making and health economics in healthcare industries

Neurotechnology stream modules

  • Sensory neural coding laboratory
  • Brain machine interfaces
  • Physiological monitoring
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Modelling in biology

In addition, minimum two from:

  • Advanced medical imaging
  • Neuromuscular control
  • Microsystems and nanotechnology
  • Image processing
  • Machine learning and neural computation

Biomaterials stream modules

  • Tissue engineering
  • Introduction to biomaterials
  • Advanced biomaterials
  • Orthopaedic biomechanics

In addition, minimum three from:

  • Advanced medical imaging
  • Microsystems and nanotechnology
  • Biomechanics
  • Image processing

Research Project

Students have to spend six months undertaking a research project in an area of their interest. Previous project have comprised exploration of assistive devices for cerebral palsy treatment, pragmatic imaging of blood flow using miscrobubbles and three dimensional visualization of electric field in the human brain.


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