A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in an engineering; appropriate science or technology discipline. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis.
Months of entry
The two MSc programmes in Biomedical Engineering draw on the wide experience of academic staff at Brunel's College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, that ranges from the development of equipment and experiments for use in space, to research carried out in collaboration with hospitals, biomedical companies and research institutions.
The programmes consist of four compulsory taught modules and two optional streams. You can apply to one of the two named degree title awards:
- Biomedical, Genetics and Tissue Engineering or
- Biomedical, Biomechanics and Bioelectronics Engineering
As well as giving a solid scientific understanding, the course also addresses commercial, ehtical, legal and regulatory requirements, aided by extensive research.
Students who successfully complete the course will have acquired skills that are essential to the modern biomedical and healthcare industry, together with the expertise required to enter into management, product innovation, development and research.
This programme is seeking accreditation by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) post the recent change in available degree routes. The IMechE formerly accredited the MSc Biomedical Engineering and we anticipate no problems in extending this accreditation to the new routes.
Understanding how the human body works isn’t just required learning for sports coaches, specialists in biomedical engineering can help in the design, development and operation of complex medical devices. They are used in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment, to the characterisation of tissue.
This programme has a strong research and development emphasis. It aims to provide an overall knowledge base, skills and competencies, which are required in biomedical engineering, research activities and in related fields. Students will develop expertise in advanced product development and research.
The MSc programmes in Biomedical Engineering are full-time courses, lasting one academic year of 12 consecutive months, from September to September.
The programmes consist of four core (compulsory) taught modules and two optional streams. The Biomedical, Genetics and Tissue Engineering stream has three optional modules. The second stream, Biomedical, Biomechanics and Bioelectrionics Engineering, consists of five optional modules. Students choosing this latter option will be requires to choose 60 credit worth of modules. See below.
The taught modules are delivered to students over two terms; Term 1 (September – December) and Term 2 (January – April) of each academic year. The taught modules are examined at the end of each term, and the students begin working on their dissertations on a part-time basis in term 2, then full-time during the months of May to September.
Biomechanics and Biomaterials
Main topics include:
- review of biomechanical principles;
- introduction to biomedical materials;
- stability of biomedical materials;
- materials for adhesion and joining;
- applications of biomedical materials;
- implant design.
Biomedical Engineering Principles
Main topics include:
- bone structure and composition;
- the mechanical properties of bone, cartilage and tendon;
- the cardiovascular function and the cardiac cycle;
- body fluids and organs;
- organisation of the nervous system;
- sensory systems;
- biomechanical principles;
- biomedical materials;
- biofluid mechanics principles;
- the cardiovascular system;
- blood structure and composition;
- modelling of biofluid systems.
Design and Manufacture
Main topics include:
- design and materials optimisation;
- management and manufacturing strategies;
- improving clinical medical and industrial interaction;
- meeting product liability, ethical, legal and commercial needs.
Innovation and Management and Research Methods
- Company structure and organisation (with particular reference to the United Kingdom), and the interfacing between hospital, clinical and healthcare sectors;
- review of existing practice: examination of existing equipment and devices;
- consideration of current procedures for integrating engineering expertise into the biomedical environment.
Discussion of management techniques; design of biomedical equipment: statistical procedures and data handling; matching of equipment to biomedical systems; quality assurance requirements in clinical technology; patient safety requirements and protection; sterilisation procedures and infection control; failure criteria and fail-safe design; maintainability and whole life provision; public and environmental considerations: environmental and hygenic topics in the provision of hospital services; legal and ethical requirements; product development: innovation in the company environment, innovation in the clinical environment; cash flow and capital provision; testing and validation; product development criteria and strategies.
Your choice of dissertation topic is made in consultation with academic staff and (where applicable) with the sponsoring company. The topic agreed is also subject to approval by the Module Co-ordinator. The primary requirement for the topic is that it must have sufficient scope to allow the student to demonstrate his or her ability to conduct a well-founded programme of investigation and research. It is not only the outcome that is important since the topic chosen must be such that the whole process of investigation can be clearly demonstrated throughout the project. In industrially sponsored projects the potential differences between industrial and academic expectations must be clearly understood.
Applied Sensors Instrumentation and Control
Sensors and instrumentation – Sensor characteristics and the principles of sensing; electronic interfacing with sensors; sensor technologies – physical, chemical and biosensors; sensor examples – position, displacement, velocity, acceleration, force, strain, pressure, temperature; distributed sensor networks; instrumentation for imaging, spectroscopy and ionising radiation detection; 'lab-on-a-chip'. Control – Control theory and matrix/vector operations; state-space systems, multi-input, multi-output (MIMO) systems, nonlinear systems and linearization. Recurrence relations, discrete time state-space representation, controllability and observability, pole-placement for both continuous and discrete time systems, Luenberger observer. Optimal control systems, Stochastic systems: random variable theory; recursive estimation; introduction to Kalman filtering (KF); brief look at KF for non-linear systems and new results in KF theory.
Main topics include:
- audiology and cochlear implants;
- artificial limbs and rehabilitation engineering;
- life support systems;
- robotic surgical assistance;
Main topics include:
- review of the cardiovascular system;
- the cardiac cycle and cardiac performance, models of the cardiac system, respiratory system and respiratory performance, lung models, physiological effects of exercise, trauma and disease;
- blood structure and composition, blood gases, oxygenation, effect of implants and prostheses, blood damage and repair, viscometry of blood, measurement of blood pressure and flow;
- urinary system: anatomy and physiology, fluid and waste transfer mechanisms, urinary performance and control, effects of trauma, ageing and disease;
- modelling of biofluid systems, review of mass, momentum and energy transfers related to biological flow systems, fluid mechanics in selected topics relating to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems;
- measurements in biomedical flows.
Principle and applications of medical image processing – Basic image processing operations, Advanced edge-detection techniques and image segmentation, Flexible shape extraction, Image restoration, 3D image reconstruction, image guided surgery
Introduction of modern medical imaging techniques – Computerised tomography imaging (principle, image reconstruction with nondiffracting sources, artifacts, clinical applications). Magnetic resonance imaging (principle, image contrast and measurement of MR related phenomena, examples of contrast changes with changes of instrumental parameters and medical applications)
Ultrasound imaging (description of ultrasound radiation, transducers, basic imaging techniques: A-scan, B-scan and Doppler technique; clinical application). Positron emission tomography (PET imaging) (principle, radioactive substance, major clinical applications).
Design of Mechatronic Systems
Microcontroller technologies. Data acquisition. Interfacing to power devices. Sensors (infrared, ultrasonic, etc.). Optoelectronic devices and signal conditioning circuits. Pulse and timing-control circuits. Drive circuits. Electrical motor types: Stepper, Servo. Electronic Circuits. Power devices. Power conversion and power electronics. Line filters and protective devices. Industrial applications of digital devices.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.