Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


MPHY0004: Medical Instrumentation 1

Module information

Unit value: 0.5
Year of study: 1
Term: 2
Course organiser: Dr Prabhav Nadipi Reddy
Second examiner: Dr Adam Gibson


The purpose of this module is to introduce students to medical instrumentation concepts, and to notions of electronics expected from biomedical engineers. The students will not learn to design complex circuits, but they will acquire the basic knowledge to understand them and be able to discuss them with electronics engineers. Current students should see the moodle page for this module.

Note: this module is strictly for B/MEng Biomedical Engineering students only and not available for option/elective selection.

Aims and Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand some uses of diodes and transistors in biomedical applications 
  • Design basic op-amp circuits
  • Connect different circuits together appropriately to get a desired output
  • Understand the basics of bio signals and sensors
  • Appreciate the process of designing medical devices

Brief Syllabus

Topics covered include:

1. Analogue Electronics (Diodes, transistors, filters, amplifiers, multi-stage circuits)
2. Biosignals and sensors
3. Medical device design

Teaching and Exams

Teaching will consist of:
Lectures: 16 hours.
Labs: 18 hours.
Required written work: 16 hours.

The assessment will consist of:
Unseen written examination (3 hours) worth 50% of the total course mark.
Assessment of practical skills and understanding, done by demonstrating the device built during the lab sessions, worth 50% of the total course mark.


We assume that you have achieved ABB or above in your A levels in Mathematics (grade A preferred), Physics and one other A level, or equivalent if coming from abroad.  Further to this, we require an additional taught component in basic electronics, and several hours of experience in an electronics lab.  Both of these requirements will be met through actively engaging in the MPHY101P Cardiac Engineering module.

If you feel you meet the prerequisites through a non-standard route, please contact the module organiser.

Specific knowledge assumed:

Mathematics: Familiarity with manipulation of equations, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus (mixed polynomial and exponential functions), exponentials, vectors, and basic matrices. Basic analysis and presentation of data skills are required (Excel, Matlab, etc.)

Electronics / Engineering: Familiarity with basic electronics: voltages, currents, resistance, capacitance and inductance, notions of frequency. Understanding of the concepts of filtering and amplification, with particular focus on operational amplifier operations.  Practical skills in the electronics lab: knowing how to use a power supply, a signal generator and an oscilloscope.  All these are covered in MPHY101P Cardiac Engineering, or equivalent introductory electronics module, and there are plenty of good introductory books if you are not familiar with these concepts.

Core Texts

There is a wide range of electronics books at the UCL library. Students are encouraged to browse through the options and choose those which they find more useful for each topic covered in this module. A single book does not have all the answers and personal preferences are different.