Engineering (Biomedical)

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Introduction

Identifying new technologies and methods for diagnosing, treating and managing diseases is vital to human wellbeing, and UCL Medical Physics and Bioengineering is in the forefront of research in this area. Our world-leading research includes medical imaging, physiological monitoring, the development of implanted devices and the design and production of incontinence products.

We offer the option of studying a three-year Engineering (Biomedical) BEng or a more in-depth four-year Engineering (Biomedical) MEng programme. The first two years of study for both programmes are identical and transfer between the two is possible up to the end of the second year. We advise applying for the MEng initially which makes it easier to defer your decision.

In your first year, you will receive an introduction to biomedical engineering, problem solving in engineering and the mathematics and engineering needed to design and develop complex medical technologies.

In your second year, you will build upon the skills and knowledge you have already gained and will receive an introduction to medical imaging, other areas of biomedical engineering, as well as choosing optional courses from a range offered across UCL Engineering.

In your third year you will undertake a major project linked to research strengths in biomedical engineering. You will also take more advanced modules in biomedical engineering and choose optional courses from a range offered across the Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

The fourth year comprises an advanced-level project, and you will be able to choose from a wide range of advanced-level courses across Engineering and relevant courses in Medicine.

As well as attending lectures, you will also undertake tutorials and practical work, including projects. Projects are conducted in active, well-equipped research groups, often involving collaborations with local hospitals. Many biomedical engineering lectures and projects are taken by a mix of biomedical engineering, medical physics and medical students, reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of the work. Our programmes offer regular opportunities for students to put their learning into practice through the use of scenarios. Individual support is offer to all student through a personal tutorial system.

Courses are normally assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination.

Programme Structure

Our programmes are designed to be flexible. You will choose a core discipline, but as you progress through your degree you will have a variety of options that you can select as you gain a better understanding of the field and what interests you – you don’t have to make your mind up now.

All Engineering courses contain elements of professional practice, communications, teamwork and other transferrable skills relevant across engineering and beyond, recognised as increasingly important by both professional bodies and employers.

You can choose to study courses from outside biomedical engineering (selecting, for examples, other engineering subjects, business-oriented programmes, or topics from another faculty altogether) or in interdisciplinary fields through collaboration with other subjects. All our courses are designed so that they will be fully accredited by the relevant bodies, so if you take the 4-year course you will fulfil all the educational requirements for chartered engineering status.

We focus our teaching on problem solving through problem- and scenario-based learning, an approach pioneered at UCL. This creates a highly engaging learning environment where students put their theoretical knowledge to practical application. In addition, all programmes have major projects in the final year or years. Here you will spend two terms working on a major research topic, many linked to healthcare, industry or current research projects within the department.

You will learn in a variety of ways. Some will be lecture-based, while some will provide you with the materials and support to self-study through video and written material, problem sheets, exercise classes and tutorials. We have invested heavily in making learning material available online, including a comprehensive system to record lectures so you can study at your own pace. You will also spend time in experimental labs or computer labs learning key technical skills.

Our staff are engaged in cutting-edge research, so you will be taught by experts up-to-date with the latest in the field. UCL has the highest staff : student ratio in the UK, meaning plenty of people available to answer your questions. You will also be allocated a tutor, who you’ll meet regularly during teaching periods at UCL for help with academic and personal matters.

Admissions

Your application will be especially interesting to us if you can demonstrate your interest in the medical applications of engineering. You should be motivated by a desire to apply your training to the pursuit of improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Relevant work experience, project work and your knowledge of issues and current affairs surrounding this field will assist your application.

Application for admission should be made through UCAS. Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Wherever possible, we will invite you for interview and to tour UCL and the departments in which your teaching will take place. During your visit you will be able to view our facilities and meet staff and current students. If you are based overseas we can interview by telephone or Skype.

Careers

Biomedical engineering is officially the second best job in the world!, but just because you study biomedical engineering doesn’t mean you have to work as one. The skills you develop in an engineering degree are highly sought after across a wide range of career paths.

On graduation, you will have a strong grounding in the fundamentals and application of biomedical engineering, as well as transferable leadership, teamwork and communication skills and the ability to work flexibly, creatively and internationally. Our students leave us and go on to make changes whatever they choose to do.

You’ll be a good problem solver, keenly numerate and skilled in analysis – but you’ll also be well-rounded, with an understanding of the impact of engineering on society, and with experience working in teams. Engineering and technology industries are obvious destinations, but around half of our graduates go elsewhere – pursuing careers in architecture, web design, teaching, the Civil Service, financial analysis, and much more.

Whatever they do, the majority of UCL Engineering graduates take up work at a graduate level (2005-2011 figures from the independently-conducted HESA survey suggest that 92% of graduates started work at a graduate level), and are well compensated for their effort, with a median starting salary of £29,483.

Enquiries

For further information, please contact our Admissions Tutor, Dr Terence Leung.

Disclaimer

While we make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information provided above is correct, it may be amended at any time.