MSc Biomedical Engineering
- Programme director
- Serge Cirovic
- Programme length
- Full-time: 12 months, Part-time: up to 24 months
- Programme start date
- September 2013
Our MSc is an advanced programme covering a wide base of topics, which will provide you with an in-depth introduction to the field of biomedical engineering.
Biomedical engineering is one of the most important growth areas in the engineering sector in the first half of the twenty-first century. Internationally, the rise in demand for biomedical engineers is, and will remain, greater than in any other engineering discipline.
Our MSc is an advanced programme covering a wide base of topics, which will provide you with an in-depth introduction to the field of biomedical engineering. It acts as an extension for graduates from a range of disciplines who wish to add to their knowledge and skills. It provides a foundation for a future career in clinical engineering, the medical industry, healthcare science and research.
You will benefit from a thorough taught knowledge base, covering areas such as biomaterials, biomechanics, gait analysis, human biology, instrumentation, micro engineering, physiological measurement, professional topics, rehabilitation engineering and safety.
The programme has been running for nearly 50 years, making it one of the longest established biomedical engineering degree programmes in the world. It was highlighted for the award of an ‘Excellent’ grade in the UK Teaching Quality Assessment scheme and is highly commended by our external examiners for the breadth and depth of material taught. Individual modules can also be studied as part of a personal continuing professional development (CPD) programme.
A minimum 2.2 honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in engineering, physical sciences, medicine, or life medical/paramedical sciences. Other related paramedical professional qualifications may be considered. Occasionally students may be admitted with a lesser academic qualification, if they can prove several years’ relevant industrial (or Health Service) experience.
English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 6.5
IELTS minimum by component:
We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Fees and funding
All fees are subject to increase or review for subsequent academic years. Please note that not all visa routes permit part-time study and overseas students entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa will not be permitted to study on a part-time basis.
|Programme name||Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees|
|MSc Biomedical Engineering||Full-time||Sept 2013||£6,720||£15,160|
|MSc Biomedical Engineering||Part-time||Sept 2013||£3,360||£7,580|
Some candidates may be eligible to apply for scholarships.
- Human Biology
- Professional and Research Skills
- Physiological Measurement
- Implant Technology
- Gait Analysis and Human Movement
- Rehabilitation Engineering
This module will provide core knowledge in instrumentation for biomedical engineering applications, introducing key concepts and techniques through applied tutorial and laboratory sessions. The module covers basic concepts including analogue and digital circuits, measurement equipment, amplifiers, filters and signal acquisition, and is underpinned by applied medical engineering examples. The material will complement that taught in other modules.
This module will give you a solid foundation in human biology, with particular reference to the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system and the senses, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, the urinary system, and skin and superficial soft tissues.
You will be taught the principles from which to quantify the load, strength, failure and equilibrium performance of musculoskeletal structures. You will also be introduced to the biomechanical principles from which to quantify behaviour of the ‘fluid systems’ within the body.
Professional and Research Skills
This module will prepare you for a career as a professional biomedical engineer, studying subjects such as the scope and range of biomedical engineering, professional and regulatory bodies, professional development, clinical and research governance, and ethics. Additionally, students will learn about research methods, statistics, publications, funding and other skills required of a biomedical engineering researcher.
This module introduces the application of instrumentation theory to clinical instruments, and the standards and requirements for managing medical equipment. On completion, you should be able to describe and explain the relevance of a wide range of bioelectrical measurements, and understand the principles and application of imaging techniques.
You will be taught the engineering requirements relevant to orthopaedic implants. The material presented will cover mechanical load requirements, standards for production and testing, approaches to biocompatibility and constraints in respect of implants, and a review of common orthopaedic implants.
Gait Analysis and Human Movement
This module introduces the principles of human movement and its application to clinical management. On completion, students should understand the methods used for the measurement of human size and shape, and the general aspects of the influence of disease and injury on motor function. You should also be able to specify motion analysis systems and quantify the limitations and capabilities of such systems.
This module will provide the knowledge base on the practice of rehabilitation engineering for people with physical, sensory or communication disabilities. There will be particular reference to orthotic and prosthetic devices, mobility aids, seating systems, communication devices, environmental controls, and sensory and neurological implants.
The programme has accreditation from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).
The taught programme is made up of eight modules, giving approximately 400 hours of direct teaching time. Successful completion of the taught material leads to the award of a Postgraduate Diploma. By successfully completing an additional intensive personal research project, you will be awarded an MSc in Biomedical Engineering.
For the taught elements of the programme, you would be expected to spend approximately 800 hours in private or group study. The individual project would typically require 600 hours of personal study, investigation, experimental work and data analysis.
The world in which biomedical engineers operate is diverse and requires working with experts in a wide range of subjects, both clinical and technical. This is why many of the specialist lectures on our degree are delivered by world experts in their field – from hospitals, companies and research institutes across the South of England.
Whilst the University provides an important part of the teaching, biomedical engineering is a practical discipline. In order to give you an understanding of the role of the biomedical engineer and to reinforce the teaching at the University, there are a number of visits to hospitals, companies and museums organised throughout the programme.
Additionally, we collaborate with Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton – a major hospital specialising in amputee rehabilitation – to run the Clinical Biomedical Engineering Centre, ensuring that our programme maintains clinical relevance.
Whilst many students begin the MSc with an understanding of the role of the engineer in clinical practice, there is in fact a wide range of career options available to the graduate. From the development of new orthopaedic implants, to interpreting vital data from crash tests for the development of safer cars, to making equipment to enhance the performance of athletes, many jobs require an understanding of the human body from an engineering perspective.
Many of our graduates have gone on to key positions in hospitals, companies and universities worldwide.
Students who have completed our MSc in Biomedical Engineering have entered a wide range of careers. These include: training to become clinical engineers (scientists) in the UK National Health Service; product designers for the medical healthcare industry, for example, design of artificial limbs; medical device specialists for regulatory bodies; and further university research, for example, PhD studies.
The following biomedical engineering research projects are currently being carried out by University of Surrey researchers:
Human Movement and Virtual Reality
Understanding the way in which the human body moves is fundamental in understanding the basis of many diseases and in assessing patients with abnormal walking (gait), such as stroke patients and amputees. Our human movement tools and expertise are now being applied to virtual reality and biofeedback techniques for gait re-education, for example, in post-stroke cases, and in areas of assessment of surgical skills, for example, by monitoring movement of the hands and fingers during clinical procedures.
Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Micro-engineering techniques allow the miniaturisation of components normally found in a large laboratory to a size where a single device can perform a range of operations for clinical assessment. We have built and tested devices for the measurement of drug effects on single cells, the study of drug resistance in cancer cells, the detection of oral cancer cells from a tissue sample, the detection of bacteria in air, and the study of how stem cells differentiate.
Biomedical Signal Processing
Analysis of the signals generated by the body with advanced signal processing techniques is fundamental in understanding the basis of many diseases. Our biomedical signal processing techniques are now being applied to the analysis of the electroencephalogram in Alzheimer’s disease, the electrocardiogram in cardiac autonomic neuropathy in diabetes, intracranial pressure to characterise hydrocephalus and brain–computer interfacing.
The nervous system is the control network of the human body. We have developed implantable neuroprobes for communicating with the nervous system. These probes, much thinner than a human hair, contain electrodes that can record signals from individual nerve cells. Our work covers many aspects of neural interfacing, including signal processing, probe construction and the assessment of the body’s reaction to the probe materials.
Functional Electrical Stimulation
When muscles and nerve pathways become damaged or have their function reduced as a result of disease, trauma or congenital condition, it is possible to restore some of the lost function by applying electrical stimulation to the remaining healthy tissue. Our work in functional electrical stimulation has allowed patients with such conditions as cerebral palsy, or ‘drop foot’ as a result of stroke, to improve their mobility.
Computer Models of the Eye
Traumatic injury to the eye and the optic nerve, due to such factors as the impact of rapidly inflating airbags in automobiles, or a blunt object, can be simulated using computer models. These can be used both to minimise the risk of injury and to understand the exact mechanism through which various types of injury occur.
Osseointegration and Orthopaedic Implant Design
We are part of an international collaboration to develop a new method of attachment. Titanium devices are implanted into the bone to which an artificial leg is attached, allowing the body weight to be supported through the skeleton. We also collaborate with clinicians on the design and performance evaluation of knee implants, and the tissue response to long-term implantation.
Blood Flow and Vascular Grafts
When blood vessels fail, it is possible to replace them with artificial blood vessels, called vascular grafts. There is still much uncertainty about how they respond in the body and how blood flow responds to the artificial material. Our work encompasses a range of approaches, such as experiments, computer simulations and analysis, and includes established links with commercial vascular graft suppliers.
Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that bathes the brain and the spinal cord, protecting it from impact and vibration. CSF interacts with the cardiovascular system and is constantly moving in response to the arterial pulse. We are examining the movement of the CSF through experimental and theoretical models to see whether abnormal movement of the CSF relates to certain pathological conditions of the nervous system.
The MSc at Surrey is accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), qualifying graduates to enter the National Health Service’s Clinical Scientist training programme.
Accreditation of a degree assures a high level of quality in the curriculum, teaching and assessment. Together with our sister programmes in Medical Physics and Medical Imaging, the University of Surrey is one of the largest deliverers of programmes in the UK.
Clinical Biomedical Engineering Centre
Over many years, the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Surrey has developed close links with the Douglas Bader Rehabilitation Centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton, London. This collaboration has produced the Clinical Biomedical Engineering Centre (CBEC) which provides a conduit between the academic research of the University and the clinical work at the hospital.
BEC offers important clinical services and develops clinically relevant biomedical engineering research programmes. An example of this is the CBEC human movement analysis laboratory (or ‘Gait Lab’), which is used both for routine clinical referrals and world-leading research.
The CBEC Gait Lab offers a comprehensive kinetic and kinematic movement analysis facility. The laboratory is built around a unique, three-metre long dual platform force walkway for measuring forces generated during walking. The laboratory also houses an eight-camera marker detection system capable of detecting body movement, digital video recording and processing technology, and surface electromyography equipment to study muscle function. The combined measurement of forces and activity allows unprecedented detail in the study of movement.
The laboratory is supported by staff from the University of Surrey and Queen Mary’s Hospital, and is used by researchers, clinicians, therapists, bioengineers, clinical and industrial companies, and hospitals who have an interest in measuring human movement. Examples of use include the assessment of orthoses, prosthetic limb alignment, prosthetic foot comparisons, pre- and post-operative assessment for joint implants, and clinical therapy.