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BEng/MEng Biomedical Engineering

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Entry requirements

A Levels: BBC-BCC

IB: 31 points

This course is for you if you wish to develop the theoretical, practical knowledge and skills needed for a career in biomedical engineering. This industry sees scientists and engineers working together with other professionals to find solutions to complex problems: bridging the gap between health, medicine and engineering.

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89% Overall Satisfaction (Aston University, 2016 NSS)
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State of the art facilities, including 3D computer laboratories as well as a walk-in 3D environment (CAVE)
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Biomedical Science bridges the gap between health, medicine and engineering
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Unique MEng year allows you to develop your knowledge even further alongside an internship, work placement or employment

Duration: 3 years full-time or 4 years with additional masters' year completed via distance learning 

UCAS Code: H542 (BEng), H541 (MEng)

Intake: Up to 40 students per year. Smaller classes means more time can be spent on you.

Please note:

  • You do not need to apply for both the MEng and BEng courses on UCAS. Students can choose to swap between the two at any time during the course, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • All applicants are considered on an individual basis based on all previous and predicted qualifications, experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades of CCC if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • GCSE requirements: Five GCSEs at A*-C including English Language & Mathematics.

  • All applicants receiving offers will be invited to an Applicant Visit Day to discover more about the course and Aston University.

  • Find out more about our admissions policy.

Typical offers:

BBC-BCC. You must also pass the practical element of any Science course you take. Maths or Physics are required subjects.(consideration may be given to Further Maths, Design Technology, Engineering Science and Electronics if Physics is not studied at A Level).


We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications. However, if you have had more than one attempt at improving your grades, your application will be considered on an individual basis and we reserve to make an amended (higher) offer, or not make an offer.

31 points (including Maths, Physics or appropriate subject at Higher Level)
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: D*DD in a relevant Engineering National Diploma 


We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who achieved five or more GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grade C or above.

We do not consider applications from students who are unsuccessful in obtaining the required number and/or standard of A-levels for admission to our programmes and subsequently embark on a BTEC as a second option. Instead we would encourage you to resit your A-levels.

Please contact us for further details

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our courses. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year)
  • International students: £17,200

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.

bio

As a Biomedical Engineer, you will be entering the profession at a time of exciting change and innovation. Biomedical Engineers have the skills and flexibility to be involved in a wide number of activities from the development of novel devices to the delivery of expert services directly to patients. As well as supporting clinical staff, personnel and financial governance of medical equipment, ranging from the analysis and reporting on incidents involving medical devices to the assessment of new technologies, is also a vital need of the constantly growing healthcare sector.

Discover more in this short video.

The BEng:

  • The BEng and MEng courses are taught together for years one to three.
  • The curriculum is designed to provide a sound academic and practical understanding of engineering systems and applications in the medical field. You will develop a deep understanding of the human physiology and the biological functions of the body. Specific emphasis is put on engineering knowledge and practical skills including: mathematics, electronics, software engineering, biomechanics, biomaterials, simulation and modelling of biological systems, clinical practice and research methodologies. 
  • You will experience hands on development of real-world devices from the very first year of the course to emphasise the “learning by doing” ethos we embrace. 
  • By the final year of the BEng course, you will be able to undertake significant independent work as evidenced by a large project. This will become a key part of a portfolio of projects that you will develop across the course as a whole, which will become a showcase for potential employers of your newly acquired skills as a biomedical engineer.

The MEng:

  • This is an optional additional year, making the course four years in duration.
  • The fourth year will take a form of placement. The placement is different to most other courses as typically students undertake a placement between their second and third year and then return for an additional year to finish their studies. The Aston Biomedical Engineering placement takes place in the fourth year, and students take final year MEng modules via distance learning. This allows you to take up employment at an earlier stage (or to undertake an internship) while gaining a master’s degree in 4 years.
  • You can opt to take the 4 year MEng course at any point during the course (subject to satisfactory performance). 

Year 1

In the first year you will gain a thorough and ‘hands-on’ grounding in the principles and practises of engineering with a healthcare focus. You will cover subjects such as:

  • Biomedical Engineering Project 1: Develop some of the technical, enquiring, analytical and managerial skills required to successfully produce a product which is both functional and sustainable. A practical insight into medical product design and development.
  • Electronic Engineering Foundations : Introduction to electronics and electronic engineering; develops the experimental skills required for building and testing electronic circuits.
  • Engineering Science: Fundamental knowledge of physics and obtain skills necessary for higher-level engineering courses. Apply fundamental principles of mechanics, thermo-fluids, energy conversion/transmission and electromagnetism in the analysis and solution of engineering problems.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology for Engineers: Lay a foundation for the study of bioengineering, with a focus on learning terminology and concepts essential to the understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Topics will include the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, the nervous systems, visual and hearing systems, skeletal and support structures, with an emphasis on measuring and quantification of core body functions in a practical and applied way.

  • Mathematics for Engineers: Core mathematical skills required for biomedical engineering ans establish a firm foundation for further study of mathematics. Practical sessions will provide a hands-on introduction to matrix manipulation software.
  • Software Engineering: Develop a problem solving approach and computational thinking to conceptualise, develop abstractions and design systems. Begin to design, develop, maintain, test and evaluate software.


Year 2

You will develop your biomedical engineering skills and knowledge further. You will cover subjects such as:

  • Biomaterials: Engineering properties of the new classes of materials used for biomedical applications and their micro-structures. Their clinical use will be considered for different biomedical applications such as orthopedics, vascular, dental, surgery, plastic and maxilla-facial surgery.
  • Biomechanics: Logical and comprehensive theory of biomechanical concept. Mathematical and physical modelling skills used for human movement analysis and principal techniques/tools used nowadays. Students will face practical applications of the theory on real biomechanical scenarios.
  • Biomedical Engineering Project 2: Design, test and build an integrated medical device under the supervision of academic supervisors using the knowledge gained during prerequisite modules.
  • Biomedical Engineering Project 3: Medical product design and development engineering, defining and examining the key factors involved in the plan, design, implementation and commercialization. Mechanical, electronic and electrical, software and firmware elements will be designed, tested and built by the students.
  • Mathematical Applications: Advanced engineering mathematics skills (i.e., tume-domain analysis, frequency domain analysis, signal analysis, state-space analysis) necessary to understand, manage and facilitate different engineering applications.

Year 3

Expand your understanding even further. You will cover subjects such as:

  • Biomedical Engineering Research Elective: Conceptualizing, designing, refining, creating and testing a medical device under the supervision of your academic supervisor.  Develop a solution for a real world medical need and acquire new skills and readiness for the workplace.
  • Biotechnology and Regenerative Medicine: Develop an understanding of the key concepts and knowledge associated with bioprocessing and manufacture of biological products. An emphasis is placed on the importance and relevance of working at the life/science interface.
  • CFD/FEA for Biomedical Engineering: Develop an understanding and context for the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in engineering design applied to Biomedical Engineering.
  • Kinematics and Prosthetics: The principles of the mechanics and physics applied to the human movement analysis for rehabilitation purposes and prosthetic applications. Emphasis is placed on practical applications in a variety of diseases (stroke, Parkinson, peripheral neuropathy).
  • Medical Imaging: Introduce the fundamentals of medical imaging systems including imaging theory, radiography, tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and ultrasonography.

Year 4 MEng Integrated Placement (optional) 

You spend this year in the biomedical engineering industry on an internship, work placement or in employment. During this time you will take modules delivered via distance learning. You will learn via online narrated lectures and reflective coursework: applying what you learn to your real life work. Assessment is in the form of reflective coursework - applying the academic content to what you are doing in your place of work.

Students are responsible for gaining their own internship, work placement or employment, with the support of the University careers service. An average mark of at least 50% needs to have been achieved in the third year of the program to enter the MEng (you can convert to this programme at any time during the BEng).

Subjects covered:

  • Research Methods and Statistics: Hypothesis development, scientific literature searching, protocol development and clinical statistics.
  • Leadership Skills and Research Tools: Knowledge and reflection of leadership theories and application of them to the student’s working / placement environment.
  • Clinical trials and Medical regulations: Clinical trial registration, design and strength of evidence. Understanding medical regulations such as from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency (MHRA) in the UK and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA.
  • MEng Master’s Year Project: A substantive healthcare project related to the students working/placement environment with support from an academic and industrial supervisor developing a research grade solution to a novel problem.

The course is highly interactive with a wide range of teaching methods and learning styles. You will encounter a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Hands-on practical sessions
  • Lectures, tutorials and seminars
  • Lab classes and project work  
  • Interactive workshops
  • Video and computer-aided learning
  • Group work
  • A strong personal tutor system
  • Self-study
  • Regular visits from clinics and manufacturers will give you exclusive insight into the latest clinical trials and medical devices.

You will be continuously assessed throughout the course. A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are used, including

  • Examinations (unseen essay, short answer or multiple choice questions)
  • Essays
  • Practical reports
  • Presentations
  • Project work
  • Computer based assessment

You will also take part in a mix of individual and group work to allow innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership skills to be developed.

This new programme is going through the normal accreditation process with IMechE.

The interface between engineering and healthcare is a growing area of industrial need with a wide range of career options with global opportunities for graduates. Combining science, medicine and technology, biomedical engineers are the natural figures in designing and manufacturing practices, commercial development as well as in technology management for the healthcare sector.

You will therefore become a sought after graduate: Biomedical Engineering is a highly valued discipline with some of the world’s leading companies.

Biomedical engineers can have varied careers in many environments, which include: hospitals, private and public research facilities, medical institutions, universities and government agencies. 

You could become involved in the design of medical devices, modelling and simulation of human physiology and anatomy, support hospitals in clinical and financial governance of existing medical equipment, or in the assessment of new technologies. Artificial organs, computer-simulated or image-guided surgery and robot assisted surgery, orthopaedic implants, medical imaging, assistive technologies, mobile and e-health, are only some of the services that biomedical engineers can deliver, ensuring rich career prospects.

The masters integrated placement year enables you to gain professional experience, before you even graduate!

Project modules involving team working, business planning, research, design, marketing and reporting will help you to develop your talent and potential. Also, regular meetings with your personal tutor will ensure that your learning is leading you towards your ideal careers.

You will gain a wide range of skills such as interpersonal communication, leadership, presentation and IT, which are vital for success in biomedical engineering positions.

Following a £3.8 million investment, Aston University has the UK’s first 3D computer laboratories as well as a walk in 3D environment (CAVE). This allows students to build and realistically test devices as well aiding learning. You can also expect: 

  • Modern lecture/tutorial rooms 
  • Extensive and well equipped laboratories, where you will plan, design, create and test devices
  • Dedicated laptops and hardware to allow development of embedded systems and implementation of software code 
  • A virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more. Study materials may take the form of videos, exercises and narrated material.
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form;
  • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week

The Aston iOS Visual Acuity Suite has been developed to deliver highly consistent near and far vision testing under a variety of conditions for medical research, clinical trials. and domiciliary applications. The system make sure of the extremely high pixel density of modern display technology to the full range of visual acuity testing for near vision type testing. 

Biomedical

The Aston Reading Speed Application provides an order of magnitude reduction in the time required to test for critical print size and reading speed metrics for the researcher and practitioner alike.  The system features automated voice “sentence” measurement to determine reading times and eye tracking to ensure the subject under test keeps the iOS device at the correct distance throughout testing maximising user compliance.

Biomedical

Our biomedical engineering teaching staff undertake cross-disciplinary health research. The exceptional quality of research in the School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS) has been confirmed in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) results – with research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions. 94% of our research was rated as being internationally excellent or world leading. Our staff are also part of the Biomedical Engineering Research Unit, based in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Meet the team:

Subject Leader

James Wolffsohn

Prof James Wolffsohn is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor to work closely with the Provost on academic issues related to LIS and IT. He is one of the first recipients of a 50th Aston Anniversary Chair and recently being awarded the Vice-Chancellors medal. Previously Deputy Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences in which the Biomedical Engineering degree is managed in collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He has a health background, achieving a First class Optometry degree from Manchester, completed his clinical pre-registration at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and a PhD at Cardiff University. Following a clinical/research position in Australia, he was appointed by Aston University in 2000. He has strong engineering interests, with his research team designing, constructing, validating and marketing a wide range of health instrumentation.




Programme Leader

Antonio

Dr Antonio Fratini is a lecturer at Aston University. He has an Electronic Engineering background and a PhD in Bioengineering. Antonio is a specialist in the design and development of low power electronic devices, numerical filtering, statistical analysis and pattern recognition. His experience includes the management of a wide range of projects with private and public international partnership, with which he secured significant research funding.

He is lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, member of various scientific societies and an internationally recognized researcher. His research interests sit in the areas of biomedical signal and data processing as demonstrated by his publications and invitations at leading conferences worldwide.

Staff

Michael
Dr Michael Aspinall is a lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at Aston University. He has a Mechatronic Engineering degree (2005) and a PhD in Engineering (2008). Michael specialises in high speed digital electronics and digital processing algorithms for real time digital assay of mixed radiation fields. He also has an interest in product commercialization.

He has worked in both academia and industry with over five years experience as a Systems Engineer commercializing technologies developed during his PhD. Michael has three patents, over 20 refereed publications with more than 300 citations, and has supported the award of significant funding grants.



Qasim Rafiq

Dr Qasim Rafiq is a Lecturer in Bioprocess Engineering at Aston University with a specific focus on the manufacture, translation and commercialization of cell, gene and tissue-based therapies.

He has established and currently lead the Bioprocess Engineering Research Group, a new, multidisciplinary research area within the School of Life and Health Science focusing on biomanufacture of advanced therapeutics including cell, gene and tissue-based therapy.



Tecla

Dr Tecla Bonci teaches on the Biomedical Engineering course at Aston University. She has a Biomedical Engineering background (MD and BSc at the Università Politecnica delle Marche) and she defended her PhD in Bioengineering in cotutelle with the Università di Bologna Alma Mater Studiorum and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in 2015.

Her main research focus concerns increasing the resolution of human movement analysis, performed using stereophotogrammetry, addressing the principal sources of error in this context. Author of different articles in international peer-reviewed journals in the biomechanical field.


thomas drew

Dr Thomas Drew's background is in Astrospace and Mechanical Engineering, but he later specialised in the design and development of instrumentation equipment for use in research and industry.

He is currently a Research Fellow at Aston University, founding partner of Aston EyeTech Limited and consultant in instrumentation design. The past six years has seen Thomas work  in both the Ophthalmic and Pharmaceutical industries undertaking projects for global players where he has developed numerous pieces of electro-mechanical and electro-optical instrumentation. Additionally, Thomas has also secured significant research funding, published internationally in top journals, and presented at leading conferences.



PhD Students

Francesco

Mr Francesco Menduni is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in the European Dry Eye Network, where he is currently developing an in-vitro animal model to evaluate novel pharmaceutical approaches to Dry Eye Disease management.

His academic background and passion is Bioengineering, at the interphase between the biology of repair and biomedical technologies. In particular, he graduated summa cum laude in Biomedical Engineering at Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, where he had the chance to gain solid background knowledge not only in rapid prototyping, signal, and image processing, but also in subject areas related to biomaterials and tissue engineering. Additionally, Francesco has been engaged in the development and distribution of high performances/low cost Biomedical Technologies over the past three years, taking active part in different non-profit organizations supporting the traditional biomedical world.


Karl

Mr Karl Obszanski studied Aerospace Engineering & Astronautics at Kingston University, London during which he spent a semester studying in California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. After graduation in 2006 he spent time travelling and lived in San Diego, California working as project coordinator for Microtest. The role was fantastic and involved time in many locations such as Maui Hawaii, Park City Utah and Bali, Indonesia. Returned to the UK after about 5 years away and worked for Graze, Nature Delivered in London as an industrial design engineer. The company was small when he joined and he was involved in everything and anything that needed to get done. Fast paced and forward thinking, the company grew fast and they opened up a factory in New Jersey USA- a project which he was heavily involved in.

In 2015 a rare new opportunity to study a PhD at Aston University appeared and he took it. He moved from London to a new city and another adventure awaits.


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