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BEng/MEng Biomedical Engineering

Scientists and engineers must work together with other professionals to find solutions to complex problems.
Develop the theoretical, practical knowledge and skills needed for a career in biomedical engineering; bridging the gap between health, medicine and engineering.
  • Start your career before you even graduate: Integrated professional placement year enables you to gain industry experience, while completing Masters level modules. 
  • Connect with people in the sector: Regular visits from clinics and manufacturers will give you exclusive insight into the latest clinical trials and medical devices.
  • Sought after graduates: Biomedical Engineering is a highly valued discipline with some of the world’s leading companies.

Entry Requirements

3 year BEng / 4 year MEng full time

UCAS Codes: BEng - H542, MEng - H541 - please note you do not need to apply for both courses on UCAS. Students can also choose to swap between the BEng 3 year and MEng 4 year programme at any time during the course, subject to satisfactory performance.

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

Start date: September

Typical offers

  • A Levels: BBC-BCC
  • IB: 32 points (including Maths, Physics or appropriate subject at Higher Level)
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: D*DD in a relevant Engineering National Diploma 
  • We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our programmes. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate degree programme by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.  
  • 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 programme by completing a Foundation Year although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.

 

Specific subject requirements

  • A-Level: Maths or Physics required (consideration may be given to Further Maths, Design Technology, Engineering Science and Electronics if Physics is not studied at A Level).        

  • GCSE: Five GCSEs at grade C, including English and Maths.

BTECs

  • 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 (see our resit policy below).

Resit Students

  • 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.

Please note, your full educational background is taken into account and all qualifications are considered when we make a decision on your application.

International Students: We welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our programmes. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate degree programme by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University. 

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 

Tuition fees for 2016 entry
  • UK/EU£9,000 
  • International£16,850


bio

The course 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, thermodynamics and fluids, dynamic and static systems, control systems, 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 you will be able to undertake significant independent work as evidenced by a large final project as a showcase of your newly acquired skills as a biomedical engineer to potential employers.

Instead of a traditional placement model where students need to find a placement at the end of their 2nd or 3rd year and then return for an additional year to finish their studies, the Aston model provides the final year MEng modules in distance learning format with the content provided through on-line narrated lectures on our virtual learning environment. This way we can support students to take up full employment at an earlier stage or to undertake an internship, while gaining a Master’s degree in 4 years. Students can also choose to swap between the BEng 3 year and MEng 4 year programme at any time during the course.

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.

First year

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

Subjects covered:

  • Mathematics for Engineers: Core mathematical skills required in a range of first year programmes. A firm foundation for developing further mathematics or technical study.
  • Engineering Science Fundamentals: Engineering principles of mechanics, solid mechanics, and thermodynamics and fluids applied to a variety of typical engineering situations. 
  • Electronic Engineering Fundamentals : Introduction to electronics and electronic engineering; develops the experimental skills required for building and testing electronic circuits.
  • Biomedical Engineering Foundations 1: In depth knowledge of human physiology including the cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, ocular and auditory systems, and the primary methods of measurement used in assessing function. Includes software programming, working towards industry recognised qualifications and hands-on measurements of biomedical signals. 
  • Biomedical Engineering Foundations 2 : The basis of signal processing and features extraction in physiological signals. Specific lab sessions link the mathematical techniques to a more practical approach developing modern and reliable instrumentation and software. The multidisciplinary approach will focus the students on key aspects such as technical reporting, project planning and team working to mimic the real healthcare working environment.

Second year modules

  • Engineering Mathematics 2 :Advanced engineering mathematics skills necessary to understand and manage modelling of statistics and the dynamics of linear systems.
  • Dynamics & Control : General dynamics and vibration problems. Primary control methods in industrial processes, economic and technical assessment of typical projects, leading to selection of appropriate solutions to given scenarios.
  • Thermodynamics & Fluids : Understanding heat and temperature, and their relation to energy and work.
  • Engineering Materials :Engineering properties of materials, microstructures, methods for predicting the performance of load-bearing components. Materials selection in design processes.
  • Quality Engineering : The importance of quality in design and manufacture. Statistical techniques and other procedures used in case studies for detecting and addressing quality issues.
  • Biomedical Engineering Core 1: Design and manufacturing of medical devices in preparation for the final year project. The real implementation of a medical device will promote students consciousness on the entire development process from the concept and requirement phase to the final testing and certification.
  • Biomedical Engineering Core 2: Advanced concepts of biomedical engineering including computer aided design, tissue engineering, machine vision systems and an introduction to finite element analysis. Students will work in small teams and in a simulated start-up business environment.
  • Solid Mechanics: Studying the behaviour of solid materials, especially their motion and deformation under the action of forces, temperature changes, phase changes and other external or internal agents.

Third year modules

  • Medical Engineering: Advanced medical instrumentation such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computer Tomography (CT) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG), and the role of advanced analytical tools in medicine.
  • Clinical Measurement in Practice: Clinical metrology and practice. How scientific and technical data is practically used, understood, and valued by clinicians and researchers in the medical field with emphasis on multi-disciplinary teamwork.
  • Electronics  for Biomedical Applications: Electronic solutions in general used medical devices. IEC standards for instrumentation safety, testing and maintenance protocols. 
  • CFD/FEA for Biomedical Science: Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for the modelling of biological systems and their interaction with prosthetic devices.
  • BEng Final Year Project : 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.

MEng year with integrated placement

MEng modules are distance learning with content provided through on-line narrated lectures through our virtual learning environment. Assessment is in the form of reflective coursework applying the academic content to the student’s internship, work placement or employment.

Please note that 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; student 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, including:

  • Hands-on practical classes 
  • Lectures, tutorials and seminars 
  • Video and computer-aided learning 
  • Lab classes and project work 
  • A strong personal tutor system  

Assessment is made by a combination of exams, continuous assessment and projects. 

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

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. 


Please note that this programme has not yet been running long enough to produce National Student Survey data, so the unistats data shown below are for a different programme within the school.

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.

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

Biomedical engineers are 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 as well as 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.

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 
  • 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 
  • Videos, exercises and narrated material on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) 
  • Access to all the required learning resources – such as up-to-date texts, journals and media publications

 

The Aston iOS Visual Acuity Suite 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
James Wolffsohn

Course director

Prof James Wolffsohn is 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 1st 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. 

Lecturers

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 lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, 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.

Antonio

Dr Antonio Fratini has an Electronic Engineering background and a PhD in Bioengineering. Antonio is specialised in 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.

Alec


Dr Alec Kingsnorth is a Post-Doctoral researcher at Aston University, UK. He received his PhD in Bio-Medical engineering in 2014 and is currently researching new methods of optometric testing using mobile devices. Over the past 3 Years Alec has developed a number of mobile apps and accessories for the ophthalmic industry. In addition, he has also created instrumentation and test rigs for research purposes, where he has skills in rapid prototyping, signal, and image processing. He is looking forward to continuing both research and development within the biomedical engineering field.

Laura Leslie

Dr Laura Leslie

Dr Laura Leslie has a background in Material science and Biomechanics and received the PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Birmingham. She currently teaches on the CDIO modules and the first year Engineering Science module.

Laura’s research interests are in the areas of biomaterials and medical device testing, interaction between artificial implants and the human body, alternatives to animal testing. 

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