Modules and learning

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Teaching and learning

This expertly-designed academic programme of study has been designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this emerging field. You'll learn to simulate real biophysical and biological processes in a virtual environment and apply engineering solutions to the human body to help inform the future of medicine.

Part of only a small cohort of students to allow for comprehensive teaching and ensuring the quality of the programme, you'll be embedded within and taught by world-leading experts from the Insigneo Institute and the University of Sheffield. Through a varied programme of lectures, seminars and hands-on laboratories, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of this specialist area. A key component of the course is the individual research project which you'll undertake with one of our industrial or clinical partners.

To further enhance your learning, you will also be given the unique chance to participate in Insigneo training, seminars and workshops and have opportunities to meet with prospective employers.


The integrated discipline of computational medicine represents the application of modern computer science, statistics and mathmatics to exploring biological and biomedical problems.

You will study the following modules comprising 180 credits over one year on a full-time basis.

Tissue Structure and Function

15 credits

This course introduces students to the tissues of the human body. The principal tissues that make up the body will be described including the cells, proteins and other extracellular components that make up the tissue. The structure of the tissue will be discussed in detail, in particular how it relates to its specific function in a healthy human body. Basic anatomy - how tissues combine to create organs and where each organ can be found in the human body will be studied. Practical classes on human anatomy and histology will be used to demonstrate tissue structure. Finally, how tissue damage causes loss of function will be considered. This course should enable students to understand enough about human tissues so that they can progress to understanding how engineering techniques are used to support, monitor and repair damaged human tissues.

Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System

15 credits

Our bones and muscles work together to maintain our posture and allow us to move. Learn how this collaboration between systems permit us to function and how force imbalance can create medical complications. Armed with this knowledge, you will be ready to create the most representative computer models and make accurate prediction of medical situations.

Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices

15 credits

One recent revolution in the medical device industry is the recognition that simulations are now reliable enough to predict the success of a device or a procedure by regulatory bodies, such as the FDA. In this module, you will learn the legal context of medical devices: what can be approved, how to bring a medical device to market, what do states require engineers to prove for a success product arrival on market.

Musculoskeletal Modelling Skills

15 credits

Learn how to create computer models of the muscle and bone system from real medical images. In this module, you will turn medical scans, such as MRI and X-rays, into computer models and learn how to use this information to predict the effects that our body structure will have on our health. For example, does the way you walk and the shape of your spine will lead to lower back pain?

Biomechanics of the Cardiovascular System

15 credits

Learn in more detail how the cardiovascular system works, and what influences its health. Discover how balance of force maintains a healthy heart, strong blood vessels, and how an imbalance can lead to complications. With this knowledge, you will be prepared to understand the impact of your simulations.

Cardiovascular Modelling Skills

15 credits

Learn how to create computer models of the cardiovascular system from actual medical images. In this module, you will discover how to transfer scans such as MRI into computer models and the intricacies that must be taken into account to study fluid flow in the human body.

Research project

60 Credits

Lead a research project in your area of interest. You will be able to explore a medical case, using medical images to create your own model and draw conclusions. You could simulate the spine of an injured patient and help choose the best spinal implant according to their body and lifestyle. Or help doctors find the perfect location to deploy a stent according to patient's blood vessels. Or help create a new dental implant with novel biomaterials, and test whether they can successfully sustain years of chewing.

You will have a choice of 30 credits from the modules below

Experimental Skills for Tissue Modelling

15 credits

Computer simulations help us better predict how our body will evolve, but they need fundamental information to be accurate, and they must be tested to verify if they are correct. In this module, you will learn and try-out for yourself how experiments in the lab help create the most accurate models and how important validation is to simulations.

Biomechanics of Human Movement

15 credits

Biomechanics of human movement is the science concerned with the internal and external forces acting on the human body and the effects produced by these forces. This module will deal with both the kinematics (the branch of biomechanics of human movement entailing the study of movement from a geometrical point of view) and kinetics (the branch of biomechanics of human movement investigating what causes a body to move the way it does).

Research Methods and Professional Issues

15 credits

This module provides a solid foundation for the research project and its required dissertation. Students receive instruction through taught lectures on various research skills, including: advice on research methods and technical writing style; risk analysis and contingency planning; peer-review processes; and the details of working within a professional, legal and ethical framework. The module is assessed on the basis of a project background report, which is submitted at the end of the spring semester, and on additional peer-review activities.