2020 start

Biological Imaging

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science

The development of advanced and super-resolution microscopy has opened a new frontier in how scientists study biological systems and develop new approaches in medicine. Whether your background is in biological science, physical sciences, medicine or engineering, this course is designed to train you to use the technologies behind these state-of-the-art techniques.
Biological Imaging postgraduates in lab

Course description

This course focuses on the tools scientists can use to answer biological questions, from how cancer cells grow to how plant cells breathe. You can learn super-resolution and atomic force microscopy techniques from specialists in the University of Sheffield’s Biophysical Imaging Centre and Light Microscopy Facility, and electron microscopy techniques from the scientists running our new £2 million Arctica microscope.

At the start of the course, each week is devoted to a different technique. You’ll learn the theory by attending lectures and studying key scientific papers, then get practical training on how to use our specialist equipment to capture detailed images of biological systems. You will learn how to analyse and write up the data you have produced, often by learning to use code to programme your own analysis tools.

Your career

We have close links with lots of companies in the microscopy industry, such as Nikon Instruments, Zeiss and Hamamatsu, who we’ve collaborated with on projects, and that we’ve sourced state-of-the-art equipment from. Our industry partners will support your learning by giving guest lectures, designing research projects and providing insights into possible jobs after graduation. The course is also great preparation for a PhD.


We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the Medical School's website.

Apply now


Core modules

  • Imaging Life
  • Imaging Across the Disciplines
  • Theory and Practical Application of Imaging
  • Image Analysis
  • Imaging Project


You will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars, laboratory classes, computing classes and your research project


You will have written, laboratory and computer assignments in addition to your dissertation and viva. You will also take part in problem-solving at an industry level.


1 year full-time

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree in physics or biology.

We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now


+44 114 222 3789

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.