MSc
2021 start

Bioengineering

Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering

Our MSc is designed to provide you with all of the necessary technical knowledge, expertise and transferable skills to succeed in one of the fastest growing engineering disciplines. Bioengineering is a multidisciplinary field that combines biology and engineering, and which allows you to apply engineering principles to medicine and healthcare.
A photo of a Bioengineering postgraduate using modelling technology

Course description

This unique course combines biomaterials, imaging and in silico medicine. It gives you the medical background, specialist knowledge, and theoretical and practical skills you’ll need to integrate biology and medicine with engineering and ultimately solve problems related to living systems. 

We'll introduce you to the field of biomaterials, and important factors in the selection, design, and development of biomaterials for clinical applications.

You’ll also have the chance to explore the medical devices field and product design, together with their regulatory aspects. You’ll develop experimental skills in our world-class laboratories and advanced skills in modelling. These skills are useful for simulating the complexities of the human body and for more traditional engineering contexts.

You’ll be taught by world-leading scientists. We work closely with specialist research centres at the University of Sheffield, including Insigneo and POLARIS, along with research groups focusing on advances in biomaterials, bioengineering and health technologies. This means you’ll be positioned at the forefront of biomedical innovation and become part of a community of professionals in the field while you study.

You can tailor the course to suit your interests and research project. Optional modules range from biomechanics to the use of virtual reality and 3D visualisation approaches.

  • Be part of an exciting field that integrates biology and engineering to improve quality of life.
  • Through optional modules and an in-depth research project you’ll have a variety of ways to explore your area of interest.

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Accreditation

The course has been developed in line with accreditation standards and will seek to be formally accredited at the earliest opportunity, backdating this status to those who have previously studied on the programme.

Modules

Core modules:

Anatomy and Physiology for Engineers

This module aims at providing students with an understanding of human physiological function from an engineering, specifically mechanical engineering, viewpoint. Introduction to human anatomy and physiology with a focus on learning fundamental concepts and applying engineering (mass transfer, fluid dynamics, mechanics, modelling) analysis and medical devices applications.

15 credits
Introduction to Medical Device Regulation

Medical devices bring great benefit to patients, but it is essential to ensure that such devices are fit for purpose. This module explores the principles of regulation, and demonstrates how two of the world’s largest regulatory frameworks (European and American) reduce risks and ultimately benefit the patient, the user and the manufacturer. You will simulate companies operating in this area, and learn the roles of Quality Standards, CE Marking, Notified Bodies, Competent Authorities and other key agencies. You will develop appreciation for the changing regulatory landscape, with special attention to the emerging use of computational modelling in this context.

15 credits
Applied Modelling Skills and Virtual Reality

This module aims to combine computational modelling with state-of-the-art virtual reality and demonstrate the synergistic value of these technologies. You will apply advanced finite element and finite volume modelling skills to investigate biomechanics problems associated with both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, and deliver your results in the virtual reality format. You will also experience clinical radiation technologies such as X-ray and Angio systems through VR. The course involves a combination of theory (lectures) and computational labs. You will use the virtual reality tablets to study human anatomy and the virtual reality lab to deliver your final presentation.

15 credits
X-rays for Planar and Volumetric Imaging in Medicine

This module recognises the dominant role that ionising radiation plays in imaging diagnostics and considers both planar and volumetric imaging modalities in the form of planar X-Ray imaging and Computed Tomography (CT).

15 credits

Optional modules:

Computational Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System

This module aims to provide students in-depth knowledge of the state-of-the-art approach for modelling the musculoskeletal system. Students will use the Virtual Reality tablet to familiarise themselves with the anatomy. They are then introduced to a range of the latest research-led modelling methods applied to a bones and soft tissues. More specialised topics will be introduced relating to clinical applications and the wider social impact of personalised medicine. The second part of the course involves more extensive topics on model validation and advanced experimental methods for material property characterisation. The course also offers a series of computational labs where the students will apply the advanced biomechanics skills to generate personalised models to investigate a specific musculoskeletal disease.

15 credits
Clinical Engineering and Computational Mechanics

The complexity of the geometry and boundary conditions of structures within the body are such that the physical governing equations rarely have closed-form analytical solutions. This module describes some of the numerical techniques that can be used to explore physical systems, with illustrations from biomechanics, biofluid mechanics, disease treatment and imaging processes. The primary technique that will be used is the finite element method, and the fundamental concepts behind this powerful technique will be described. The lectures will be supported by laboratory sessions in which the student will apply commercial codes to investigate problems in the medical sphere.

10 credits
Dental Materials Science

Evaluating the scientific principles underling Materials Science is key for evaluating the uses and applications of dental materials. There is a pressing need for the development of new approaches to dental materials teaching with focus on delivering relevant theory-orientated content in a practically addressed context. A more clinically-driven teaching scenario will allow students to be able to understand and critically analyse properties and applications of key materials currently used in Dentistry. The module will begin with an introduction to materials science, including the properties of materials and their transitions. It will then focus on dental materials used in indirect restorations, mainly metals, composites and ceramics.

15 credits
Bio-imaging and Bio-spectroscopy

This 15-credit module is intended for the MATT64 MSc in Biomaterial & Regenerative Medicine course. It provides a comprehensive overview of the practical and theoretical aspects of imaging and characterisation of biological systems, from the cellular level through to whole-body medical imaging. The unit starts with an introduction to the basic physical concepts in imaging. Major techniques using non-ionising radiation are then introduced including fluorescence and multi-photon microscopy, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy in particular of biomaterials and biological molecules, OCT, ultrasound and MRI.

15 credits
Fundamental Biomechanics

This module introduces you to the interdisciplinary field of biomechanics. You will learn how to identify fluid dynamic or fluid-structure interaction processes that occur in biological systems and will gain an understanding how to translate them into mathematical models to use as a basis to analyse them. The mechanical analysis will be carried out using the concepts of continuum mechanics. The module will cover the physics of internal flows (cardiovascular flows) and external flows (swimming and flying).

15 credits
Cardiovascular Biomechanics

This module aims to provide you with an overview of state-of-the-art modelling approaches used to study the cardiovascular system from a biomechanical perspective. The module starts with a brief review of relevant principles and theories in fluid mechanics, followed by anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, including blood rheology and vessel tissue mechanics. The second part gives you an overview of the modelling, analytical and experimental methods applied to several parts of the cardiovascular system. The final part will focus on more specialised topics, like the application of modelling techniques to investigate correlations with disease.

15 credits
Human Movement Biomechanics

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).

15 credits
Experimental Skills for Tissue Modelling

This module aims to provide you with an overview of in vitro cell and tissue growth and how this is measured and modelled. You will undergo hands-on training in cell culture creating a case-study in vitro system in which you will monitor cell growth and matrix production. You will learn how to calculate and predict growth rates and what appropriate controls and standards need to be considered.

15 credits
Tissue Engineering Approaches to Failure in Living Systems

The lecture course will continue with the systems based introduction to human physiology and anatomy introduced in MAT201 level 2 and explore through lectures the tissue engineering and biomedical engineering approaches to cope with disease, failure and old age in body systems. Generic technologies of relevance to tissue enginering such as gene therapy and stem cell introduction will also be included.

20 credits
Biomaterials Science

This module will explore the range of materials, both synthetic and natural, that can be used as implants in the human body, from a materials science perspective. This module will highlight the materials properties of implant materials, and will give an overview of possible host responses to the implant materials. Additionally, both physical and chemical routes to reduce the host response will be discussed. Case studies of hard and soft tissue implants will be discussed. Finally, the module will highlight the use of artificial organs. 

15 credits
Structural and Physical Properties of Dental and Bio-materials.

This module covers engineering metallic alloys ranging from alloy steels, stainless steels, light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) and high temperature metallic systems (intermetallics and nickel superalloys). The module centres on the physical metallurgy of such engineering alloys to demonstrate the effect of alloying and implications for the processing, microstructure and performance of structural components in a range of industrial sectors, but predominantly the automotive and aerospace sectors.

15 credits
Human Factors and User-Centred Design

The module is designed to give students an introduction to human factors and user-centred design and how they are used within the design process (alongside engineering analysis, manufacturing considerations, marketing etc.). The module concentrates on developing an understanding of how populations are characterised and how that influences design decisions. It gives an overview of the theory and practices surrounding design with humans before asking students to apply those theories in a series of case studies. The module gives students an opportunity to work within a team and learn from peers as they tackle the case studies.

15 credits
Computational Mechanics with Clinical Applications

The complexity of biological systems typically requires numerical approaches to solve the governing systems of differential equations. This module introduces the finite difference and finite element techniques, with examples of applications for clinically relevant problems. This includes both direct implementation using programming methods and use of established computational codes. Module assessment focusses on the application and critical review of finite difference and finite element analysis.

15 credits
Vascular Cell Biology

This module explores the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease and introduces the students to basic knowledge on which the following module is based. The module builds upon the research in the Department of Cardiovascular Science, exploring the cellular mechanisms, molecules and signalling pathways involved in the pathology of vascular diseases.
The module incorporates a laboratory experience; students will gain hands-on experience of cell biology methods that we use to understand vascular biology function. There is a strong emphasis on using experimental approaches to test hypotheses and an ability to apply background knowledge to assess experimental results.

15 credits
Vascular Disease: models & clinical practice

This module builds on the basic cellular and molecular principles learnt in the previous module (CDL401). The module examines the value of in vivo model systems in testing hypotheses and the development of classical and emerging therapies is explored.
The module also examines how basic science is translated into clinical practise and therapy. The module covers global epidemiology, drug treatment and clinical intervention and considers relevant ethical issues. Students will have the opportunity to visit the cardiovascular and cardiology clinical departments, clinical research facility and to observe a current clinical interventional technique.

15 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratories and coursework assignments. You’ll be expected to conduct private study, the amount of which will vary from module to module. Reading lists will be provided.

You’ll also work closely with one of the masters teaching staff on a project topic of your choice.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed by a variety of means, including written examinations, coursework submissions (which include design studies, laboratory reports, computational assignments and research topics), poster and oral presentations and a formative assessment.

Duration

1 year full-time

Your career

Our graduates develop a broad skill set to succeed in a growing discipline, which is at the interface between engineering and the life sciences.

You'll have the opportunity to work as a clinical engineer or as a research and development engineer in the bioengineering industrial sector. 

The breadth of skills you’ll acquire also gives you the opportunity to flourish in a more traditional engineering environment. For example, you could become a consultant engineer or you could follow a research pathway and continue to study on a PhD.

Entry requirements

A minimum 2:2 in a bachelors honours degree in an engineering subject (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering, general engineering, chemical engineering, bioengineering, or biomedical engineering) or pure sciences (maths, physics).

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

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

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

Apply now

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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