Skip to navigation Skip to content

Course search

Biomedical Engineering
MSc

2020/21 Part-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Master of Science

Faculty:

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School:

School of Engineering

Campus:

Jordanstown campus

Start date:

September 2020

Overview

The course is designed for students wanting to specialise in biomedical engineering, which is concerned with developing new medical technologies.

Summary

This course is a suitable preparation for employment in the medical device, pharma and biotechnology sectors and as preparation for PhD studies or research positions. The course draws upon the internationally recognised research with the school in areas such as Tissue Engineering, Bioceramics, Medical Electrodes and Drug Delivery. The course team also has a wealth of industrial experience and several medical device spin out companies have been established by the school.

The School of Engineering is in the top third of Engineering departments in the UK (Guardian 2017) and its research output is ranked in the UK top 20 (REF 2017).The course is based in internationally recongnised NIBEC centre within the school which is the longest established Biomedical Research Centre in Ireland. The multi-million pound purpose-built facilities house some of the most sophisticated nano-fabrication, biological and characterisation equipment in the world. NIBEC is staffed by an internationally recognised and well experienced team of researchers and academics working predominantly at the interface of bioengineering and nanotechnology.


Sign up for course updates

Sign up to register an interest in the course.

About this course

About

The course is a suitable preparation for employment in the medical device sector and as preparation for PhD studies or research positions. The course draws upon the internationally recognised research with the school in areas such as Tissue Engineering, Medical Device Technology, Defibrillators, Bioceramics, Medical Electrodes and Drug Delivery. The course team also has a wealth of industrial experience and several medical device spin out companies have been established by the school.

Attendance

The full-time MSc takes one calendar year to complete and consists of two taught terms with a substantial research project during the summer semester. The MSc can also be undertaken in a part time day release mode. Part-time students who are in full-time employment will be able to gain credit for work-based activity in the work-based learning modules that are a feature of the programme.


Short coursesIf you do not wish to undertake a full course of study, you may take individual modules as short courses.

Start dates

  • September 2020

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course is delivered through lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes and is supported with extensive online content. The small class sizes provide an excellent learning environment and the material is assessed thorough formal examinations, coursework, class tests and presentations.

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

  • Read more

    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

  • Read more

    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Jordanstown campus

The largest of Ulster's campuses.


Accommodation

Jordanstown is our biggest campus in an idyllic setting surrounded by lush lawns and trees. It's just a few hundred metres from Loughshore Park and promenade, and just seven miles from Belfast city centre.

Find out more  


Sports Facilities

At our Jordanstown Campus we have world class facilities that are open all year round to our students and members of the public.

Find out more  


Student support

At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more  


Jordanstown campus location info

  Find out more about our Jordanstown campus

Address

Ulster University
Shore Road
Newtownabbey
Co. Antrim
BT37 0QB

T: 028 7012 3456

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Biomaterials 1

Year: 1

This module provides the student with the core skills required to critically appraise the composition, properties and function of synthetic biomaterials in the context of the relevant materials science considerations. Issues relating to the regulation of biomaterials, as used in relevant medical devices and the implications of the relevant FDA (USA) and Medical Device Directives (EU) legislation are also covered. Students will also develop skills to enable them to provide a considered opinion regarding the choice of biomaterials for specific clinical applications by considering a number of case studies.

Bioinstrumentation

Year: 1

This module provides students with the necessary skills to understand and develop medical engineering devices and provides in-depth knowledge of the regulatory procedures governing their implementation.

Tissue Engineering

Year: 1

This module provides the student with the skills required to critically appraise the composition, properties and function of tissue engineered products within the context of the relevant biological and materials science considerations. Issues relating to the ethics and regulation of tissue engineering and the implications of the relevant FDA (USA) and Medical Device Directives (EU) legislation are also covered. Students will also develop skills to enable them to provide a considered opinion regarding the choice of scaffolds, cells, stimulatory factors and bioreactor environment for specific applications by considering a number of case studies.

Research Methods & Facilities

Year: 1

The module proves the underpinnings in research methods required to design and conduct original postgraduate level research programmes. in addition the module aims to develop in-depth knowledge and advanced expertise in the use of specific advanced research facilties.

Composite Engineering

Year: 1

This module is optional

At the end of the module the student should have acquired a high level of competence the many facets of composite materials and their processing methods leading to an active role as a member of a Production Management or Research team. The student should have the ability to select between competing 'composite' technologies for specific applications and hence be in a position to devise conversion systems and associated quality assurance procedures, having regard to maximising cost effectiveness and product reliability.

Mechanics of Sheet Metal Forming

Year: 1

This module is optional

An introduction to the theory of engineering plasticity applied to common sheet metal forming processes. The relevant theories are presented and their application to real industrial processes are emphasised.

Year two

Embedded Systems RTOS Design

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module enables the student to design and implement cost-effective reliable real-time embedded systems that can be shown to meet the current industry performance, reliability and safety standards.

Digital Signal Processing

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module enables the student to understand, design apply and evaluate digital signal processing algorithms.

Micro- & Nano-Scale Devices

Year: 2

This module is optional

The course provides an in depth knowledge of micro and nanofabrication techniques using elements from surface science, nanoscience and nanotechnology, plasmas and thin films, biosensors, tissue engineering and biomaterials.

Nanoscale Analysis & Metrology

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module focuses on nano and micro-scale analysis and metrology. The principle of operation and limitation of each technique are explained, the applications to the nanotechnology arena are described.

Manufacturing systems

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides a concise review of modern manufacturing, time compression methodologies and current manufacturing systems - their specification, implementation and development. The flow of data within a product lifecycle is analysed from design through to manufacture and the effective utilisation of advanced manufacturing technology addressed.

Work based learning 1

Year: 2

This module is optional

A Work Based Learning module is defined as a period of work based learning, normally of not less than 150 hours, supervised by a member of academic staff of the University. Part-time students working as professionals in industry are often required to do work which is academically challenging. As a result they frequently gain knowledge, techniques and skills, and acquire expertise, which is equivalent to work at post-graduate level. This module is designed to provide a framework within which such personal development and achievement can be recognised by the award of academic credit.

Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics

Year: 2

This module is optional

An introduction to continuum modelling approaches will enable students to understand the concepts and applications of finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modles. Specific skills will be developed using commercially available software in both FEA and CFD.An introduction to continuum modelling approaches will enable students to understand the concepts and applications of finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modles. Specific skills will be developed using commercially available software in both FEA and CFD.

Quality Improvement

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module considers modern approaches to Quality Improvement. The context of product or service is set for the interpretation of Quality from different perspectives. The Quality topics are considered under the themes of definition, measurement, actions, improvement and control. Modern and traditional management approaches are evaluated and techniques appropriate to product or service characteristics and organisation performance are considered.

Entrepreneurship (Engineering)

Year: 2

This module is optional

In this module students are engaged in applying their knowledge of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process in resolving some of the practical problems inherent in enterprise development and new venture creation.

Work based learning 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

A Work Based Learning module is defined as a period of work based learning, normally of not less than 150 hours, supervised by a member of academic staff of the University. Part-time students working as professionals in industry are often required to do work which is academically challenging. As a result they frequently gain knowledge, techniques and skills, and acquire expertise, which is equivalent to work at post-graduate level. This module is designed to provide a framework within which such personal development and achievement can be recognised by the award of academic credit.

Computer Aided Engineering for Managers

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides a concise and application based overview of current computer aided engineering systems by providing a detailed summary of current rapid-prototyping and manufacturing processes, multi-axis advanced manufacturing technologies, digital inspection and simulation. The application of CAE to enhance the product lifecycle will be the fundamental objective of this module. The integration of these systems from new product introduction (NPI) through to digital inspection will be addressed.

Polymer Technology

Year: 2

This module is optional

At the end of the module the student should be able to critically appraise alternative thermoplastic conversion and fabrication processing routes. Through analysis of processing behaviour, they should be capable of developing appropriate strategy for selection of conversion routes for a range of representative material systems and applications in terms of total economics and quality enhancement.

Process Product Optimisation

Year: 2

This module is optional

At the end of the module the student should be capable of critically assessing the complete polymer or composite system. Using modelling and analysis techniques, they should be capable of designing the complete system to meet a specific performance requirement, thus removing much of the trial and error from the practice.

Year three

Masters Dissertation

Year: 3

This module is designed to enable students to develop and demonstrate the appropriate research and project management skills needed to complete a Masters level dissertation.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

Entry Requirements

PgDip - Normally, an Honours or non-Honours degree or postgraduate diploma/certificate in a relevant engineering, technology or science discipline. In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant working/industrial experience, a portfolio of written evidence may be considered as an alternative entrance route. It is possible to transfer onto the MSc version of the course after successfully completing the PGDip.

MSc - Normally, a second class honours degree or better in a relevant engineering, science, physics or technology discipline. Or a postgraduate diploma/certificate in a relevant engineering or technology discipline. In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant working/industrial experience, a portfolio of written evidence may be considered as an alternative entrance route.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

United States of America flagAdditional information for students from United States of America

Postgraduate

Typically we require applicant for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree (usually in a relevant subject area). Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus. We consider students who have good grades in the following:

Qualification
Bachelor degree

English Language


Financial Information

In addition to the scholarships and bursaries open to all international students, US students may apply for Federal and Private US loans

Qualification
Level 12 English Lang in HSD

View more information for students from United States of America  

Careers & opportunities

Career options

Upon successful completion of the programme students will be more employable, particularly within the medical device, pharma and biotechnology sectors. Another important opportunity for MSc students is the academic career and/or research career through a PhD programme such as those offered within the school.

Work placement / study abroad

Part-time students can undertake work-based learning modules. We have close links with the vibrant medical device sector with past graduates working in many key companies. Our students have the opportunity to learn directly from industry in an optional semester 2 module, which includes industrial guest speakers.During the dissertation, which runs throughout the yearlong course, students will undertake original research and be mentored as part of an existing research group. The research facilities within the school include a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment including several electron microscopes, cell biology, tissue engineering, nanoparticle and cardiology laboratories, and a comprehensive 3D printing suite.

Professional recognition

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2020

Fees and funding

Scholarships, awards and prizes

A postgraduate Tuition Fee loan is available to N.Ireland, UK and EU students. More details are available at:

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/ulster-life/study-at-ulster/postgraduate/postgraduate-tuition-fee-loan

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director: Dr Adrain Boyd

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8924

E: ar.boyd@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Contact: Ruth McKeegan

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6134

E: rm.mckeegan@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Service

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6309

E: admissionsjn@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School of Engineering

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.