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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Almac Pharmaceuticals
  • Heartsine Technologies
  • Intelesens Responsive Healthcare
  • Medtronic
  • Randox
  • Boston Scientific
  • Warner Chilcott

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • BIOMEDICAL ENGINEER
  • Biomedical R & D Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Quality Compliance Officer
  • R&D Engineer

Overview

Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

Producing outstanding Biomedical Engineers to meet the challenges of the future.

Summary

Study Biomedical Engineering at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

Firstly, we need to define what Engineering is before considering what Biomedical Engineering is. Engineering is the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people. Another definition for Engineering is the design and manufacture of complex products. Therefore, Biomedical Engineering should be considered as Engineering that is applied to human health. However, human health is multifaceted – not only involving our physical bodies but also the things we put in our bodies (Pharmaceuticals) and the things we put on our bodies (Clothing). Therefore, Biomedical Engineering spans a variety of problems and interests.

Biomedical Engineers (sometimes referred to as Bioengineers) are responsible for driving innovations and advances in medicine. Another way to describe Biomedical Engineering is as follows.

1. A Doctor diagnoses and treat patients.

2. A Biomedical Scientist analyses samples from a patient in a hospital laboratory so that the doctor knows how to diagnose and treat the patient.

3. A Biomedical Engineer designs and develops all of the equipment used by the doctors and the biomedical scientists.

In many respects “The history of medicine is the history of its tools” and hence The Biomedical Engineer is the person who invents and provides these tools. Indeed, the discipline continues to evolve and expand into new areas such as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, a core research theme within the School of Engineering at Ulster University.

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About this course

In this section

About

There is an increasing demand for more advanced and effective medical devices and therapies due to an ageing population and our ever demanding lifestyles. In order to meet these challenges the need for professional biomedical engineers with the appropriate skills and competencies has never been greater.

The biomedical engineering course offered at the Jordanstown campus of the Ulster University aims to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the core technical, professional and ethical principles that underpin this area. It is a challenging course, multidisciplinary in nature and will enable them to gain successful employment in this continually expanding sector. Likewise, it provides them with a solid platform to undertake further MSc or PhD study programs in this area.

As well as providing the student with all necessary competencies to gain successful employment (or further study opportunities) after graduating, the staff delivering the course put a lot of emphasis on looking after the students when they are at University. This includes both good academic support and pastoral care which is equally important to ensure each student reaches their full potential.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Duration

The course is four years in during (which includes a compulsory placement in year 3). The course is only offered as a full-time option.

Attendance

Classes are normally scheduled from Monday – Friday (contact the course director for further details). There are no timetabled activities on Wednesday afternoons.

Start dates

  • September 2017
How to apply

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.

In this section

A level

The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades BBB to include one Grade B from GCE A Level Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Technology and Design, Design and Technology, Engineering or Double Award Science.

See the GCSE subject and grade requirements including specific Mathematics grade required depending on the GCE A level subject presented.

BTEC

The requirement for this course is successful completion of BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering or Science subject area with overall award profile of DDM to include a minimum of 9 unit distinctions.

The Faculty of Computing and Engineering accept combinations of A Levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Diploma. For further information on the requirements for this course please contact Faculty admissions staff by telephone on 028 9036 6305 or email compeng@ulster.ac.uk.

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course is B2,B2,B2,B2,B2 (typical grade profile) including 2 subjects from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Physics/Chemistry, Technology, Computing, Biology or Engineering. If Mathematics is not one of the specified subjects, then minimum grade D3 at Higher Level is required.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC (to include BB in Mathematics and a science subject).

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC (to include Mathematics and a science subject).

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 26 points to include 13 at Higher Level and to include minimum grade 5 in Mathematics and a Higher Level science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Currently under review with UCAS for 2017 entry. Please refer to the Equivalence of Qualifications for indicative requirement.

http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

GCSE

GCSE Mathematics Grade B or above (or equivalent) if presenting only Design and Technology as the specified subject for this course OR GCSE Mathematics Grade C or above (or equivalent) if presenting another of the specified subjects for the course with or instead of Design and Technology.

GCSE Grades CC or above in Double Award Science OR in both GCSE Science and Additional Science OR in 2 of the following GCSE subjects, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Science, Technology and Design, Statistics (or equivalent).

GCSE English language at Grade C (or equivalent).

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.

Additional Entry Requirements

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
The Faculty of Computing and Engineering accept a range of alternative combination of qualifications such as OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals.

HND/HNC
HNC applications in a Engineering, Science or Applied Science subject (plus GCSE Maths grade C or acceptable alternative Mathematics module) will be considered for year 1 entry only.

HND applications in a Engineering, Science or Applied Science subject (plus GCSE Maths grade C or acceptable alternative Mathematics module) may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 55% and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry).

For further information regarding all of the above qualifications please contact the Faculty admissions staff by T:+44 (0) 28 9036 6305 or E: compeng@ulster.ac.uk. Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.

Teaching and learning assessment

The first year of the course is introductory in nature and provides the student with the fundamental principles of the subject material concerned. Particular emphasis is placed on the provision of appropriate underpinning in key subject areas such as mathematics, physics, design, manufacturing, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and professional engineering practice. Specialist knowledge related to biomedical engineering is provided through the provision of specialist modules in biomedical engineering in both semesters, providing an introduction to the field of biomedical engineering, medical technology, and human anatomy and physiology. A significant number of modules in Year 1 incorporate laboratory tuition to ensure that the students receive appropriate hands-on experience to enhance their learning experience, and to reinforce theoretical concepts.

In the second year of the course, students are expected to refine their skills and attributes developed in Year 1 and to extend their knowledge of topics specific to Biomedical Engineering. Subjects covered include biomedical physics and their applications, medical technologies, biomaterials science, biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, medical device directives and standards, ethics, medical electronics, instrumentation and testing (with regard to medical devices, instrumentation and systems), and professional engineering practice. All of these subjects build upon the underpinning and introduction to the subject provided in Year 1, with a strong emphasis on laboratory work to enhance the students’ capabilities in preparation for placement in Year 3.

In Year 3, the student will undertake a period of paid placement in a clinical, industrial or academic setting. Placement is compulsory and seen as an integral part of the course providing the student the opportunity to develop into a junior engineer.

In year 4 the students are expected to undertake more advanced studies in modules designed to build upon their knowledge and capabilities resulting from the previous taught years and placement experience. A considerable amount of personal initiative is expected and the modules are constructed in such a way as to reflect this. In particular, the ability to make logical and analytical appraisal of a problem and to provide a structured and optimised solution is developed in the Honours Research Project. The individual project helps integrate module material from across the course. The key themes covered in final year include medical sensor technologies for monitoring and sensing applications, analogue and digital signal processing methods with respect to medical applications, biomaterials and tissue engineering, nanotechnology, management, entrepreneurship and programming.

The Ulster Learning and Teaching Strategy's overall aim is "to provide students with a high quality, challenging and rewarding learning experience that equips them with ...knowledge, skills and confidence". Engineering, according to the QAA subject benchmark statement is built on three core elements, "scientific principles, mathematics and 'realisation'." The technical underpinning required in science and mathematics are taught in ways that combine traditional features such as lectures and tutorials with a range of practically based activities that embed this underpinning knowledge in the context of real-world systems and examples. Laboratory sessions include both demonstrations and experimentation, Lectures and tutorials typically contain examples, videos and physical demonstrations of the application of the scientific principles to engineering practice.

There has also been an increasing use of technology in developing learning resources. This generally includes the integration of applications software packages (CAD, FEA, CFD for example) and the use of live intranet and Web resources, both within scheduled sessions and in independent study, as the School continues to build student-partnerships and a community of learners.

Apart from conventional usage of ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’ assessment problems in class tests and formal examinations, significant use is made of on-line assessment strategies within the course to facilitate timely feedback. Oral examinations are utilised (e.g. in relation to project presentations and presentations relating to industrial placement). Diagnostic assessment features are becoming more prominent in Year 1 modules with formative assessment generally linked to summative assessment, for initial coursework submissions in the first half of semester.

Staff delivering the course are focused on the need for good quality, timely formative feedback, to encourage students and promote deeper learning as modules progress.

Exemptions and transferability

Exemption from parts of the course may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL). The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Almac Pharmaceuticals
  • Heartsine Technologies
  • Intelesens Responsive Healthcare
  • Medtronic
  • Randox
  • Boston Scientific
  • Warner Chilcott

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • BIOMEDICAL ENGINEER
  • Biomedical R & D Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Quality Compliance Officer
  • R&D Engineer

Career options

Biomedical engineers can take up employment in a range of different areas (due to its interdisciplinary nature). Potential employers include:

1. The medical device and pharmaceutical industry (e.g. Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Abbott, Heartsine, Intelesens, Randox, Almac, Norbrook, Trucorp, Siemens, Philips)
2. Hospital trusts (e.g. Northern Ireland, Ireland, UK and Australia)
3. Government and regulatory agencies (UK), and
4. Universities (e.g. Ulster University and QUB).

The biomedical engineer can play a vital role in any one of the above named sectors, working as research and development engineer in the medical device industry producing the next generation of heart valves, defibrilators, ECG systems, stents or hip replacements, right through to the specialist working in the hospital to operate and maintain sophisticated equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.

The biomedical engineering degree course at Ulster University provides the graduate with a range of technical, professional and ethical competencies that will enable them to gain employment in this continually developing sector. Our graduates gain successful employment in the medical device industry and research laboratories and hospitals all over the world.

A significant number of students have also gone on to complete further studies (MSc/PhD) in the field of biomedical engineering and related subject areas at institutions all over the UK and Ireland.

Work placement / study abroad

The BSc (Hons) Biomedical Engineering degree programme is of four year duration, consisting of three years at University and one year on Industrial placement, which is compulsory. Students fulfilling the requirements of the course will be awarded an Honours degree with an accompanying award of a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) for successful completion of a University approved placement in a clinical, industrial or academic establishment.

The placement year in year 3 of the course provides our students with a valuable insight into the working environment and gives them a unique edge when they go to seek full-time employment after they graduate. Indeed, many placement providers end up offering employment to those students who completed a successful placement with them after they graduate.

Professional recognition

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.

Academic profile

In addition to accredited status with respect to the course provision, staff within the School of Engineering work closely with a wide range of professional bodies such as:

  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE),

  • Institution of Engineers and Technology (IET)

  • Institute of Physics (IOP)

  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

  • Institution of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)

  • Society of Biology (SOB)

  • Higher Education Academy (HEA)

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE)

  • Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)

    Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)

    British Computer Society (BCS)

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:
£3,925.00
England, Scotland & Wales:
£6,000.00
International:
£12,890.00

Scholarships, awards and prizes

A range of prizes and awards are available to students throughout their studies.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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

Faculty Office
T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305
E: compeng@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director: Dr Adrian Boyd
T: +44 (0) 28 9036 8914
E: ar.boyd@ulster.ac.uk

Testimonials

David Bishop BSc Hons Biomedical Engineering with DIS 2011

Having graduated with First Class Honours in the summer, David commenced doctoral study with the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research group in the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre. His research will investigate various methods to try and increase the bioactivity of different biomaterial surfaces in order to manipulate and control the differentiation pathways of adult mesenchymal stem cells. David’s undergraduate years are a catalogue of high achievement. On placement with Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), Galway, he won a Silver Value Improvement Project (VIP) Award due to savings of $800,000 per year on a coat weight variation project. He also designed a stent handling tool and his placement experience and nomination led to BSC winning the 2011 University Placement employer of the year award. David was also a Nuffield Research Scholar and, during his final year, tutored mathematics to students on Ulster’s Step-Up programme. David’s results and experience at undergraduate level, particularly in the final year project, have provided the stepping stone to his current research in the field of biomaterials.

Dr Rebecca Di Maio BSc Hons Biomedical Engineering with DIS 2004

Double graduate Rebecca has gone a long way from her Ballymena home and undergraduate studies at Jordanstown – literally. She is now Clinical Research Manager at HeartSine Technologies Ltd, overseeing the conduct of multicentre clinical trials on defibrillator and CPR technology. Rebecca has travelled to Moscow, Belfast, London, San Diego, Copenhagen, Chicago, New Orleans to present the results of the company’s studies and overview the technology. “I studied BSc Hons Biomedical Engineering with DIS, gaining First Class Honours and then undertook my PhD in defibrillation and resuscitation. It was a follow on from a very successful final year project supervised by Professor John Anderson, who has an international reputation in the field of defibrillation and resuscitation research. He is also now my manager as CTO of HeartSine Technologies Ltd. I have also lectured at Ulster in maths and electronics.” Rebecca has trained and supervised a number of students at HeartSine Technologies, some of whom have gone on to complete summer programmes at Harvard.

Tracey Leonard BSc Hons Biomedical Engineering with DIS 2011

Tracey is currently a Renal Technologist with the NHS . Her job involves the maintenance, calibration, repairs and modifications of medical equipment used to perform kidney dialysis. Dialysis machines are extremely important for the survival of patients who suffer from kidney disease. Renal Technologists ensure that this vital equipment works efficiently and safely at all times. Tracey undertook her work placement at Ulster’s Centre for Rehabilitation Research where she had the opportunity to work alongside a team comprising both local and international collaborators to complete a research study on Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). She was the investigator of the laboratory trial and the information collected was used to compile a journal submission. The paper, of which Tracey is a co-author is titled ‘Does the Stimulation Intensity of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Influence Hypoalgesia?’ and was published in the European Journal of Pain in August 2011. Tracey hopes to gain invaluable experience within this role through hands on experience and training courses. Tracey is keen to incorporate her background in medical research into her current role which could possibly lead to new techniques or equipment being developed which could improve the treatment of dialysis patients.

Dr Lindsay McManus BSc Hons Biomedical Engineering with DIS 2008

Lindsay graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering with a commendation in a Diploma of Industrial Studies in 2008. In the same year she began a three-year PhD based in the Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre, funded by the Department of Education and Learning, Northern Ireland. Lindsay has worked on collaborative projects with Tyndall National Institute in Cork and also with Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. Throughout her time as a PhD student she has been successful in various funding applications for attending international conferences, including the I J Shelley travelling fund, the Andrew Carnegie research travel fund and the Royal Society of Engineering travel grant. Recently Lindsay was also successful in securing a National Access Programme research grant (NAP 303) which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Lindsay became the Irish regional winner for the Young Persons’ Lecture competition, which is sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). This competition is a test of the competitors’ ability to convey technical information in an enthusiastic and understandable way, in the form of a short presentation. She then went on to participate in the 7th world final that was sponsored by the Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração in São Paulo, Brazil. She has also published a number of papers in peer reviewed journals on her pioneering work on monitoring Human Stem Cells using Raman Spectroscopy. Lindsay has recently taken up a post within Heartsine Technologies in Belfast (NI) after completing her PhD in NIBEC, Ulster University.

Jenna Smith BSc Hons Biomedical Engineering with DIS 2010

Having graduated with First Class Honours in July 2010 Jenna took up a post at Randox Laboratories, a privately owned diagnostic and equipment manufacturer based in Crumlin. She is now Project Manager on 'Evidence Evolution' which is the world’s first fully automated, random access Biochip analyser. It utilises the revolutionary Biochip Array Technology (BAT) which is capable of simultaneously detecting up to 23 analytes in a single patient sample. Jenna also works closely with the Quality teams assisting with internal and external audits and general regulatory compliance work within the Engineering department.