Biomedical Engineering Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical Engineering focuses on advancements in technology and medicine that allow for the development of new devices and equipment that can be used to improve human health and healthcare at all levels.

A Biomedical Engineer analyses and designs the solutions to problems in biology and medicine to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care. Biomedical Engineers may design software to run medical equipment or computer simulations to test new drug therapies and medicines.

Biomedical Engineering combines aspects of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and engineering with human biology to improve overall human health and wellbeing.

What 3rd level courses are available?

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Biological Engineering courses in the following subject areas:
  • Bioengineering – The study of the application of the principles of engineering to advancements in healthcare and medicine.
  • ME Biomedical Engineering – Gain the technical, analytical, and transferrable knowledge and skills in biomedical engineering.
  • Master of Science in Bioprocess Engineering – Further develop your knowledge and appreciation of the conceptual and factual bases for bioprocess design and operation.
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering – The study of novel engineering solutions to clinical problems.
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Design – The study of Biomedical Design and engineering in Healthcare.

Studying Biomedical Engineering in college

Biological engineering students might choose from four areas of specialization, including environmental, biomedical, bioprocess, and agricultural. Coursework may include the study of water management, geomatics (the science of managing information about the environment), engineering design, and food processing, with a concentration of courses in math and biology.

Courses may include laboratory and classroom-based courses, in subjects such as fluid and solid mechanics, computer programming, circuit design, and biomaterials. Other required courses may include biological sciences, such as physiology.

Biomedical Engineering courses will cover all theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and teaching modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification.

Many full-time Biological Engineering courses run over 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

You could also consider work experience or work shadowing in hospitals and medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, to gain practical experience. Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and make valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

Biomedical engineers usually work full time on a normal schedule. However, as with employees in almost any engineering occupation, biomedical engineers occasionally may have to work additional hours to meet the needs of patients, managers, colleagues, and clients. Some biomedical engineers work more than 40 hours per week.

Biomedical engineers work in teams with scientists, healthcare workers, or other engineers. Where and how they work depends on the project. For example, a biomedical engineer who has developed a new device designed to help a person with a disability to walk again might have to spend hours in a hospital to determine whether the device works as planned. If the engineer finds a way to improve the device, he or she might have to return to the manufacturer to help alter the manufacturing process to improve the design.

A biomedical engineer can work in a variety of settings such as in hospitals where therapy occurs or in laboratories doing research. You could work in manufacturing settings where they design biomedical engineering products or work in commercial offices where they make or support business decisions.

Where and how biomedical engineers work is often determined by others’ specific needs. For example, a biomedical engineer who has developed a new device designed to help a person with a disability to walk again might have to spend hours in a hospital to determine whether the device works as planned. If the engineer finds a way to improve the device, the engineer might have to then return to the manufacturer to help alter the manufacturing process to improve the design.

Related jobs include:

  • Biomaterials Developer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Independent Consultant
  • Doctor
  • Biomedical Scientist/Researcher
  • Rehabilitation Engineer
  • Medical Technology Developer

Further study

After completing a course in Biological Engineering you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Electric or Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Physics.

Biomedical engineers typically receive greater responsibility through experience and more education. To lead a research team, a biomedical engineer generally needs a graduate degree. Biomedical engineers who are interested in basic research may become medical scientists. Some biomedical engineers attend medical or dental school to specialize in various techniques or topical areas.


Are there any particular qualities you need to study Biological Engineering?

Biomedical engineers need to have good analytical skills so that they can analyze the needs of a patient or customer to design appropriate solutions. They should also have good communication skills as they will need to work with patients or clients regularly and may work as a part of a team.

You should have some level of creativity and also enjoy maths and problem-solving so that you can create and work on innovative and integrative equipment and devices.

Where can I study Biological Engineering?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· Biological engineers created the first bionic arm in 1993. This arm contained several motors, pulleys, and electronic equipment that would allow users to grip items because artificial fingers were available. By 1998, people were able to use these devices thanks to brain impulses that could be translated into movement inputs.

· Microtechnology and nanotechnology use semiconductor fabrication and 3-D printing methods to create tiny medical devices. As of 2013, research in biomedical Micro/Nanotechnologies includes lab-on-chip devices that can perform sophisticated analyses and diagnoses, implantable biomedical microdevices, biodegradable scaffolds to support tissue growth, nanoscale biosensors, and various nanoparticles for imaging and drug delivery.

· Biomaterials research is of critical importance to many facets of biomedical engineering. Advances in biomaterials underlie advances in many areas of biomedical research, particularly artificial organs, and prostheses, and wound healing. Biomaterials research focuses on the interactions of biomolecules and cells with materials. Biomaterials researchers study the properties of materials and develop new materials for biomedical applications.


Mariza Halliday

Midwifery Courses
Biological & Biomedical Sciences Courses


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