Medical engineering combines the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to contribute to medical device solutions and interventions for a range of diseases and trauma.
This exciting and challenging programme will give you a broad knowledge base in this rapidly expanding field, as well as allowing you to specialise through your choice of optional modules.
We emphasise the multidisciplinary nature of medical engineering and the current shift towards the interface between engineering and the life sciences. You could focus on tissue engineering, biomaterials or joint replacement technology among a host of other topics.
Whether you’re an engineer or surgeon, or you work in sales, marketing or regulation, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to launch or develop your career in this demanding sector.
Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
You’ll learn in an exciting research environment where breakthroughs are being made in your discipline. This programme is closely linked to our Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (IMBE), which focuses on research and education in the fields of medical devices and regenerative medicine. It focuses on innovating and translating new therapies into practical clinical applications.
Our world-class facilities in materials screening analysis, joint simulation, surface analysis, heart valve simulation and tensile and fatigue testing allow us to push the boundaries in medical engineering.
One core module in Semester 1 will give you a background in experimental design and analysis within medical engineering. You’ll look at computational and biological methodologies alongside statistical data analysis and different data visualisation techniques to lay the foundations of your studies.
Optional modules in each semester will allow you to build on this knowledge and focus on specialist topics that suit your own interests and career intentions. You could focus on biomechatronics and medical robotics, spinal biomechanics, surface engineering or computational fluid dynamics analysis and a range of other topics. Depending on your academic or professional background, you may decide to take introductory modules such as Basic Orthopaedic Engineering or Structure and Function of the Body to fill the gaps in your knowledge.
Throughout the programme you’ll complete your Professional Project – an independent piece of research on a topic within mechanical engineering that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. In the two taught semesters you’ll review the literature around your topic and plan the project, before completing the design, analysis, computation, experimentation and writing up in the summer months.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll extend your studies over a longer period so you can take fewer modules in each year.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Medical Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular interactions with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Some modules make use of online learning methods or a short course format.
Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The professional project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects for MSc Medical Engineering students have included:
Career destinations are diverse and include medical engineering within industrial or public sector organisations, regulatory affairs and sales and marketing.
Graduates from this programme have gone on to work in a range of roles for employers such as the clinical research centres, continued in a career in clinical orthopaedics, progressed to a PhD programme.
You’ll also be well prepared to continue with engineering research, whether in industry or at PhD level.
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK's leading employers.
The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website
The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering provides students with a state-of-the-art overview of all areas in biomedical engineering:
The teaching curriculum builds upon the top-class research conducted by the staff, most of whom are members of the Leuven Medical Technology Centre. This network facilitates industrial fellowships for our students and enables students to complete design projects and Master’s theses in collaboration with industry leaders and internationally recognized research labs.
Biomedical engineers are educated to integrate engineering and basic medical knowledge. This competence is obtained through coursework, practical exercises, interactive sessions, a design project and a Master’s thesis project.
Three courses provide students with basic medical knowledge on anatomy and functions of the human body. The core of the programme consists of biomedical engineering courses that cover the entire range of contemporary biomedical engineering: biomechanics, biomaterials, medical imaging, biosensors, biosignal processing, medical device design and regulatory affairs.
The elective courses have been grouped in four clusters: biomechanics and tissue engineering, medical devices, information acquisition systems, and Information processing software. These clusters allow the students to deepen their knowledge in one particular area of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from one cluster, while at the same time allowing other students to obtain a broad overview on the field of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from multiple clusters.
Students can opt for an internship which can take place in a Belgian company or in a medical technology centre abroad.
Through the general interest courses, the student has the opportunity to broaden his/her views beyond biomedical engineering. These include courses on management, on communication (e.g. engineering vocabulary in foreign languages), and on the socio-economic and ethical aspects of medical technology.
A design project and a Master’s thesis familiarize the student with the daily practice of a biomedical engineer.
The Faculty of Engineering Science at KU Leuven is involved in several Erasmus exchange programmes. For the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, this means that the student can complete one or two semesters abroad, at a number of selected universities.
An industrial fellowship is possible for three or six credits either between the Bachelor’s and the Master’s programme, or between the two phases of the Master’s programme. Students are also encouraged to consider the fellowship and short courses offered by BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) or through the ATHENS programme.
You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty.
The programme responds to a societal need, which translates into an industrial opportunity.
Evaluation of the programme demonstrates that the objectives and goals are being achieved. The mix of mandatory and elective courses allows the student to become a generalist in Biomedical Engineering, but also to become a specialist in one topic; industry representatives report that graduates master a high level of skills, are flexible and integrate well in the companies.
Company visits expose all BME students to industry. Further industrial experience is available to all students.
Our international staff (mostly PhD students) actively supports the courses taught in English, contributing to the international exposure of the programme.
The Master’s programme is situated in a context of strong research groups in the field of biomedical engineering. All professors incorporate research topics in their courses.
Most alumni have found a job within three months after graduation.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
Biomedical engineering is a rapidly growing sector, evidenced by an increase in the number of jobs and businesses. The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering was created to respond to increased needs for healthcare in our society. These needs stem from an ageing population and the systemic challenge to provide more and better care with less manpower and in a cost-effective way. Industry, government, hospitals and social insurance companies require engineers with specialised training in the multidisciplinary domain of biomedical engineering.
As a biomedical engineer, you'll play a role in the design and production of state-of-the-art biomedical devices and/or medical information technology processes and procedures. You will be able to understand medical needs and translate them into engineering requirements. In addition, you will be able to design medical devices and procedures that can effectively solve problems through their integration in clinical practice. For that purpose, you'll complete the programme with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and human biotechnology and mastery of biomedical technology in areas such as biomechanics, biomaterials, tissue engineering, bio-instrumentation and medical information systems. The programme will help strengthen your creativity, prepare you for life-long learning, and train you how to formalise your knowledge for efficient re-use.
Careers await you in the medical device industry R&D engineering, or as a production or certification specialist. Perhaps you'll end up with a hospital career (technical department), or one in government. The broad technological background that is essential in biomedical engineering also makes you attractive to conventional industrial sectors. Or you can continue your education by pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering; each year, several places are available thanks to the rapid innovation taking place in biomedical engineering and the increasing portfolio of approved research projects in universities worldwide.