Biomedical Engineering Courses

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Biomedical Engineering Courses overview

Biomedical engineering is an ingenious combination of disciplines that advances both medicine and engineering. Biomedical optics, tissue engineering, genetic engineering and bioinformatics are among the numerous advancements it yields. Postgraduate study allows students to choose from a broad variety of units, which facilitate careers in all manner of biomedical engineering pursuits. Some of these include computational nanotechnology, computational fluid dynamics, membrane science, smart materials, sustainable design and a great deal more.

Early examples of biomedical engineering have been observed thousands of years ago in the form of rudimentary prosthetics, but the field as named today is very young. The world saw its first biomedical engineering departments in the 70s, with the Biomedical Engineering Society findings its roots in Illinois, USA during 1968. Regardless of the field being named or not, the intersect between medicine and engineering has yielded important technologies like MRI, CT and PET.

Modern professionals are rapidly advancing the field, developing technologies once considered solely in the realm of science fiction. The future is bright for postgraduate students entering biomedical engineering.

Is biomedical engineering for me?

This is a highly complex multidisciplinary field, making it ideally suited to aspirants with a willingness to commit enormous amounts of time to understanding its composites. That said, the rewards can be staggering; professionals in this field are advancing the way illnesses are treated, learning how to grow organs and planning to end human mortality by 2050. If you have a hunger to combat some of the oldest and most pressing issues facing humankind, biomedical engineering could be for you.

Study pathway

Biomedical engineering can be taken all the way up to PhD level. Master’s degrees are available for comprehensive coursework and research opportunities, with graduate certificates and diplomas offering a succinct foundation.

Graduate certificates take six months of full time study to complete, or one year part time. They’re offered by institutions like James Cook University, providing a great deal of elective options despite the timeframe. Some of these include:

  • Advanced bioengineering

  • Biomedical epidemiology

  • Advanced marine microbiology

  • Advanced immunology

  • Systemic pathophysiology and therapeutics

Students must have completed a bachelor degree in biomedical engineering or cognate equivalent to enter these courses. In the case of James Cook, successful applicants must receive hepatitis B immunisation before commencing study too.

Graduate diplomas serve a similar purpose, but are more extensive at one year of full time study or two years part time. Students at James Cook University are able to take more of the electives offered during the graduate certificate, providing students with great opportunity to tailor the program to their interests. Entry requirements are exactly the same, with a bachelor degree in biomedical science or cognate discipline being mandatory for entry.

The Master of Biomedical Engineering is a two year full time program, or up to four years part time. It’s offered by institutions like Flinders University or the University of Melbourne, offering a variety of coursework units, followed by an extensive master’s thesis. Some of the units available include:

  • Innovation in medical devices
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Solid mechanics
  • Standards, ethics and compliance
  • Biomedical instrumentation
  • Project management and innovation

There’s also a work experience component, allowing students to learn first-hand what it means to enter the field. One way of entering these programs is via a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or cognate discipline. Another is through completion of either a graduate certificate or diploma in biomedical engineering.

The PhD in biomedical engineering is the highest level of education available, taking three years of full time study to complete or up to eight years part time. It’s offered by institutions like the University of Tasmania to high-achieving applicants who hold a relevant honours or master’s degree. Unlike previous programs, the PhD is about focussed research into a relevant topic of the student’s choosing. Students enter with the goal of advancing humanity’s knowledge of the field, aided by a supervisor. They do this by either submitting a roughly 70,000 word thesis at the end of the program or publish smaller papers throughout. They must then defend their work against criticism from academic peers. Should they be successful, they will be admitted to the qualification.

Employment options

Biomedical engineers do a number of things, from designing devices that replace body parts and growing artificial organs to repairing and maintaining biomedical systems. Their diverse array of uses facilitates employment at a number of institutions serving myriad functions.

Demand for biomedical engineers is steadily growing. In addition to universities employing them for the purpose of research and teaching, companies like Chemtronics Biomedical and SCMedical require them too. Working at places like these yields a number of intriguing work opportunities, from acting as consultants to constructing or designing new clinical areas. Work in developing new technology is available here too.

Joining the Biomedical College of Engineers Australia can be a great way to learn more about the profession, gain invaluable advice, make connections and discover more employment opportunities. Being a member also lends more legitimacy to any future job applications.


There are many different types of biomedical engineering, examples of which are listed below:

Advice for Biomedical Engineering Courses

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Discover courses, get advice from staff, watch demos and enjoy music, food and games.

Edith Cowan University (ECU)

Discover courses, get advice from staff, watch demos and enjoy music, food and games.