Bioengineering - MRes
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- September 2021
- Duration of Study
- 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.
- Subject Area
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - FT £10,000 / PT £5,500
- EU/International - £19.800
Bioengineering lies at the interface between engineering with biology and medicine. It has contributed to the development of revolutionary and life-saving concepts such as advanced medical devices, artificial organs, advanced prosthetics, stem cell therapies, regenerative medicine, and novel biopharmaceuticals.
The MRes Bioengineering course at Keele will provide multidisciplinary Master's level Postgraduate research training in molecular, cellular, tissue, and biomedical engineering disciplines for a research career in these exciting areas.
About the course
There is an increasing demand for bioengineers, which is linked to society's general shift towards utilisation of machinery and technology, and application of advanced therapies. The School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele University, has established an international reputation in the cutting-edge research in Molecular, Cellular & Tissue Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering.
The course will cover the core areas of bioengineering, and introduce you to the latest development through taught modules and seminars. In particular, it will offer you the opportunity to perform a bioengineering research project using state-of-the-art facilities under supervision of leading national and international professionals.
The broad aims of the MRes Bioengineering programme are to:
- provide advanced academic training for individuals interested in pursuing doctoral studies or research-oriented careers in bioengineering disciplines, including those in a wide range of biotechnology and healthcare establishments.
- provide an opportunity for in-depth research into a specialist area within molecular, cellular, tissue engineering, and biomedical engineering.
- assist students to develop the skills of research design and data analysis, and provide an opportunity to attain advanced proficiency in bioengineering.
- provide knowledge and skills for understanding and complying with the ethics and governance requirements for laboratory based research.
- prepare students to analyze and solve problems using an interdisciplinary and systems approach.
The School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering (PhaB) has evolved from Keele’s internationally respected strength in molecular, cellular & tissue engineering, biomedical engineering and expanded rapidly over the last ten years. The School bridges the interface between new advances in basic science and medicine, allowing the translation of laboratory findings into benefits for patients. A truly multi-disciplinary approach to research is used to address clinical problems with an excellent integration of the skills and knowledge of engineers, mathematicians, biologists, chemists, physicists and clinicians. The school has an international reputation for world-leading research in the bioengineering area.
The teaching and research for the MRes programme will mainly take place in the Guy Hilton Research Centre, Hartshill Campus, Keele University. However, in some cases, the David Weatherall Building and Hornbeam Building on main Keele Campus, the Clinical Education Centre on the Hospital Area, or other rooms/ tours within the hospital and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry may be used.
This MRes course runs alongside its sister courses, the MSc in Cell & Tissue Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Medical Engineering Design, and the Doctoral Training Programme. This creates a stimulating academic environment and many opportunities for engaging with further study and research.
There are two pathways for the MRes Bioengineering programme: A) Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering (MCT); B) Biomedical Engineering (BME).
The MRes Bioengineering programme is a full-time (part-time) course that spans a full (two) calendar year. A wide range of modules are available for each pathway. The combination or selection of different core and elective modules for each pathway is listed in the chart below.
The research project offers an opportunity for you to demonstrate advanced knowledge and writing skills in your chosen research theme. The taught modules will run over university semesters 1 and 2, with the research project (including write up) running over semesters 1-3. Optional modules should be selected as soon as possible after discussing with your supervisor and course director. Once the modules are selected, the pathway is set through the whole year in order to navigate the programme, but does not form part of the intended award title.
To achieve an MRes award, you will need to pass 180 credits of material comprising: four modules at 15 credits each, and a dissertation (120 credits). The main course/research activity is devoted to a research project and dissertation which, if successfully completed, provides the additional 120 credits required for Masters in Research qualification. A PGCert can be awarded if 60 credits are completed with an appropriate combination of different modules. A Diploma can be awarded if 120 credits are completed.
How the course is taught
The course is taught through subject-centred lectures and seminars, and carrying out a research project over two full terms. Collaborative learning and student-centred learning are also adopted giving widespread opportunity for group work and individual assignments. You are required to conduct extensive independent study and research, and this is supported by supervisor’s guidance, full access to libraries, and online journals/books. In addition, you are supported by the guidance of a personal tutor within the school, as well as having access to university-wide support services.
The wide variety of assessment methods used on this programme at Keele reflects the broad range of knowledge and skills that are developed as you progress through the degree programme. Teaching staff pay particular attention to specifying clear assessment criteria and providing timely, regular and constructive feedback that helps to clarify things you did not understand and helps you to improve your performance. The following list is representative of the variety of assessment methods used on your programme:
- A written dissertation based on the student research project
- Oral presentations
- Coursework-based essays
- Written examinations
- Reports on laboratory-based practicals
- Essay-based examination
Clear marking guidelines accompany each mode of assessment where a mark of 50% or above is required to achieve a pass. Through adoption of the above assessment methods students are given an opportunity to display achievements spanning knowledge and problem-solving abilities, communication and research skills, development of practical skills, and critical thinking.
Core Taught Modules
EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The Experimental Research Methodology Module gives students the skill set that is required for their development in a scientific career; from learning how to take notes in research seminars allowing them to write a comprehensive literature review in that area, to making sure they are efficient with their time in written examinations by giving them the chance to mark practice questions and decide where the marks should be given. The module brings together elements of professional development that should not be overlooked. A range of seminars, workshops and taught classes are timetabled during which students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand a range of skills necessary for them to achieve their best in their Masters programme. Classes on statistics will further support students in other theoretical and practical aspects of their course.
STEM CELLS: TYPES, CHARACTERISTICS & APPLICATIONS (MCT Pathway)
This module draws upon the research within the field of stem cell biology to build a knowledge-base from basic principles to therapeutic use of stem cells. As this is a fast-paced field with state-of-the-art research being competitively conducted worldwide, the module brings in the most recent up-to-date information being supported by basic concepts. The lecture series is delivered by leading academic researchers, with practical laboratory work cementing the delivery of taught elements.
PHYSIOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT (BME Pathway)
This module draws on the basic principles of biological sensing within the research and clinical environments. Demonstrations and hands-on use of devices commonly used within clinical practice for physiological measurement will be included in this module. You will also gain an appreciation for sensor device and/or biological test selection. A number of anatomical structures will be evaluated focusing on their use to measure physiological properties, such as the heart and lungs. Instrumentation used by medics to assess such systems will be discussed in detail, as well as instruments and technology used for physiological measurement in biomedical research.
HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
This module gives students the fundamental knowledge in human physiology and anatomy allowing them to understand structure and function of major tissue types and organs. Students from differing backgrounds will be brought up to a basic level of understanding such that they can progress onto more advanced topics in future studies. The module is intended to set the foundation in a biological context to support the advanced topics in other modules.
This module encompasses a multidisciplinary approach to the field of biomaterials, with a view of materials from their physical and chemical properties to how they interact with biological tissues during implantation. Students will learn how assessment of materials is made within the clinic and how material properties can be altered/ engineered to produce biomaterials with enhanced abilities. The module explains each of the fundamental aspects of biomaterials from a materials perspective, but with particular focus on their use and potential wear within a biological host.
BIOREACTORS AND GROWTH ENVIRONMENTS
The Bioreactors and Growth Environments Module combines a 1-day intensive course on bioreactor design and application, along with an opportunity for students to attend a national conference that covers a range of topics related to growth environments for stem cells and tissue engineering. The acclaimed Bioreactor course includes lectures and demonstration on the construction of bioreactors and the different methods used to assess and engineer different tissue types grown within the bioreactors. Complementing this, students also get to attend the annual conference organized by Mercia Stem Cell Alliance, which covers research on embryonic and adult stem cell research, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.
CELL AND TISSUE ENGINEERING
In a rapidly expanding area of research and industrial interest, cell and tissue engineering promises to change the way clinicians deliver therapies and treat disorders of various kinds. Students will gain evidence based knowledge in cell and tissue engineering concepts, and learn current techniques for applying and evaluating stimulus to cells. They will be introduced to current concepts and methods in cell and tissue engineering.
MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES: APPLICATIONS IN TISSUE ENGINEERING
This module covers all major aspects of current methods used for the analytical assessment of biological tissues. State-of-the-art techniques are taught, from the basic principles through to a laboratory-based practical for ands-on training. You will be given advanced training from academic researchers who have links into clinical evaluation of patient samples. This will allow you to appreciate the complexity and diversity of methods used within both research laboratories and clinical pathology.
ENGINEERING FOR MEDICAL APPLICATIONS
This module will cover the fundamentals of mechanics, electronics and electromagnetism necessary to understand the application of engineering principles to medicine and biology. This will enable students from varying backgrounds and career paths to transition into the advanced topics covered in the core and specialist modules in biomedical engineering. In addition to the lectures, you will take part in a workshop-based project to apply the theory they have learned to practical measurement.
This module offers you an applied perspective on biomechanics at an advanced level. To support the theoretical concepts taught within the module across a number of different tissue types, a practical understanding is also given through an experimental workshop. Assessment is taken through a write-up of the practical session and a final unseen written examination.
On this module you will gain systematic knowledge on the interrelationship between mechanics and cell biology, and gain some insight into the application of cell biomechanics in cell/tissue engineering and biomedical engineering. You will have the opportunity to apply constitutive models to experimental data and be given an overview of modern techniques for both clinical and in vitro cell biomechanics.
NANOMAGNETICS IN NANOMEDICINE
Within the emerging field of nanomedicine a sub-field of nanomagnetics is playing a major role in the development of new technologies for the assessment and therapeutic treatment of biological tissues. This module delivers a series of lectures from multidisciplinary experts working at the interface of physics and biology. Theoretical concepts of nanomagnetism are given, through to the discussion of state-of-the-art research in this field.
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY SERVICES MANAGEMENT
This module will give you insight into the technology management processes used in clinical settings that allow healthcare provider to make the best use of their resources. You will learn about the role of clinical engineers in ensuring the safe and effective management of medical equipment and the benefits and obligations of the various stakeholders operating within the clinical governance framework.
MEDICAL DEVICE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
You will gain an understanding of the systems engineering approach to medical device design, including the role of ergonomics in the design of safe and reliable medical devices. You will learn the importance of standards and regulations for medical device design and gain an overview of aspects of the mechanical, electrical and software components of medical devices.
BIOMEDICAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
In this module you will learn the fundamentals of signal and image processing and learn to apply theory to practical examples of biomedical signals. You will use an advanced software package to assist in the analysis of biomedical signals, and learn to interpret complex signals in the context of physiological function.
Please Note that elective modules are offered subject to sufficient student demand and in some cases it may be necessary to withdraw a module from the offer.
The research project is an opportunity for you to undertake research in the chosen topic and should demonstrate understanding of the field in bioengineering and its application in healthcare. You will be able to search, critically evaluate literature, and formulate relevant research aims and objectives; plan, design and carry out a research project to achieve specific objectives; consider ethical issues and procedures when planning research; analyse, evaluate and interpret results in the context of relevant literature; make appropriate conclusions, and acknowledge the limitations; communicate the findings of the research via writing and oral presentation.
Students are welcomed to contact potential supervisors before application to identify a research project. However, if you have not identified a project earlier, a list of available research projects from potential supervisors will be provided to you when enrolling upon the course.
Academic entry requirements
This degree is designed for those individuals with a Bachelor’s degree (or above) in bioengineering, biotechnology, chemical, physical, or life sciences, medicine, or professions allied to medicine are welcomed. We also encourage enquiries from people with other professional qualifications acceptable to the University.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
International students can also chose to study a Pre-Masters programme at the University. Students who successfully complete this programme are guaranteed admission to MRes Bioengineering programme.
During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2021/22 academic year)
UK students FT £10,000 / PT £5,500 per year
EU/International students £19.800 per year
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks and inter-library loans.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding
International students - more information on scholarships and funding
This course is led by:
Dr Wen-Wu Li - Lecturer in Analytical Biochemistry, FHEA, MRSC
Research focus: Antibody drug conjugate engineering; anti-biofilm implant coating; biotransformation; anticancer and anti-infective drug discovery and development.
The MRes Programme taps expertise from a variety of internal and external academics to deliver teaching and seminars on a range of topics for core and elective modules. They are renowned in their areas of research, allowing us to teach students advanced developments in the field of bioengineering, and to provide students a range of cutting-edge project topics that suits their interests.
Professor Nicholas R Forsyth - Professor of Stem Cell Biology
Prof. Peter J Ogrodnik - Biomedical Engineering
Prof. Sally Roberts - Director of Spinal Research
Professor Neil Telling - Professor of Biomedical Nanophysics
Professor Ying Yang - Professor in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Dr Alan Richardson - Reader in Pharmacology
Dr Sarah Hart - Senior Lecturer in Bioscience
Dr Gianpiero Di Leva - Senior Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine
Dr Jan-Herman Kuiper - Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics
Dr. Vinoj Thomas George - Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Dr Alan Harper - Lecturer in Bioscience
Dr Stuart Jenkins - Lecturer in Neurobiology
Dr Oksana Kehoe - Lecturer in Bioscience
Dr Abigail Rutter - Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering
Dr Karina Wright - Lecturer in Orthopaedics and Tissue Engineering
Our research-focused MRes Bioengineering programme will equip you for an exciting future within a range of biomedical, biomolecular, cellular and tissue engineering areas. The modular structure to the course enables flexibility and personalisation to suit your career aspirations, build upon strengths and interests and develop new understanding in key topics.
Graduate destinations for our students could include: undertaking further postgraduate study and research (PhD); pursuing a university-based, academic research career; working within biomaterials, medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and regenerative medicine industries; or working for government-funded research laboratories.