softhbb
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Does anyone mind replying everything/anything they might know about biomedical engineering pls?

I have done some of my own research but I get confused over the higher educational qualifications and some of the terms used...
It’s one of the careers I’m considering but I’m not 100% sure due to lack of knowledge and experience overall

fyi I’m in year 12
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username11235813
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(Original post by softhbb)
Does anyone mind replying everything/anything they might know about biomedical engineering pls?

I have done some of my own research but I get confused over the higher educational qualifications and some of the terms used...
It’s one of the careers I’m considering but I’m not 100% sure due to lack of knowledge and experience overall

fyi I’m in year 12
I have an offer to study Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College starting this October (although I'm still not sure if I'll go there in the end) - I might not be very helpful, but I can try! What do you want to know exactly?

The degree I might end up doing is an MEng (integrated masters), which is quite common for engineering degrees. It's accredited by quite a few institutions, which is important if you want to get Chartered Engineer status later on.

It's an engineering degree like the rest (so Biology isn't required - they'll teach you what you need), except it's in the context of the human body and designing medical devices etc. You still need to have physics/maths etc at the same level as the other engineering degrees. (My offer is A*A*A, with A*s in Maths and Physics for instance.)
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softhbb
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(Original post by username11235813)
I have an offer to study Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College starting this October (although I'm still not sure if I'll go there in the end) - I might not be very helpful, but I can try! What do you want to know exactly?

The degree I might end up doing is an MEng (integrated masters), which is quite common for engineering degrees. It's accredited by quite a few institutions, which is important if you want to get Chartered Engineer status later on.

It's an engineering degree like the rest (so Biology isn't required - they'll teach you what you need), except it's in the context of the human body and designing medical devices etc. You still need to have physics/maths etc at the same level as the other engineering degrees. (My offer is A*A*A, with A*s in Maths and Physics for instance.)
First of all congratulations and goodluck on deciding what pleases you !!
Questions: (it’s fine if u don’t know the answer to all)

- what do bioengineers do on a daily basis ? ( i would appreciate this answer in depth but it’s fine if u can’t)
- how many years of education to become a bioengineer ? And all the types of degrees/ programmes
- a personal question ~ what made you choose biomed Eng as an option at first ?
- lastly do u think the pay scale is going to give me a decent life ?

Thank you for replying regardless
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username11235813
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(Original post by softhbb)
First of all congratulations and goodluck on deciding what pleases you !!
Questions: (it’s fine if u don’t know the answer to all)

- what do bioengineers do on a daily basis ? ( i would appreciate this answer in depth but it’s fine if u can’t)
- how many years of education to become a bioengineer ? And all the types of degrees/ programmes
- a personal question ~ what made you choose biomed Eng as an option at first ?
- lastly do u think the pay scale is going to give me a decent life ?

Thank you for replying regardless
- What do Bioengineers do: it can vary a lot! You can go into industry, so work at a company designing stuff for them. You can continue doing research at university (PhD then post doc) - in which case, you'll be working in some sort of lab, writing papers, getting grant funding... Or you can do something completely different and unrelated to the degree. Sorry - that's all I really know, as I haven't really started thinking about after I graduate yet (I know I'd like to do a PhD and that's about it).

Why I chose it - I find it fascinating, I like the way it combines disciplines (mechanical, electrical...), I'm interested in the context of the human body (but I love maths too much tp just do medicine and I'm not really that interested in actually talking to patients). Lots of the most interesting topics I had been reading about counted as biomedical engineering, and research possibilities in that field seem amazing.

Pay scale - I honestly don't really know. It's an engineering degree and STEM. Pay won't be an issue for you. If you go to a good university then it will probably be a lot easier to get a good job after.

If you really want to get rich, you should consider a career in investment banking. All you need is a degree from a top university, a disregard for work life balance, and ambition.

Degree types -
MEng (4 years in the UK): this is the most common degree available and is useful for if you want to get chartered engineer status.
BEng (3 years): like the MEng, but without the integrated masters. If a university offers both, the first two years will usually be the same, and you can switch between them up to a point.
PhD: you do this afterwards if you want to, and you get to do your own research in depth and be called Dr at the end.

To get Chartered Engineer status (CEng) you need to have a masters level degree and then some professional training whilst at work.

I hope this helps!
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softhbb
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(Original post by username11235813)
- What do Bioengineers do: it can vary a lot! You can go into industry, so work at a company designing stuff for them. You can continue doing research at university (PhD then post doc) - in which case, you'll be working in some sort of lab, writing papers, getting grant funding... Or you can do something completely different and unrelated to the degree. Sorry - that's all I really know, as I haven't really started thinking about after I graduate yet (I know I'd like to do a PhD and that's about it).

Why I chose it - I find it fascinating, I like the way it combines disciplines (mechanical, electrical...), I'm interested in the context of the human body (but I love maths too much tp just do medicine and I'm not really that interested in actually talking to patients). Lots of the most interesting topics I had been reading about counted as biomedical engineering, and research possibilities in that field seem amazing.

Pay scale - I honestly don't really know. It's an engineering degree and STEM. Pay won't be an issue for you. If you go to a good university then it will probably be a lot easier to get a good job after.

If you really want to get rich, you should consider a career in investment banking. All you need is a degree from a top university, a disregard for work life balance, and ambition.

Degree types -
MEng (4 years in the UK): this is the most common degree available and is useful for if you want to get chartered engineer status.
BEng (3 years): like the MEng, but without the integrated masters. If a university offers both, the first two years will usually be the same, and you can switch between them up to a point.
PhD: you do this afterwards if you want to, and you get to do your own research in depth and be called Dr at the end.

To get Chartered Engineer status (CEng) you need to have a masters level degree and then some professional training whilst at work.

I hope this helps!
Thank you so much, it really helped and I finally understood something more clearly ☺️
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Blank_Planet
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(Original post by softhbb)
Does anyone mind replying everything/anything they might know about biomedical engineering pls?

I have done some of my own research but I get confused over the higher educational qualifications and some of the terms used...
It’s one of the careers I’m considering but I’m not 100% sure due to lack of knowledge and experience overall

fyi I’m in year 12
I graduated Biomedical Engineering at Imperial, First Class Honours. I cannot stress this more: NO TO DO THIS DEGREE.

The department is great, the atmosphere is fantastic and professors are more than helpful, but all that doesn't change the reality that it's a useless degree. (I'll talk a lot about electrical and software engineering, cause that is my speciality, but it applies to other areas.)

The question you need to ask yourself is: why would anyone hire you over a graduate of mechanical, electrical or chemical? Why would they take you over even a physics graduate? See, people know more less what those degrees entail. They are happy to take a 2nd year EEE, for an internship, cause while clueless, they have a good estimation for what kind of clueless they are, what tasks to give them and how to guide them. With biomedical its all over the place. They don't know and you won't know either, because you operate outside of this established engineering ecosystem.

Engineering isn't about "being clever" its about standards and specific skills. Calculus and all sorts of fancy maths is cool, but you're not going to solve an integral again in your life as an engineer outside of very few situations. This is just a basis, so you have a clue where things are derived from, but in the end you'll be using CAD software to design stuff or do repetitive experiments to confirm your product is safe and effective. The problem with biomedical engineering is that you never really get to the action part, its always theoretical, high-level waffle, cause you never specialise enough to actually be able to do stuff.

Search for junior/entry level job postings in a field you're interested in and read the requirement sections. They list specific technologies, tools and standards they expect you to be familiar with. Especially the tools part is important e.g. if you wanna be building CT scanners they will teach you the technology behind them, but they expect you'll be verse in high-voltage circuits/digital circuits, PCB design, embedded programming, mechanical design and so on. NOT all of those, one is enough, but you gotta be confident enough to complete a tasks they give you, deliver sth for the company. And you don't do that with pen and paper, you open OrCAD or Altium/Solidworks or Inventor/your favourite programming IDE and get to it.

If you're clever and lucky you'll make the right decisions at uni and be able to form a coherent set of skills DESPITE the odds, but even then you'll be fighting an uphill battle against the dreaded "biomedical" instead of "electrical/mechinical/software/chemical" on your CV for the first couple of years of your career. Spare yourself the stress and uncertainty and just settle for normal degree. I don't know a single person working in the industry from my course, that's pretty abysmal for an allegedly "best biomedical engineering course in the UK".

I would much rather recommend you complete a bachelor in sth normal and then go on for a masters. That's also a good way of getting a foothold in the department if you fancy an academic career, which if more forgiving to bioeng alumni. But for crying out loud don't choose biomedical engineering for undergrad.

If you have more questions please ask, I'm more than happy to answer.
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softhbb
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(Original post by Blank_Planet)
I graduated Biomedical Engineering at Imperial, First Class Honours. I cannot stress this more: NO TO DO THIS DEGREE.

The department is great, the atmosphere is fantastic and professors are more than helpful, but all that doesn't change the reality that it's a useless degree. (I'll talk a lot about electrical and software engineering, cause that is my speciality, but it applies to other areas.)

The question you need to ask yourself is: why would anyone hire you over a graduate of mechanical, electrical or chemical? Why would they take you over even a physics graduate? See, people know more less what those degrees entail. They are happy to take a 2nd year EEE, for an internship, cause while clueless, they have a good estimation for what kind of clueless they are, what tasks to give them and how to guide them. With biomedical its all over the place. They don't know and you won't know either, because you operate outside of this established engineering ecosystem.

Engineering isn't about "being clever" its about standards and specific skills. Calculus and all sorts of fancy maths is cool, but you're not going to solve an integral again in your life as an engineer outside of very few situations. This is just a basis, so you have a clue where things are derived from, but in the end you'll be using CAD software to design stuff or do repetitive experiments to confirm your product is safe and effective. The problem with biomedical engineering is that you never really get to the action part, its always theoretical, high-level waffle, cause you never specialise enough to actually be able to do stuff.

Search for junior/entry level job postings in a field you're interested in and read the requirement sections. They list specific technologies, tools and standards they expect you to be familiar with. Especially the tools part is important e.g. if you wanna be building CT scanners they will teach you the technology behind them, but they expect you'll be verse in high-voltage circuits/digital circuits, PCB design, embedded programming, mechanical design and so on. NOT all of those, one is enough, but you gotta be confident enough to complete a tasks they give you, deliver sth for the company. And you don't do that with pen and paper, you open OrCAD or Altium/Solidworks or Inventor/your favourite programming IDE and get to it.

If you're clever and lucky you'll make the right decisions at uni and be able to form a coherent set of skills DESPITE the odds, but even then you'll be fighting an uphill battle against the dreaded "biomedical" instead of "electrical/mechinical/software/chemical" on your CV for the first couple of years of your career. Spare yourself the stress and uncertainty and just settle for normal degree. I don't know a single person working in the industry from my course, that's pretty abysmal for an allegedly "best biomedical engineering course in the UK".

I would much rather recommend you complete a bachelor in sth normal and then go on for a masters. That's also a good way of getting a foothold in the department if you fancy an academic career, which if more forgiving to bioeng alumni. But for crying out loud don't choose biomedical engineering for undergrad.

If you have more questions please ask, I'm more than happy to answer.
Omg thank you so much for this red flag I was actually thinking about it too much, but then along with your response, i found out more about the unnecessary struggles of this degree

What do you think of chemical engineering instead cuz tbh if I was to become an engineer, I’d choose chemical eng

Also what do you really mean by “normal” degrees?
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Blank_Planet
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(Original post by softhbb)
Omg thank you so much for this red flag I was actually thinking about it too much, but then along with your response, i found out more about the unnecessary struggles of this degree

What do you think of chemical engineering instead cuz tbh if I was to become an engineer, I’d choose chemical eng

Also what do you really mean by “normal” degrees?
I have no idea about ChemEng, that was the part of my degree I was interested least in. What do you want to do in the future? Did you think of a particular sector, be it from an academic or an industry side?

"Normal" degrees are those that are well-established. They've been around for years and are relatively general, because they give you a skill-set that then branches into numerous specialities.

For example for electrical and electronic Eng (forgive me, that's the one I know best) you learn all things involving electricity. You start with Ohm's Law and electromagnetics, then basic circuits and devices, but also the general maths and programming that all engineers have to know. Then you choose if you wanna play with the big toys (electricity grid, appliances, EV, all sorts of power systems) or the small ones (analogue signal processing, digital design, semiconductor physics) or go into radio/radar/antennas etc. By the time you make these kind of decisions you are already 2 year of uni wiser, you've been learning about all sorts of topics about industry and have a rough idea what everything is. Also, if after your 3rd year you decide you made the wrong decision you can still kinda unravel that with relatively little harm.

In BioEng you are constantly behind. If you wanna do brain-machine interfaces you'll need to put the effort to catch up on the part of fundamental knowledge that your peers got over their first 2 years. You'll know a little about a lot, but every project you apply for will have an separate expert for that "little". And if you decide that's not really for you then you have a ton of theoretical knowledge that is way to specific to apply elsewhere.

The harsh truth is that it's easy to think big of yourself when you're 17, but you're an idiot. I was too, I still am tbh. What I know is that early on, you wanna make safe decisions so you have a backup for troubled times (like, idk, a pandemic flipping the job market upside down). Do a boring internship with a well-known company to get a feeling for the industry they are in. Maybe you'll meet the right people and get that dream position changing the world and inventing "intelligent quantum gene-editing sth sth..." right out of college, but maybe you'll have a mediocre, less-exciting job for a few years before getting exactly what you wanted. That's ok, cause it's better than being taught you're learning towards cutting-edge research only to discover you have an incoherent, sub-par skill that forces you abandon STEM all together and AT BEST hope for a gruelling job in a third-tier consultancy firm. If you knew that you'd have done maths+economics and be on a good track for a career in the City. OR to pay for another masters, possibly out of your own pocket. It not like it's game over, but you've set yourself back a few years by listening to "interesting trivia" throughout uni.

Ok, that's super long, but I hope it helps. Feel free to fire me more questions.
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Also what do you really mean by “normal” degrees?
My waffle didn't answer this question. Here's a list if things I'd recommend.

If you're decided for engineering:
  • electrical (and electronic) engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • computing

Aeronautical engineering is usually solid, it narrows you down from MechEng, but aerospace is such a huge field that is hardly matters.

If you're undecided and simply into STEM just do:
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • chemistry
  • biology

You can complete a bachelor in one of them and pick a masters in engineering if needed. Again, you'll be at least 1.5 years wiser when decision time comes.

The interesting one is "materials engineering" - not exactly traditional, but there is a ton of research in that, also biomedical, and I've heard that materials people doing materials research do a better job than the chemist or chemical engineer that got given the task. Worth considering if that's your inclination, but try to reach out to sb that does sth related. I base this of a conversation I had with 2 materials scientists that worked in the same company as I did.

Avoid all things "bio-", it usually means they narrowed it down, so worse students apply, so you get a worse education.
  • biomedical engineering -> just do whatever else
  • biochemistry -> just to chemistry
  • biomedical sciences -> just do medicine
  • biophysics -> just do physics
  • etc.

I'm not sure about biotechnology, but my synthetic biology professor did straight biology and he seemed ok. Speaking of which, "synthetic biology" is potentially the only thing I would consider a biomedical engineering undergraduate course for. That is actually a field that you'd be well-suited for, given you pick your courses right. Then again, you can do ChemEng, Chemistry or Biology and still turn your career towards it just fine, imo.

Ugh, so much waffle again, sorry!
Last edited by Blank_Planet; 1 month ago
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softhbb
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(Original post by Blank_Planet)
My waffle didn't answer this question. Here's a list if things I'd recommend.

If you're decided for engineering:
  • electrical (and electronic) engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • computing

Aeronautical engineering is usually solid, it narrows you down from MechEng, but aerospace is such a huge field that is hardly matters.

If you're undecided and simply into STEM just do:
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • chemistry
  • biology

You can complete a bachelor in one of them and pick a masters in engineering if needed. Again, you'll be at least 1.5 years wiser when decision time comes.

The interesting ones "materials engineering" - not exactly traditional, but there is a ton of research in that, also biomedical, and I've heard that materials people doing materials research do a better job than the chemist or chemical engineer that got given the task. Worth considering if that's your inclination, but try to reach out to sb that does sth related. I base this of a conversation I had with 2 materials scientists that worked in the same company as I did.

Avoid all things "bio-", it usually means they narrowed it down, so worse students apply, so you get a worse education.
  • biomedical engineering -> just do whatever else
  • biochemistry -> just to chemistry
  • biomedical sciences -> just do medicine
  • biophysics -> just do physics
  • etc.

I'm not sure about biotechnology, but my synthetic biology professor did straight biology and he seemed ok. Speaking of which, "synthetic biology" is potentially the only thing I would consider a biomedical engineering undergraduate course for. That is actually a field that you'd be well-suited for, given you pick your courses right. Then again, you can do ChemEng, Chemistry or Biology and still turn your career towards it just fine, imo.

Ugh, so much waffle again, sorry!
This is not waffle at all, it is helping me gain more knowledge so thank you so much and I’ll sure take these advices
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(Original post by Blank_Planet)
I graduated Biomedical Engineering at Imperial, First Class Honours. I cannot stress this more: NO TO DO THIS DEGREE.

The department is great, the atmosphere is fantastic and professors are more than helpful, but all that doesn't change the reality that it's a useless degree. (I'll talk a lot about electrical and software engineering, cause that is my speciality, but it applies to other areas.)

The question you need to ask yourself is: why would anyone hire you over a graduate of mechanical, electrical or chemical? Why would they take you over even a physics graduate? See, people know more less what those degrees entail. They are happy to take a 2nd year EEE, for an internship, cause while clueless, they have a good estimation for what kind of clueless they are, what tasks to give them and how to guide them. With biomedical its all over the place. They don't know and you won't know either, because you operate outside of this established engineering ecosystem.

Engineering isn't about "being clever" its about standards and specific skills. Calculus and all sorts of fancy maths is cool, but you're not going to solve an integral again in your life as an engineer outside of very few situations. This is just a basis, so you have a clue where things are derived from, but in the end you'll be using CAD software to design stuff or do repetitive experiments to confirm your product is safe and effective. The problem with biomedical engineering is that you never really get to the action part, its always theoretical, high-level waffle, cause you never specialise enough to actually be able to do stuff.

Search for junior/entry level job postings in a field you're interested in and read the requirement sections. They list specific technologies, tools and standards they expect you to be familiar with. Especially the tools part is important e.g. if you wanna be building CT scanners they will teach you the technology behind them, but they expect you'll be verse in high-voltage circuits/digital circuits, PCB design, embedded programming, mechanical design and so on. NOT all of those, one is enough, but you gotta be confident enough to complete a tasks they give you, deliver sth for the company. And you don't do that with pen and paper, you open OrCAD or Altium/Solidworks or Inventor/your favourite programming IDE and get to it.

If you're clever and lucky you'll make the right decisions at uni and be able to form a coherent set of skills DESPITE the odds, but even then you'll be fighting an uphill battle against the dreaded "biomedical" instead of "electrical/mechinical/software/chemical" on your CV for the first couple of years of your career. Spare yourself the stress and uncertainty and just settle for normal degree. I don't know a single person working in the industry from my course, that's pretty abysmal for an allegedly "best biomedical engineering course in the UK".

I would much rather recommend you complete a bachelor in sth normal and then go on for a masters. That's also a good way of getting a foothold in the department if you fancy an academic career, which if more forgiving to bioeng alumni. But for crying out loud don't choose biomedical engineering for undergrad.

If you have more questions please ask, I'm more than happy to answer.
Hello ! Sorry to interrupt your conversation but I am starting to agree with you, i graduated last year and had some entry level working experience and to be honest I was regarded mostly as a technician ( of course there is the lab field that you could join) and I was often regarded as a mechanical engineer, but to be honest I could not see any huge job prospective in terms of progression. Of course every case is different and if you are 100% sure that is the field you will love, than go for it !but I have to agree that if i could go back I would take a less specific course. Now I am stuck in the middle of a pandemic trying to do a career switch to explore new options . Would love to have a chat with you Blank_Planet as I'm interested to now how you proceeded with a career switch . Cheers - pri
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So, I am also doing a masters in Bioengineering. While I feel like there are some solid points, I do not fully agree.

First of all, I think bioengineering is NOT a good bachelor degree; for instance, I did my BEng in Materials, and then went onto doing a BioEng master. However, if you do not mind doing a PhD, bioengineering could be a good shout as a bachelor degree.

I feel like career options are not as bad as people make them out to be, and the pandemic has only increased the amount of investment in early stage biotech. At places like Imperial, multiple startups have been spun out from the department. I think the field is now reaching maturity, and I think job prospects will be decent by the time you would graduate.
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(Original post by softhbb)
Does anyone mind replying everything/anything they might know about biomedical engineering pls?

I have done some of my own research but I get confused over the higher educational qualifications and some of the terms used...
It’s one of the careers I’m considering but I’m not 100% sure due to lack of knowledge and experience overall

fyi I’m in year 12
I am a biomedical engineer. I moved more towards a medical research side, however there are many careers that you can pursue with a degree in biomedical engineering. You can work in prosthetics and orthotics all the way to tissue and cell engineering. If you have any questions, I’ll try my best to answer them for you.
Best of luck with your application
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(Original post by pripripripri)
Hello ! Sorry to interrupt your conversation but I am starting to agree with you, i graduated last year and had some entry level working experience and to be honest I was regarded mostly as a technician ( of course there is the lab field that you could join) and I was often regarded as a mechanical engineer, but to be honest I could not see any huge job prospective in terms of progression. Of course every case is different and if you are 100% sure that is the field you will love, than go for it !but I have to agree that if i could go back I would take a less specific course. Now I am stuck in the middle of a pandemic trying to do a career switch to explore new options . Would love to have a chat with you Blank_Planet as I'm interested to now how you proceeded with a career switch . Cheers - pri
We can chat if you want to, though I'm in the middle of that myself XD Feel free to dm me or we can exchange posts here, but I won't be going to specific in that case.
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(Original post by softhbb)
Does anyone mind replying everything/anything they might know about biomedical engineering pls?

I have done some of my own research but I get confused over the higher educational qualifications and some of the terms used...
It’s one of the careers I’m considering but I’m not 100% sure due to lack of knowledge and experience overall

fyi I’m in year 12
Hi softhbb

Biomedical engineering allows you to spend time in both the engineering and biomedical departments. It's a great choice if you're interested in both subjects and want to be able to continue that interest into university. If you're having trouble deciding whether it would be the right course for you I'd recommend looking at module pages for several universities to see what kind of things you will study throughout the course. I'd recommend comparing the modules available in Biomedical Engineering with Biomedicine courses as well as Engineering courses. Looking at the modules available can really help to confirm which course you'd be most interested in!
For Biomedical engineering biology and maths a pretty much also required, so I'd make sure you studying both of those a A-Level or equivalent to ensure you have the qualifications required to apply for the course. Biomedical engineering is a rapidly changing field, so would have lots of opportunities after university especially in research, if that's the kind of thing which you'd be interested in.
Good luck with applying to universities and I hope you can decide what to study!
Abi (3rd year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student)
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(Original post by Jesuloluwami)
I think that with the Imperial course, I would find myself only being able to find research positions, while with the UCL course, there are many pharma companies looking for people with the skills I would get from it. Could you please give me some advice?
"Only" is the strong of a word, but that was also my observation. I cannot speak for bioechmical eng at UCL, but whatever you do at the Bioeng department will set you up more for research than industry.

But frankly, I don't know much about the Biomolecular course other than: "its a 'bottom-up' approach rather than the 'top-down' practised by Biomedical engineering". I never got what the mean by it exactly, they do much more chemistry/materials stuff and less electronics and mechanics.

I don't wanna ******** you, what you're asking me is quite far from my personal, academic and professional interests, so I don't feel I can tell you anything that isn't either waffle or misleading.
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