Entry Points (2017)

Course Overview

Biomedical Engineering is a relatively new branch of engineering that involves the use of cutting-edge technologies to help improve human healthcare. Biomedical engineers are involved in the design and creation of medical devices, implants such as stents, instruments and materials for clinical use. They also apply their engineering skills to problems in human biology and are at the forefront of developments in human medicine in the 21st century, enabling the medicial profession to diagnose and treat disease, and repair or replace damaged living tissue.

This degree programme was developed as a result of the need within the biomedical industry for highly skilled personnel. Locally based biomedical companies, of which there is a significant cluster, were involved in its design. It therefore remains highly relevant to the needs of industry while giving students a full training in engineering design principles and their application to human biology in an interdisciplinary environment. Related, relevant subjects that are covered over the course of the degree programme include biomedical instrumentation, tissue engineering and biomechanics.

If you want an interesting career that involves the application of engineering principles to medicine and biology, this may suit you. Biomedical engineers assist clinicians to analyse and solve problems in biology and medicine, therby helping to sustain or improve life. Both traditional and modern engineering principles and new technology are used. Biomedical engineers are also challenged to ensure that advances in technology keep pace with the advances in medicine and that the diagnostic, life-support or life-enhancing tools they create remain compatible with the human body.

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 Level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science) or Technology, and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes. 

Additional Requirements

Students must obtain a minimum of Grade H4 in the Higher Level Leaving Certificate paper in Mathematics or, alternatively, obtain a pass in the Engineering Maths Qualifying Examination (held in the University).

For A-Levels -A minimum of Grade C in A-Level Mathematics is required.

4 years

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades (2017)

ABC & a(AS) or equivalent combination

Average intake


Closing Date

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

Year 1

  • Engineering Calculus
  • Engineering Mathematical Methods
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Chemistry
  • Engineering Physics
  • Fundamentals of Engineering
  • Engineering Graphics
  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Computing

Year 2

  • Human Body Structure
  • Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Electronics and Instrumentation
  • Engineering Calculus
  • Engineering Algebra
  • Engineering Statistics
  • Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
  • Strength of Materials
  • Theory of Machines
  • Engineering Drawing (CADD II)
  • Workshop Practice
  • Engineering Computing
  • Electronic Engineering Laboratories

Year 3

  • Biomaterials
  • Human Body Function
  • Biomedical Production and Environmental Services
  • Mechanical Analysis and Design
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
  • Metals and Metals Processing
  • Automated Systems
  • Design Office
  • Communications
  • Polymer Technologies Laboratory
  • Service Learning and Ethics

Year 4

  • Tissue Engineering
  • Finite Element Methods in Engineering Analysis
  • Medical Implant and Device Design
  • Biomechanics
  • Elements of Pathology
  • Surgical Practice
  • Professional Engineering Project (PEP)
  • Plus a choice from a number of other courses

Year 5 - Optional

Why should I do a 5th year to obtain a Masters qualification in Engineering?

A Masters degree qualification (ME) from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway helps you to distinguish yourself in a competitive job market. It enables you to develop specialist skills you will need to succeed at the highest levels in your chosen field. It is part of an integrated (Bachelors + Masters) 4+1 programme of study, which is accredited by the Engineers Ireland under European Framework Standards. This means that the Master of Engineering degree is recognised internationally to be equivalent to accredited engineering degree programmes in many other countries (for example ABET accredited Engineering Degree programs in the United States). These 5 year qualification satisfies the requirements to allow you to apply for a Chartered Engineer title, which is a badge of excellence for the Engineering profession that is awarded for knowledge and competence. Thus with a 5 year Masters Degree in Engineering from NUI Galway, you will be able to have your qualification recognised if you want to secure high value employment in many of the world's leading Engineering/Technology companies.

Follow chosen course of Engineering to Masters level.

The programme is delivered over one academic year and consists of 40 ECTS (approx. 8 modules) of taught modules, involving the ongoing and world-class biomedical research at NUI Galway, and a 20 ECTS thesis project. This medical device based project is conducted in partnership with the highly successful BioInnovate programme and focuses on developing advanced technical knowledge and skills and real-world implementation of these in terms of innovation, commercialization and business development.

The taught component consists of modules (5 or 10 ECTS) in our core areas: biomechanics, biomaterials, and medical devices.  Students take 25 ECTS in biomedical engineering specific modules and 15 ECTS in transferrable skills modules. Students make their choices for each semester after attending introductory lectures in each module.

Details for Masters level can be found here.

The advanced Biomedical Engineering modules are:

  • AY872 Financial Management 1
  • BME4101 Biotransport
  • BME4103 Engineering Analysis for Regulatory Approval
  • BME500 Advanced Biomaterials
  • BME501 Advanced Finite Element Methods
  • BME502 Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • BME504 Biomedical Engineering Project/Thesis (ME)
  • BME5100 Advanced Computational Biomechanics
  • BME5101 Mechanobiology
  • BME6101 Computational Methods in Engineering Analysis
  • EE502 Bioinstrumentation Design
  • IE446 Project Management
  • IE450 Lean Systems
  • MD507 Stem Cells and Gene Therapy II
  • ME3104 Introduction to Regulatory Affairs (online module)
  • ME432 Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • ME5106 Advanced Manufacturing
  • ME516 Advanced Mechanics of Materials
  • ME521 Research Methods for Engineers
  • ME572 Human Reliability
  • MP410 Non-linear Elasticity
  • REM502 Translational Medicine
  • REM508 Basic and Advanced Immunology

Details for Year 5 modules can be found here.

Modules for 2017-18

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, suitably qualified students have the option to enrol and continue their studies to Masters or PhD level.

Students can advance to Masters level (ME) through our one year taught Masters programme (September-June) that builds on the successful completion of their undergraduate programme, subject to a sufficient standard (2nd Class Honours minimum). This programme is an integrated follow-on to the BE programme and is designed to meet Engineers Ireland’s criterion for Level 9 degrees, providing graduates with a route to Chartered Engineering status that will be recognised worldwide.

Masters degree education is becoming increasingly the norm internationally in Engineering, and this programme strengthens the ability of our graduates to compete nationally and internationally at the highest level for employment in industry and other sectors of the economy.

In our PhD programme students develop highly innovative state-of the-art solutions to current problems in Biomedical Engineering, frequently leading to new medical devices or strategies for treatment of disease. Biomedical Engineering research at NUI Galway involves a high level of interaction with the Hi-Tec R&D sector of the medical device industry.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Biomedical Engineering offers a variety of career opportunities in such areas as private industry, universities, hospitals, research facilities, education and medical institutes, in teaching and in working for government regulatory agencies. With eight of the world's top ten biomedical companies based in Ireland - many of which are in Galway - there are good prospects for employment nationally while remaining open to opportunities overseas.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

As part of this four-year course, students will undertake an eight month (January - August) off-campus work placement in an industrial setting following completion of their thrid year of study. In the event that no external placement is available, students will be given projects on campus. This Professional Experience Programme gives students an opportunity to work on projects relevant to their study and significantly improves their chances of obtaining employment after graduation.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,492 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Tuition

€4,268 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Non EU

€13,750 p.a. 2017/18
EU Fees 2017/18:
- Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf if you qualify for free tuition fees see - free fee initiative.
- Student Contribution: €3,000 - payable by all students but may by paid by SUSI if you apply and are deemed eligible for a means tested SUSI grant.
- Student Levy:  €224 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.

Find out More

Jane Bowman
Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering
T +353 91 492 723
F +353 91 563 991
E jane.bowman@nuigalway.ie

What Our Students Say


David Nolan |   Year Three, BE (Biomedical Engineering)

Biomedical Engineering is at the cutting edge of modern technology, making an impact on people's health through designing medical devices. The course here in NUI Galway is challenging but very rewarding, combining elements of traditional engineering with those of medical science. The medical device industry has a huge base in Galway and even now huge investments are being made by the government and medical device companies who have come to Galway because of the biomedical engineering expertise present.