The University of Southampton

MSc Biodevices (1 year full-time)

This multi-disciplinary one year Msc Biodevices degree will prepare you for a career in the life-sciences oriented electronics industry, addressing state-of-the-art microscale and nanoscale engineering methodology in combination with the key techniques of microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip, bionanotechnology and biosensors.

Introducing your degree

Electronic technologies are now being applied to biomolecular and biomedical research and the electronics industry is moving towards healthcare applications. Learn how modern micro- and nanofabrication methods can be used to create biodevices for biomedical engineering and position yourself at this exciting new interface between electronic engineering and the life sciences.


The interface between electronic engineering and the life sciences is a thriving and ever-expanding research area that is generating numerous spin-out companies and new divisions of established multinationals (Google Life Sciences, Panasonic Healthcare, etc). Examples include microfluidic units mounted on mobile phones for point-of-care medical diagnostics, and the digitization of cellular and molecular assays with microarray and microdroplet technology.

One of the important drivers is the improvement of healthcare, for example by substantially reducing the costs of tests by developing lab-on-a-chip biosensor devices. As point-of-care kits similar to glucose meters and pregnancy test strips, this microfluidics technology also holds the promise of early detection of complex diseases and thus much improved disease prognosis.

This multidisciplinary MSc programme prepares you to work in this exciting new area by addressing state-of-the-art microscale and nanoscale engineering methodology in combination with the key techniques of microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip, bionanotechnology and biosensors.

A significant component of the MSc Biodevices takes place in laboratories, giving you hands-on experience with research and cleanroom equipment, and involves close interaction with researchers, particularly during your research project, working at the cutting edge of bio(medical) electronic engineering.

By developing skills outside a conventional engineering curriculum, this programme will prepare you for a career in the life sciences oriented electronics industry, biodevice-focused start-up companies, or academic bioengineering research (such as PhD research in ECS, the ORC and the Institute for Life Sciences).

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

One year, full-time.

The programme consists of eight taught modules and an individual research project. The core subjects relate to bionanotechnology and design and fabrication of biodevices. You can also choose from a wide range of optional topics. These include modules on nanoelectronics, microelectromechanical systems and photonics and also biomolecular courses taught by the Centre for Biological Sciences, allowing you to tailor the structure to suit your own interests.

To Apply

You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. Visit our how to apply pages for more information.

Key Facts

We have pioneered many of the most important advances in electronics and microelectronics over the past 30 years

We lead the UK for the volume and quality of Electrical and Electronic Engineering research (REF 2014)

97% of our Electrical and Electronic Engineering research outputs are rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)

The Guardian University Guide 2018 shows the University of Southampton second in the UK for Electronics and Electrical Engineering

We are number one in the UK for graduate prospects in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Southampton is ranked in the top 51-100 universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the 2017 QS World Rankings

We have outstanding experimental research facilities, including our world-class high-voltage laboratory and our £110m interdisciplinary clean room

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree:

Our normal entry requirement is an upper second-class honours degree or higher (or equivalent) in a related discipline such as electronic engineering, medical engineering, bioengineering, (bio)chemistry or physics, taken with advanced engineering modules.

English Language Requirements:

If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each competency. For information on other accepted English language tests, please visit

International Qualifications:

We welcome applications from international students. For information on applying, visit the International Office website.

Selection process:

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (eg hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.


Career Opportunities

Research and investment in the area of biodevices is driven by the engineering, the life sciences, and the medical sciences sectors. A prime example is the development of medical technology, with a focus on early disease detection enabled by more powerful and more cost-efficient molecular diagnostics, either in central laboratories as large parallel assays (micro-array technologies etc), or at home or in a doctor's surgery with novel Point-of-Care diagnostic kits.

In this MSc programme you will gain a thorough understanding of micro-to-nanoscale device fabrication, design considerations for biomolecular samples, and application areas including biomedical diagnostics and food security. This integrated approach will prepare you for a career in the life sciences/healthcare oriented electronics industry, in device-focused start-up companies or in academic research, for example in our world-leading Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology and Electronics and Electrical Engineering research groups.

Graduates from our MSc programmes are employed worldwide in leading companies at the forefront of technology. ECS runs a dedicated careers hub which is affiliated with over 100 renowned companies like Samsung, IBM, Arm and Google to name a few. Visit our careers hub for more information.

The MSc introduced me to the state-of–the-art research for miniaturising routine chemical, biological and biochemical assays on to a chip. This well-structured interdisciplinary course is a perfect mixture of the latest techniques, with modules that prepare students for their post-MSc life.  Sumit Kalsi

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at


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