Back to: Bioengineering Systems major Bioengineering Systems major

Major study in this discipline is available in both the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Biomedicine. You can also complete a sequence in Bioengineering Systems through the Bachelor of Commerce.

Biomedical engineering is the fastest growing, most exciting, and most challenging area in engineering today. It operates at the intersection between new technologies and understandings of how biological systems work, making it both an exciting and challenging discipline.

In response to the demand for bio graduates with highly developed problem-solving skills, the field of bioengineering is now a strength at the University of Melbourne. Students with inquisitive minds now have the opportunity to pursue this exciting fusion of engineering, science and medicine.

This major can lead to the Master of Engineering (Biomedical) and professional registration as an engineer.

The central aim of completing this major, followed by a Master of Biomedical Engineering, is to help you become fluent in both the languages of biology and engineering. As a graduate, you will be well-placed at the epicentre of this 21st century revolution in medicine and the treatment of disease.


If you complete this major and the Master of Engineering (Biomedical) at Melbourne, you could pursue a career as a biomedical engineer.

Biomedical engineers work in hospitals, industry, research and educational institutions. The opportunities for graduates are increasing as technology advances. The problem-solving and design skills, unique to engineers, make graduates attractive to employers across many sectors of the health profession.

Biomedical engineers may also pursue communication and management-related roles.

Subjects you could take in this major

  • AIMS

    This subject introduces transport processes in biomedical systems, complementing and reinforcing material learned in related biology subjects. Students will be introduced to the process of developing engineering models and simple conceptual designs in the context of biological systems. The subject covers fundamental concepts of diffusion and conservation within momentum, heat and mass transport. Within momentum transport, specific topics include Newton’s law of viscosity, viscosity of gases and liquids, conservation of momentum, velocity distributions in simple laminar flows, boundary layer concepts and turbulence and the Reynolds number. Within heat transport, Fourier’s law of conduction is covered. Within mass transport, specific topics include Fick’s first and second laws of diffusion, diffusivities of gases, liquids and solids, binary mixture diffusion and conservation of mass, concentration distributions in simple binary systems including identifying appropriate boundary conditions, concentration boundary layer concepts, Schmidt and Sherwood numbers, definition and use of mass transfer coefficients.

    Students will examine transport of molecules and cells in biological systems to describe various key processes, such as cell migration and provision of cell nutrition. The role of transport processes in biological systems and employed in clinical applications, such as dialysis, will be described using simple engineering models.


    Topics covered include momentum transport, viscosity, turbulence, heat transport, mass transport, diffusion in binary systems, unsteady state mass transfer, and modelling biological transport processes.

  • AIMS

    This subject involves undertaking biosystems design group projects from concept to reporting and communicating the design proposal through to possible development, and so will provide an integrated capstone experience for the Bioengineering major.

    The emphasis of each of the projects is associated with a well-defined project description that may be based on a task required by an academic or external, industry-based client. The topics covered will include design processes, formulation of the problem, conceptual designs, partitioning of design activities, analysis of system components, integration of design, quality and safety assessment, project management, and engineering professional attitudes.

    The open-ended nature of the design task will result in students having exposure to historical, sociological and environmental factors in invention and innovation, professional ethics, regulatory and statutory requirements, legal and ethical responsibilities, and environmental considerations.


    Topics include:

    Risk Management – Australian regulatory guidelines for medical devices (Therapeutic Goods Administration)

    Design Control Processes -Design and development planning, Design input, Design control, Design output, Design review, and Design verification

    Theory of measurement – understanding and applying the limitations of measurement

    Amplifier circuits –design and construct basic op-amp circuits to the application of high precision instrumentation amps

    Data acquisition systems – programming and applying industry standard engineering software and hardware tools

    Sensors – adapting and implementing simple displacement and electrochemical sensors

    Physiological dynamics – understanding physiological dynamic parameters and applying parameter estimation techniques of acquire physiological signals

    Non-invasive physiological system – use sensors, amplifiers, data acquisition systems and parameter estimation to design and construct a physiological system

  • AIMS

    This subject introduces students to the fundamental principles of signals measurement and analysis in a biosignals context. In addition to the fundamental concepts, topics to be covered include an introduction to various types of sensors and the basic physical phenomena underpining their operation as well as the basic statistics required to analyse measurements, calibrate sensors and evaluate measurement system performance.

    In the laboratories, students will learn about laboratory safety, team work and measurement safety in an integrated way. Students will learn how to measure a range of variables to monitor various biosignals, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electrocencephalogram (EEG) signals.

    This subject is one of the subjects that define the Bioengineering Systems Major in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedicine, and it is a core requirement for the Master of Engineering (Biomedical). It provides a foundation for various subsequent subjects, including BMEN90002 Neural Information Processing and BMEN90021 Medical Imaging.


    Topics include:

    Basic principles of charge, current, Coulomb's law, electric fields and electrical energy, Kirchhoff's current law, Kirchhoff's voltage law, frequency domain models for signals and frequency response for systems, continuous-time and discrete-time Fourier transforms, frequency response, filtering, transfer functions, Z-transforms, Laplace transforms, poles and zeros, Bode plots, and the relationship to state-space representations.

    This material is complemented by the use of software tools (e.g. MATLAB) for computation and simulation, and practical experience with circuits and biosensors in the laboratory.

  • AIMS

    This subject provides an introduction to the biomechanics of human movement.

    At the completion of the subject, students will be able to -

    • Understand the basic concepts of mechanics and appreciate the ways in which they can be applied to the study of musculoskeletal biomechanics
    • Describe some of the common experimental methods used to study human motion biomechanics
    • Describe and be able to apply some of the theoretical methods used to analyse human movement


    Topics covered include kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies; kinematic measurement techniques; processing of kinematic measurements; anthropometric properties of body parts; force and moment of force; equations of motion; force and strain requirements in biomechanics; work, energy and power in human motion.

  • AIMS

    The aim of this subject is twofold: firstly, to develop an understanding of the fundamental tools and concepts used in the analysis of signals and the analysis and design of linear shift-invariant systems; secondly, to develop an understanding of their application in a broad range of areas, including electrical networks, telecommunications, signal-processing and automatic control.

    The subject formally introduces the fundamental mathematical techniques that underpin the analysis and design of electrical networks, telecommunication systems, signal-processing systems and automatic control systems. Such systems lie at the heart of the electrical engineering technologies that underpin modern society. This subject is one of four that define the Electrical System Major in the Bachelor of Science and it is a core requirement in the Master of Engineering (Electrical). It provides the foundation for various subsequent subjects, including ELEN90057 Communication Systems, ELEN90058 Signal Processing and ELEN90055 Control Systems.


    Topics include:
    Signals – continuously and discretely indexed signals, important signal types, frequency-domain analysis (Fourier, Laplace and Z transforms), nonlinear transformations and harmonics, sampling;

    Systems – viewing differential / difference equations as systems that process signals, the notions of input, output and internal signals, block diagrams (series, parallel and feedback connections), properties of input-output models (causality, delay, stability, gain, shift-invariance, linearity), transient and steady state behaviour;

    Linear shift-invariant systems – continuous and discrete impulse response; convolution operation, transfer functions and frequency response, time-domain interpretation of stable and unstable poles and zeros, state-space models (construction from high-order ODEs, canonical forms, state transformations and stability), and the discretisation of models for systems of continuously indexed signals.

    This material is complemented by exposure to the use of MATLAB for computation and simulation and examples from diverse areas including electrical engineering, biology, population dynamics and economics.

Entry requirements & Prerequisites

This major is available through more than one course, both of which have their own separate entry requirements.

You can read more on the the Bachelor of Biomedicine & Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Science Extended pages.