BI1PH17-Physics for Biomedical Engineering

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: BI1PR17 Programming
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Yoshikatsu Hayashi


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Physics is of fundamental importance in biomedical engineering, from modelling the behaviour of biological systems to understanding the operation of medical imaging technology, such as MRI scanners. This module provides a foundation in relevant areas of physics, which will be built upon in many modules later in the Biomedical Engineering degree programmes. The emphasis is on analytical skills based on differentiation and integration, and the understanding of concepts, as well as intuitive imagination applied to physical phenomena. A functional understanding of Newton’s laws will be achieved by lab practical sessions using computer simulations.


The aims of the module are to understand Newton’s laws to describe motion through space and time, along with the causal relationship between force and acceleration, and to understand the basic concepts which are necessary to describe the mechanisms of sensors, devices, actuators, instrumentation and imaging systems used for biomedical applications.

Assessable learning outcomes:

1.       Understand concepts in physics relevant to biomedical engineering.

2.       Train mathematical skills in differentiation and integration.

3.       Apply the knowledge to understand the mechanisms of natural phenomena.

4.       Apply the knowledge to understand the mechanisms behind measurement and imaging devices.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Mechanics -

1.       Coordinates transformation, Kinematics: Definition of velocity and acceleration, Kinematic and potential energies

2.       Newton's Laws, energy conservation

Physical concepts -

1.   Atomic theory

2.   Quantum mechanics

3.   Electromagnetic radiation and optics

4.   Blackbody radiation

5.   Lasers

7.   Electromagnetic phenomena

6.   Thermodynamics

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Mechanics part consists of 5 lectures and 6 computer simulation sessions. Physical concepts consists of 10 lectures.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Guided independent study 75 4
Total hours by term 96.00 4.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One 2-hour examination paper in May/June.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Examination only.

    One 2-hour examination paper in the University resit period.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 1 February 2018

    Things to do now