Biomedical Engineering Curriculum


This program first approved in 2008, developed from a Master’s curriculum initially set up at UCBL in 1974, followed in 1992 by a post-graduate degree and put into the requested LMD European format in 2004 (ISM Master in Biomedical engineering). With its 700 former graduates, it is one of the oldest French training courses in the field of engineering as applied to medical devices, with an acknowledged expertise in medical instrumentation.

Medical devices are instruments or softwares used for diagnostic and therapeutical purposes( clinic engineering), or as substitutes for biological functions whose primary role is of a physical nature rather than biological or pharmacological (rehabilitation engineering).

Objectives and content

Polytech Lyon biomedical engineers are versed in two cultures, electronics and IT on the one hand, biomedical engineering on the other, which enables them to assist in each stage of the life cycle of medical devices, from their design to their actual use in a medical institution.

Download detailed syllabus programme détaillé !

The common core curriculum is based on expertise in five areas:

  • Physics and medical imaging allowing for proficiency in the physics of sensors, in imaging processes and image contrast, in wave/particle interactions with biological matter such as used in diagnostic and therapeutical applications,
  • Electronics and instrumentation (analog and digital electronics, radiofrequencies, sensors) needed for the design and maintainance of data acquisition chains,
  • IT and signal processing with a view towards retrieving relevant information from acquired data, their statistical treatment, their transmission through a network, interoperability of devices and content,
  • Biomedical techniques allowing for the understanding of devices used in a clinical context, the design and management of technical resources depending on medico-economic, regulatory and technical constraints,
  • Medical device management:this is an introduction to project management, quality control,accreditation processes, purchasing management, public procurements and health economics, which ensures the operational readiness of young engineers during their internships or as soon as they are hired.

Internships and projects

The above training program is coupled with a one-year internship (48 weeks) to be carried out by each student during his 3-year engineering curriculum:

  • an 8-week minimum technician level internship in the biomedical engineering unit of a private or public hospital during the summer of their 3rd year, as a first exposure to the hospital environment,
  • a one semester internship (16 weeks minimum between early september and end of january of the 4th year), as engineering assistants in charge of a project under the supervision of an engineer. It can be carried out either in a company regardless of any particular business line or in a health care establishment,
  • a one semester final internship ( 24 weeks minimum in 5th year) during which the student is expected to carry out one or several projects related to whatever biomedical engineering business line (technical sales engineering, applications, maintenance, R&D) either in a company, in a health care establishment or in an industrial/academic research laboratory.
Contact: Emmanuel PERRIN, in charge of Biomedical Engineering Internships.
  • Yearly project reports are also required from students whatever the training path chosen.Such projects are suggested by companies, health care establishments, medical doctors or researchers. They aim at developing, both from a medical and technical point, a medical device,all the way from the early laboratory phase to its launch on the market and its clinical use. They are conducted by students’ teams made up of project leaders (3rd year students), methods and development engineers (2nd year students) and technicians (1rst year students).
Contact: Jean-Louis Lefevre, in charge of GBM projects.


In 5th year, students are given the opportunity to specialize either by completing a Master’s degree, through a double-diploma program set up by the department or by spending one semester as exchange students in one of the schools of the Biomedical engineering network. They may opt for one of the three following specializations:
  • Biomedical engineerspecialization, focusing on medical instrumentation (nanotechnologies, imaging) in order to help students master the design of sensors as well as the business lines of biomedical engineering in the broad sense.
  • - the Health Engineering Master’s professional specialty: Regulatory requirements for medical facilities (Program director: Cédric RAY). This program jointly set up by Polytech Lyon and the Lyon School of Pharmacy, is aimed at engineering students having completed the first year of a Master of Science who wish to specialize in the management of medical devices along with the involved regulations and quality approach.This particular specialization is also made available to people already engaged in professional life and wanting to get ahead in or move towards this sector through continuing education or validation of prior experience programs.
  • the Health Engineering Master’s research specialty: Biomedical and pharmaceutical engineering (Program director: Stéphanie BRIANCON), This program also accredited by Ecole Centrale Lyon aims at training students specializing in applied research geared towards health and drug technologies with a view to preparing a PhD or seeking employment in an R&D department focusing on health technology or industrial pharmacy .Under this program, three different educational paths are offered:

A biomedical engineer, whether in a public or private healthcare establishment, may be in charge of the purchase and maintenance of medical instruments or devices as well as of the vigilance over their use. In the private subsector, a biomedical engineer is expected to participate in the development, distribution and maintenance of medical devices as well as in the training of users.He should act as an interface between the healthcare sector (healthcare professionals)on the one hand and the biomedical industry (manufacturers and distributors of medical devices) on the other. He may also participate in clinical research and investigations.

Biomedical engineers are versed in two cultures - medical and technical- which enable them to match physicians’ and healthcare professionals’ needs to technical solutions and meet their expectations regarding the management of patients.They master the clinical use of medical devices and the associated regulations.

They are able to compile the technical file required to place a medical device on the market (CE marking, FDA clearance).They have the ability to manage the biomedical department of a private or public healthcare institution (knowledge of the lines of devices available, vigilance over their use, regulations,drawing up of specifications prior to purchase, public procurement).

Biomedical engineers are familiar with the medical environment,with public health issues and the funding mechanisms of the health system.He is able to set up and operate a data acquisition system intended for medical applications (sensors, conditioning, acquisition, signal-image-data processing).He is able to undertake an R&D study in the field of biomedical instrumentation.He is well versed in medical imaging modalities (RX, TEP, US, NMR) , in archiving systems and image transfer techniques. They are fully conversant with the biomedical techniques and devices used in cardiology, nephrology,orthopaedics,biochemical analysis, audiophonology, imaging and the operation of the relevant technical platforms.

Business sectors and opportunities

The opportunities offered to a PolytechLyon biomedical engineer are the following:

  • Biomedical engineer in a public or private healthcare establishment
  • Applications engineer in the biomedical sector
  • Sales engineer
  • R&D engineer in the field of biomedical devices
  • Quality engineer,technical-regulatory requirements for medical devices
  • Medical equipment maintenance engineer
  • Instrumentation engineer
  • Consultant engineer