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Education Bachelor's degree programmes Biomedical Engineering
Header image Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Would you like to improve healthcare by developing and applying new technologies? To decrease the number of patients through preventive technology? Or to find safer solutions to treat patients?

Please note: this programme has a fixed quota (numerus fixus), meaning that the application deadline will move forward to 15 January and a selection procedure will take place.

More information about numerus fixus .

Researcher and designer

Biomedical engineers, who are trained on the crossroads of engineering and medical and biologica sciences, are required to realize future health care. As a student, you will be trained to work in multidisciplinary teams, to have a broad overview, to create innovative devices and to perform research that forms a basis for better and more sustainable healthcare (in terms of costs and manpower). You will be both researcher and designer, the best basis for an academic professional.

Real-life problems

You will study topics in the field of imaging techniques (like MRI, PET,CT), robot design, prosthetics and orthotics, implants and artificial organs, tissue engineering and biomaterials, as well as aspects of medical ethics. During the programme, you will work on real-life problems, such as designing artificial heart valves that last longer, studying the process of joint implant ingrowth by bone, automatic analysis of MRI images to check for abnormalities.

Different backgrounds

You will learn to communicate and collaborate with engineers, physicians, biologists and biochemists, all with different backgrounds. This is necessary for research and design of new diagnostic and therapeutic devices and techniques that are required in healthcare. In addition, you will also learn to focus on preventive devices and techniques to allow older citizens a healthy ageing; stay healthy as long as possible.

Facts & Figures
BSc in Biomedical Engineering
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • The programme offers a unique mix between engineering knowledge and medical applications, between research and design.
  • The University of Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands where Biomedical Engineering is organized in cooperation with a University Medical Center. Several courses are given at the UMCG by medical experts.
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Anatomy and Physiology
Biomaterials 1
Calculus 1
Design of Biomedical Products 1
Linear Algebra for BME
Mammalian Cell Biology
Materials Science
Microbiology for BME
Molecules of Life for BME
Physics Lab for BME, including Ethics 1
Statistics 1 for BME
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Computer Skills and Numerical Methods
Design of Biomedical Products 2, including Ethics
Dynamics and Vibrations
Electives, eg Surface Characterization; Biological Physics; Imaging lab 1
Electricity and Magnetism
Imaging Techniques in Radiology
Signals and Systems
Wave and Optics
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Bachelor's Research Project
Cell Biology and Immunology
Electives, e.g. Biomedical Sensors; Imaging lab 2; Physicochemical Concepts in Bionanotechnology
Research course, including Ethics
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine


In the first year you learn basic knowledge and skills in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Engineering Design. In the diagram above you see some courses you can expect.

In the second year you will be further trained as a Biomedical Engineer and will become acquainted with Imaging Techniques (MRI, CT), on Designing Medical Devices and on Biomaterials for Implants and Tissue Engineering. In the third year you start focusing on one of these three topics to gain more in-depth expertise; you will gain experience in research and in big data opportunities, and finally you will run a full project on your own.

Biomedical Engineering offers you the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about a broad range of topics offered by the University of Groningen. In addition, we offer you state-of-the-art medical facilities of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), where several lectures and practicals are organized.

A Bachelor's degree programme consists of 180 ECTS in total. Credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is unaccommodated
Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek
  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde

  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde + scheikunde

  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde + scheikunde

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

Biology and Chemistry are not mandatory but highly recommended. Attention: from 2024-2025, Chemistry will be a mandatory subject for admission.

language test

Language proficiency certificate for English (except for applicants with a Dutch pre-university education (VWO) as well as the exemptions listed on the language exemptions webpage). More information:

other admission requirements

Before you apply!

When you cannot fulfil the vwo requirement, due to deficient profile or if you want to be admitted on the basis of a successfully passed first year of HBO or colloquium doctum, you need to submit an additional admission request via the Admission Board Bachelor programmes. Please go to this website for more information.

Please note! This admissions procedure is independent of the numerus fixus procedure. Information about the selection procedure can be found here

Numerus Fixus

This programme has a numerus fixus with a maximum of 125 attendees a year.

This means that prospective students will have to successfully complete a selection procedure before they can be admitted. Candidates are selected based on their suitability and motivation for our programme: the 125 highest ranked candidates will be admitted. Prospective students must apply before 15 January 2024.

More information about numerus fixus can be found here:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university (vwo) is required.

A list of qualifications that are considered equivalent to pre-university education in the Netherlands can be found here:

If you have any questions concerning admission to the programme, please contact our Admissions Office:

additional subject

Sufficient background knowledge in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry is required.

The Admissions Board will determine whether your background knowledge in these subjects is sufficient to start the Bachelor's degree programme of your choice.

Biology is not mandatory but highly recommended.

language test

You will need to submit proof of English proficiency in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Please find our English language requirements (exemptions, IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and more) on this page:

other admission requirements

Please note! This admissions procedure is independent of the numerus fixus procedure. Information about the selection procedure can be found here.

Numerus Fixus

This programme has a numerus fixus with a maximum of 125 attendees a year.

This means that prospective students will have to successfully complete a selection procedure before they can be admitted. Candidates are selected based on their suitability and motivation for our programme: the 125 highest ranked candidates will be admitted. Prospective students must apply before 15 January 2024.

More information about numerus fixus can be found here:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students15 January 202401 September 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 16500full-time

The Dutch government is halving tuition fees for first-year students in higher education.

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Once you have completed the three-year Bachelor's programme and have your degree, you may continue with the Master's degree programme to study the Biomedical engineering field in greater depth. A Bachelor's degree in BME qualifies you for the Master's degree programme in Biomedical engineering at Groningen (or the equivalent at another Dutch university). After completion of the Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering, there are numerous employment possibilities.

The multidisciplinary nature of Biomedical Engineering adds significantly to employment possibilities in both research, design and management-oriented jobs. Biomedical engineers may contribute to research, or to the design of innovative products, to business, managerial, quality and regulatory aspects of biomedical engineering and to a safe introduction of technology and devices in hospitals. Biomedical Engineers are also experts who may advise on the development of long-term strategies and policies in the field of biomedical engineering:

* In the industry, a BME alumnus can become a member of the R&D-department, work on new product development or improve existing ones. In large companies biomedical engineers are educated to organize clinical trials in hospitals.

* In universities or research institutes a biomedical engineer can work as a PhD-student for 4 years on a scientific project, e.g. evaluation of new diagnostic imaging techniques or implant prototypes. Another possibility as PhD-student is to work on the application of new therapeutic techniques in oncology or design of new prostheses.

* In hospitals a biomedical engineer can work as a safety officer to increase patient safety by introducing training sessions for using new diagnostic tools or new artificial organs.

* Government organizations can hire BME alumni to work on certification of new medical devices, new Master’s programmes, or new legislation.

* When you follow the Diagnostic Imaging & Instrumentation track in the BME Master’s, you are eligible to start a post academic Dutch-taught training in Medical Physics. As a medical physicist you are a clinical specialist in health care with practical knowledge of physics and technology. You are responsible for the safe and responsible introduction of new and existing medical equipment and technology for optimization of diagnostic imaging and treatment.

* You can become an entrepreneur, start your own company to further develop the medical device that you designed during your Master’s project, patent it, write a business plan and finally bring it to the market

Job examples

  • Researcher in a hospital, university or company working on image analysis, tissue engineering or high-tech prostheses
  • Product developer in the medical industry
  • Clinical Physicist in a hospital, responsible for optimal and safe use of advanced technology
  • Medical Technology specialist in a hospital
  • Teacher, policy officer

Unique Cooperation with the University Medical Center Groningen

Within the Bachelor's and Master's programmes Biomedical Engineering you can conduct research within the following areas:

Medical Imaging

The Medical Imaging track concerns both Medical Imaging and Medical Instrumentation.

Medical Imaging focuses on the visualisation of structures and processes within the human body. It ranges from the visualisation of metabolic processes within a cell, up to the measurement of electrical activity in the cortex. Nowadays, a wide variety of imaging techniques is used, such as X-ray and CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound cameras for the medium and large scale (down to 1 mm). Different types of optical and electron microscopes cover the range toward micrometre or even nanometre scale. A further topic is radiation therapy.

Medical Instrumentation is concerned with non-imaging equipment and control systems. Examples include surgical technologies, anesthesia equipment, non-invasive diagnostic equipment using light, and instruments for the measurement of parameters of body functions, as used in an intensive care environment. Other important topics concern modelling of physiological processes and the physiology of bioelectrical phenomena at the cellular or organ level, such as in muscle tissue or the neural system.

Medical Device Design

To restore body functions, research and design is performed on implants, artificial organs and prostheses. For prevention of health decline, sensor systems can be designed to allow citizens to self-monitor their health condition (e.g. their stress and sleep condition); intervention systems can be designed to improve the condition of citizens (e.g. via a balance and muscle strength trainer). ICT plays an important role in gathering and processing sensor data and advising the best interventions for an individual using self-learning decision support systems.

For improved diagnostics, innovative diagnostic instruments can be designed that are smaller, faster, more accurate, or cheaper. New technologies can be selected that make entire new instrumentation possible.

Biomaterials Science and Engineering

All implants must be biocompatible, which means that they are accepted by the body and do not evoke a rejection reaction. Interactions between body cells and biomaterials therefore are an important field of study in the realisation of high quality implants. Biomaterials can also be biodegradable, which means that they are slowly broken down into harmless substances in the body. At present, new tissue engineering techniques for the restoration of tissue structures are being developed.

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  • Academic Advisors FSE
  • Ask Our Students! (Like to talk about the programme and student life with someone currently studying BME?)
    Email: bmestudents
  • Study Science (For general questions for all prospective students)
    Email: studyscience
						Testimonial of Kantert Severens

    I'm especially drawn to the idea of designing medical devices that can help people take control of their own health

    – Kantert Severens
    Read more

    Studying biomedical engineering at the University of Groningen has been an incredible experience for me. Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to delve into a wide range of disciplines, from biology and physics to computer science and materials engineering. What I love most about this programme is how multidisciplinary it is, allowing me to gain a truly holistic understanding of the field and its potential applications.

    One aspect of my studies that I find particularly fascinating is the design work. It's amazing to see how the theories and concepts we learn in the classroom can be applied to real-world problems, and how we can use engineering principles to create medical devices that improve people's lives. I'm especially drawn to the idea of designing medical devices that can help people take control of their own health, and ultimately make healthcare more affordable and accessible to everyone.

    Outside of my studies, I've had plenty of time to pursue my other passions. Groningen is an amazing city that offers so many opportunities for sports and other activities. In fact, I've been able to stay active by participating in a number of sports leagues and clubs, and have taken on a part-time job to help me finance my studies.

    But what really sets the University of Groningen apart, in my opinion, is the sense of community and support that I've found here. The study association has been an incredible resource, providing me with everything from study materials and mentorship to social events and networking opportunities. And my professors and peers have been incredibly supportive and encouraging, pushing me to achieve my best while also helping me stay grounded and focused.

    Overall, I would recommend the University of Groningen to anyone interested in biomedical engineering

						Testimonial of Thomas Westerhuis

    Being a student can mean so much more than just studying

    – Thomas Westerhuis
    Read more

    Hello! My name is Thomas Westerhuis, I am a 22-year-old student and I have been living in Groningen for four and a half years. I started studying at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, where I did the Bachelor's programme in Biology and Medical Laboratory Research.

    During those years, I developed a love for the complexity that life has to offer. The unlimited processes that need to work together flawlessly to keep the biological cell functioning have always inspired my awe and wonder. Based on these interests, it was only natural to start the Life Science and Technology programme at the University of Groningen.

    Besides studying, Groningen has a lot of different aspects to offer to give you a full student life. During your studies, you can embark on various social, sport, or other activities which allow you to meet a lot of different people. As for me, I became enthused by GLV Idun, the study association for the Biology, Biomedical Engineering, and Life Science and Technology programmes. This year I became part of the board as chair of the association. As chairman, it is my job to manage the association and the board. My main occupation is making sure that the day-to-day tasks are fulfilled, but I also ensure that we reach the goals set in our policy, and make sure that we keep track of our long-term vision.

    I would recommend that you become active during your time at the University, as being a student can mean so much more than just studying. Whether you join a committee, a board, or a student assistantship at the University. Judging from my own experience, such positions can greatly benefit your personal, social, and organizational skills. Above all, I want to emphasize that it is also a lot of fun to take these kinds of responsibilities.


Study associations

GLV Idun

GLV Idun is the study association for the bachelor and the master students studying in the Life Sciences at the University of Groningen.
As a study association we have a big and vibrant student society which organizes activities for students by students. If you are interested in joining social, educational or career activities you are at the right place with us. Because we organize over 175 activities in a year. To just name a few in our wide range of activities: the first year introduction camp, our monthly parties, weekly drinks on campus, exam support sessions, symposia, trips abroad and company visits. But if you want to do more than just join these activities, you can also become part of one of our 20 committees and organize these events together with a group of committee members. As an association we are constantly searching for new members that feel passionate about taking up the responsibility of organizing activities and join a committee. If you become part of a committee you will not only gain a new group of friends, you will also gain unique organizational experiences and become part of the active group of people within our beautiful association. If you want to know more, you can always find more info on our website: or shoot an email to
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(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after the first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned more than 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative result, you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system. N.B. Some degree programmes use a tutoring system; please check with your study advisor.

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