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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Biomedical Engineering
Header image Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

The Master's programme in Biomedical Engineering offers you the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of a broad range of topics within the field of medical devices (design) and state-of-the-art health technology.

Current-day medical practice is increasingly reliant on technology. Just think of imaging the inside of your body using MRI or CT, solving heart problems by inserting artificial valves, or measuring stress to avoid burn-out. Many disciplines are involved in creating these devices: microelectronics, information technology, and mechanical and material engineering.

As a biomedical engineer you will have knowledge of all these fields of expertise and be able to apply it to develop new devices – from evermore advanced imaging instruments to scaffolds for tissue engineering, and from sensor systems to new implants and artificial organs. As a rule, you will work with medical doctors, engineers, and biologists in multidisciplinary teams.

If you are interested in health technology, the Master's programme Biomedical Engineering offers you the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on a broad-range of topics. You will study topics in the fields of imaging techniques, physiological control engineering, rehabilitation engineering, implant engineering, cell and tissue engineering and infection prevention, as well as aspects of medical ethics and law. You also become well-versed in medical and biological basic knowledge.

In addition, the University of Groningen offers state-of-the-art medical facilities and a unique professional cooperation with the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG).

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Biomedical Engineering
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
66226
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Science and Engineering
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • State-of-the-art medical facilities
  • Unique cooperation with the University Medical Center Groningen
  • On successful completion of this Master's degree programme, you will be awarded a diploma as Master of Science (MSc.) in Biomedical Engineering (international title). In the Netherlands, you will also be entitled to use the title of ir (ingenieur)
Programme

Curriculum

2-year programme; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

The programme has three tracks, of which you have to choose one. Almost all courses are compulsory. Each track in the BME programme offers track-related courses, in addition to general BME-courses that are shared amongst the tracks. All tracks include an internship at the end of the first year and a master's project at the end of the second year.

Internships and master's projects can be conducted at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), companies or other hospitals in the Netherlands and abroad.

Programme options
Medical Device Design (track)

The track Medical Device Design deals with the design of innovative Medical Devices that will contribute to prevention of health decline, to better diagnostics and to better therapy.

Medical devices are more and more key in improvement of health care quality, but also in realizing a sustainable health care in terms of money and manpower.

For prevention of health decline, sensor systems will 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 will be designed that are smaller, faster, more accurate, or cheaper. New technologies will be applied that make entire new instrumentation possible. For improved therapy new or improved implants (e.g. bone plates), artificial organs (e.g. heart assist pump) and prostheses (e.g. exoskeletons) will be designed.

In the MDD track, the focus lies on three themes:

The first focus lies on the design of implants and artificial organs. During the courses Interface Biology and Biomaterials 2 the student gets familiar with biomaterials, and how their properties influence cell response. Engineering & Biotribology will prepare the student for artificial joint design and for applications where friction and wear plays an important role. Based on this knowledge, a well-considered choice of biomaterials will be made for specific applications.

The second focus lies on the design of external prosthetics and orthotics. The courses Prosthetics & Orthotics and Neuromechanics advance the students' knowledge on the topics of prostheses design and their (neuro)mechanical functioning.

The third focus lies on the design of sensors, controlled devices, robotic systems and instruments. The courses Control Engineering, Mechatronics and Robotics introduce the students to the topic of robot control and advance their knowledge throughout the courses. Mathematical programming plays an important role during these courses. The course Biomedical Instrumentation 2 informs the students about current diagnostic devices, their possibilities and limitations.

General courses support all three themes: Matlab for BME, Product design by FEM, Statistical Methods for BME, Technology & Ethics.

At the end the students that followed the track MDD will be optimally prepared for internships in the first year of the Master's and Master's project in the second year of the Master's. After graduation, the student is ready to function as a respected colleague in both academic and corporate world.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/programme/66226-5506

Biomaterials Science and Engineering (track)

This track is concerned with the design, development, analysis, assessment and application of innovative biomaterials for body function restoration and enhancement of implant efficacy.

Biomaterials are increasingly used in modern medical practice to realize solid implants such as metals, polymers, but also hydrogels and soft and porous materials used in e.g. orthopedics, dentistry/orthodontics, ophthalmology, cardio-vascular medicine and in scaffolds for tissue engineering. The BSE track focuses on biomaterial innovations (including manufacturing) and application of existing biomaterials for the use as scaffolds, coatings, micro- and nano-sized particles that enables efficient antimicrobial or therapeutic drug delivery, lubrication, diagnosis and tissue engineering, tissue models, organs-on-a-chip. A particular focus is on how medical materials behave inside the body, how microorganisms and mammalian cells/tissue cells interact with the materials, and how we can utilize and direct these interactions to enhance medical treatments

The track BSE focuses on the joined venture of materials, biology, and medicine and can be divided into three themes:

The first focus is on the characteristics and application of biomaterials in modern medicine (Biomaterials 2). Special emphasis is given on the physico-chemical surface characteristics (Surface Characterisation) and the related lubricating, chemical, colloidal and mechanical properties and technologies (Engineering & Biotribology) .

The second focus is on the biology of the biomaterial interface with human tissue. (Interface Biology) It addresses the foreign body reaction against implanted biomaterials, and emphasizes the effect of biomaterial surface characteristics on tissue integration and cellular response (Colloid and Interface Science), both having impact on tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, drug delivery and diagnosis. Special attention is given to microbial biofilm formation causing infection during biomaterial applications (Biofilms).

The third focus is hands-on experience where theory is put to the test and connected to future developments. It first entails a practical lab-training, in particular on the characterization of biomaterials and the use of sophisticated lab instruments (Integrated Lab Course in Biomaterials). A training in multidisciplinary and integrative analysis of recent biomaterial literature will provide insight in the route towards clinical application and further stimulate independent thinking and a critical attitude in science and engineering (Recent Developments in Biomaterials).

During the curriculum, various general academic and research qualities are taught as well as creating independent thinking and critical assessment of developments, which also provide a solid basis for any R&D related career. General courses support all three themes: Matlab for BME, Optical Imaging, Statistical Methods for BME, Technology & Ethics.

At the end the students that followed the track BSE will be optimally prepared for internships in the first year of the Master's and Master's project in the second year of the Master's. At every stage, integration between knowledge and practice will be performed as knowledge in both industry and academia is taught through experimental approaches founded on well-structured and formulated questions and research design.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/programme/66226-5515

Medical Imaging (track)

In the track Medical Imaging the student learns the underlying principles and the instrumentation used in current diagnostic imaging and therapy.

There are three themes where this track DII focuses on:

The first focus is Radiology. The discipline of radiology focusses on the medical specialty that aims to obtain diagnostic information by imaging techniques and treatment of patients by using minimal invasive procedures under image guidance. Apart from imaging techniques that use ionizing radiation (computed tomography, radiography, angiography, mammography), also ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging can be used. The physical principles will be taught during the master, and during projects you will be able to work together with medical physicist on the optimization of these techniques in order to improve patient comfort and care. Dedicated courses are: Magnetic Resonance Physics, Conventional X-ray Imaging and Ultrasound, and Computed Tomography.

The second focus lies on Nuclear Medicine. This is the medical specialty that performs diagnosis and therapy using radioactive substances administered to a patient. During radioactive decay, radiation is emitted which can be measured outside the body. This enables the assessment of the 3D-distribution of the so-called radiotracers in the body, if necessary as a function of time. The strength of nuclear medicine is that this distribution is a function of the underlying physiological processes i.e. differences in uptake reflect differences is physiology which allows the visualization and quantification of diseases. Dedicated courses are: Physics in Nuclear Medicine.

The third focus lies on Radiation Oncology. This is the medical practice of treating patients with cancer using ionizing radiation. Medical physics for radiation oncology is engaged in this practice to optimize and deliver the dose distribution safely according to prescription with a required high accuracy. This involves accurate dose calculation, dose delivery and dose measurement techniques, and various forms of medical imaging. Dedicated courses are: Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology.

General courses support all three themes: Radiation Physics, Statistical Methods in BME, Matlab for BME, Technology & Ethics and Biomedical Instrumentation 2. Students also follow the course Interdisciplinary Project to learn to work in a multidisciplinary environment and to combine design and research skills.

At the end the students that followed this track will be optimally prepared for internships in the first year and the research project in the second year of the master. After graduation, the student is ready to function as a respected colleague in both academic and corporate world.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 10 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer possibilities to study abroad at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. For Biomedical Engineering, the best way to realise an exchange section in your programme is by choosing to do an internship and/or Master's project abroad.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Mechanical EngineeringAll Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master with a maximum of 45 EC

More information:

This is an indication of required knowledge and the size of the premaster programme. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this course meet the admission requirements. Please contact our study advisor for more information (see tab More information/Meer weten?)

Electrical and Electronic EngineeringAll Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master with a maximum of 45 EC

More information:

This is an indication of required knowledge and the size of the premaster programme. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this course meet the admission requirements. Please contact our academic advisor for more information (see tab More information/Meer weten?)

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
PhysicsAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

A RUG bachelor's degree in in Physics (track Biophysics and Medical Physics), or in Applied Physics (with the courses Molecular Biophysics, Modelling Life, Cellular Chemistry) yields unconditional admission. For other Physics degrees, a premaster's programme may be necessary. The admissions board de

Biomedical EngineeringAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

This is an indication of required knowledge. Please contact our academic advisor for more information (see tab More information/Meer weten?)

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

You may apply with a Bachelor's degree in Life Science and Technology, majoring in biomedical engineering.

Human Movement SciencesUniversity of Groningen

Via a pre-master with a maximum of 45 EC

More information:

This is an indication of required knowledge and the size of the premaster programme. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this course meet the admission requirements. Please contact our academic advisor for more information (see tab More information/Meer weten?)

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

A university bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering. A bachelor's degree from the University of Groningen in Life Science and Technology (major Biomedical Engineering), in Physics (track Biophysics and Medical Physics), or in Applied Physics (with the courses Molecular Biophysics, Modelling Life, Cellular Chemistry).

Applicants holding a university bachelor's degree in Human Movement Sciences, or a non-university bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (etc.), may be admitted, but they will first be subjected to an individual pre-master programme (approx. 45 ECTS). This is merely an indication of required background knowledge. The Admission Board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master's programme for which you applied.

Information about admission possibilities and requirements for students from a Dutch HBO institute is published on: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/admission-application/

language test

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

An academic Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering, Physics or a similar relevant degree. This is merely an indication of required background knowledge. The admission board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master programme for which you applied. You are advised to do this preliminary eligibility check: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/msc-admissions/documenten/checklists/bme-flow-chart-internationals-2022-2023.pdf

additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Board of Admissions on your application, after which the board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.

language test

MAKE SURE TO VISIT https://www.rug.nl/fse/programme/admissions/msc/language-requirements for all the necessary information about required language tests and minimum scores.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Registration procedure

The Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 20700full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

There are a wealth of employment opportunities once you have completed the Master's in Biomedical Engineering. The multidisciplinary nature of Biomedical Engineering adds significantly to your employment options in research, design, and management-oriented jobs.

Biomedical engineers may contribute to research, to engineering design and product development, to business, managerial, quality, and regulatory aspects of engineering, and to the safe introduction of technology in hospitals. Biomedical engineers are also experts who can advise on the development of long-term strategies and policies in the field of medical life sciences:

* In the industry, a BME alumnus can become a member of the R&D-department, work on innovative 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, development of novel biomaterials 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 on applying 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 Medical Imaging track, you might be eligible to start a post academic 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

Research

Unique Cooperation with the University Medical Center Groningen

Within the Master's programme Biomedical Engineering you can conduct research within the following areas:

Medical Imaging

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 and radiation therapy. 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. Extremely sensitive microscopes are developed that integrate NMR with optical microscopic techniques (magneto-optics).

Apart from advanced visualisation, medical instrumentation deals with non-imaging equipment and control systems. Examples include surgical technologies (and specifically advanced robot-surgery), anaesthesia equipment, non-invasive diagnostic equipment using light-optical techniques, 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

To realise a high quality implant, the material must be biocompatible, which means that it is accepted by the body and does not evoke a rejection reaction. Interactions between body cells and biomaterials therefore are an important field of study. Biomaterials can also be biodegradable, which means that they are slowly broken down into harmless substances in the body. They may also obtain engineered surface structures that instruct cells how to align themselves or coatings that release antimicrobial substances. At present, new tissue engineering techniques for the restoration of tissue structures are being developed. In addition, there is a research focus on nano-materials that may act as small targeted transport carriers of therapeutic substances in the body.


Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourNijenborgh 9More information

Contact

  • Academic Advisors FSE (For questions regarding the programme)
  • studyscience@rug.nl Study Science (For students who are interested in a Campus Tour or who have other general questions)
    Email: studyscience rug.nl
  • 
						Testimonial of Lara Saber

    The BME programme has equipped me with a solid foundation for my future career.

    – Lara Saber
    Read more

    Lara Saber - Student of the MSc Biomedical Engineering

    After completing my Bachelor's programme, I knew that the Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME) would be the perfect addition to my educational journey. I was particularly drawn to the Medical Device and Design track, as I had enjoyed the design courses in my Bachelor's programme.

    Currently, I am working on a project with the UMCG and Martini Hospital, which has provided me with great knowledge about the different aspects of designing and all the regulations involved in the process. Working on the project has been the most exciting part of my journey so far, knowing that the device we are developing may help millions of patients worldwide is very fulfilling. I am motivated every day to do my very best to provide these patients with a suitable treatment. I hope that our device will be effective and improve the quality of life of patients globally.

    The BME programme has equipped me with a solid foundation for my future career. The courses, assignments, and internships have provided me with great preparation for the future, and the opportunities that come along with the programme have been instrumental in my growth as a Biomedical Engineer.

    I am excited to see how my project develops and to graduate soon to start applying my knowledge in the medical device field to help patients worldwide. Overall, I am very satisfied with the BME programme in Groningen, and I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking to become a Biomedical Engineer.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Vera Zut

    Many people worldwide need rehabilitation, and I think robotics have a lot of potential to improve and fasten this process

    – Vera Zut
    Read more

    I have always been interested in healthcare and technology, which is why I chose to study the Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering. Developing high-tech systems for medical purposes is fascinating to me, so I chose to do the Medical Device Design track. You get to learn every aspect of (bio)medical engineering, like implants and artificial organs, external prosthetics and orthotics, sensors, controlled devices, and robotic systems and instruments. The area I personally like the most is the controlling and robotics field. I really like it to solve and understand these kinds of problems for medical applications, for example, how a robotic leg works and how it can be improved.

    I will soon start my internship at a research department of a company where I will investigate the calibration of sensors in motion capture used for rehabilitation purposes. I look forward to applying the knowledge I have gained to add something to society. Next year, I would like to do my graduation project somewhere abroad in the field of robotics for rehabilitation. Many people worldwide need rehabilitation, and I think robotics have a lot of potential to improve and fasten this process. I am curious to see what the future will bring, as there are so many possibilities after doing MSc Biomedical Engineering. Since I really like doing research into innovative products, my next career step might be to become part of a research & development team of a company or do a PhD or EngD.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Laetitia Vicari

    The programme is a great foundation for working in academia or industry as the courses are very diverse and encompass the knowledge required for biomedical engineers.

    – Laetitia Vicari
    Read more

    Laetitia Vicari - Student of the MSc Biomedical Engineering

    After finishing my Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering, I wanted to study a Master’s programme that was more directly related to clinical applications and to improving human lives through medicine and technology. I chose the Biomaterials Science and Engineering track and I really love it. Learning about regenerative medicine and biomaterials is very appealing. So too is seeing how human physiology and technology intertwine to create new fields of science. I really enjoyed my internship at XVIVO, where I perfused pig kidneys to preserve their function.

    I am currently working on my Master’s thesis in which I’m evaluating real-time oxygen metabolism in perfused pig kidneys through MRI imaging. As I have discovered a passion for organ transplantation, my next career step is organ perfusionist training or working in the biomaterials or medical devices industries. The programme is a great foundation for working in academia or industry as the courses are very diverse and encompass the knowledge required for biomedical engineers . The most valuable thing I have learned is to think critically, to always make solutions more optimal and efficient, adding value to the medical world. I am looking forward to going on to the next step in my career and finding a job in the biomedical industry.

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Study associations

GLV Idun

Groninger LevenswetenschappenVereniging Idun is the study association for Biology, Life Science & Technology, Biomedical Engineering, and their connecting master programs.
The association organises various activities, from social activities, like our weekly drinks, or even traveling abroad. In addition, Idun also organizes career/education-related activities like company visits and lunch lectures. GLV Idun contributes to a fun student time by bringing students together, and preparing her members for their career ahead!
https://www.idun.nl/home
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