Biomedical Communications

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 24.8 k / Year(s) Deadline: Dec 20, 2024
18 place StudyQA ranking:4411 Duration:2 years

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The Master of Science in Biomedical Communication (MScBMC), unique in Canada, is one of 4 internationally accredited programs of its kind. Our graduate program combines theoretical and applied approaches to the profession of medical and scientific visualization.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • emphasize a content rather than media driven curriculum that assures a solid foundation in basic and clinical sciences;
  • facilitate the development of new visual communication tools for the purpose of educating medical, allied health, and non-­medical audiences;
  • stimulate intellectual curiosity and self-directed learning;
  • advance knowledge transfer in the biomedical sciences through the development of the analytical skills essential to evaluating existing scholarly works, and formulating research questions that advance knowledge in the discipline.

Upon graduation, students are employed by: media and animation companies; medical legal companies; prepress companies specializing in print (textbooks & journals); advertising agencies serving the medical market; hospital media departments; academic departments in universities and colleges; and science centres.

The Master of Science in Biomedical Communications (MScBMC) is offered through the Institute of Medical Science in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and principally housed at the Mississauga campus (UTM).

The MScBMC curriculum offers advanced courses that stress theoretical foundations and strategies for effective communication used in the profession.

Competencies required in the graduate program include: analytical and critical thinking, communication (both oral and written), knowledge of basic and clinical sciences, problem-solving and organizational skills, visual design and communication, and advanced visual conceptualization, storytelling, and depiction techniques (digital and traditional). The program emphasizes research and, as a result, requires each student to produce an original Master’s Research Project.

The MScBMC program does not currently offer co-op or internship courses.

MScBMC Fields

Students enrolled in the MScBMC program will choose one of two focuses in their second year, which will shape the type of Masters Research Project they complete. They will select their electives based on the field of study chosen.

Biomedical Media Design Field

This field is concerned with the creation—and in many cases evaluation—of media­‐based tools for teaching and learning. The media objects developed in these research projects tend to be non-linear in nature. We emphasize a human­‐centered design approach, guided by target audience analysis. Projects could include innovative user experience designs, novel information visualizations, conventional illustrations series, and educational games.

Biomedical Visualization Design Field

This field involves the creation of full-­motion visualizations of biological structures, events, and processes at scales ranging from the molecular to the gross-anatomic. These high-end 3D visualizations can be interpretive, fulfilling an explanatory role, or they can be driven by computational models or empirical datasets. We pay close attention to the process of cinematic design, and to the effective communication of complex information in narrative form.

Year 1 Fall

  • MSC1001YHuman Anatomy and Embryology
  • MSC2001HVisual Representation of Medical Knowledge
  • MSC2005HThe Evolution of Medical Illustration

Year 1 Winter

  • MSC2003YBiomedical Communications Technology
  • MSC2012YNeuroanatomy for Visual Communication
  • MSC2020HVisual Representation of Biomolecular Structure and Function

Year 1 Summer

  • MSC2004HResearch Methods
  • MSC2009HEthics and Professionalism in BMC

Year 2 Fall

  • MSC2002HSequential Medical Communication: Demonstrative Evidence for the Courtroom
  • MSC2018HVisual Representation of Processes in Pathology


Biomedical Visualization Design Field Courses

  • MSC2015HInterpretive Visualization: Cinematic Design and Preproduction
  • MSC2016HVisualization Methods
  • MSC2017HVisualization Technology

Biomedical Media Design Field Courses

  • MSC2008HCommunity-Centred Design Research
  • MSC2006HAdvanced Media Design Technologies

Other Courses

  • MSC2013YMaster's Research Project and Paper
  • MSC2007HVisual Synthesis of a Medical/Scientific Processes
  • MSC2011HSpecial Topics in Biomedical Communications
  • MSC2019HData and Information Visualization
  1. A 4-­year undergraduate degree including the following prerequisite courses:

    The following courses are not required, but are strongly recommended:

    Applicants should have at least 75% liberal arts and sciences courses in their transcript; i.e., no more than 25% studio courses. 

    • English (or an effective writing substitute)
    • A humanity or social science course
    • Biology
    • Cell and Molecular Biology and/or Histology
    • Introductory Physiology
    • At least one third or fourth year undergraduate course, from one or more of the following subject areas: Embryology, Histology, Cell biology, Molecular biology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Immunology, Pharmacology or Genetics
    • Introductory Chemistry
    • Human Anatomy or Comparative Anatomy
  2. At least a mid-­B standing (73-76% or 3.0 based on 4-point scale) in the final two years of undergraduate study.*
  3. Online SGS application including all required documentation (transcripts, Letter of Intent, academic references, etc.). 
  4. Portfolio Application in accordance with the portfolio submission requirements
  5. Transcripts
  6. 3 References
  7. Résumé/CV
  8. Letter of Intent
  9. BMC will consider your application only after you have included all the application materials listed above and paid the School of Graduate Studies’ application fee of $120.00 CAD.
  10. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Written English (TWE). These two tests are taken together. Minimum scores required are as follows:
    TOEFL Internet-Based Exam Overall–100, Writing Score-25, Speaking Score–25, TWE not applicable;
    TOEFL Paper-Based Exam-600, TWE-5.
  11. Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). A score of at least 87 is required.
  12. Certificate of Proficiency in English (COPE). A score of 5 is required.
  13. International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of at least 7.5 is required with at least 6.5 for each component.
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