International Biomedical Engineering

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 4.35 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 8.71 k / Year(s)  
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:4620 Duration:24 months

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Vrije Uuniversiteit Brussel and UGent are partner in the Erasmus Mundus program in biomedical engineering (Common European Master Course in Biomedical Engineering or CEMACUBE), starting in September 2010. For this program, students studying in Belgium register at UGent.

Coordinator: University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel and UGent, Belgium
  • Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University of Aachen, Germany
  • Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Czech Technical University of Prague, Czech Republic

This program is somewhat different from the regular programs, especially for the second master year. Here, the first semester consists of a specialization track of 25 ECTS credits (Radiation Physics and Medical Imaging or Computational Methods for Medical Applications), followed by a master thesis accounting for 30 ECTS credits. The courses offered within the scope of the Erasmus Mundus program can also be chosen as elective courses in the regular master program (some of which only from 2011-2012 on).

Top-quality education in all aspects op biomedical engineering

Five leading research and educational institutions in Europe collaborate to offer a joint Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Biomedical Engineering, providing a top-quality eduction in all aspects of biomedical engineering. The master program has a duration of two years (120 ECTS points), with students spending a year in two different countries.

Career opportunities

With the diploma of Master of Biomedical Engineering, the student has ample possibilities in finding a job in Flanders, Belgium, Europe or worldwide, and this in industry, hospitals, health care, universities and research institutes, in government positions... The biomedical engineer is versatile, per definition multidisciplinary and therefore employable in many different positions such as:

  • PhD-student at a university, performing fundamental research (e.g. unraveling
    the mechanism behind infection of implants, expanding the possibilities of tissue
    engineering, designing a prosthesis to restore sight...)
  • PhD-student at a large industry R&D-department, performing applied research (e.g.
    design of a second generation discus prosthesis, minimally invasive heart support
  • Product manager in an industry. Their education and training enables the student to
    lead a multinational and multicultural project team.
  • R&D-department of an industry, working as a project leader on applied resea ch (e.g. design, production and assessment of biomaterials for artificial organs, heart valves, pacemakers; design of imaging techniques, sensors and information technology for patient monitoring; acquisition, storage, analysis and simulation of bio-data...)
  • Medical physics engineer in a hospital supporting and improving patient care by
    applying engineering and management skills to health-care technology. They can be involved in technical support of daily practice, training of health care professionals, introducing safety programs, etc.
  • "Regulatory Affairs Manager" in medical industry, providing advice on the design and production of medical devices and technology and taking the necessary steps to allow commercialization and implementation of new products on the market. This involves meeting requirements imposed by CE-marking or the US Food and Drug Administation (FDA).
  • Government/public health, developing health care policy for the future.
  • Consultancy in a wide spectrum of functions, from product design to safety
  • Notified bodies, Regulatory Affairs Managers, screening new products for a CE-mark, patent offices...
  • Health Insurance, improving health care and controlling costs.
  • Any job requiring the traditional analytical and organizational skills of the academically trained engineer (general consultancy jobs, top functions in administration, banking sector...)

Semester 1 & 2

During the first two semesters, in total 60 ECTS, each university gives course elements on basic BME-topics. The content of those two semesters, offered by each consortium university is comparable and will contain the following:

Medical course elements

  • Anatomy and Histology
  • (Patho)physiology
  • Ethics

General engineering course elements

  • Methodical Design
  • Project Management
  • Biochemistry
  • Bio transport
  • Working culture

Engineering course elements, focused on diagnostics

  • Imaging Techniques
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Signal Analysis

Engineering course elements, focused on therapy

  • Cell Biology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics

These course elements define the basic level of competence of students. With these courses the student can follow every specialisation, offered in the third semester. When a student already followed a course element in the Bachelor´s training, (s)he will choose an elective course element, offered by the university.

Semester 3

In the third semester (30 ECTS) course elements on a specific topic will be given. Each university will offer several unique specialisations (table 1), based on keylines research, so students get state-of-the-art knowledge, preparing them optimally for future developments in BME.




  • Artificial and Bioartificial Organs


  • Tissue Biomechanics & Regenerative Medicine
  • Neural Engineering


  • Radiation physics & Nuclear imaging processing
  • Computational methods for medical applications


  • Function Restoration Engineering
  • Imaging Physics


  • Medical Instrumentation
  • Modern Physical Methods in BME
  • Medical Imaging Instrumentation

During this 3rd semester a proposal is prepared (5 ECTS) for the Master´s project. First a topic is selected. All participating universities will offer Master´s project topics, focussed on their specialisations (see Semester 4). Then a literature search is performed to become familiar with the topic. This phase is finished by an extensive formulation of the study subject and strategy.

Semester 4

In the fourth and last semester (30 ECTS) an individual Master´s project will be performed. This project could be a research assignment or a design assignment. During this Master´s project all knowledge and skills learned in the first three semesters are applied:

  • to solve a problem by designing a device (in case of a design assignment)
  • to realise answers to a scientific question by performing scientific research (in case of a research assignment).

Each student will have two supervisors, one from the institute where the study is performed and one from another consortium university. In the end the assesment will be done by a report and a presentation.

Each consortium university will offer individual Master's projects, in their own specialisation.

The language requirements for the CEMACUBE programme include one of the following test results:An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score of 6.5A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test score of 580 (paper-based)A TOEFL test score of 237 (computer-based)A TOEFL test score of 92 (internet-based iBT)Since language competence is an important element, all universities of the consortium offer during this program English language courses to the CEMACUBE students.Applicants interested in the CEMACUBE programme should be aware that the motivation letter plays an important role in the admission procedure. The motivation letter gives the Admission and Examination Committee relevant clues concerning the suitability of a candidate for the programme. Our experience from the past shows that candidates do often not realize that the motivation letter is one of the most important ingredients of the application package. We strongly advise candidates to avoid platitudes and to focus on their own personal motives and experience. Illustrating one's motivation by a concrete example ("I'm particularly intrigued by the following research question...") might be helpful in this respect.Candidates are advised to address at least the following points:Why do you choose for Biomedical Engineering as the main subject of your Master's programme? What does specifically interest you in this research area?Why do you apply for the CEMACUBE programme specifically, rather than to other comparable programmes?Why do you apply for a programme that is specifically oriented towards training in research and preparation for a subsequent PhD programme?Why do you think that you are suited for such an ambitious programme?How will you fit in a class of students from all over the world, all with different backgrounds but all belonging to the top of their respective cohorts?What are your future plans for the time after you have got your M.Sc.? English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 580 TOEFL iBT® test: 92
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