Focus areas of teaching and research
Focus areas of teaching and research
During their studies students can choose between two tracks (2nd Semester) and four specializations (3rd Semester). The assignment of courses to tracks and specializations is listed in the Joint Course Catalogue. Each specialization is accompanied by a number of elective courses, either within the same field of specialization or from any other field, depending on students’ individual interests. Students studying in part-time will find more information in chapter part-time studies.

Track I – Medical Systems Engineering
This track focuses on medical devices using electronics and digitalization and covers topics from signal processing and control theory. It includes general aspects of modelling and simulation in biomedical engineering and develops students’ knowledge of applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, computer assisted surgery and imaging systems.  This track sets the stage for 3rd semester specializations in computer assisted surgery, image acquisition and analysis, or diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.

Track II – Biomaterials Science and Engineering
This track puts the focus on medical devices and technologies involving mechanical or biological materials for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. It provides knowledge and skills in material sciences and fabrication technologies, in particular with biological materials, all supplemented with relevant aspects of tissue regeneration technologies. This track leads to 3rd semester specializations in implants, regenerative technology, and diagnostic and therapeutic technology.

Specialization A: Computer Assisted Surgery
Students who major in Computer Assisted Surgery gain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals required to operate complex imaging techniques. This covers magnetic resonance or ultrasound for instance, as well as methods relating to navigation systems used during patient treatment in a medical environment.

Specialization B: Image Acquisition and Analysis
This module is on developing and applying medical imaging techniques and image analysis. Biomedical imaging complemented with optical or magnetic stereotactic tracking devices guide surgeons during surgery; research in this field aims to improve treatment outcomes through improved diagnostics and reduced complications, morbidity and surgery time.

Specialization C: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies
This specialization deepens knowledge of electronic and digital devices for specific applications such as neural and deep brain stimulation, brain computer interfaces, hearing aids and implants, and biomechanical tracking systems for functional anatomy and gait analysis. Students learn about bioelectrical and other natural signal sources, digital signal analysis and therapeutic stimulation. 

Specialization D: Implants and Regenerative Technologies
This module focuses on the design and manufacturing of medical implants, considering their dimensions and surface properties, as well as on the characterization of tissues. It covers a broad range of design, manufacturing and characterization starting at macroscopic scale to reflect device properties, down to the atomic level to identify associations between nanostructure and function. Regenerative medicine fosters and stimulates interdisciplinary scientific discoveries and the development of advanced therapeutic strategies. Topics include: biomaterial-based control of stem cell function, engineering technologies for tissue and implant manufacturing, and translational challenges towards industrial exploitation and clinical implementation.

Each specialization is accompanied by a number of elective courses, either within the same field of specialization or from any other field, depending on students’ individual interests.

The Master of Science degree is a postgraduate degree that requires a successfully completed Bachelor’s program. The specialized Biomedical Engineering Master’s degree program awards 120 credit points of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and is a so called “mono-course” consisting of only one core subject.

In the module Project Work and Practical Skills the students need to acquire at least 12 credit points. These credit points can be gained either through a semester thesis or through specially designated practical courses, or through a combination of both. The semester thesis must take place under the supervision of one of the two institutions, the University of Basel or the University of Applied Sciences FHNW.

In the last semester, for all full-time students in the 4th semester, the master program culminates in a master’s thesis with 25 credit points, accompanied by a master’s examination with 5 credit points. The master’s thesis must take place again under supervision of one of the 2 organizing institutions, the University of Basel or the University of Applied Sciences FHNW.
Available semester and Master’s theses are published continuously online on the Thesis Platform University Basel and the Thesis Platform FHNW (VPN required).

It is also possible to carry out a semester or master’s thesis at an external institution or in industry. However, the administrative effort for an external Thesis might be higher, as more details have to be clarified and regulated before the thesis begins. In any case, external projects always need the support of a lecturer of the master program to ensure that the quality standards of the master program and the formal conditions are met.

There is no possibility to combine this MSc with other Master’s programs.

The Joint MSc BME program may be studied in part time with prolongation of the study time. Students are free to arrange their studies according to their needs and preferences. We encourage all part-time students to prepare an individual timetable and discuss this prior each semester with the heads of the program or study coordinator. To assure a smooth study, following general approach is suggested.

1. Semester (overall 15 CP) a. Biomedical Basics / Engineering Basics (9-15CP)
The courses “Anatomy” and “Physiology” within module “Biomedical Basis” in autumn 2023 will be rearranged in autumn 2024. Make sure you cover both either in autumn 2023 or the rearranged courses in autumn 2024 at once.
b. BME Basics (0-6CP)
2. Semester (overall 15 CP)a. BME Basics (12 CP)
b. BME Electives (3 CP)
3. Semester (overall 15 CP)a. Biomedical Basics / Engineering Basics (6-12 CP)
b. BME Basics (3-6 CP)
4. Semester (overall 15 CP) a. BME Electives (6 CP)
b. Medical System Engineering / Biomaterial Science and Engineering (9 CP)
5. Semester (overall 15-18 CP) a. Computer Assisted Surgery / Image Acquisition and Analysis / Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies / Implants and Regenerative Technologies (9 CP)
b. Specialization Electives (6-9 CP)
6. Semester
(overall 12 CP)
a. Semester Thesis (12 CP)
7. Semester
(overall 15-18 CP)
a. Master Thesis
b. Specialization Electives (0-3 CP)
8. Semester (overall 15 CP)a. Master Thesis (continued) (25+5 CP)

Additional remarks:

  • We recommend delivering the Master thesis in fulltime mode (100%).
  • Master thesis may be started if courses with at least 78 CP are fulfilled. Therefore, part of the courses may be fulfilled during or after finishing the thesis.

Our Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering provides a world-class education to pursue an industrial or scientific career. It combines an industrial attitude with a strong scientific foundation within a single program, and enables participants to pursue either an industry-oriented or a scientific career (e.g., doctoral program). Employability options of our graduates include supporting medical experts in clinical settings and health care institutions.

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