The biomedical engineer is able to create knowledge from the molecular to the organ level. He or she develops new materials, devices, tools, systems and methods for the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pathology in order to improve and guarantee the health care and quality-of-life of the individual and the society. The student masters the necessary research skills to analyse and solve a given problem case independently.
The biomedical engineer is capable of functioning in an international and multidisciplinary team (teaching staff from diverse faculties and research areas, multidisciplinary projects where students solve multidisciplinary problem cases in group), and has the required communication skills (oral and written reporting). The biomedical engineer is aware of the ethical and socio-economical aspects of his profession and of our health care system, as well as of the responsibilities of the (biomedical) engineer in our society in general. In the fast-evolving area of biomedical engineering, the master's program also has particular attention for an attitude of permanent learning.
The master's thesis forms the tailpiece of the program. The thesis will minimally contain a substantial task of a high scientific level, to be elaborated individually by the student (surrounded and supported, however, by a research team), and thus with a high degree of independence. It is through this independent work and the written thesis report that the student demonstrates his or her capability to get familiar with a relevant biomedical engineering problem, study the problem on a high scientific level, and to report on the subject in diverse manners (master thesis, poster, oral public presentation).
The biomedical engineer is employed in industry (medical device and software development and/or production and distribution, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food products industry, consultancy, etc.), in hospitals (laboratories of academic hospitals, as well as management of academic and general hospitals), universities and research institutes, and in government functions (government and advisory organs). Evidently, the biomedical engineer can also apply for all generic academic engineering jobs.
The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering is an interuniversity initiative of Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. As such, the diploma of Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering will be jointly delivered by both universities and it will be signed by the rectors from both universities. The student can enroll either at Ghent University or at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The more generic biomedical engineering courses are taught in parallel at UGent and VUB or in a collaborative effort, while specialist courses are either taught at UGent, or at VUB. The practical organization is such that we aim for an optimal student and teaching staff mobility. Elective courses and the master thesis can be chosen at UGent, VUB or at an (international) partner institute with which UGent or VUB has a bilateral agreement. Obviously, students also have the opportunity to follow part of their curriculum abroad within the Erasmus framework.
The MSc program builds on the BSc programs in biomedical engineering at Ghent University and VUB. Students applying with other diplomas (see Admission requirements) may get an individualized curriculum, taking into account the acquired credits and competences. As applications and curricula are assessed on an individual basis, it is important that students apply timely so that individual curricula can be studied with care to ensure an optimal selection of courses.
Contents and structure of the programme
The study program consists of 120 credits (66 compulsory, 30 elective and 24 credits for the master thesis), spread over four semesters of twelve weeks each with specialized courses in established (biomaterials, biomechanics, medical imaging, sensor technologies) and newer emerging fields (neuro-engineering, data science and decision support techniques, medical robotics). The 30 credit space, together with the master thesis, allows the students to shape their individual track. Students have the option to specialize in biomechanics and biomaterials, radiation physics, neuro-engineering, sensors and devices or opt for a broader, more general track. Students get the specialization after acquiring minimally 18 credits electives and the master thesis in a specific domain. Together with the master thesis, the curriculum entails 41 credits of project work, spread over the 1st and 2nd master and including a computational project course, a biomedical product development assignment in year 1 and a project within the hospital in the second master.
Students specializing in radiation physics are eligible for the recognition of "Expert in Medical Radiation Physics". It is important to note that to be formally recognized by the Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control ("FANC") as expert in medical radiation physics, students also need to follow an additional clinical training of minimally one year.