The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering provides students with a state-of-the-art overview of all areas in biomedical engineering:
The teaching curriculum builds upon the top-class research conducted by the staff, most of whom are members of the Leuven Medical Technology Centre. This network facilitates industrial fellowships for our students and enables students to complete design projects and Master’s theses in collaboration with industry leaders and internationally recognized research labs.
Biomedical engineers are educated to integrate engineering and basic medical knowledge. This competence is obtained through coursework, practical exercises, interactive sessions, a design project and a Master’s thesis project.
Three courses provide students with basic medical knowledge on anatomy and functions of the human body. The core of the programme consists of biomedical engineering courses that cover the entire range of contemporary biomedical engineering: biomechanics, biomaterials, medical imaging, biosensors, biosignal processing, medical device design and regulatory affairs.
The elective courses have been grouped in four clusters: biomechanics and tissue engineering, medical devices, information acquisition systems, and Information processing software. These clusters allow the students to deepen their knowledge in one particular area of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from one cluster, while at the same time allowing other students to obtain a broad overview on the field of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from multiple clusters.
Students can opt for an internship which can take place in a Belgian company or in a medical technology centre abroad.
Through the general interest courses, the student has the opportunity to broaden his/her views beyond biomedical engineering. These include courses on management, on communication (e.g. engineering vocabulary in foreign languages), and on the socio-economic and ethical aspects of medical technology.
A design project and a Master’s thesis familiarize the student with the daily practice of a biomedical engineer.
The Faculty of Engineering Science at KU Leuven is involved in several Erasmus exchange programmes. For the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, this means that the student can complete one or two semesters abroad, at a number of selected universities.
An industrial fellowship is possible for three or six credits either between the Bachelor’s and the Master’s programme, or between the two phases of the Master’s programme. Students are also encouraged to consider the fellowship and short courses offered by BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) or through the ATHENS programme.
You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty.
The programme responds to a societal need, which translates into an industrial opportunity.
Evaluation of the programme demonstrates that the objectives and goals are being achieved. The mix of mandatory and elective courses allows the student to become a generalist in Biomedical Engineering, but also to become a specialist in one topic; industry representatives report that graduates master a high level of skills, are flexible and integrate well in the companies.
Company visits expose all BME students to industry. Further industrial experience is available to all students.
Our international staff (mostly PhD students) actively supports the courses taught in English, contributing to the international exposure of the programme.
The Master’s programme is situated in a context of strong research groups in the field of biomedical engineering. All professors incorporate research topics in their courses.
Most alumni have found a job within three months after graduation.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
Biomedical engineering is a rapidly growing sector, evidenced by an increase in the number of jobs and businesses. The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering was created to respond to increased needs for healthcare in our society. These needs stem from an ageing population and the systemic challenge to provide more and better care with less manpower and in a cost-effective way. Industry, government, hospitals and social insurance companies require engineers with specialised training in the multidisciplinary domain of biomedical engineering.
As a biomedical engineer, you'll play a role in the design and production of state-of-the-art biomedical devices and/or medical information technology processes and procedures. You will be able to understand medical needs and translate them into engineering requirements. In addition, you will be able to design medical devices and procedures that can effectively solve problems through their integration in clinical practice. For that purpose, you'll complete the programme with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and human biotechnology and mastery of biomedical technology in areas such as biomechanics, biomaterials, tissue engineering, bio-instrumentation and medical information systems. The programme will help strengthen your creativity, prepare you for life-long learning, and train you how to formalise your knowledge for efficient re-use.
Careers await you in the medical device industry R&D engineering, or as a production or certification specialist. Perhaps you'll end up with a hospital career (technical department), or one in government. The broad technological background that is essential in biomedical engineering also makes you attractive to conventional industrial sectors. Or you can continue your education by pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering; each year, several places are available thanks to the rapid innovation taking place in biomedical engineering and the increasing portfolio of approved research projects in universities worldwide.
Biomedical sciences underwent a spectacular evolution during the past decades. New diseases such as bird flu arose, whereas others such as AIDS and diabetes have expanded. At the same time, researchers are discovering new ways to fight these diseases. The human genome has been decoded, gene technology is steadily growing, immunotherapy has been introduced for the treatment of several cancers and the first steps in the direction of stem cell therapy have been made. The laboratories at KU Leuven and University Hospital Gasthuisberg deliver cutting edge work in the field of disease and development of new therapies, stretching from bench to bedside. The Master of Biomedical Sciences at KU Leuven allows students to live this journey themselves, hands on.
Do you dream of working on the frontline of the ongoing battle for a better understanding of human health and diseases? Are dedicated to applying this knowledge to better prevention and treatment options? Then this programme is for you. During the two master's years you will be truly immersed in scientific biomedical research. By doing scientific research in a domestic or foreign laboratory, you will gain thorough know-how, strengthen your scientific skills and learn the newest scientific methods. All of these skills and accumulated knowledge will be applied in the most important part of the master's programme: your master's thesis.
The main goal of the curriculum is to train researchers in biomedical sciences by providing a rigorous scientific training based on the acquisition of knowledge, the collection and interpretation of information and the use of modern research techniques. This is expected to stimulate the critical thinking and independence required to address a specific research question related to (dys)function of the human body and its interaction with the environment. Furthermore, the curriculum provides broad, intellectually rigorous training allowing for a wide array of job opportunities in industry, research centres and society.
The aims of the curriculum follow the educational principles of KU Leuven, important among which is the independence of the student. For the acquisition of knowledge, the university uses its own high-quality interdisciplinary scientific research. KU Leuven aims to be a centre of critical thinking where, in addition to factual knowledge, people are stimulated to identify, define and solve problems.
The quality of the curriculum is guaranteed due to the strong interconnection between education and research in the Biomedical Sciences in the broadest sense. The faculty commits itself to a future-oriented educational project in an academic setting that is at once intellectually stimulating, socially supportive and student friendly.
Internationalisation has become an integral part of the profile of researchers in biomedical sciences. International exchange is the key to opening mindsets to global solutions in health and disease. Graduates can expect to embark on international-level careers in very diverse areas touching on human health.
First and foremost, biomedical scientists are prepared for a personal career full of exciting scientific research in academic or pharmaceutical laboratories dedicated to improving knowledge in human health and finding prevention strategies and cures for diseases. Beyond this, there are many different directions open to you.
Many graduates go on to careers in consultancy, policy, sales and marketing, communication and management in areas related to human health, such as the pharmaceutical industry, scientific writing agencies, regulatory agencies and government administration. Graduates find rewarding work in a wide variety of sectors: the pharmaceutical industry, the academic or educational world, healthcare, the environmental sector and food inspection, among others.
Programme graduates are in high demand in the pharmaceutical and medical industry. As a biomedical scientist, for example, you provide thoroughly prepared research, which is a crucial phase in the development of new drugs and other medical products. It is also possible to cooperate with the set-up and follow-up of preclinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry. The programme gives you the perfect profile for clinical trial design, as well as the monitoring and conducting of these trials, on both the business and clinical sides of the process.
You can also work for service companies that deliver or develop products or equipment to the medical sector. Positions in government are also open to you, especially in the area of public health. Some biomedical scientists choose to specialise in the legislation around patents and the protection of biomedical discoveries, and others begin careers as biology, chemistry or biotechnology teachers. Additionally, there is a current need for experts who can clearly communicate scientific information and research results to non-specialists and the general public.