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Translational Medicine - MSc

Course Description

Upon graduation from the Master’s Programme in Translational Medicine (TRANSMED) you can be expected to:
-Be fluent in medical sciences and clinical practice from the point of view of a researcher.
-Be familiar with up-to-date translational research methodologies.
-Be adept at scientific reasoning and critical analysis of scientific literature.
-Acknowledge the regulatory and ethical aspects of biomedical and clinical research.
-Have mastered scientific and medical terminologies.
-Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, enabling you to find employment in an international and interdisciplinary professional setting.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

The TRANSMED studies are built upon three core educational themes:
Development of Research Skills
These include an introduction to current methodologies, which are further developed during a training period in a research group; research ethics: principles of clinical investigation; and writing of research or grant proposals.

Studies in Human Disease
These range from normal human physiology and anatomy, and basic biomedical courses, to more specialised studies covering various topics pertinent to the specialist option. You supplement these studies with clinical rounds, during which you have an opportunity to study selected patient cases in hospital wards, under the supervision of a clinician mentor.

Development of Communication Skills
These are promoted throughout the curriculum, through utilisation of interactive approaches and discussions, problem-based learning and oral presentations. The multidisciplinary TRANSMED community encompasses a wide range of educational backgrounds and provides ample opportunities for direct interactions with medical students, science and clinical teachers to enable you to practice and adopt interdisciplinary communication skills. At the end of the course of study, your communication skills will be evaluated in the final exam, during which you will orally present your research plan to expert examiners.

Selection of the Majors

The major of the programme is Translational medicine. During your first study year you can choose any of the five available specialisation options. These options and their specific goals are:
Neuroscience and Psychobiology
-To acquire knowledge on research methodology and state-of-the-art information in systems and cognitive neuroscience, as well as in clinical neuropsychology.
-To learn to produce new scientific information in the fields of psychobiology of human life, health, and stress, and to transfer the results between basic research and clinical settings.

-To acquire basic knowledge of the principles of neoplastic growth, cancer progression and dissemination.
-To acquire basic understanding of the interplay between different cell types during neoplastic growth.
-To acquire knowledge of major research methodologies and disease models in cancer biology.

Regenerative Medicine
-To understand the principles of developmental and stem cell biology and regenerative pharmacology as the basis of regenerative therapies.
-To be familiar with the major technologies applied in regenerative medicine, including tissue engineering, cell and organ transplantation and transplantation immunology.
-To understand the ethical principles of clinical translation of basic research and application of regenerative medicine therapies.

Metabolic Disorders
-To be able to understand the basic metabolic pathways.
-To understand the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
-To be able to use genetic knowledge as a basis for prediction, diagnosis and treatment of metabolic disorders.

Cross-Disciplinary Translational Medicine
-To achieve a broad understanding of topics and methods in the field of Translational medicine.

Programme Structure

The scope of the programme is 120 credits (ECTS) and can be completed within two academic years (60 ECTS / year).

The Master of Science in Translational medicine degree includes 60 ECTS of advanced and 60 ECTS of other studies. Both of these include both obligatory and optional studies.

The majority of the advanced studies are related to the chosen specialist option and include:
-Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
-Placement in a research group for learning advanced methods in your selected field of study
-Methodological and human health and disease-related courses
-Clinical rounds in Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) clinics
-Final examination in your field of specialisation

The other studies include e.g.
-Article analysis, scientific writing and presentation
-Biomedicine and introductory courses in research methods
-Career planning and orientation
-Individual study coaching and personal study plans
-Research ethics

You can select the optional courses based on your personal interests, or to support your chosen specialisation option. You can also include courses from other suitable Master’s programmes at the University of Helsinki, such as:
-Life Science Informatics
-Genetics and molecular biosciences
-Human Nutrition and Food Behaviour

You can also include studies in other universities under the flexible study right-agreement (JOO).

Career Prospects

The Master of Science in Translational medicine degree provides excellent opportunities to apply for and attend postgraduate studies. Currently, 50% of TRANSMED graduates are continuing their studies in doctoral programmes, either at the University of Helsinki or abroad.

TRANSMED graduates are also highly valued in the private sector. Around 35% of graduates have been employed directly by bioindustry, pharma or other health sector enterprises either in Finland or abroad. Titles include product manager, product specialist, personalised health care manager etc. All such enterprises usually recruit both at the graduate (MSc) and postgraduate (PhD) levels.

The health and health technology sectors represent a rapidly emerging field, and one of the areas with a growing importance as the population ages and the costs of new therapies steadily increase. Thus, the demand for well-trained specialists in the field of translational medicine is likely to increase in the near future, providing excellent career prospects globally.


The Translational Medicine major is only available in this international programme, making the programme attractive to both Finnish and international students. Indeed, opportunities for personal interaction with students from different cultures are an integral feature of the studies. During your studies, you can also volunteer to act as a tutor for the incoming international students.

The international research community in The Academic Medical Centre Helsinki actively participates in teaching in TRANSMED. You complete the research group practice for your Master’s thesis in multicultural research groups.

It is also possible to complete your Master’s thesis work or research group placement abroad, or to include coursework done at a foreign university.

Research Focus

The specialisation options of the programme – Neuroscience and psychobiology, Cancer, Regenerative medicine, Metabolic disorders, and Cross-disciplinary translational medicine – are closely aligned with the research focus areas of the Faculty of Medicine: malignancy, inflammation, metabolism, degenerative processes as well as psychiatric disorders and their mechanisms. You therefore have an opportunity to learn from, and be supervised by, the leading experts and professors in their fields.

Visit the Translational Medicine - MSc page on the University of Helsinki website for more details!

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Entry Requirements

See the website for the latest admission requirements: View Website

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