Medicine (study location Heidelberg)
|Course commences||winter semester only|
|Standard course duration||6 years + 3 months|
International students must furnish evidence of adequate proficiency in German.
|Language of instruction||German|
The medical course lasts at least 6 years + 3 months and leads to the State Examination and the subsequent Licence to Practise Medicine (Approbation). It divides into a pre-clinical section of two years’ duration leading to the first leg of the Examination for Physicians (Ärztliche Prüfung) followed by the clinical section of a further three years’ duration leading to the second leg of the Examination for Physicians. There follows a Practical Year and the subsequent third leg of the Examination for Physicians.
The aims, content and structure of the course are set out in the Licensing Regulations for Physicians (Approbationsordnung für Ärzte).
Either before embarking on the course or during periods when no teaching takes place, students undergo training in First Aid and a three-month Patient Care Training stint as part of the pre-clinical section of their studies. We recommend completing as much of the Patient Care Training programme as possible before starting on the course.
Prerequisites for success in the medical course are above all sound scientific knowledge in biology, chemistry and physics plus an intuitive grasp of medical and scientific issues, organisational skill, the ability to apply oneself exclusively to the job in hand, engagement with quantitative and formal problems, a gift for observation, a good memory and communication skills. A good command of English is indispensable, knowledge of Latin is an asset. Medical students need to be able to withstand a high degree of pressure. The relevant statutory provisions mean that the course is highly regimented. In term time, students must expect to spend at least 25 to 30 hours a week attending compulsory classes. Examinations come thick and fast, standards are high and exam topics cover a lot of ground. The “breaks” between terms characteristic of other university courses are either non-existent or have to be used to gain practical clinical experience (without remuneration). Heidelberg University has two Medical Faculties, i.e. two different study locations with different teaching strategies (the Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale, HeiCuMed for short and the Mannheim Reformed Curriculum in Medicine, MaReCuM for short). When applying, students need to decide which study location they prefer. The differences in the curricula make it very difficult to change from one to the other at a later date and will invariably have an impact on study duration.
The Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale ("HeiCuMed")
Over 60% of Heidelberg University’s medical students study at the Heidelberg location, one of the largest and oldest medical faculties in Europe.
In the first year of the pre-clinical section of the course, students learn human anatomy in preparatory courses involving human cadavers and ultrasonic investigation of healthy individuals. Sound knowledge and skills in scientific subjects are another major focus, as is the tried and tested Heidelberg Shadowing Programme (Hospitationsprogramm) providing initial experience with patients and conveying an impression of what the medical profession involves. In the second year students are taught the foundations of medicine. The approach is cross-disciplinary and thematic, with closer discussion of individual syndromes and initial experience with innovative approaches to teaching and examinations. The clinical subjects are taught in modules grouped into interdisciplinary complexes. Practical relevance and social and communicative skills are writ large. In so-called Skills Labs the budding physicians practise on models (or on one another), professional actors are brought in to play the role of patients in mock doctor-patient exchanges.
Case-based interactive learning programmes are very much a part of the HeiCuMed style of teaching. The electronic learning platform Moodle makes life easier for medical students in Heidelberg by affording access to multi-media learning material and computer-assisted examination and evaluation features. Heidelberg has various partnerships with universities abroad and supports students wishing to do part of their course in other countries and thus acquaint themselves with different health-care systems. Study sojourns abroad are facilitated by the European Union’s ERASMUS programme. Students can also apply to study abroad during their Practical Year. The prerequisites for admission to an exchange programme are language proficiency, above-average performance/grades and social skills.
Teaching takes place throughout the year (there are no “breaks” between semesters), so it is entirely feasible for students to spend eight months on their doctorate within the minimal study-duration period. In Heidelberg 90% of all medical students do a doctorate, most of them start on their dissertations while they are still studying. As a study location, Heidelberg is an integral part of an immensely rich science landscape, with research focuses on the neurosciences, cardiovascular illnesses, oncology, infectious diseases, transplant medicine and genetics/genomics.
For more information on course structure and the study regulations for HeiCuMed, go to the website of the Study Dean of the Heidelberg Medical Faculty.
To apply for a place as a first-term medical student, the first institution to turn to is the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung, a central council regulating admissions to universities. In addition to the national application process via hochschulstart.de, you have to complete the online registration procedure for Heidelberg University. This step facilitates the verification of the selection criteria. Moreover, the Test for Medical Study Courses (TMS) is an important selection criterion for admission to medical degree programmes in Heidelberg.
Information on the higher-education selection procedure at Heidelberg University:
- Application procedure
- Ranking system
- Bonus points system
- Other procedures
- Test for Medical Study Courses (TMS)
- Admission Regulations
- Admission Regulations (Practical Year)
If you require personal counselling on the higher-education selection procedure (application for medical courses) and the TMS, you can contact us by phone every Tuesday of the year from 2 – 4 pm: +49 (0)6221 566807.
During the TMS registration phase (1 December to 15 January) and the application stage for the course (1 June to 15 July) we are available by phone (same number) at other times as well. The recorded announcement on the phone will give you the relevant details.
On the websites of the University you will also find more information on the various university entrance qualifications.
Admission to higher semesters
To apply for admission to higher semesters, please contact Heidelberg University’s Central Administration offices: Direct application for admission to higher semesters or Change of study location via exchange.
The Central University Administration is also the right address for applications for an exchange of study places, matriculation, exmatriculation, re-registration, vacation semesters, study fees. More information here.
Service phone: +49 (0)6221 545454
e-mail portal: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the case of a move to Heidelberg from another university or an exchange of study places, you can obtain personal counselling about potential repercussions on the course of your studies from the academic advisors of the Study Dean’s office.
There are special regulations for international applicants. Please consult Heidelberg University’s International Relations Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt, Seminarstraße 2) for more information. International applicants are invited to participate in a preparatory course taking place in the summer semester prior to the beginning of the course proper.
Study and examination regulations
Study Regulations 1st and 2nd Year of Study (Heidelberg) (29 September 2003, last amended 25 June 2015)
Study Regulations 1st and 2nd Year of Study (Heidelberg) (29 September 2003, last amended 22 September 2006)
Study Regulations 1st and 2nd Year of Study (Heidelberg) (22 July 2010)
Study Regulations 3rd, 4th and 5th Year of Study (Heidelberg) (29 September 2003, last amended 8 December 2004)
Study Regulations 3rd, 4th and 5th Year of Study (Heidelberg) (22 July 2010)
Study Regulations 6th Year of Study (Practical Year) (Heidelberg) (22 July 2010)
Study Regulations 6th Year of Study (Practical Year) (Heidelberg) (16 May 2013)
Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the Study Dean’s office or the State Examinations Office for Medicine. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.
Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.
Office hours: Mondays 11 am – 1 pm, Tuesdays 1 pm – 3 pm, Wednesdays 10 – 12 am, Thursdays 11 am – 1 pm.
Please call us by phone outside of office hours which are reserved for face-to-face consultation only.
Susanne Nützenadel (pre-clinical stage)
phone: +49 (0)6221 5622700
Abra Tsolenyanu (clinical stage)
phone: +49 6221 5622701
Study Dean’s office: staff and office hours:
Heidelberg Medical Faculty
Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Draguhn
Im Neuenheimer Feld 346
Study Dean’s office
Im Neuenheimer Feld 306, Office 022 (behind Lecture Hall 1)
State Examinations Office Stuttgart: http://www.rp.baden-wuerttemberg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1064675/index.html