Translational Medical Research (MScTMR)
|Degree:||Master of Science|
|Course start:||Winter term (September 1st)|
|Course duration:||1 year full-time or up to 3.5 years part-time (60 ECTS)|
|Language of instruction:||English|
€ 3.750,- per semester (full-time course),
€ 1.500,- per semester (part-time course)
Translational Medical Research concentrates on the interface between experimental basic science and clinical medicine. The aim is thus to ‚translate’ knowledge, mechanisms and techniques discovered by basic scientific research into new approaches for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Translation in the reverse direction is also highly pertinent, namely the translation of clinical observations into new research questions. This can colloquially be described as ‘triple B’ (from bench to bedside and back again).
The recent far-reaching and dynamic developments in molecular and cellular biology set high standards for the training of future clinicians capable of working in the translational research field. Equally, these developments dictate the need for scientists who are able to understand the rationale behind diagnosis and therapy, to define preconditions for using new molecular therapies in the individual patients, and who are committed to transferring scientific knowledge into clinical practice. Interdisciplinary cooperation is an essential key to success in this endeavour.
The Master of Science in Translational Medical Research (MScTMR) programme builds on these demands and systematically provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the frontier of translational medical research. Reflecting the research foci of our faculty, students can choose to specialize in Molecular Oncology, Neurobiology or Vascular Medicine.
Aims & Main Learning Objectives
The ultimate aims of the programme are:
- to systematically teach the latest knowledge and methods in the dynamic field of translational medical research.
- to foster a clear appreciation of the interdisciplinary action and communication needed to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research, diagnosis and therapy.
- to generate excellent young researchers who possess the necessary combination of scientific and medical knowledge and skills to contribute successfully to the future of translational medical research.
The growing importance of translational medical research is recognized by a number of international research organizations and has also been repeatedly emphasized by the national organisations such as the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft = German Research Foundation), as well the European Union.
Graduates of our MScTMR will therefore have attractive academic career perspectives, for example in:
- basic molecular and medical research centres
- interdisciplinary translational Comprehensive Cancer Centres
- clinical study centres as well as teaching hospitals
- biotech and pharmaceutical industries
The core curriculum covers the following themes
- research management and scientific conduct
- epidemiology and applied biostatistics
- molecular biology
- cell biology and genetics
- essential laboratory techniques in theory and practice
- disease processes (molecular, cellular and physiological changes)
- diagnostic and therapeutic strategies and models
- case studies in translational research
In addition, each student chooses a pre-defined set of electives directly linked to selected research foci of our faculty. As of now, we offer the following three specialisations:
molecular oncology, neurobiology, or vascular medicine.
The programme is structured into four compact teaching blocks, followed by a period of individual research work and the subsequent writing of a thesis, as described below.
The first coursework block consists of two separate introductory modules. Students with a medical background take the module that covers aspects of molecular and cellular biology including basic laboratory techniques, while students with a science background take a module that introduces them to the basics of clinical medicine. The expected learning time is equivalent to two weeks of full-time study.
The second coursework block includes six weeks of taught modules that provide the students with a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of medical disorders. One additional week is reserved for final preparation of projects, written assignments, and exams.
The third coursework block builds on the foundations established in the second block. Students gain an insight into disease processes ranging from their molecular and cellular basis to their clinical pathologies. This is again followed by one week for revision and exam preparation.
The fourth and final coursework block focuses on diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies. The value of animal models and imaging techniques are discussed and case studies are used to demonstrate the essentials of translational medicine. As with the previous coursework blocks, the fourth block consists of six teaching weeks, plus one week for final preparation for exams.
The sequence of the blocks allows for full-time study from early September to the end of February (one term) to finish the taught modules in a concentrated manner. Part-time students can spread the blocks over two years (Blocks 1 and 2 taken in the first year, Block 3 and 4 in the second year).
Thesis (25 ECTS)
After successfully completing the taught part of the programme, students move on to their thesis research. Through this project, students are expected to gain the ability to independently identify a relevant and substantial research question, to define the appropriate methodology for its solution, and to evaluate the scientific impact of the results as well as the potential clinical application. To make this a fruitful learning experience, students are systematically guided and supervised throughout their thesis work by an academic tutor.
Teaching and Learning Methods
Learning mainly takes place in interactive seminars (max of 25 students), laboratory practical courses and group/individual learning assignments. Up-to-date keynote lectures complement the student-centred learning approach of the programme. Sufficient workspace and comprehensive access to literature supports the students’ individual learning.
Coursework revolves around problem and case-based learning activities as well as laboratory practical courses to develop the applicable skills required for translational medical research.
Through the active learning approach, the students will gain self-confidence and professionalism by presenting and defending their ideas and views in front of critical audiences, as well as by actively listening to the arguments and perspectives of others.
Participants are continually assessed to monitor and document progress towards their degree. Assessment during the taught part of the programme includes written in-class exams, as well as group projects, oral presentations and individual take-home assignments. The thesis and the defence are the final parts of the assessment. In order to receive the MSc degree the pass mark for each part of the programme needs to be attained.
The Heidelberg University was founded more than 600 years ago (in 1386) and is the oldest University in Germany. Today, as in its old days, it is a leading institution in research and teaching in Europe. Its has two Medical Faculties housed on separate campuses, one in Heidelberg and one in Mannheim, both offering innovative courses of study.
At the Mannheim Medical Campus, master-level courses specialising in health-related fields, such as the MSc TMR, are offered in addition to clinical medical training. These master programmes aim to attract graduate students from various disciplines in order to form an interdisciplinary team fostering mutual learning. Selected, highly qualified medical students may also join a master-level course in their 4th and 5th year of study, while continuing their medical studies, thus pursuing a dual degree programme.
The Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim (CBTM) and the Departments of the University Hospital are strongly committed to the education of tomorrow’s physicians and researchers through an extensive program of both teaching and research activities.
The Master’s programme in Translational Medical Research is strongly connected to leading institutions in research, education and industry which contribute to the development of a diverse, globally engaged medical research community.
Eligibility and pre-requisites
The course is open to medical doctors, biologists, pharmacists and other professionals in health related sciences, who hold a first academic degree equivalent to 240 ECTS (usually a Bachelors degree after at least 4 years of full-time study). Special conditions for admission apply to registered medical students within the MaReCuM (Mannheim Reformed Curriculum for Medicine) programme.
The language of instruction is English. Students, for whom English is not their first language, must provide evidence of English proficiency, usually by certification of an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent TOEFL score. (Institutional TOEFL code number for Medical Faculty Mannheim at Heidelberg University: 6446)
Exemption from this requirement may be granted to those who completed their prior education in English (written proof required with application).
A maximum of 25 participants will be accepted each year.
Application Deadline: 15th April for the course starting in early September the same year. Please download the Application Form here.
Admission Regulations in English - Please note: the German version of the regulation is the official and legally binding one
Resume (Curriculum Vitae)
Certified Educational Certificates in original language, plus official English translation (not required if original in German)
Proof of English proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
Letter of motivation (Personal statement)
The application should be directed to the Mannheim Medical Faculty.
Examination Regulations / Study Regulations
Academic Year/ Time Schedule
The academic year starts September 1st and is split into two semesters (September-February/ March-August).
Full-time study means that students finish the taught parts of the programme in the first semester and write their thesis in the second semester.
Part-time study in this programme means that the duration of study is extended over a period of 2½ years with defined periods of full-time attendance. Part-time students begin in Year 1 with participating in taught modules during 9 weeks from September to the end of October. In Year 2 they continue with taught modules during 14 weeks from November to the end of February. The master's thesis is then produced at an individually chosen time thereafter. During taught modules, full-time attendance is necessary, while in between there is no programme offered (dual degree medical students continue taking medical courses). Part-time students therefore need to be registered for at least a period of five semesters with substantial interim times when no study courses are offered. Please consider carefully, if this is a reasonable choice for you.
Prof. Dr. Jonathan P. Sleeman
Ms Anja Käppele
Centrum für Biomedizin und Medizintechnik (CBTM)
D – 68167 Mannheim
telephone: +49(0) 621 383 9954
fax: +49(0) 621 383 9961