Translational Medical Research (MScTMR)

Degree: Master of Science
Application: mandatory
Course start: winter semester only (1 September)
Course duration: 1 year full-time (60 ECTS)
Study options: full-time
Language requirements: English
Language of instruction: English
Tuition fees: More information will be available in 2017

Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim


This Masters Degree programme is currently undergoing reaccreditation, possibly involving substantial structural changes.
This may also affect the application and admission process for the start in Sept. 2017 (course 2017/18).
Please check this homepage regularly for updates.

Information concerning admission in 2017 should be available in early 2017.

Course outline

Translational Medical Research concentrates on the interface between experimental basic science and clinical medicine. Accordingly, the aim is to “translate” knowledge, mechanisms and techniques discovered by basic scientific research into new approaches to diagnosis and the treatment of diseases. Translation in the reverse direction is also highly pertinent, namely the translation of clinical observations into novel research issues. Colloquially, this two-way process is frequently referred to as “triple B” (from bench to bedside and back again).

The recent far-reaching and dynamic developments in molecular and cellular biology have 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 on individual patients and who are committed to transferring scientific knowledge to 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 required to participate at the cutting edge of translational medical research. In accordance with the major research emphases in our Faculty, students can choose to specialise 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 produce excellent young researchers equipped with the combination of scientific and medical knowledge and skills required to contribute successfully to the future of translational medical research.

Career perspectives

The growing importance of translational medical research is recognized by a number of international research organizations and has also been repeatedly emphasised by national organisations such as the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft = German Research Foundation) and by the European Union.

MScTMR graduates will therefore have attractive academic career prospects, for example at/in

  • basic molecular and medical research centres
  • interdisciplinary translational Comprehensive Cancer Centres
  • clinical study centres and teaching hospitals
  • biotech and pharmaceutical industries

Course structure

The core curriculum covers the following themes:

  • research management and scientific conduct
  • epidemiology and applied biostatistics
  • molecular biology
  • cell biology and genetics
  • physiology
  • 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, currently each student is required to choose a pre-defined set of electives directly linked to selected research focuses of our Faculty. Please note that as the MSc programmes at the Medical Faculty Mannheim are currently being re-structured, this may be subject to change. At present, we offer the following three specialisations:

molecular oncology, neurobiology, vascular medicine.

The programme is structured into four compact teaching modules, followed by a period of individual research work and the subsequent completion of a thesis, as described below.

The first coursework module includes a basic laboratory course and lectures and seminars on good laboratory practice. Tutorials on literature research and critical analysis of scientific literature precede the writing of an extended essay in the form of a referenced review article. Further two separate introductory modules are offered to students with different backgrounds. Students with a medical background will take the module that covers aspects of molecular and cellular biology including basic laboratory techniques, while students with a science background will take a module that introduces them to the basics of clinical medicine. Expected learning time is equivalent to two weeks of full-time study.

The second coursework module consists of six weeks of taught courses that provide the students with a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular background of medical disorders. Several hands-on laboratory courses complement the theoretical basis. One additional week is reserved for the final preparation of projects, written assignments and exams.

The third coursework module builds on the foundations established in the second module. Here, students gain an insight into disease processes ranging from their molecular and cellular basis to their clinical pathologies. A problem-based learning approach is used to deepen the topic. In this module students start an extended key competences project which includes the writing of a grant, reviewing of other students’ grants and a final presentation of the grant after module four. Parallel to the courses in this module students embark on their first individual five-week research project. This is again followed by one week for revision and exam preparation. 

The fourth and final coursework module 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. Lectures on drug design and clinical studies as well as a tutorial on ethics approval supplement the courses on translational medicine. Students complement their laboratory experience with a second five-week research project in a different laboratory. As with the previous coursework modules, the fourth module consists of six teaching weeks, plus one week for the final preparations for exams.

The fifth module is scheduled within the modules two to four and deals with each module’s topics in relation to the elective subject chosen by each student, molecular oncology, neurobiology or vascular medicine.

The sequence of the modules allows for full-time study from early September to the end of February (one term) so as to complete the taught modules in a concentrated manner. Part-time students can spread the modules over two years (modules 1 and 2 taken in the first year, modules 3 and 4 in the second).

Thesis (25 ECTS)

After successfully completing the taught part of the program, students move on to the research work for their final thesis. This project is designed to enhance students’ ability to independently discern a research issue that is both relevant and substantial, choose the methodology for dealing with it, and gauge the impact of the findings at a practical and policy-related level. To make this a fruitful learning experience, students are systematically guided throughout the work on their thesis by an academic tutor.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning mainly takes place in interactive seminars (max. 25 students) and through group/individual learning assignments. Up-to-date, keynote lectures supplement the student-centred learning approach of the programme. Sufficient work space and largely unrestricted access to the relevant literature (UMM library) support the progress of individual learning.

Coursework revolves around (a) problem- and case-based learning activities and (b) practical laboratory classes designed to develop the skills required for translational medical research.

In the course of these learning activities, the students gain in self-confidence and professionalism by presenting and defending their ideas and views to critical audiences and by listening closely to arguments and perspectives put forward by others.


Assessment of student achievement takes place throughout the course. During the taught part of the programme, it takes the form of written in-class exams, group projects, oral presentations and individual take-home assignments. The thesis and the final oral exam are the last of these assessments. To qualify for the M.Sc. degree, a pass mark is required for each part of the programme.


The setting: Focus on Research/Teaching

Heidelberg University was founded more than 600 years ago (in 1386) and is the oldest university in Germany. Today, as in the past, Heidelberg is a leading institution for research and teaching in Europe. It has two medical faculties on separate campuses, one in Heidelberg and one in nearby Mannheim, both offering innovative courses of study.

At the Mannheim Medical Campus, M.Sc.-level courses specialising in health-related fields, such as the MScTMR, are offered in addition to clinical medical training. These programmes aim to attract graduate students from various subjects with a view to forming interdisciplinary teams and fostering mutual learning. Selected, highly qualified medical students may be admitted to an M.Sc.-level course in their 4th and 5th years of study, continuing with their medical studies and 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 programme encompassing both teaching and research activities. 

Cooperation partners

The international connectivity of the M.Sc. programme in Translational Medical Research links it with leading institutions in research, education and industry, a fact that contributes greatly to the development of a diverse, globally engaged medical research community.

Formal requirements

Admission prerequisites

As the MSc programmes at the Medical Faculty Mannheim are currently being re-structured, we ask you to please check back in early 2017 for more information. The language of instruction is English. Students whose mother tongue is not English must furnish evidence of proficiency in that language, usually by certification of an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent TOEFL score. Exemption from this requirement may be granted to students who have completed their prior education in English (written proof required with application). (Institutional TOEFL code number for Medical Faculty Mannheim at Heidelberg University: 6446)


Application deadline: 15 April for the course starting in early September the same year.

As the MSc programmes at the Medical Faculty Mannheim are currently being re-structured, we ask you to please check back for more information in early 2017.

Module Handbook

Further information concerning the programme structure can be found in the Module HandbookAdobe. Please note that this Module Handbook can only be seen as an orientation as the MSc programme structure is due to change for the 2017/18 term. Please check back for more information and an updated handbook in early 2017.

Tuition Fees

As the MSc programmes at the Medical Faculty Mannheim are currently being re-structured, we ask you to please check back in early 2017. 

Contact and academic advisor

Dr. Susanne Hausselt
Centrum für Biomedizin und Medizintechnik (CBTM)
Ludolf-Krehl-Str. 13-17
D – 68167 Mannheim

Administration office

Anja Käppele
Centrum für Biomedizin und Medizintechnik (CBTM)
Ludolf-Krehl-Str. 13-17
D – 68167 Mannheim

phone: +49(0) 621 3839954
fax: +49(0) 621 3839961


Seitenbearbeiter: E-Mail
Letzte Änderung: 15.08.2016