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Medical Informatics

Degree: Master of Science
Application mandatory
Course start: winter semester/summer semester
Course duration: 4 semesters
Form of course: full-time / part-time
Language requirements:  
Language of instruction: English and German
Other: postgraduate / consecutive


Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University / Faculty of Informatics of Heilbronn University

Medical Informatics scientists have been trained since 1972 in the context of cooperation between the universities of Heidelberg and Heilbronn. The course is recognised as being one of the best of its kind at an international level.

Course outline

Our society is increasingly challenged by the need to provide efficient, individualised and affordable medical care. Accordingly, if we are to keep up with medical progress and promote technological and organisational innovation, modern information technologies are urgently needed. The interface between medicine, information science and society involves any number of varied, fascinating and responsible assignments and, at the same time, calls for a large number of well-trained and qualified experts. 

The interdisciplinary field of Medical Informatics is multi-faceted and encompasses both methodological developments and software engineering for diagnosis and treatment. It also promotes simulation and modelling for increasingly individualised medical care and the development of new procedures in the areas of e-health and telemedicine. The evaluation of genetic data via bioinformatics is becoming increasingly more important and is now one of the core topics in the course, along with the planning and evaluation of clinical studies, data management and the evaluation of new care strategies and communication technologies in the health system.

Training goals

The overall aim of the course is to enable students to acquire and deepen their knowledge of the front-edge scientific methods employed in Medical Informatics and to apply those methods in solving problems arising in different areas of medicine and the health-care system. This involves making relevant and effective use of them in care, treatment and diagnosis as well as in research. Furthermore, graduates should be in a position to develop new methods and procedures for dealing with special issues and to critically assess their effectiveness and efficiency.

University education and training equips successful graduates with all the skills required to take on responsible positions in research, development and management in companies, hospitals and universities.

After successful completion of the course, students can embark on independent doctoral research (comparable to a PhD programme).

Course structure

Students of Medical Informatics are enrolled at both Heidelberg University and the University of Heilbronn. The benefits of the higher-education context and the quality of university training are obvious. The two universities are located in attractive surroundings on the Neckar River and offer a broad range of cultural, sports and leisure activities.

The M.Sc. in Medical Informatics normally takes four semesters and comprises seven compulsory and four elective components:


Figure with contents of the subject Medical Informatics


In the third semester, two out of four elective modules are selected for deeper study. The fourth semester is devoted to the M.Sc. thesis on a topical issue in Medical Informatics. The thesis complies with scientific standards and is done under supervision. The choice of topic may come either from institutions of the University of Heilbronn or from the whole scientific context of the University of Heidelberg, with its various cooperating institutions such as the University Hospital, the Theoretikum of the Medical Faculty, the German Cancer Research Centre (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and BIOQUANT.

For further details on the structure and content of the M.Sc. in Medical Informatics go to the website or consult the Examination Regulations and the Module Handbook (both only available in German).

Study Abroad

In its research and teaching, the course cooperates not only with international companies but also with several other universities in Europe and abroad. This cooperation assures close contact between the content of the individual classes and ongoing progress in interdisciplinary research. Students benefit from this international cooperation, which enables them to take part of their course abroad, should they so wish.
Possibilities available:

  • attending lectures and taking examinations to gain ECTS credit points that are transferred to the M.Sc. programme in Medical Informatics
  • conducting a project countable in the Medical Informatics course as a research thesis

Some of our international partner universities:
Université Claude Bernard, Lyon (France); Northumbria University, Newcastle (United Kingdom); University of Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain); Harvard Medical School, Boston (USA); University of Washington, Seattle (USA); University of Minnesota (USA); Universidad de Chile (Chile)

Formal requirements


There is an access restriction and an admission restriction. Please consult the Admission Regulations (only available in German).

Closing date for applications

15 July for the winter semester
15 January for the summer semester

Application procedure

Applications must be addressed to the University of Heilbronn.
Current information on the application procedure

Further information

University of Heilbronn

15 students can be admitted per semester.

The prerequisites for admission to the M.Sc. in Medical Informatics at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Heilbronn are

  • an above-average degree in Medical Informatics as a main or joint course (Bachelor or Diplom) or an equivalent course, notably in computer science (e.g. bioinformatics, medical technology, computer engineering or applied computer science)
  • possession of a university degree from a course lasting at least three academic years

For recognition of their degree as “above-average”, students are required to produce at least one of the following documents required:

  • either a final grade of at least “good” (ECTS grade ”B”)
  • or two letters of recommendation, ideally from professors at the university where the first degree was taken,
  • plus indication of the grade scale in the final examinations (ranking)

The Admissions Committee decides on the equivalence of previous education and the comparability of degrees. For recognition of international degrees, the recommendations of the Conference of Education Ministers and university partnership agreements must be taken into account. In cases of doubt, the Central Office for International Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen, ZAB) will be consulted.

Further information

Examination regulations

M.Sc. (23 May 2016) (only available in German)
M.Sc. (12 October 2006, amended 11. December 2012)  (only available in German)

Module Handbook

The module handbook (in German language) provides an overview of all modules in the master program medical informatics.

More detailed information about all modules and courses you can find in the extended module handbook (also in German).

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


A contribution must be paid to the Student Services organisation, and there is an administrative charge to pay to Heilbronn University.

Academic advisors

The following instructors will be happy to give you further details and personal advice on the M.Sc. in Medical Informatics.

Christian Haux, M.Sc.
Heidelberg University
Institute of Medical Biometry und Informatics
office hours: by arrangement
phone: +49 (0)6221 56-7634

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexandra Reichenbach
Heilbronn University
Faculty of Informatics
office hours: by arrangement
phone: +49 (0) 7131 504 397


Heidelberg University

Institute of Medical Biometry und Informatics
Department of Medical Informatics
Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.3
D-69120 Heidelberg

phone: +49 (0)6221 567483
fax: +49 (0)6221 56-4997

University of Heilbronn

Faculty of Informatics
Medical Informatics
Max-Planck-Str. 39
D-74081 Heilbronn

phone: +49 (0)7131 504-416
fax: +49 (0)7131 252-470


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Latest Revision: 2019-02-13
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