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Medical Biometry/Biostatistics

Degree Master of Science
Application mandatory
Course commences winter semester only
Course duration 4 semesters
Format options career-integrated only
Language requirements German (international Students)
Language of instruction German, English
Other features postgraduate studies / continuing education
Tuition fees EUR 3,000 per semester

Medical Faculty Heidelberg


Course outline

To plan and conduct medical research projects successfully, biometricians need not only methodological skills but also a sound knowledge of medicine and various other fields, plus the ability to collate these skills efficiently. Worldwide there is a very large demand for academically trained biometricians, a demand that cannot be satisfied in Germany at present for lack of appropriate basic training courses. The same is truer of other EU counties, although most of them lay on degree courses (the graduates of which are mostly referred to as biostatisticians).

In Germany it was a logical consequence of the Bologna process to transform the only existing postgraduate university course in Medical Biometry into a part-time M.Sc. programme. It satisfies European requirements regarding the structuring and modularisation of courses and the systematic implementation of these rules in curriculum planning. Accordingly, the programme is fully in line with international standards. The part-time degree course in Medical Biometry/Biostatistics is a competitive contender on the European university marketplace and the qualifications it bestows on its graduates are recognised Europe-wide. Successful graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science (M.Sc.).

The degree programme covers the theoretical part of the GMDS certificate “Biometrie in der Medizin” (Biometry in Medicine) This certificate is a proof of qualification for responsible biostatisticians in approval studies and is accepted by BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) and EMEA.

Course structure

Medical Biometry/Biostatistics is a career-integrated M.Sc. course involving a total of 23 face-to-face lectures and seminars. The individual classes take place in blocks, from Thursday to Saturday. Attendance is compulsory. Each class ends with an examination.

The programme lasts four semesters, with seven to eight classes to attend in the first three semesters. The fourth semester is reserved for the M.Sc. thesis and the attendance of further alternating electives. 120 ECTS credit points are awarded for successful completion of the programme.

The part-time M.Sc. in Medical Biometry/Biostatistics started in the winter semester of 2006/2007 and is offered at two-year intervals. The precise procedures and deadlines for admission and application can be found on the website of the Insitute for Medical Biometry and Informatics.

Flyer for M.Sc. In Medical Biometry/Biostatistics

Curriculum (modules)

  • Biometry

Classes: Biometry I / Biometry II / Experimental Planning

This module contains four classes on biometric methods. Biometry I and Biometry II deal with the foundations of methodological theory and biometric models, linking the statistical knowledge required for the course with medical issues. The important aspect of study planning is deepened in the course on Experimental Planning. The course focuses on the description of procedures required when taking random samples and discusses various study designs.

  • Statistical Procedures

Classes: General Linear Models / Generalised Linear Models / Survival Time Analysis

This module takes a more analytic and searching look at the topics discussed in Biometry I and Biometry II. The aim is to acquaint the students with the various models and potential solutions for medical questions. Besides handling linear models, it focuses on Survival Time Analysis.

  • Studies module

Classes: Ethical, Regulatory and Statutory Requirements / Clinical Studies I and Clinical Studies II

This module links methodology with practical application in different study situations. It supplies students with the legal and ethical framework for professional action.

  • Data Management

Classes: Data Management I and Data Management II

This interdisciplinary module centres on skills in the practical handling of data in medical research projects and information flows in research networks (data structures, databases, data quality, data protection). Besides theoretical data models and approaches to data management, students learn a programming language (mainly SAS ® and R) for handling, checking and evaluating study data.

  • Epidemiology

Classes: Methodological Foundations of Epidemiologygy

This module deals with the methods used for detecting and rating risk factors operative in the emergence of diseases. The material is the counterpart to the Studies module, which concentrates on assessing the use of treatment in manifest diseases.

  • Medicine

Classes: Foundations of Medicine / Medical Specialisations I and II / Methods in Clinical Pharmacology

This module provides the medical background knowledge necessary for all the other modules. Besides Foundations of Medicine, two further classes deal with the theory of disease and main research areas of two clinical specialisations. Clinical Pharmacology sheds light on a further interdisciplinary field of application with special biometric methods.

  • In-Depth Study

The In-Depth Study module assembles various elective topics. Classes in this module can be replaced by additional classes from the fourth semester. These substitute classes differ from one run-through of the course to the next and are not specified here. The class Special Topics in Biometry is an introduction to specific aspects of biometry. The Multiplicity class deals with multiple issues, the problems they pose and the statistical solutions that suggest themselves. In the classes Diagnostic Studies and Preclinical Studies students are acquainted with studies on the evaluation of diagnostic tests and studies designed to clear up potential risks in the development of medicines. The Molecular Medicine class is a response to the growing significance of genetic approaches to diagnosis and therapy, Evidence-Based Medicine is an introduction to the procedures used in evidence-based medicine.

You can download the entire Module Handbook here


Formal requirements


Access to the course is restricted. Please consult the Admission Regulations here.

Closing date for applications

The course is offered every two years. The closing date for applications to the next course is 15 June 2020.

Application procedure

Applications must be addressed to the Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics.

Current information on procedure

Further information

Website of the Medical Faculty Heidelberg

Examination regulations

Examination regulations (22 July 2010)

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 indicated below.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the whole programme (4 semesters) total EUR 12,000. They are payable in four instalments of EUR 3,000 two weeks before the beginning of the relevant semester (final date). Addressee is the account of the Institute for Medical Biometry; a bank transfer slip will be sent out before the beginning of each semester.

Furthermore, a contribution must be paid to the student services organization and there is an administrative fee.

Further information is available on the website of the Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics.

Academic advisor

Dr. Marietta Kirchner

Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.3
12th floor, Office 315
phone: +49 (0)6221-56-7784
fax: +49 (0)6221-56-4195


Heidelberg University
Department of Medical Biometry at the Institute of
Medical Biometry and Informatics
Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.3
D-69120 Heidelberg

Contact person

Dr. Marietta Kirchner
Office hours: by arrangement

Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.3
12th floor, Office 315
phone: +49 (0)6221-56-7784
fax: +49 (0)6221-56-4195



Please note

Bremen University offers a full-time M.Sc. course in Medical Biometry/Biostatistics.
Contact: Dr. Stephan Kloep, Tel.: +49 (0)421-218-63797;

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Latest Revision: 2018-10-30
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