Medical Faculty HeidelbergMedical Biometry (Biostatistics)

Medical biometry (also known as Biostatistics) is the scientific modelling and analysis of quantifiable biomedical processes and phenomena. Students consider the planning and evaluation of empirical studies and the mathematical modelling of relationships in (biology and) medicine.

Medical biometry develops, implements and applies methods from statistics and mathematics to facilitate the extraction of new knowledge from medical data. Statistically valid interpretation of the results, and appropriate representation ensures that outcomes are made accessible within the relevant medical communities, and to the public. 

In order to successfully plan and conduct clinical research projects, Biometricians must possess not only methodical knowledge, but also comprehensive medical and cross-disciplinary knowledge, and the ability to combine these two scientific disciplines.

Special Features and Characteristics

The Master’s degree programme in Biometry / Biostatistics at Heidelberg University is intended to be studied on a part-time basis. The academic programme is strongly linked to students’ professional activities. Any tasks which students complete as part of paid employment during the course of study, which reflect the thematic content of the Master’s degree programme, are acknowledged via the allocation of credits.  

Lecturers at the Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics (Institut für Medizinische Biometrie und Informatik, IMBI) and all other lecturers in the subject area are selected experts in their fields across Germany and Europe. The Master’s degree programme in Medical Biometry / Biostatistics developed and organised by the IMBI at Heidelberg University is therefore a unique programme in Germany. 

Thanks to the systematic application of European requirements relating to the structure of degree programmes, the Master’s degree programme complies with international standards. The degree programme is therefore equivalent to similar courses offered by universities across Europe, and enables students to gain a university degree which is recognised throughout Europe. Completion of the degree programme affords students certification in  “Biometry in Medicine”, from the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie, GMDS). This certificate is accepted by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, BfArM) and the European Medicines Agency as proof of identity for Biometricians.

Research

The Department for Biometry at the Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics has a long and comprehensive history of developing biostatistical methods, of offering consultancy, as well as planning, conducting and evaluating patient-orientated research projects. Research at the Institute focusses on meta-analyses, statistical genetics, statistical modelling, biometry in clinical studies, as well as adaptive designs, calculation and recalculation of case numbers, and multiple level designs for phase 2 studies.

Occupational Areas

Academically trained biometricians are in great demand around the world and particularly in Germany, where needs are not currently being met. The demand for biometricians also exceeds supply in a number of EU countries. 

Biometricians might find employment: 

  • in the pharmaceutical industry 
  • in university clinics and hospitals where they might supervise clinical studies 
  • in university and clinical research institutions  
  • for service providers for clinical studies, the coordination Centre for Clinical Trials (Koordinierungszentrum für Klinische Studien, KKS) 
  • for a contract research organization (CRO) 
  • in the medical technology industry 
  • in health and supervisory bodies (e.g. BfArM, EMA) 
  • in companies responsible for quality assurance in clinical studies (e.g. The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare, IQWiG)

Insights

I chose medical biometry in order to follow my passion of conducting translational research.

Maximilian Knoll, 29, Medical Biometry, 3rd semester Master

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