Biomedical engineering, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

With a growing need for improvement in the quality of life, and global average life expectancy rapidly rising, there is an increasing demand for efficient health care systems. Combining the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with medical and biological science​, biomedical engineering improves health care delivery and medical practice by closing the gap between engineering and medicine. Apply now Together with advancements within IT, a new world of possibilities in how health care can be improved and delivered is evolving.

Biomedical engineering master's​ programme at Chalmers

The overall aim of the master's programme is to provide an internationally competitive education and to prepare you for a professional career, by providing in-depth knowledge in biomedical engineering. The programme prepares you for using engineering skills to improve health care delivery and medical practice. Even if the focus is on biomedical engineering, you will also acquire a good platform for working in related engineering disciplines.

The future of health care will simply require technical expertise. Examples of research areas and applications where biomedical engineering is needed are for example stroke detection and brain monitoring in neurointensive care using microwave technology. Another example is microwave tomography for 3D breast tumour detection and visualization and microwave hypothermia for treating head and neck cancer. Furthermore, clothing incorporated textile-based sensors are used to record electrical activity from the heart, brain, or muscles, for monitoring in homecare and other distance settings. An area also in need of biomedical engineers is Health Informatics, where health care practice is supported by electronic processes and communication.



The compulsory part of the programme provides a common platform within biomedical engineering. Through internationally recognized researchers, projects, guest lectures and a tight collaboration with industry, you will be part of a highly prominent research environment. For you to gain the required proficiency and depth in the area for a Master's degree, a number of elective courses are offered.


In general, the educational methods have a specific emphasis on building and refining problem-solving skills, teamwork, and presentation skills. In the programme, you also get the opportunity to interact with health care representatives via guest lectures and study visits. The Master’s thesis gives you training in individual research, project planning, documentation and presentation.​

Topics covered

The subjects of medical image technology, electronics and signal processing are fundamental areas in the Biomedical engineering master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as healthcare informatics and traffic safety.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of compulsory courses, compulsory elective courses and elective courses. During the first year, the master' s programme provides a general interdisciplinary base of medical and biomedical qualified engineering skills. These general skills are then extended in the application-oriented specializations in the second year. 


Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with six compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Biomedical engineering. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. ​

  • Medicine for the engineer
  • Biomedical instrumentation
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Applied signal processing
  • Image analysis
  • Health

Compulsory elective courses

During year 1 you need to select at least 2 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate. ​​

  • Statistical interference
  • Databases
  • Tissue engineering
  • Computational electromagnetics
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Impact biomechanics
  • Cell and tissue interaction with biomaterials
  • Applied mechatronics design

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice. 

  • Development of medical devices
  • Master’s thesis​

Specialization tracks

Depending on how you select and combine your courses, you can pursue a specialization of your interest and tailor your education towards a certain application area. To guide you through the selection of courses, the master's programme offers six suggested specialization tracks within: Image, Health Informatics, Signals and control, Automotive, Biomaterial, and Biotechnical Physics.

Profile track: Image

The importance of imaging systems and image analysis has grown rapidly in the biomedical field, as well as in many other applications. Some core parts of this track are already covered by the compulsory courses in the programme, but additional elective courses are available in this important track.

  • Image processing
  • Introduction to communication engineering
  • Adv. topics in biomedical engineering
  • Materials in medicine
  • Spectroscopy
  • Statistical image analysis

Compulsory elective courses

  • Databases
  • Diagnostic imaging​

Profile track: Health Informatics

The demand for using modern information and communication technologies has been growing rapidly due to the increasing use of information systems for acquisition and application of patients’ medical data. This field has a great potential when it comes to making efficient use of health care services in both acute and more ordinary situations.

  • Image processing
  • Introduction to communication engineering
  • Adv. topics in biomedical engineering
  • Engineering of automotive systems
  • Linear control system design
  • Human computer interaction

Compulsory elective courses

  • Databases
  • Diagnostic imaging

Profile track: Signals and Control

This track is for students who want to specialize in biomedical signal processing. Many diagnostic tools generate all kinds of signals as an output, which must be handled and analyzed correctly. A skill which can also be applied in many other engineering fields.
  • Image processing
  • Introduction to communication engineering
  • Adv. topics in biomedical engineering
  • Discrete event systems
  • Linear control systems design
  • Digital communications
  • Model predictive control
  • Model-based development of cyber physical system
Compulsory elective courses
  • Applied mechatronics design
  • Diagnostic imaging

Profile track: Automotive

Biomedical engineering aspects are important in the design of modern vehicles, both to protect drivers and passengers in the event of an accident, and to be able to treat injuries efficiently on site.
  • Image processing
  • Introduction to communication engineering
  • Adv. topics in biomedical engineering
  • Engineering of automotive systems
  • Active safety
  • Vehicle and traffic safety
  • Linear control system design
  • Vehicle dynamics
Compulsory elective courses
  • Impact biomechanics
  • Diagnostic imaging

Profile track: Biomaterial

Modern techniques for rehabilitation of handicapped or injured patients often use implantable materials and devices. A set of relevant courses are selected to cover parts of this area. This track is intended for students with a background in molecular and/or cellular biology.
  • Adv. topics in biomedical engineering
  • Food chemistry
  • Materials in medicine
  • Biological materials
  • Biological and biotechnical physics
  • Nutrition, health and sustainable diets
Compulsory elective courses
  • Tissue engineering
  • Cell and tissue interaction with biomaterials
  • Diagnostic imaging

Profile track: Biotechnical Physics

This track focuses on the physical principles behind different methods for diagnosis and treatment of patients. 
  • Image processing
  • Discrete event systems
  • Spectroscopy
  • Materials in medicine
  • Adv. topics in biomedical engineering
  • Linear control system design
  • Biological and biotechnical physics 
Compulsory elective courses
  • Diagnostic imaging

Master's thesis

The Master’s degree is completed with a master’s thesis project. There are two possibilities: i) A 30 ECTS credit thesis, which can be conducted within a company or within one of our research divisions. ii) Alternatively, a 60 ECTS credit thesis can be pursued in one of our research divisions,and is intended for students interested in a research and development oriented job in industry or in a research lab, or potentially interested in pursuing a PhD degree afterwards. Master’s thesis projects will also be available at international universities or companies.

Programme content in detail, including syllabus and description of the courses​

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Sustainable development 

The programme is highly interlinked with the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). The table below provides an overview of the sustainable development goals and the associated targets within the programme.

SDGS for Biomedical Engineering msc at Chalmers



Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
Students and teachers are actively engaged in projects aimed to improving prehospital acute care for traffic injuries (target 3.6). The programme track “Health informatics” is designed to support future health care practice by electronic processes and communication, with the aim to achieve universal health coverage (target 3.8). 

Students and teachers in the program are actively involved in research activities on home health monitoring for early warning and intervention of health risks (target 3.D). The programme track “Biomaterial” includes several courses relevant to healthy food and diets, such as Food chemistry, nutrition,  health  and  sustainable  diets . One  of  the  objectives  is  to  deliver  important  knowledge,  contributing  to  illness  and  death reduction due to hazardous chemicals and unhealthy diets (target 3.9).

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
In the programme track “Signals and control”, students learn how to integrate health sensors/embedded systems into infrastructures, creating smart houses. They analyze possibilities and identify threats/challenges of cyber-physical systems to the public society.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
In the programme track “Biomaterial”, students learn about the chemical changes of food during different stages. They study the tissue/human body reaction to different biomaterial. They also learn and discuss the inter-relationships between climate change, environment, food security and sustainability. The study promotes their ability and awareness for responsible management of different types of chemicals and medicine waste in practice, not only for themselves, but also in helping and instructing others.​

Career

Biomedical engineers can be employed by manufacturers of medical equipment, health care providers, biomedical engineering divisions at hospitals, research departments and laboratories, consultant companies, and other industrial sectors, for consumer products where biomedical aspects are of importance. Examples of possible employers are: Dentsply, Elekta, Getinge, Mölnlycke Health Care, Surgical Science, Nobel Biocare, Integrum, St. Jude Medical, Cochlear, Ortivus, Oticon Medical, Micropos, Monivent, Medfield, Qbtech, Volvo, Autoliv, Osstell, Oticon, Ray Search, and RTI Group.

As a student, you will gain general engineering skills at a level that is competitive within virtually any branch of industry. In addition, the programme also qualifies you for postgraduate studies. If you are interested in a future within research and development, you have the possibility of completing an extended Master’s thesis project of 60 ECTS credits.

Research ​within Biomedical engineering

Chalmers has a history of long lasting collaboration between national and international hospitals and the biomedical industry, making Chalmers a perfect choice if you want to pursue this rapidly evolving field of interdisciplinary science. Offering a potent research environment, Chalmers is also part of MedTech West, which is run in collaboration with Region Västra Götaland and Sahlgrenska University hospital, amongst others.

The department of Electrical Engineering hosts researchers who are internationally recognized within their respective fields. For example, Chalmers is world leading in developing bone anchored hearing aids and has highly prominent research in e.g. neural signal control of prosthetics, microwave tomography and hyperthermia treatment of cancer. Furthermore, the world's first osseo-integrated and thought-controlled robotic arm was developed at Chalmers.

Department of Electrical Engineering

Student interview

I love that we get to work with actual doctors”​
Nathaly, Ecuador, Biomedical engineering

Why did you choose this programme?
– Since I started my bachelor, I was certain that I wanted to relate electronics with medicine. Those are my passions and I think it can be really interesting and helpful to develop something within this area. Later, I also enrolled in medicine-related courses and this enhanced my desire to go further into this field. After seeing how many ongoing projects Chalmers has available in this area, I knew this was the right place for me.

What have you been working on?
– In the first study period we developed our own electrocardiograph, so we build our circuit from scratch and then went to the lab to see my cardiac waves, how cool is that? Of course, we had every possible measure at the lab to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in these times. The assignments they give us are challenging and related to our field, so it is always exciting to work on them. Now I am doing a research project on cochlear implants, which is really exciting because it is something that can help people, with certain type of deafness, to hear!

What do you like the most about your programme?
– I love being involved with actual medical doctors in our Medicine for Engineers class. It is exciting to learn about the human body and be able to ask them questions directly. The other thing I enjoy is the diversity we have in this major. There are so many tracks available and we have the possibility to work not only within our background, but also to learn from others when we are part of a team. This has given me a wide view of different fields so I can choose the track that fits my interests.

What do you want to do in the future?
– There are a lot of opportunities in developing research in the biomedical field in Sweden. I would love to be part of brain-related research team, and I have found some places and entities that are currently working in that area. I am also considering going back to my country Ecuador, once I’ve gained the experience, to share what I have learned and help in the development of the field and systems there.

​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Mon 18 Oct 2021.