M.Sc. Translational Medicine (TRANSMED)

University of Helsinki | Helsinki, Finland
The goal of TRANSMED is to train students coming from multiple disciplines to pursue successful careers in research and application of translational medicine. From the students the interdisciplinary nature of TRANSMED requires dedication and good study skills.
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Description of Translational Medicine (TRANSMED)

Translational medicine aims to facilitate new therapies and medical procedures by implementing the findings in basic research in patient care, and by applying clinical data in basic research. This requires understanding of both science and medicine.

We welcome dedicated applicants from various disciplines, including but not limited to natural or life sciences, engineering etc. Both hard work and excellent study skills are required from all students.

In TRANSMED, students will learn to

  • understand medical sciences and clinical practice from the point of view of a researcher
  • utilize up-to-date research methodologies
  • comprehend and respect the regulations and ethical aspects of biomedical and clinical research
  • develop their ability for scientific reasoning and critical analysis of scientific literature
  • communicate in English with both scientist and clinicians and master both scientific and medical terminology

After completion of their Master of Science degree in Translational Medicine the students are eligible and strongly encouraged to apply to the several PhD training programmes within the Faculty of Medicine, or in other Faculties and Universities.


Translational medicine bridges the gap between basic sciences and their application to human disease - from bench to bedside and back. This is accomplished by exploiting laboratory discoveries to develop new therapies or medical procedures as well as using patient data and samples in laboratory investigations.

Career Prospects

After completion of their Master of Science degree in Translational Medicine the students are eligible and strongly encouraged to apply to the several PhD training programmes within the Faculty of Medicine or elsewhere for academic research careers. The degree will also enable the graduates to pursue careers in biotech or pharmaceutical industry or in governmental agencies.

During their studies, the students have a possibility to include in their curriculum courses in career orientation and doctoral training, which are arranged by TRANSMED.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January
Tuition fee
  • Free (EEA)

The University of Helsinki does not charge tuition fees. The only obligatory fee is for the Student Union membership (90 to 100 euro per year). However, you should be aware that Erasmus Mundus programmes (Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry; Economy, State and Society;

Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
  • English
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Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

The scope of the TRANSMED programme is 120 ECTS. Completion within 2 years requires intensive, full-time studies.

All degrees in the University of Helsinki include a ICT driving licence (3 ECTS). If the student has not completed this in UH, he/she should include the ICT driving licence as supplementary studies (credits are not included in the MSc in Translational medicine degree).

General studies (3 ECTS) include Academic writing and the personal study plan.

Optional studies (8-16 ECTS) can be chosen according to personal interest and background. These studies may include additional training in a research group. The optional studies may also include max. 6 ECTS of introductory basic studies for those students who do not have any prior studies in the fields of biological or biomedical sciences.

Major subject studies (102-108 ECTS) cover three different themes:

Communication skills are practiced in several oral presentations, group discussions, poster presentations, essays etc. There are also specialized courses on reading and writing of scientific articles and theses and for seminar presentations.

Research skills are developed throughout the curriculum. These include introduction to current methodologies both on separate courses in the fields of proteomics and metabolomics, microarray and sequencing technologies, imaging applications, bioinformatics and statistics, and during a training period in a research group. Research ethics and the special demands in clinical investigation are also covered. In the final examination, the student must present a research (grant) proposal both orally and in writing to two expert examiners.

Human disease is studied starting from normal human physiology and anatomy. Further studies are arranged in disease-specific blocks which cover the aetiology, pathophysiology, therapy and research on the selected topics, and are supported by courses on medical genetics, pharmacology, laboratory medicine and pathology. These studies are completed by the clinical rounds, during which each student is deep-studying selected patient cases in hospital wards under supervision of a clinician mentor.

Master's thesis (40 ECTS) is an essential part of the Major subject studies and consists of both research and written work completed as part of studies in TRANSMED. The aim is to learn independent research work, information retrieval skills, the critical assessment of sources and research results, and academic writing. An independently produced Master's thesis demonstrates the student's ability to scientific thinking and to the use of the appropriate research methods relevant to the topic of the thesis. The thesis is written in English.

Requirements for Translational Medicine (TRANSMED)

The applicants must hold at least a Bachelor's degree or equivalent at a university or an institution of higher education in natural or life sciences, biomedicine or some other corresponding field by 31 July 2015. Degrees higher than a Bachelor degree are not regarded as an additional merit.

The student selection is based on a two-phase selection process.

Phase 1: All eligible applications will be evaluated and scored based on the following criteria:

  • the content and the suitability of the Bachelor's degree or equivalent (40%), including the grades of the Bachelor's degree or equivalent with reference to the academic level of the institution of education
  • the motivation letter by the applicant (40%)
  • and the letter of recommendation (20%). If the application includes more than one recommendation letter, only one randomly selected recommendation will be included in the evaluation.

Phase 2: a maximum of 25 applicants with the highest application scores will be invited to an on-line interview. The e-mail invitations with interview schedules and instructions will be sent by 30 March 2015. Applicants should have a Skype ID and a possibility for an on-line interview. A head-set is strongly recommended. The interviews will be conducted during 7 April - 15 April 2015 by two members of the selection committee. The interviewed applicants will be ranked both for admission and for reserve list positions on the basis of their application (80%) and interview (20%) scores.

Work Experience for Translational Medicine (TRANSMED)

No work experience is required.

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