Objectives and competences
The master's degree in Biomedical Engineering provides advanced training in various aspects of the discipline. It provides the foundations for academic or professional specialization and an introduction to applied research. Essentially, the course is designed to complement and reinforce the training of graduates in biomedical engineering.
Biomedical Engineering is generally defined as the discipline addressing the application of electrical, mechanical, chemical or other principles to the understanding, modification and control of biological systems and to the design and manufacturing of products for monitoring biological functions in diagnostic and treatment applications. These essential aspects of health technologies and medical products are outlined in corresponding European guidelines and the legislation of all developed countries.
The significant medical developments of the second half of the twentieth century would not have been possible without new technologies and advanced techniques, which have been used to find solutions to social and medical problems related to diseases and disabilities, to examine the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of these solutions; to manage resources, and to improve communication and information systems in the field of healthcare.
The overall concept of socio-sanitary technology is broad-reaching and relates to any form of technological innovation applied to health services and to improving the quality of healthcare available to the general population.
The accurate selection and skilled application of health technologies, coupled with rigorous scientific research, technological development and innovation (R&D&I), is therefore a fundamental tool not only for improving the health, welfare and quality of life of the population but also for optimizing the social return on investment in this field.
Objectives and competences
The master's degree in Biomedical Engineering is designed to offer postgraduate training in a number of areas:
- Design, manufacture, evaluation, marketing, installation and maintenance in relation to health services and products, and the operation of medical equipment.
- Preparation for research in a particular field of biomedical engineering.
Experts in biomedical engineering must be able to respond to engineering problems that arise in the fields of biology and medicine. For this reason, this programme includes a technical-scientific component as well as a practical technology component, in addition to general training in the basic disciplines of medicine.
Upon completion of the course, successful students will be able to:
- display an implicit capacity for original thinking in the development or application of ideas, in a research context;
- apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts;
- tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the associated social and ethical responsibilities;
- communicate knowledge, theories and conclusions to specialists and non-specialists in a clear and unambiguous manner;
- display a capacity for on-going self-directed and independent learning.
Students will also be able to:
- communicate, present and write scientific papers in the field of biomedical engineering in Catalan, Spanish and English;
- understand, anticipate and assume social, professional and ethical responsibility derived from applying knowledge and formulating judgements.
With regard to the specific applications of the curriculum, students will be able to:
- display a capacity to manage the bibliographic resources, documentation, legislation, databases and software applications specific to biomedical engineering;
- identify, understand and utilise the principles of sensors, conditioners and signal acquisition systems, monitoring, diagnosis and therapy;
- compare, classify and understand the elements of microsystems, nanobioengineering, biomechanics and biomaterials;
- prove experimentally the validity of theoretical models of appliances, devices, machines and systems specific to biomedical engineering;
- analyse and interpret signals and images as required in the field of biomedicine;
- identify, understand and use the principles relating to information and communication systems in healthcare;
- identify requirements in the organization of medical engineering and safety services in hospitals and health centres;
- analyse the biomedical engineering market;
- assess and address the needs for technology transfer and innovation, patents and entrepreneurial culture in the field of biomedical engineering;
- identify the technology and healthcare industries, healthcare centres and procedures required for carrying out research and development in the field of biomedical engineering;
- identify, formulate and solve complex problems in biomedical engineering;
- display the capacity for innovation and research in the development of new lines of action, products, processes and projects in the fields of industrial and biomedical engineering;
- create mathematical models for complex systems and processes in the field of biomedical engineering.
Applicant profile and access requirements
Recommended applicant profile
The master's degree in Biomedical Engineering is primarily addressed to graduates in biomedical engineering, but is also open to students from other academic backgrounds, subject to completion of the necessary bridging courses. Applicants should have a solid understanding of physics, chemistry and mathematics, as well as a good working knowledge of English and user-level IT skills.
Access requirements and conditions
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:
- Official Spanish university degree.
- A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
- A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.
Since this master's degree is addressed to graduates in biomedical engineering, these students will not be required to complete additional bridging courses and will be given priority in the admission process.
The master's degree is also open to holders of bachelor's degrees, pre-EHEA degrees or engineering qualifications in the field of physics. These students are required to complete bridging courses with a total study load of 30 credits, to ensure that they have the basic knowledge for the main master's degree curriculum. Students with an academic background in other fields may also be admitted, at the discretion of the Coordination Committee.
The pre-registration period for the academic year 2024-2025: February 1 - June 21.
- Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
- Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.
Of the qualifications that grant access to the master's programme the following give priority access:
1. Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering.
2. Engineering degree courses, bachelor's degrees and pre-EHEA degrees in physics.
3. Bachelor's degrees and pre-EHEA degrees of different fields.
Holders of degrees in other subject areas should seek specific authorization from the Coordination Committee.
Resolution of admissions takes into account the individual profile of each applicant. The Coordination Committee considers each application on the basis of the following merits:
a) Degree qualification and academic record (80%).
b) Professional experience (15%).
c) Accredited English language skills at level B1 or equivalent (5%).
Professional experience must be accredited, especially in the case of experience in research centres, hospitals and industrial roles related to the field of bioengineering.
Bridging courses, with a study load of thirty credits, will be assigned on the basis of each student's specific academic profile and experience.
Notifications relating to the admission process will be sent by email and standard mail. These will specify the documentation required to complete registration and the procedure to be followed, especially for students from abroad.
The Master's Degree Committee is responsible for the selection process. Applicants shall be notified of the decision.
As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned
Subjects and course plans
Distribution of credits
List of subjects
Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.
Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record. There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.
What can you work on ?
The three areas of professional application for biomedical engineering are industry, healthcare, and research, development and innovation.
In the industrial sector, based on the structure presented in the White Paper for the field of medical devices, published in 2001 by the Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies, with the support of the ministries of Science and Technology and Health and Consumption, the main sub-sectors that show a demand for biomedical engineering professionals are:
- In vitro diagnostics
- Cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery and pain treatment
- Implants for orthopedic surgery and traumatology
- Single-use medical devices
- Health services
- Dental technology
- Optics and ophthalmology
According to Medistat data, of the 800 public hospitals in Spain, only 250 employ technical staff that fulfil the majority of maintenance tasks. The acquisition, maintenance, operation and rationalization of technology, strongly associated with increased efficiency and improved quality of care, are tasks generally distributed among numerous staff members (managers, department heads and various health personnel). Furthermore, standard training is generally provided by the sales staff of product distributors.
In this environment, Biomedical Engineering graduates with the knowledge and skills to define optimum policies for the specific requirements of individual healthcare centres will have a key role to play in simplifying and improving the current situation.
Research, development and innovation
New graduates in Biomedical Engineering are required to join internationally renowned research groups at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and in university centres. The master's programme is designed to match the scientific sector's demands for research, development and innovation.
Scientific activity in biomedical engineering is grouped, in accordance with industry journals and conferences, in the following major areas: bioelectronics, biomaterials, biomechanics, biosystems, biomedical imaging, nanobioengineering, biomedical signals and medical technology.
Access to the labour market
Data from the university system in Catalonia