Master's Programme in Translational Medicine, Master of Science (2 years)

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Degree level
Master's degree
Start semester
2019 Autumn
Scope of studies and length
120 ECTS credits, 2 years
Language of instruction
Tuition fee per year (only non-EU/EEA citizens)
15000 €
Application period
3.12.2018 - 11.1.2019

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The aim of TRANSMED is to provide a solid basis for academic or non-academic careers in the health sector. Graduates are expected

  • To master scientific and medical terminologies and interdisciplinary communication
  • To understand medical sciences and translational research questions
  • To be familiar with up-to-date translational research methodologies
  • To acknowledge the regulatory and ethical aspects of translational research

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.

In TRANSMED, you can complete the full programme in English, which is the language of instruction in all our courses. When you graduate, you will receive a Diploma Supplement, which confirms that the degree has been completed in English.

If you wish to include optional studies in other programmes or abroad, 25% (30 ECTS) of studies in other languages can be included in the degree.

The TRANSMED studies are built upon three themes:

Research skills

The common studies include statistics and programming, bioinformatics, research ethics, and research design.  In your optional studies, you can select methodological courses such as proteomics, metabolomics, imaging, next generation sequencing etc. Apart from these, an obligatory part of every specialisation is a 10 ECTS hands-on learning period in a research group.

Studies in human disease

The courses range from biomedicine, including human physiology and anatomy, to more advanced studies covering topics pertinent to the specialist option. At the end of your studies, these studies are supplemented with clinical rounds, during which you have the opportunity to study selected patient cases in hospital wards, under the supervision of a clinician mentor.

Communication skills

Both written and oral communication skills are promoted throughout the curriculum. The courses utilise interactive approaches such as groupwork and team-based learning, student presentations and discussion. Learning diaries, essays, assignments and research article summaries are often organic parts of course assessment. Encounters with scientists, clinicians and students in other degree programmes enable you to practice and adopt interdisciplinary communication skills. At the end of the course of study, your communication skills will be evaluated in a Research Proposal Exam, during which you will orally present and defend your written research plan to expert examiners.

The selection of a specialisation is recommended to be done during your first study year.  The five specialisations are

Neuroscience and Psychobiology, in which you are expected

  • To acquire knowledge on research methodology and state-of-the-art information in systems and cognitive neuroscience, as well as in clinical neuropsychology
  • To learn to produce new scientific information in the fields of the psychobiology of human life, health and stress, and to transfer the results between basic research and clinical settings

Cancer, in which you are expected

  • To acquire basic knowledge of the principles of neoplastic growth, cancer progression and dissemination
  • To acquire a basic understanding of the interplay between different cell types during neoplastic growth
  • To acquire knowledge of major research methodologies and disease models in cancer biology

Regenerative Medicine, in which you are expected

  • To understand the principles of developmental and stem cell biology and regenerative pharmacology as the basis of regenerative therapies
  • To be familiar with the major technologies applied in regenerative medicine, including tissue engineering, cell and organ transplantation, and transplantation immunology
  • To understand the ethical principles of the clinical translation of basic research and the application of regenerative medicine therapies

Metabolic Disorders, in which you are expected

  • To be able to understand the basic metabolic pathways
  • To understand the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and obesity
  • To be able to use genetic knowledge as a basis for the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of metabolic disorders 

Cross-disciplinary Translational Medicine, in which you are expected

  • To achieve a broad understanding of topics and methods in the field of Translational Medicine

The scope of the MSc (Translational Medicine) degree is 120 credits (ECTS).

The structure of the degree is as follows:

  • Common studies in Translational Medicine (35 ECTS) are obligatory in all specialisations. The topics include
  • Scientific and academic writing
  • Research ethics
  • Statistics and programming
  • Bioinformatics
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Laboratory medicine and molecular diagnostics
  • Medical genetics
  • Epidemiology
  • Specialisation (60–80 ECTS)
    • Mechanisms of Human Disease, including a specific course in your selected specialisation
    • Advanced Research Methods, completed in a research group
    • Clinical Rounds in Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) and master's thesis seminars
    • Research Proposal Examination in your field of specialisation
    • The master’s thesis
  • Career skills (min. 5 cr)
  • Optional studies may include
    • Methods courses
    • Internship
    • Recommended courses from other master’s programmes such as Life Science Informatics, Neuroscience, Genetics and Molecular Biosciences, or Human Nutrition and Food Behaviour
    • Studies in other universities in Finland or abroad

Visit the Curriculum section of our website for more detailed information on courses.

A Master’s thesis (30 ECTS) consists of both experimental and written work in the field of your selected specialisation. The thesis is always an individual work of the student, conducted in a research group under supervision.

With your Master's thesis you demonstrate

  • Your ability to conduct independent research work and retrieve relevant information
  • Your ability to use up-to-date research methods and perform experiments
  • Your skills in scientific reasoning and the critical assessment of your research results
  • Your ability to write scientifically and effectively present your data
  • Your knowledge of the existing research literature in your field of specialisation, and an ability to critically assess the current literature

The thesis is written in English.

Health sciences and translational medicine are fields with growing importance as the population ages and the costs of new therapies steadily increase. Thus, the demand for well-trained specialists in the field of translational medicine is likely to increase, providing excellent career prospects globally. Recruitment to such enterprises occurs both at the graduate (MSc) and postgraduate (PhD) levels.

Around 40% of our graduates have been directly employed by bioindustry, pharma or other health and health sector enterprises either in Finland or abroad. Titles include product manager, product specialist, personalised health care manager and clinical research associate. About half of the graduates continue to doctoral studies.

See our updated graduate statistics and alumni stories in the Career prospects section of our website.

In Finland, Translational Medicine as a major is only available in TRANSMED, making the programme attractive to both Finnish and international students. Indeed, opportunities for personal interaction with students from different cultures are an integral feature of the studies. During your studies, you can also volunteer to act as a tutor for incoming international students.

The international research community in the Academic Medical Centre Helsinki actively participates in teaching. The research groups, where you complete the research group practice and your master’s thesis, are also highly international. 

Your master’s thesis work or research group placement can also be completed abroad, and coursework done at a foreign university can be included in your optional studies.

The curriculum of the  Master’s Programme in Translational Medicine is the joint effort of the Academic Medical Centre Helsinki (AMCH). The interacting parties are

The Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki
The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS)
The Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE), including the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and the Neuroscience Center (NC).

The specialisation options of the programme are closely aligned with the research focus areas of the Faculty of Medicine. You thus have an opportunity to learn from, and be supervised by, the leading experts and professors in their fields.

The MSc (Translational Medicine) degree provides excellent opportunities to apply for and attend postgraduate studies.

TRANSMED graduates are eligible to apply for PhD training in the following doctoral programmes at the University of Helsinki:

Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine
Doctoral Programme in Population Health
Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research

Drug Research Doctoral Programme (DRDP)
Integrative Life Science Doctoral Program (ILS)
Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M)
Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology (MBDP)  

TRANSMED graduates are also eligible to apply for the FIMM-EMBL International PhD in Molecular Medicine and Bioinformatics, or for PhD programmes at other universities, in Finland and abroad.

How to apply
Below you’ll find a link to the entry requirements for this programme. The application period to our international programmes is in December every year.

Faculty of Medicine

The University of Helsinki has been ranked at number five in an assessment of medical research at European universities based on the citation numbers of medical publications in the 2000s. While still an undergraduate here, you can embark on a research career, for example by applying for the MD/PhD Programme in medicine or dentistry. If admitted, you can carry out research for a doctoral degree alongside your studies in medicine or dentistry, and receive doctoral education in an internationally respected environment. The programme admits approximately ten students each year. For more information in Finnish, click here.

The Faculty of Medicine conducts research and provides research-based undergraduate and postgraduate education in medicine, dentistry and translational medicine. In addition the Faculty serves as an important authority in the field of health care and participates in ethical debate. The Faculty of Medicine cooperates with its most important partner, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS). This cooperation covers the University’s three core duties: research, teaching and community relations. The Faculty is the most important provider of specialist education in medicine and dentistry in Finland, and is supported in this task by the country’s largest university hospital.

You can conduct your studies in medicine and dentistry not only in Finnish, but also partly in Swedish, because the Faculty is responsible for ensuring that a sufficient number of Swedish-speaking physicians and dentists are educated in Finland. The two-year Master's Degree Programme in Translational Medicine (TRANSMED) is taught entirely in English. These degrees meet the needs of employers as well as the requirements of research and postgraduate education.

Employment prospects for physicians and dentists have been excellent in recent years. Graduates from the English-language Master’s degree programme have also been successful in finding employment. For more information about the Faculty’s extensive activities, including teaching and research, click here.

The Faculty of Medicine is located on the Meilahti Campus and in the Ruskeasuo district of Helsinki. The Institute of Dentistry, currently located in Ruskeasuo, as well as the Meilahti-based Biomedicum and Haartman Institute, feature a wide range of premises suitable for learning and research, including lecture rooms, small group facilities, laboratories, workshop spaces, learning centres and student facilities. Teaching takes place in the facilities of the University, the University Hospital and the City of Helsinki. Independent and supervised learning also takes place in various workshops. The workshops in the degree programme in medicine enable you to practise a wide range of skills, such as inserting an IV cannula, suturing a wound, listening to heart and lung sounds, performing an ultrasound examination, taking a patient’s blood pressure, examining a patient’s eyes and ears, as well as resuscitation and related skills. An equivalent facility in the degree programme in dentistry is the simulation room, where you can practise various procedures before beginning to work with patients. Current plans entail transferring teaching from Ruskeasuo to Meilahti in 2017, by which time the majority of dental studies will also take place there in new, refurbished facilities. Meilahti is also home to the National Library of Health Sciences (Terkko).


As a University of Helsinki degree student, you can participate in a student exchange or traineeship outside Finland. The University has approximately 500 high-quality partner universities throughout the world, and each year some 1,000 University students embark on a student exchange or traineeship. A stay abroad gives valuable skills and experiences:

  • You can incorporate an international dimension into your degree and obtain international expertise in your field. A well-planned student exchange provides you with diverse, unique skills!
  • You will gain a new perspective on the world, learn more about yourself and enhance your language proficiency.
  • You will get better acquainted with the culture of the target country, meet new people and be able to establish international networks in your field.

More information about studying abroad:

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at

As a student at the University of Helsinki, you will have access to a wide range of services and benefits; such as housing, meals, health care, wellbeing and sports. On the New Student web pages, you will find information on necessary insurance, permits, and fees. As a member of the University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) you will have a great variety of services at your disposal and will be able to participate in various events and activities. Discounts are available for students, for example for travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organisations of HYY also organise a wide variety of social events. You will find more information on Instructions for students.