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Study structure

Overview of the study structure in the master programme Medical Biometry/Biostatistics

The curriculum is based on a concept proposed by a working group of the German Region of the International Biometric Society (IBS-DR) and the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS) and was originally developed in cooperation with the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.

The course is divided into two module areas, which are devoted to biometric methodology on the one hand and applications in medicine on the other. Students study in three semesters, the 4th semester is mainly dedicated to their master thesis. After the 2nd semester, an obligatory internship is scheduled (module area C). There is an elective range, which makes an individual rounding off and addition possible.

In module area A, methodical and practical basics of biometrics are taught and in internal internships their practical implementation. The biometric methods are developed on a semester-by- semester basis up to complex and research-oriented approaches. An introduction to epidemiology is also included.

In module area B, the fields of application are developed. Here the medical aspects are dealt with, ranging from general overviews to the basics of the various medical disciplines. Clinical studies and their ethical and legal aspects are dealt with in detail.

In the 4th semester the students write their final thesis (master thesis), a presentation of the master thesis is part of the colloquium.

Biometric and medical aspects learned as well as practical experience should be included in the Master's thesis, e.g. through collaboration in the evaluation of a concrete clinical or epidemiological study and the processing and further development of methodological aspects that play an important role.

The course is a full-time study. Elective courses can be attended flexibly in the time configuration as a supplement and extension.

An overview of the current courses can be found in the course catalog.

In module area A: Biometrics, the basics of dealing with large data sets and of statistical methods and models are taught in the first semester. The focus is on specific biometric questions, which refer to only one target variable (univariate methodology). In the first semester, the module area consists of modules on statistical methods and models as well as on the practice of data management.

In the second semester, the introduction to statistical modelling is continued. The focus is on the relationships between several variables. In addition, modules are offered that are dedicated to an introduction to epidemiological methodology and a practical course (statistical programming) that deals with the interaction of data management and statistical evaluation. In addition to the evaluation methods, the modules in this area also deal with aspects of study design.

In the third semester, special, advanced biometric methods that are particularly important for practical work as biometricians are taught in a module. The module consists of courses on the evaluation of survival times, nonparametric methods, Bayesian statistics and multiple testing as well as the seminar "Problems from biometric research (methodology)", which also serves to prepare the master's thesis. In addition, more complex modelling approaches are taught. The models from the previous semester will be further developed and differentiated.

Module area B: Fields of application and biometrical basics deals with basics from the biological/medical field of application of biometry. The area consists of modules on clinical/diagnostic studies, laws, guidelines and ethics as well as on medicine.

In the first semester, a course on clinical trials (basics) and a course on ethical aspects of clinical research are offered. In addition, there are 2 introductory courses in medicine (Medical Basics and Molecular Medicine).

In the second semester, the knowledge and skills from the first semester are deepened and expanded. Courses on clinical and diagnostic studies as well as on the legal foundations of clinical research are offered. In addition, the medical basics are deepened with an introduction to pharmacology and pharmacotherapy.

The third semester concludes with an introduction to the basics of medicine - in particular oncology - and an introduction to application-oriented biometric research.

In the internship, students should experience work situations and work requirements in a relevant professional field within or outside the university. They should learn to define and analyze the problems and tasks arising in each case on the basis of their professional qualifications acquired to date and to develop and implement possible solutions. Typical internship positions are offered in

  • health authorities, regulatory agencies, etc.

  • University research institutions

  • Pharmaceutical industry

  • Medical technology industry

  • CROs (companies that specialize in the execution of clinical trials as service providers)

The internship lasts from 6 weeks (6 CP) and is carried out with the usual weekly working time in the internship institution (during the lecture-free period).

The supplementary election programme consists of a wide range of events, which can relate to practical aspects and more far-reaching applications on the one hand, and to biometric methodology and its fundamentals on the other. The students have to attend such additional courses with a total of 3 CP. Examples of elective courses are

  • Seminar "Vector and Matrix Calculation“

  • Lecture "Sequential and Adaptive Study Designs"

  • Seminar "Statistical Consulting“

  • Introduction to the statistical software R

  • Selected Events of the Department of Human and Health Sciences

In addition, the University of Bremen offers its students a wide range of interdisciplinary teaching and further education courses, most of which can be credited to elective courses. Within the framework of the so-called "General Studies", courses on gender and diversity issues, on scientific theory and ethics as well as on theatre and music can be attended. There is also a wide range of open events in the individual departments (seminars, (ring) lectures, video-based self-learning events, e.g. on "project management" or "sustainable development in society, politics and technology"). There are further offers from the Studierwerkstatt (coaching for students) and from the Career Center (courses, internships, database with job offers). In addition, language skills can be acquired and refined at various levels at the Fremdsprachenzentrum Bremen. The Academy of Continuing Education also offers further courses, albeit for a fee.