When should you become a biomedical scientist?


Biomedicine: course content, financing, career opportunities

Biology or medicine? How about biomedicine? If you are particularly interested in small-scale molecular biology and cell biology, we recommend this course.

Dan Race - stock.adobe.com

Research in the laboratory is almost always a part of biomedicine.

1. What can I expect from studying biomedicine?

Biomedicine - what is it actually? In short, you deal with methods of Molecular and cell biology in the context of experimental medicine. Ultimately, biomedicine is about exploring the causes of diseases.

In an undergraduate degree in biomedicine, you first acquire basic scientific and medical knowledge. The timetable for the first semester therefore mainly features subjects such as Biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics as Anatomy, physiology, cell and molecular biology and biochemistry.

In the later semesters, basic clinical-theoretical subjects such as Pathology, neurobiology, immunology and pharmacology In addition, you will deepen your knowledge in the areas of molecular and cell biology.

In contrast to pure medical studies, biomedicine is a strongly research-oriented oriented subject. You will be introduced to the contents and techniques of biomedical research at an early stage and learn to work independently in the laboratory. Many modules contain various events - for example, lectures, seminars and internships - so that what has been theoretically learned can be directly applied and deepened.

It is not uncommon for the laboratory internships to take place during the lecture-free period. So you should be aware that you may be doing something have to invest more time in your studies, as students in other fields.

This degree is mainly used as a master offered. In the master’s program, you do not have to acquire basic scientific knowledge, as you should have acquired this knowledge in your bachelor’s degree. For example, you could get a bachelor's degree in biology before studying biomedicine. If you are planning to do this, you should only find out about the master's requirements at your chosen university in good time so that you can take the relevant modules.

Similar courses

The human biology, molecular biology and biosciences / life sciences courses are very similar. The following subjects are also closely related to biomedicine:

2. Duration of biomedical studies and degrees

Biomedicine is mainly offered as a master’s degree. The Master of Science can mostly in 4 semesters to be completed, with 120 credits must be provided.

But there are already corresponding Bachelor's degrees, mostly with a duration of 6 semesters and 180 ECTS points (credit points).

Biomedicine: duration of study (standard period of study)
Bachelor6 - 7 semesters
master3 - 4 semesters

Forms of study in biomedicine

The classic form of biomedical studies is full-time face-to-face studies. You study full-time at a university where you go to events (lectures, exercises, tutorials, depending on the subject, also projects, laboratory, etc.) and where the exams take place. Full-time means roughly 40 hours / week, whereby in reality there are usually phases with less time expenditure compared to others (especially before larger exams) in which more time per week is spent on studying.

3. What does a biomedical course cost?

Total cost of living

During a biomedical degree you need a financial basis for accommodation at the place of study, for food, clothing, travel expenses, telephone & internet as well as books & workbooks. Depending on the location and your own thrift, the monthly expenses between € 630 and over € 1,500. On average, students now spend over € 850 a month.

Munich is the front runner in terms of rents and the cost of living, but Frankfurt / Main, Hamburg, Cologne and increasingly Berlin are also well above average. It is cheaper to live in smaller cities away from the metropolises, especially in the new federal states.

Main cost: rent

The Rent for a room in a flat share, depending on the city 269 ​​euros and 585 euros (2018 values ​​plus five percent). Thanks to the 26th BAföG Amendment Act, the rental fee has been at least € 325 since the 2019/20 winter semester. Despite the increase, this amount is not enough in many cities to cover the costs of a room in a shared apartment or even an apartment.

Costs depending on location and personal situation

There is another half-yearly for the course Semester fee to pay. This enables cheaper cafeteria prices, for example. In some study cities, a semester ticket for local public transport is included, which increases the semester fee, but is significantly cheaper than other season tickets for the respective transport association. There are also student bicycle workshops at some of the larger universities.

Health insurance costs must be taken into account if family insurance through the parents is no longer possible.

Do I have to pay tuition fees for studying biomedicine?

Practically all bachelor's and consecutive masters can take part state universities without tuition fees to be started. Consecutive Master’s degrees follow a bachelor’s degree in the same subject (or at least a similar one) and do not require any professional experience. In some federal states, however, a long course or a second course is subject to a fee.

4. How can I pay for my biomedical studies?

Parents' maintenance

A job of yours parents - and that is even explicitly regulated in the German Civil Code (BGB § 1610) - it is to you one adequate professional training to enable. This also includes you during your studies financially or with board and lodging to help out. The decision as to whether it should be a degree and which subject area is primarily up to you, if your school leaving certificate enables you to take this path. The state supports your parents with child benefit, among other things, which in exceptional cases can also be paid out directly to you.

If your parents have little income or are no longer obliged to support them, BAföG comes into play.

BAföG benefits: it pays to apply

BAföG for students should step in when your parents - from the perspective of the law - have too little incomein order to provide sufficient support for a course of study. If you are under 30 years of age and have not started any vocational training, BAföG is usually safe for your studies - otherwise check your BAföG entitlement. With our BAföG calculator you can calculate the amount of your BAföG.

Student BAföG is a social benefit, of which a maximum of 50 percent must be paid back. The BAföG repayment is limited to € 10,010, starts only years later and only if enough is earned. Have you already completed an apprenticeship and then worked for several years and in a few other exceptional cases you could even do so Parent-independent BAföG give for you.

Scholarships for studying biomedicine

Scholarships are available to a much smaller group than BAföG. Greatest advantage: Received through grants Funding is given. Often there is also one ideal support. In order to apply for a scholarship, a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, recommendations and certificates are usually required. You can only be suggested for a few scholarships.

The major student funding agencies award scholarships according to BAföG rules (i.e. depending on the parents' income). In addition, there are 300 euros “book money” per month for everyone. The application process usually begins six months in advance.

In addition to the large student funding agencies, there are still many other foundationswho each award a few (or really only individual) scholarships. Such small foundations often prosecute special funding purposes, so that not always just performance Is a preferred feature.

For Stays abroad during your studies there can be funding in the form of ERASMUS grants or through the DAAD.

Jobs as a student trainee / mini job / self-employed

Most students work at least part of the time during their studies, often as Mini jobbers or as Working student. Working hours are allowed during the lecture period 20 hours per week do not exceed.

BAföG will be offset if your average earnings are over 450 euros in the month. In contrast to tax, the decisive factor is not the calendar year, but the period in which the BAföG is granted.

Special features apply if you are self-employed as a student.

State education loan and other options

There is the for students in higher semesters or in the Master’s program state education loan with low interest rates and a payout of up to 300 euros / month for at most two years.

A student loan (or an education fund), on the other hand, should only be considered as a last resort if the cheaper options are insufficient or if, for example, at the end of your studies you should be able to concentrate on studying without a job.

If you have already reached the last semesters of your studies, can possibly - especially in social emergencies - also a Graduation loan or bridging loans are possible. Do not be afraid to inquire and - if possible for you - to take advantage of one. The conditions are much better than for educational loans or even student loans!

We have collected all the relevant sources of funding for your studies: BAföG, educational loans, jobs, child benefits, scholarships, student loans, parental support and much more

5. Career prospects

Biomedicine graduates are particularly suitable for the following professional fields:
  • Research activities in the natural sciences and medicine at universities
  • in product development and research in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries
  • Basic research in large research centers (e.g. Max Planck Institutes)
  • in molecular diagnostics in test laboratories of environmental and health authorities
With appropriate training, biomedical professionals can also be found in areas such as science journalism, media or patents.

6. Salary of biomedical graduates

Salary in € Master / Diploma Uni
Ø Department of Biology; Survey: DZHW.

As an approximation, we give salary values ​​for natural scientists with a master's degree or diploma in the field of biosciences. The Starting salary is € 34,000, the number refers to graduates from the fields of mathematics and natural sciences and is likely to be higher for biomedical graduates. With Bachelor-The degree is Starting salary € 15,500, however, this number refers to both full and part-time employment.

Five years after graduation puts on the annual salary 47.242 € to (numbers for biology). 10 years after graduation it is included 60.744 €.

As with many interdisciplinary courses, the possible employment opportunities for life science graduates are diverse - but also the possible differences in salary. As in practically all salary information, the following applies: Depending on the specific position in the company, industry, size of the company, place of employment and much more, concrete salaries differ more or less strongly from average figures.

Source: DZHW graduate surveys. All salaries for full-time employees including bonuses, rounded to the nearest hundred. Starting salary as of 2013. Salary after 5 years as of 2014. Salary after 10 years as of 2015. Surcharges for 5/10 years self-estimated.

For all departments and many degree programs, details on the salary prospects for starting your career and five and 10 years later

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