Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences: Biomedical Imaging

What can you see inside a cell? Our interdisciplinary programme provides you thorough theoretical understanding and practical skills in diverse biomedical imaging methods and technologies.

Biomedical Imaging – more than you can imagine!

The studies in Biomedical Imaging provide you with strong knowledge on either cellular biology, anatomy and physiology, nanomedicine or biophysics, depending on the area of your specialisation. You will study in a highly international environment and gain excellent theoretical and practical skills in a wide range of imaging techniques and applications as well as in image analysis.

In addition, the courses cover light microscopy, advanced fluorescence techniques, super-resolution imaging techniques, PET, electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. An understanding of the use of multimedia in a scientific context and excellent academic writing skills are emphasised. The interdisciplinary curriculum provides you with a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art knowledge in biomedical imaging related to many different areas in cell biology and biomedicine.

The graduates have the possibility to continue their studies as doctoral candidates in order to pursue a career as a scientist, in industry or science administration, and in an imaging core facility or a hospital research laboratory.

See the invisible with BIMA

Entry requirements


General Requirements

You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
  • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the section on programme-specific admission requirements for detailed degree requirements.

Language Requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.


Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal

The degree on basis of which you are applying to the MDP in Biomedical Sciences must be in a relevant field of study. For the Biomedical Imaging track such fields are

  • biochemistry,
  • biology,
  • biomedical sciences,
  • chemistry,
  • engineering,
  • medical sciences,
  • other life sciences, or
  • physics.

The applicants should also be familiar with the basics of laboratory practice. Both Finnish and foreign students can apply to the Programme.

The applicants will have to put the specialisation tracks they are applying to into an order of preference upon application. The applicants can apply up to two tracks in Biomedical Sciences programme.


Applications are evaluated by the admission committee of the Master’s Degree Programme. The applicant is scored separately for each track s/he is applying to. The admission committee also interviews the best scoring applicants (maximum 40) in each specialisation track. The interviews will take place during weeks 10-11/2023 (6.-17.3.2023). The interviews will be organized remotely and all applicants need to use video connection. The interview invitations will be sent by e-mail. If the applicant cannot be reached for the possible interview with a video connection, the application will not be processed further.

The applicant will be given a pre-assignment for the interview. In the interview the pre-assignment will be presented orally only, the use of visual aids (PowerPoint, posters, sketch boards, etc.) is not allowed.

The admission committee scores the selected applicants by following application components:

Scoring based on the application: 

  • Compatibility of the background studies 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1p = sufficient relevance, 2 p. = good relevance, 3 p. =  very good relevance, 4 p. =excellent relevance)
  • Previous academic success and study history 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient/not suitable, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = very good, 4 p. = excellent. Here it should be noted, that if the applicant has already an MSc degree(s) or higher, or is already studying at University of Turku, it is not necessarily considered to be beneficial.)
  • Relevant laboratory working experience (e.g. wet or dry laboratory, computer laboratory): 0-4 p. (0 p. = no experience, 1 p. = some laboratory courses as part of previous studies, 2 p. = several laboratory courses as part of previous studies, 3 p. = additional experience which is not directly included in the previous studies, e.g. internships, summer projects, other working experience), 4 p. = additional versatile experience)
  • Motivation letter 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = somewhat motivated, 2 p. = sufficient and well-justified motivation, 3 p = good motivation, 4 p. = excellent motivation) 
  • First priority track selection (0.5 p.)

Total maximum score from the application 16.5 p.

Scoring based on the interview:

  • The interview performance 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = very good, 4 p. = excellent) 
  • The English skills during the interview: 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = very good, 4 p. = excellent) 
  • Completing a pre-assignment task 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = very good, 4 p. = excellent 
  • Motivation shown during the interview 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = very good, 4 p. = excellent). 

Total maximum score from the interview 16 p.

If the applicant scores 0 p. in any of the components, the application will not be processed further. In the case of the same amount of points, all of the applicants with the same score will be selected. The admission committee reserves a right to decide into which university the applicant will be admitted, if the applicant has applied to both universities, ÅAU and UTU in Biomedical Imaging. The preferred choice of the applicant will be taken into account when possible.

Programme in brief


The Biomedical Imaging specialisation track is part of the Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences. The close co-operation of three specialisation tracks forms a unique educational combination of biomedical sciences in Finland and worldwide. Other specialisation tracks of the Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences are:

Drug Discovery and Development
Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics

The programme in total is 120 ECTS (2 years). The structure for the specialisation track in Biomedical Imaging is:

Mandatory Major Subject Studies 45 ECTS, Master´s Thesis, 40 ECTS  (Plan and Seminar, 20 ECTS and Written Thesis, 20 ECTS), Selectable Major Subject Studies 17 - 30 ECTS, Language Studies 3 - 8 ECTS, Elective Studies 10 ECTS, Bridging Studies 0 - 8 ECTS (if needed)



The strong imaging expertise of the universities in Turku offers a great environment for studying Biomedical Imaging. Imaging is one of the strongholds of the two universities in Turku, the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. Both universities were also involved in the founding of Turku BioImaging, which is a broad-based, interdisciplinary science and infrastructure umbrella that unites bioimaging expertise in Turku and elsewhere in Finland. Turku is especially known for its PET Centre and the development of super-resolution microscopy. Another example of research conducted in Turku is Turku Center for Disease Modeling.

Winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Stefan Hell did his original discoveries on STED microscopy at the University of Turku. Turku is also a leader of the Euro-BioImaging infrastructure network which provides imaging services for European researchers.

Turku has a unique, compact campus area, where two universities and a university hospital operate to create interdisciplinary and innovative study and research environment.

Research facilities include a wide array of state-of-the-art imaging technologies ranging from atomic level molecular and cellular imaging to whole animal imaging, clinical imaging (e.g. PET) and image analysis.

Studies in BioImaging are highly research oriented and the courses are tailored to train future imaging experts in various life science areas.

Biomedical Imaging specialisation track is very interdisciplinary with a unique atmosphere and people from different countries and educational backgrounds interacting and co-operating. Students are also encouraged to join courses, workshops and internship projects elsewhere in Finland, in Europe and all around the world. The programme has Erasmus+ exchange agreements with University of Pecs in Hungary, L’Institut Supérieur de BioSciences in Paris, France and Université de Rouen Normandie in Rouen, France.


Master’s thesis in biomedical imaging consists of an experimental laboratory project (including hands-on imaging) with thesis plan and seminar presentations, and the written thesis.

The aim of the thesis is to demonstrate that the student masters their field of science, understands the research methodology as well as the relevant literature, and is capable of scientific thinking and presenting the obtained data to the scientific community.

Usually the Master’s thesis is conducted in a research group as an independent sub-project among the group’s research projects. Experimental research work will be conducted under the guidance of a supervisor.

Examples of thesis topics:

  • Exercise and brown adipose tissue activation in humans (EXEBAT)
  • Stimulated emission depletion microscopy of sub-diffraction polymerized structures
  • Optimization of immunofluorescence protocols for detection of biomarkers in cancer tissues.
  • Exploring the feasibility of a new PET tracer for assessment of atherosclerotic plaques in mice.
  • Morphology of the inner mitochondrial membrane
  • Accuracy and precision of advanced T2 mapping in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
  • Prevalence of perfusion-diffusion mismatch in acute stroke patients

Turku has longstanding research traditions in the field of biomedicine. Especially the fields of drug discovery, diagnostics, and biological and medical imaging represent the top level expertise of the University of Turku.

The Biomedical Imaging specialisation track is part of the MSc Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences, which is a collaboration of two universities, the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. The close co-operation of three biomedical programmes forms a unique educational combination of biomedical sciences in Finland and worldwide.

The programme in Biomedical Sciences is managed together by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Technology at the University of Turku.

The offered education is based on the true research strengths of the participating units:

  • Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Turku
  • Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku
  • Department of Biosciences at the Åbo Akademi University

Other specialisation tracks of the Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences are Drug Discovery and Development and Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics. Major subject studies in each of the tracks are track-specific but can be offered as elective studies for the students of all of the study tracks. Each student makes a personal study plan which helps them select the courses which correspond with their personal interests and background.

Biomedical Imaging is jointly administered and run by the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. An applicant is highly recommended to apply to the programme/track through both universities.

Career prospects


After completing the studies, you will:

  • have a strong basic knowledge in either cellular biology, anatomy and physiology or biophysics depending on your interests and area of specialisation,
  • have excellent theoretical and practical skills in a wide range of imaging techniques and applications as well as in image analysis,
  • have a degree from a highly international learning environment where students from all around the world have a chance to interact and collaborate with each other,
  • understand the use of multimedia in scientific contexts and see it as a powerful tool of popularising science,
  • master scientific writing in English, and
  • have excellent basis for postgraduate studies.

The interdisciplinary curriculum provides you with broad knowledge on biomedical imaging related to many areas of biomedicine and life sciences.

The Biomedical Imaging specialisation track aims to train future imaging and image analysis experts to meet the increasing demand in the fields of basic and medical research as well as the high demand for imaging core facility personnel.

The programme provides excellent possibilities for a career in life sciences. For example, you can:

  • continue as postgraduate students to pursue a career as a scientist,
  • work in core facility management,
  • work in science administration nationally or internationally,
  • work in hospital research laboratories,
  • work in industry and industrial research, or
  • work in imaging network or project management.

Watch a video about careers paths for BIMA graduates


Master of Science degree provides you with eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies.

Graduates from the Biomedical Sciences Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS.  The Graduate School consists of 19 doctoral programmes covering all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the doctoral programmes the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.

Several doctoral programmes at University of Turku are available for graduates: