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Required Curriculum

The MScBMC program involves 2 years of full-­time study (24 months; 17 half-course equivalents). In accordance with School of Graduate Studies regulations, all requirements for the professional degree must be completed in six years.

Students must complete the following required courses and a no-credit Master’s Research Project (MRP) during their studies. Students will also enrol in elective courses (worth four half-course equivalents), some of which will support the MRP, during their second year of study.

Year 1 Fall


MSC1001Y Human Anatomy

Both Campuses
This full-credit course is offered to MScBMC students and some other graduate students. During a period of 12 intensive weeks, students participate in full dissection of a cadaver. This course provides MScBMC students with a sound, integrated, problem-based course in gross anatomy and an introduction to creating explanatory images of anatomical structure. While studying Anatomy, graduate students create original clinically-based images suitable for medical textbooks. Students have access to the famous Grant’s Anatomy Museum in the Division of Anatomy. The museum houses the original dissections made for J.B. Grant’s An Atlas of Anatomy (1943). This collection represents a superb resource of dissection specimens.

Prerequisites: None

MSC2001H Visual Representation of Medical Knowledge

UTM Campus
This 80-hour full-year course emphasizes the theories of perspective, colour, design and storyboarding as they relate to textbook and journal illustration. This course follows a seminar format in which students have reading and applied assignments in cell and surgical illustration. It is expected that students will work independently. Group critiques occur regularly. The objectives are to enhance problem-solving, rendering and time-management skills.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y

MSC2005H The Evolution of Medical Illustration

Both Campuses
This 30-hour credit course is divided into a series of group seminars which provide a forum where students are introduced to how growth and development in the Basic and Clinical Sciences have affected medical illustration and biomedical communications from the Renaissance to the present day. Seminars include discussion of pioneers in the profession of medicine and medical illustration, and the analyses of published papers on the history of the profession. In seminar, students discuss the relevance of the professions’ history to today’s biomedical communicator.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y

Year 1 Winter


MSC2003Y Biomedical Communications Technology

UTM Campus
This 80-hour course provides a foundation for the use of media technologies in the communication of medical, health and research information. Subjects include computer-based image creation and manipulation, interactive media design, issues in human-computer interaction, and principles of three-dimensional visualization. This course will follow a seminar format in which students have reading and applied assignments for each of the 40 two-hour sessions. It is also expected that students will work independently on the four assignments in the BMC Division (80 hours of studio practicum) to give faculty the opportunity to review their work while it progresses. Group critiques will occur regularly throughout the course. Students will discuss the criteria for, and the suitability of, their work for distribution, publication, and research.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y

MSC2012Y Neuroanatomy for Visual Communication

Both Campuses
This 60-hour half credit course consists lectures as well as an applied component. The lecture component of this course, given by a member of the Division of Anatomy, presents an exceptional learning environment for the graduate students. A clinically-based series of lectures add relevance to the importance of understanding neuroanatomy as it relates to an aging population. Working with faculty members from BMC and Anatomy, the student is required to independently produce an original, conceptual medical illustration for a textbook targeted to medical students. The main objectives of the applied assignment are to enhance students’ knowledge base, problem-solving, presentation, time-management and rendering skills, while conforming to set criteria for textbook publication.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y

MSC2020H Visual Representation of Biomolecular Structure and Function

UTM Campus
This course explores the structure and function of biologically-relevant macromolecules and their visual representations. Key biomolecular concepts that will be examined include molecular structure, environment, interaction, and dynamics. The main goal of this course is to equip you with the fundamental knowledge, language, and practical skills necessary to create accurate visual depictions of these biologically-important macromolecules and associated processes for different audiences. This 36-hour course comprises two components: lectures and practical labs. The lecture component focuses on teaching you the fundamental concepts in molecular structural biology that are relevant for the accurate visual depiction of macromolecules. These concepts will be presented in the context of both historical and contemporary molecular visualization best practices. The laboratory component will give you hands-on experience in acquiring, evaluating, exploring, and visualizing molecular data from a variety of sources through in-lab tutorials and assignments. Practical issues such as dealing with missing data, integrating data from multiple sources, and evaluating whether a dataset is suitable for a project will be addressed.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y, MSC2001H

Year 1 Summer


MSC2004H Research Methods

UTM Campus
In this 30-hour credit course, students design their Master’s Research Projects (MRPs), and develop and write in-depth project proposals. Through readings, lectures, class discussions and critiques, writing assignments, and oral presentations, students learn the principles of designing research projects and of preparing literature reviews, research proposals, ethics protocols, expository narratives, and research papers.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y, MSC2001H, MSC2003Y

MSC2009H Ethics and Professionalism in BMC

UTM Campus
This seminar credit course (no mark) addresses professional issues such as how to establish a small business, ethics and fair practice, contracts and copyright, pricing, book keeping, etc. Students produce professional curriculum vitae and learn how to promote their work through the establishment of a small business and during full-time employment. Self promotion is stressed. The material is presented for information only with the objective of instilling a sense of pride and professionalism regarding the field of Biomedical Communications. Objectives of the course are to: understand the importance of professionalism in the field; be aware of sound business practice; be informed regarding contracts, pricing and copyright; understand basic bookkeeping as it pertains to the profession; be aware of employment strategies and the application process; be informed regarding plagiarism and artists rights.

Prerequisites: MSC1001Y, MSC2001H, MSC2003Y

Year 2 Fall


MSC2002H Sequential Medical Communication: Demonstrative Evidence for the Courtroom

Both Campuses
This 50-hour credit course deals with the relationships between content, medium and audience for effective visual communication of complex and sequential concepts in medicine and science. Relationships are examined in the medical legal context, through the creation of demonstrative evidence for the Canadian courtroom. A case-based approach simulates professional practice. Medical malpractice, personal injury and/or criminal cases are used. Visual problem solving skills are enhanced through collaborative knowledge building. In class presentations are combined with online critical analysis of visualizations. This course focuses on systematic documentation and design of digital demonstrative evidence. Visual communication theory is combined with new media and an understanding of the law of evidence. Sequential storytelling is explored through the design of fully interactive demonstrative evidence presentations and visualizations.

Prerequisites:MSC1001Y, MSC2001H, MSC2003Y, MSC2005H

MSC2018H Visual Representation of Processes in Pathology

Both Campuses
This course has a lecture/seminar component (24 contact hours) and an illustration component (24 contact hours). Pathology lectures are delivered by faculty from the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. Topics include overviews of cell adaptation and injury, inflammation, immunology, cell repair, and neoplasia, and the histology and pathobiology of specific regions and organ systems. For the illustration component of the course, each student will produce an original, conceptual medical illustration demonstrating pathological change in a tissue over time. The final piece will be suitable for print: an 11” x 17” double-page spread, as for a popular science magazine. Students will also complete a series of graded preparatory studies. Faculty from Biomedical Communications and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology will provide guidance, feedback, and technical/content expertise.

Prerequisites:MSC1001Y, MSC2001H, MSC2003Y, MSC2005H, MSC2016H

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