Bioinformaticians are distinguished by their ability to formulate biologically relevant questions, design and implement the appropriate solution by managing and analysing high-throughput molecular biological and sequence data, and interpret the obtained results.
This interdisciplinary two-year programme focuses on acquiring
The 120-credit programme consists of a reorientation package (one semester), a common package (two semesters) and a thesis.
The Master of Bioinformatics is embedded in a strong bioinformatics research community in KU Leuven, who monthly meet at the Bioinformatics Interest Group. Bioinformatics research groups are spread over the Arenberg and Gasthuisberg campus and are located in the research departments of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Human Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology (REGA), Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Chemistry and Biology. Several of these bioinformatics research groups are also associated with the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB).
Are you a biochemist or molecular biologist with a keen interest in mathematics and programming? Are you a mathematician or statistician and want to apply your knowledge to complex biological questions? Do you want to develop new methods that can be used by doctors, biologists and biotechnology engineers? Then this is the right program for you!
Bioinformaticians find careers in the life sciences domain in the broadest sense: industry, the academic world, health care, etc. The expanding need for bioinformatics in biological and medical research ensures a large variety of job opportunities in fundamental and applied research. 60% of our graduates start a PhD after graduation.
This Masters in Bioinformatics (formerly Bioinformatics, Polyomics and Systems Biology) is an exciting and innovative programme that has recently been revamped. Bioinformatics is a discipline at the interface between biology, computing and statistics and is used in organismal biology, molecular biology and biomedicine. This programme focuses on using computers to glean new insights from DNA, RNA and protein sequence data and related data at the molecular level through data storage, mining, analysis and graphical presentation - all of which form a core part of modern biology.
Bioinformatics helps biologists gain new insights about genomes (genomics) and genes, about RNA expression products of genes (transcriptomics) and about proteins (proteomics); rapid advances have also been made in the study of cellular metabolites (metabolomics) and in a newer area, systems biology.
‘Polyomics’ is an intrinsically systems-level approach involving the integration of data from these ‘functional genomics’ areas - genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics - to derive new insights about how biological systems function.
The programme structure is designed to equip students with understanding and hands-on experience of both computing and biological research practices relating to bioinformatics and functional genomics, to show students how the computing approaches and biological questions they are being used to answer are connected, and to give students an insight into new approaches for integration of data and analysis across the 'omics' domains.
On this programme, you will develop a range of computing and programming skills, as well as skills in data handling, analysis (including statistics) and interpretation, and you will be brought up to date with recent advances in biological science that have been informed by bioinformatics approaches.
The programme has the following overall structure
Additional information about the programme can be found in the Bioinformatics MSc Programme Structure 2017-18.
Please note: students undertaking the three month PgCert will also be required to take two exams in March/April.
Most of our graduates embark on a University or Institute-based research career path, here in the UK or abroad, using the skills they've acquired on our programme. These skills are now of primary relevance in many areas of modern biology and biomedicine. Many are successful in getting a PhD studentship. Others are employed as a core bioinformatician (now a career path within academia in its own right) or as a research assistant in a research group in basic biological or medical science.
A postgraduate degree in bioinformatics is also valued by many employers in the life sciences sector - eg computing biology jobs in biotechnology, biosciences, neuroinformatics and the pharma industries.
Some of our graduates have entered science-related careers in scientific publishing or education. Others have gone into computing-related jobs in non-bioscience industry or the public sector.
Bioinformatics is about the application of computer-based approaches to understanding biological processes. Our programme will introduce you to the current methods used to interpret the vast amounts of data generated by modern high-throughput technologies.
The aim of this MSc is to equip you with a strong background in biology, plus the computing skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the vast wealth of modern biological data. On completing this programme you will be able to take up PhD studies or bioinformatics posts in academia or in industry.
The programme covers programming skills, statistical analysis and database science as well as bioinformatics. Option courses allow you to specialise in several aspects of bioinformatics.
The MSc comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation. The project is a key element in deciding how your career in bioinformatics should develop further. Teaching is through lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer practicals and lab demonstrations.
The research project is carried out independently, but under the guidance of a supervisor, during the summer, with results presented in a dissertation. A wide range of projects is available through both the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Informatics.
The programme is good preparation for further academic research or for technical or managerial roles in various commercial sectors, from medical electronics to defence.
This programme will teach you how to manage and manipulate large datasets to reveal new insights in biological sciences. You will get intensive training in a computer-based approach to biological research, with the opportunity to develop specialist skills in computer programming, data analysis, statistics and computational biology.
New analytical techniques deliver ever more data about genes, proteins, metabolites and the interactions between them. Bioinformatics is the discipline tasked with turning all this data into useful information and new biological knowledge. With applications spanning the breadth of life science disciplines, there is now high demand for trained bioinformaticians.
Prior experience of computer programming is not required as you will be taught the latest tools and techniques in bioinformatics, which you will then apply to your own research project. You will also collaborate with peers to build new bioinformatics solutions to real-world problems as part of an innovative group project.
This programme is delivered by academics who are actively engaged in developing bioinformatics tools and applying them in areas such as genome sequencing, proteomics, evolution, ecology, psychology, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. We have an extensive network of academic and industrial collaborators around the UK and in Europe, who contribute to teaching, co-supervise projects and provide employment opportunities.
By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and leading research. Our staff draw heavily upon their industrial or research council-funded research to inform their teaching and ensure projects are topical and well-resourced.
Developing bioinformatics has allowed me to work in one of the best companies when it comes to smart science. They help me understand our customers’ needs as they seek to implement bioinformatics pipelines to extract new knowledge from the data generated by our sequencers
Yasmine (Bioinformatics 2016 graduate, currently working at Illumina)
If you have questions about this programme which you would like to put to Professor Conrad Bessant, Professor of Bioinformatics and Bioinformatics MSc Programme Director, please contact:
Tel: +44(0)207 882 6510
Email: [email protected]
Our MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology course looks at two concepts that complement each other and reflect the skills currently sought by employers in academia and industry.
Bioinformatics is changing as high throughput biological data collection becomes more systems-oriented, with employers seeking people who can work across both disciplines.
Enormous success has been achieved in bioinformatics, such as in defining homologous families of sequences at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels. However, our appreciation of function is changing rapidly as experimental analysis scales up to cellular and organismal viewpoints.
At these levels, we are interested in the properties of a network of interacting components in a system, as well as the components themselves.
Our MSc reflects these exciting developments, providing an integrated programme taught by researchers at the forefront of fields spanning bioinformatics, genomics and systems biology.
You will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of methods to analyse and interpret the data generated by modern biology. This involves the appreciation of biochemistry and molecular biology, together with IT and computer science techniques that will prepare you for multidisciplinary careers in research.
This course aims to:
Learn from researchers at the forefront of fields spanning bioinformatics, genomics and systems biology.
Develop your research skills in preparation for a career in the biosciences industry or academic research.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, practicals, group discussions, problem classes and e-learning.
Research projects provide experience of carrying out a substantive research project, including the planning, execution and communication of original scientific research.
Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.
Research projects are assessed by written report. Taught units are assessed through both coursework and exams.
The taught part of the course runs from September to April and consists of 60 credits delivered from four 15-credit units:
You will undertake two research projects, each carrying 60 credits, in Semester 2 and the summer.
Additionally, tutorials and the Graduate Training Programme (skills development) will run through the whole course.
"My final MSc project was conducted in collaboration with a cancer research group in Liverpool, aimed at facilitating targeted DNA sequencing of gene regions identified as being important for breast cancer.
This gave me an opportunity to work together with researchers outside of the university on a project that had real-world value."
You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .
Our graduates acquire a wide range of subject-specific and transferable skills and extensive research experience.
The combination of systems biology and bioinformatics addressed in this course reflects the current skills sought in academic and industrial (eg pharmaceutical) settings.
Around half of each class find PhD positions straight after the MSc, while others build upon their training to enter careers in biology and IT.
Bioinformatics is a new scientific discipline with roots in computer science, statistics and molecular biology. It was developed to cope with the output of genome sequencing initiatives, that result in an ever-increasing amount of data available about DNA (public databases currently contain over 100 Gigabases of DNA), RNA and derived proteins. Bioinformaticians apply information technology to store, retrieve and manipulate these data and employ statistical methods capable of analysing large amounts of biological data to predict gene functions and to demonstrate the relationship between genes and proteins.
There is a world-wide lack in trained Bioinformaticians resulting in long lists of positions that remain open. Some years ago Wageningen University in the Netherlands started with one of the first fully dedicated MSc curricula in Bioinformatics. Graduates are already in high demand both in industry and in academic research including medical sciences.
On the programme of Bioinformatics page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.
Depending on the candidate's skills and interest advanced courses in 3D protein modelling, genome annotation or in software design can be taken. The last part of the programme consists of a Bioinformatics thesis period of 6 months. Typical thesis projects include genome annotation, design and testing of mutant proteins, and development of new algorithms to facilitate protein domain recognition. The programme commences annually in September and February.
Bioinformatics is a new fast growing field of research poorly served by traditional curricula in Life Sciences. As the demand has outpaced the supply of bioinformaticians the first job after graduation is often a PhD project at a research institute or at an University in or outside the Netherlands. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.
The Bioinformatics MSc combines foundational skills in bioinformatics with specialist skills in computing programming, molecular biology and research methods. Our unique, interdisciplinary course draws together highly-rated teaching and research expertise from across the University, equipping you for a successful career in the bioinformatics industry or academia.
This interdisciplinary course is based in the School of Computing Science and taught jointly with the School of Biology, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences and the Institute of Genetic Medicine. It is designed for students from both biological science and computational backgrounds. Prior experience with computer programming is not required and we welcome applications from students with mathematical, engineering or other scientific backgrounds.
Our graduates have an excellent record of finding employment (around 90%). Recent examples have included:
-Bioinformatician at the Medical Research Council
-Technical consultant at Accenture
-Bioinformatics technician at Barcelona Supercomputing Centre.
Our course structure is highly flexible and you can tailor it to your own skills and interests. Half of the course is taught and the remainder is dedicated to a research project.
As research is a large component of this course, our emphasis is on delivering the research training you will need to meet the demands of industry and academia now and in the future. Our research in bioinformatics, life sciences, computing and mathematics is internationally recognised. We have an active research community, comprising several research groups and three research centres.
You will be taught by academics who are successful researchers in their field and publish regularly in highly-ranked bioinformatics journals. Our experienced and helpful staff will be happy to offer support with all aspects of your course from admissions to graduation and developing your career.
The course is part of a suite of related programmes that include:
-Synthetic Biology MSc
-Computational Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics MSc
-Computational Systems Biology MSc
All four courses share core modules. This creates a tight-knit cohort that has encouraged collaborations on projects undertaking interdisciplinary research.
Semester one combines bioinformatics theory and application with the computational and modelling skills necessary to undertake more specialist modules in semester two. We provide training in mathematics and statistics and, for those without a biological first degree, we will also provide molecular biology training. Some of these modules are examined in January at the end of semester one.
Semester two begins with two modules that focus heavily on introducing subject-specific research skills. These two modules run sequentially, in a short but intensive mode that allows you time to focus on a single topic in depth. In the first of the second semester modules you learn how to analyse data arising from post-genomic studies such as microarray analysis, proteomic analysis and RNAseq. All of the semester two modules are examined by in-course assessment - there are no formal examinations in these modules.
Your five month project gives you an opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in depth, and to work in a research or development team. You will have one-to-one supervision from an experienced member of staff, supported with supervision from industry partners as required.
The project can be carried out:
-With a research group at Newcastle University
-With an industrial sponsor
-With a research institute
-At your place of work.
We have a policy of seeking British Computer Society (BCS) accreditation for all of our degrees, so you can be assured that you will graduate with a degree that meets the standards set out by the IT industry. Studying a BCS-accredited degree provides the foundation for professional membership of the BCS on graduation and is the first step to becoming a chartered IT professional.
The School of Computing Science at Newcastle University is an accredited and a recognised Partner in the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.
Our MSc in Bioinformatics is a unique and exciting course. It bridges the interface between genomics, computing and healthcare. Students develop skills and competence to effectively analyse, interpret and use the vast amounts of the biological data generated by modern high-throughput technologies such as genome sequencing, next-generation sequencing and microarray expression technology to support and improve health care and health outcomes.
The course provides flexible full-time or part-time learning opportunities to develop your career in Bioinformatics. In the context of ethico-legal, social impact and healthcare the MSc in Bioinformatics course is designed to expose you to the skills, strategies, uses, analysis, interpretation, dissemination of genomics data.
The course covers principles, statistical, computing, knowledge management, skills and the technical know-how for analysing genetics and genomics data, and the underlying health and associations between gene variants, disease susceptibility and drug response.
This course provides you with the practical knowledge and skills to bridge the computo-healthcare interface in the context of genomics and bioinformatics.
We welcome students and professionals from a range of academic and employment backgrounds, including:
This course is ideal for graduates who desire to work in a role that integrates computing, biomedical science, medicine and healthcare to prevent diseases and illness, enhance treatment interventions and improve on quality of life.
Plus one optional module from:
NB: Optional Module availability is subject to cohort viable numbers
Our MSc Bioinformatics is aligned with workforce development needs in industry, healthcare, public research establishments and university research. Therefore our students follow careers in:
On successful completion of this course you can pursue further study at MPhil and PhD level. See our Research and enterprise page to find out more.
Click the following link for information on how to apply to this course.
Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found here.