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.
Our programme will give you cross-disciplinary skills in a rare combination of areas of expertise, from bioinformatics and evolutionary inference to computational biology and fieldwork.
You will be taught by researchers who apply genomic methods to a wide range of issues in ecology and evolution, from bat food-webs and genome evolution to microbial biodiversity in natural and engineered ecosystems. For example, Professor Steve Rossiter carries out world-leading research on bat genome evolution; Dr Yannick Wurm has discovered a social chromosome in fire-ants; and Dr China Hanson is using genetic methods to study microbial biogeography. This means that teaching on our programme is informed by the latest developments in this field, and your individual research project can be at the forefront of current scientific discovery.
You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. You will also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.
By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.
This MSc programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.
If you have any questions about the content or structure, contact the programme director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre.
The only Master’s specialisation in the Netherlands covering the function of our epigenome, a key factor in regulating gene expression and in a wide range of diseases.
Our skin cells, liver cells and blood cells all contain the same genetic information. Yet these are different types of cells, each performing their own specific tasks. How is this possible? The explanation lies in the epigenome: a heritable, cell-type specific set of chromosomal modifications, which regulates gene expression. Radboud University is specialised in studying the epigenome and is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a Master’s programme in this field of research.
The epigenome consists of small and reversible chemical modifications of the DNA or histone proteins, such as methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation. It changes the spatial structure of DNA, resulting in gene activation or repression. These processes are crucial for our health and also play a role in many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. As opposed to modifications of the genome sequence itself, epigenetic modifications are reversible. You can therefore imagine the great potential of drugs that target epigenetic enzymes, so-called epi-drugs.
In this specialisation, you’ll look at a cell as one big and complex system. You’ll study epigenetic mechanisms during development and disease from different angles. This includes studying DNA and RNA by next-generation sequencing (epigenomics) and analysing proteins by mass spectrometry (proteomics). In addition, you‘ll be trained to design computational strategies that allow the integration of these multifaceted, high-throughput data sets into one system.
- Radboud University combines various state-of-the-art technologies – such as quantitative mass spectrometry and next-generation DNA sequencing – with downstream bioinformatics analyses in one department. This is unique in Europe.
- This programme allows you to work with researchers from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life sciences (RIMLS), one of the leading multidisciplinary research institutes within this field of study worldwide.
- We have close contacts with high-profile medically oriented groups on the Radboud campus and with international institutes (EMBL, Max-Planck, Marie Curie, Cambridge, US-based labs, etc). As a Master’s student, you can choose to perform an internship in one of these related departments.
- Radboud University coordinates BLUEPRINT, a 30 million Euro European project focusing on the epigenomics of leukaemia. Master’s students have the opportunity to participate in this project.
As a Master’s student of Medical Epigenomics you’re trained in using state-of-the art technology in combination with biological software tools to study complete networks in cells in an unbiased manner. For example, you’ll know how to study the effects of drugs in the human body.
When you enter the job market, you’ll have:
- A thorough background of epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease, which is highly relevant in strongly rising field of epi-drug development
- Extensive and partly hands-on experience in state-of-the-art ‘omics’ technologies: next-generation sequencing, quantitative mass spectrometry and single cell technologies;
- Extensive expertise in designing, executing and interpreting scientific experiments in data-driven research;
- The computational skills needed to analyse large ‘omics’ datasets.
With this background, you can become a researcher at a:
- University or research institute;
- Pharmaceutical company, such as Synthon or Johnson & Johnson;
- Food company, like Danone or Unilever;
- Start-up company making use of -omics technology.
Apart from research into genomics and epigenomics, you could also work on topics such as miniaturising workflows, improving experimental devices, the interface between biology and informatics, medicine from a systems approach.
Or you can become a:
- Biological or medical consultant;
- Biology teacher;
- Policy coordinator, regarding genetic or medical issues;
- Patent attorney;
- Clinical research associate;
Each year, the Molecular Biology department (Prof. Henk Stunnenberg, Prof. Michiel Vermeulen) and the Molecular Developmental Biology department (Prof. Gert-Jan Veenstra) at the RIMLS offer between five and ten PhD positions. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.
- Systems biology
In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation you won’t zoom in on only one particular gene, protein or signalling pathway. Instead, you’ll regard the cell as one complete system. This comprehensive view allows you to, for example, model the impact of one particular epigenetic mutation on various parts and functions of the cell, or study the effects of a drug in an unbiased manner. One of the challenges of this systems biology approach is the processing and integration of large amounts of data. That’s why you’ll also be trained in computational biology. Once graduated, this will be a great advantage: you’ll be able to bridge the gap between biology, technology and informatics , and thus have a profile that is desperately needed in modern, data-driven biology.
- Multiple OMICS approaches
Studying cells in a systems biology approach means connecting processes at the level of the genome (genomics), epigenome (epigenomics), transcriptome (transcriptomics), proteome (proteomics), etc. In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation, you’ll get acquainted with all these different fields of study.
- Patient and animal samples
Numerous genetic diseases are not caused by genetic mutations, but by epigenetic mutations that influence the structure and function of chromatin. Think of:
- Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Cancer, in the forms of leukaemia, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer
- Neurological disorders, like Rett Syndrome, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis, schizophrenia and autism
We investigate these diseases on a cellular level, focusing on the epigenetic mutations and the impact on various pathways in the cell. You’ll get the chance to participate in that research, and work with embryonic stem cell, patient, Xenopus or zebra fish samples.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/epigenomics
The Master of Science (MSc) normally takes 12-18 months of full-time study to complete. The degree requires 180 points, which is made up of 90 points in taught papers and a 90-point thesis (research project). This balance of theses to taught papers may be changed subject to permission from the graduate co-ordinator in your chosen discipline.
Study a MSc at Waikato University and you will enjoy more lab and field work, more one-on-one time with top academics and access to world-class research equipment. Our great industry contacts will also mean exciting collaborations with local, national and international companies and organisations.
This is an ideal degree for students wanting to improve their career opportunities, and seeking a qualification that is potentially not so research-heavy.
This qualification is taught at a level significantly in advance of undergraduate study, providing you with the challenges and knowledge needed to prepare for a successful career.
The University of Waikato’s School of Science is home to a suite of well-equipped, world-class laboratories. You will have the opportunity to use complex research equipment and facilities such as NMR spectroscopy, DNA sequencing and the University of Waikato Herbarium (WAIK).
The computing facilities at the University of Waikato are among the best in New Zealand, ranging from phones and tablets for mobile application development to cluster computers for massively parallel processing. Students majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics will have 24 hour access to computer labs equipped with all the latest computer software.
Students enrolling in an MSc via the Faculty of Science & Engineering can study Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Electronics, Materials and Processing, Physics, Psychology, and Science, Technology and Environmental Education.
An MSc is normally completed over 12-18 consecutive months, although it may be possible to study for the degree on a part-time basis. Each full-time student will normally enrol in the first year of the Masters programme in a minimum of 90 points’ worth of taught papers in addition to 30 points towards their thesis. These taught papers may be assessed exclusively on coursework, examination, or a mixture of both. In the second year each student will normally enrol in the remaining research and taught papers required to complete the degree. The degree may be awarded with First Class Honours, or Second Class Honours (first division), or Second Class Honours (second division), or without Honours.
You will spend more time putting theory into practice in the laboratories and out in the field. Smaller class sizes in taught papers mean more one-on-one time with renowned academics.
The University of Waikato also boasts excellent industry collaborations with organisations such as NIWA, AgResearch, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research. These strong relationships generate numerous research projects for MSc students, who are able to work on real issues with a real client.
Depending on the major completed and your particular interests, graduates of this degree may find employment in a range of science-related industries.
A core feature of the degree is the development of independent research skills, including the collection and analysis of data and critical review of the relevant literature.
The MSc(Research) normally takes two years of full-time study to complete, but you have the option to complete on a part-time basis. In the first year you will complete 120 points of taught papers with the second year spent doing a 120 point research thesis.
Study an MSc(Research) at Waikato University and you will enjoy more lab and field work, more one-on-one time with top academics and access to world-class research equipment. Our great industry contacts will also mean exciting collaborations with local, national and international companies and organisations.
The University of Waikato’s School of Science is home to a suite of well-equipped, world-class laboratories. You will have the opportunity to use complex research equipment and facilities such as NMR spectroscopy, DNA sequencing and the University of Waikato Herbarium.
The computing facilities at the University of Waikato are among the best in New Zealand, ranging from phones and tablets for mobile application development to cluster computers for massively parallel processing. Students majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics will have 24 hour access to computer labs equipped with all the latest computer software.
You will spend more time putting theory into practice in the laboratories and out in the field. Smaller class sizes in taught papers mean more one-on-one time with renowned academics.
The University of Waikato also boasts excellent industry collaborations with organisations such as NIWA, AgResearch, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research. These strong relationships generate numerous research projects for MSc(Research) students, who are able to work on real issues with a real client.
Students enrolling in an (MSc(Research) via the Faculty of Science & Engineering can study Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Electronics, Environmental Sciences, Materials and Processing, Physics or Psychology.
Our degrees in Genomic Medicine cover all aspects of genomic science and medicine, and will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to interpret and understand genomic data that increasingly impacts on service delivery to patients and the community.
The programme is aimed at students from a wide range of backgrounds, from basic scientists to all levels of healthcare professionals, and will provide a flexible, multi-disciplinary and multi-professional perspective in genomics, applied to clinical practice and medical research.
It is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to interpret and understand genomic data that increasingly impacts on service delivery to patients and the community.
The training provided covers all aspects of genomic science and medicine (not merely DNA sequencing or detection of genetic variation), undertaken in one of the most cutting-edge scientific environments.
The course includes collaborations with:
The Institute of Cancer Research and Brunel University London may also co-supervise research projects.
This course is made up of three progressional levels (PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc), and you can apply to any level in the first instance. Read more about how this works under 'Choosing your course' in the admissions section.
One of the core modules available within the Master's degree (MSc) includes opportunities to access the emerging data from the 100,000 Genomes Project through the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP) training domains.
Hear from Genomic Medicine students and graduates on the National Heart and Lung Institute website.
A blended approach to learning is used, in both core and optional modules, combining face-to-face teaching and online distance learning. This is to provide flexibility for health professionals to combine their study with work.
Most modules will consist of one week of face-to-face teaching and up to three weeks of e-learning and independent study. The modules are offered on a cycle of 12 months, so that all modules become available once in each 12 month cycle.
The course is flexible and modular and is available as a full-time or part-time MSc delivered over one or two years respectively. There are also full-time and part-time Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) and Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) options.
The University of Edinburgh Centre for Genomics and Experimental Medicine (CGEM) is part of the MRC / University of Edinburgh Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM). CGEM’s mission is to use genetics and genomics to understand the mechanisms of disease and design novel intervention strategies. Our research has consistently obtained the highest possible ranking in national assessments of research excellence.
We undertake detailed studies of populations, families and individuals to study a wide range of health related conditions. We use state-of-the-art genetic, epigenetic, genomic, statistical, bioinformatic, biological and molecular approaches in model systems and clinical studies for systematic investigation of disease aetiology. With this knowledge, we aim to improve disease prediction, prevention and prognosis. Our translational agenda encompasses the development of new medicines and genetically-informed use of existing medicines in clinical trials.
A principal aim of both CGEM and the IGMM is develop fully integrated, multi-disciplinary research programmes across the whole spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research. We have state of the art imaging, DNA sequencing and drug discovery units, a bioinformatics service and excellent lab facilities.
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.