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.
This MSc is aimed at students who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise in the eye as an integrated biological system. The programme provides a unique and integrated review of the physiology and biology of the eye, covering molecular and developmental cell biology, complex genetics, immunology and behavioural neuroscience.
The programme offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise in ocular cell biology, genetics, visual neuroscience, development and immunology. On completion of the programme, students gain an enhanced knowledge and understanding of scientific communication skills, scientific design and analysis, sophisticated laboratory techniques and valuable research experience.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research project (90 credits).
All MSc students undertake either a research or informatics project using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. The project culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–18,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, problem classes, journal clubs, self-directed studies and laboratory practical courses. Assessment is through long essays, coursework, laboratory practicals, oral examination and the research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biology of Vision MSc
This programme provides excellent preparation for a PhD or a successful research career in academia or for positions in the public or commercial sectors. Previous students have also successfully obtained specialist trainee positions in ophthalmology at hospitals across the country.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The programme aims to train first-class basic and clinical scientists in the field of ophthalmology.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of the premier centres in the world for the study of vision and the mechanisms, diagnosis and therapy of eye disease. We embrace fundamental research, through the entire spectrum of translational medicine to clinical trials.
This MSc programme draws upon the extensive basic and clinical research experience available at the institute and at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Students gain expertise in basic cell biology, genetics, neuroscience and physiology, specialise in the biology of the eye as an integrated biological system and conduct a six-month research project within a world-class research environment.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Ophthalmology
80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Is your passion linked to the human system? Are you interested in the workings of the brain, or would you be the one that bridges the different understandings of fundamental biological processes and health & disease in humans? Your choice might be Medical Biology!
Where studying Biology starts with a fascination for life, Medical Biology shares this trait and specifies it towards the human system. The Master's in Medical Biology in Nijmegen focuses strongly on molecular and cellular life processes at the cutting edge of fundamental biology and medical scientific research.
Our programme is unique because it is a combination of fundamental research and the translation of its findings into clinical applications. This is facilitated by our close cooperation with the University Medical Centre.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology
At the beginning of the first year, all students follow an orientation course before they choose one of the three Master's specialisations:
- Human Biology
- Medical Epigenomics
- Science in Society
- Science, Management and Innovation
This programme provides you with the qualifications you need to start working on your PhD and in the field of communication, business and management or education. Medical biologists often continue their research careers in universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities. On graduation, our students quickly take up positions as researchers or analysts in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies.
What medical biologists do:
- Researchers at universities or in companies
- Supervisors of clinical trials
Where medical biologists work:
- Health care
- Business services
The Master's programme has a strong emphasis on research, especially during the first year, but allows you to broaden your horizons towards the fields of Management, Communication and Education during the second year. This way, you have the opportunity to experience whether these specialisations might suit you when you start looking for a job.
- Research trains students for fundamental and applied research. This specialisation is required for people pursuing a PhD position or a position in industrial or institutional research.
- Science, Management and Innovation prepares students for a management position as an academic professional. It prepares students for a career in science related business and administration and for innovation and enterprise from an academic perspective.
- Science in Society trains students in the direction of science communication, which prepares them for a career in communication research, applications and media.
- Education prepares students to become a (first degree) teacher (this variant is only available in Dutch).
Education is closely linked to on-going research within the:
- Institute for Water and Wetlands Research;
- Institute of Neuroscience;
- Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences.
Nijmegen's biologists are experts in the fields of animal physiology at system level as well as at cellular and molecular level. But they also are top researchers in the fields of human health, disease and development.
- Personal tutor
The programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the guidance of a personal tutor. Each time you start a research internship you will select a research group and be allocated a supervisor. Together you will decide which research to carry out and the specialisations and subject choices that most effectively support it. In practice you will be occupied for four days a week with your own research and one day will be devoted to lectures.
- The Nijmegen approach
The first thing you will notice as you enter our Faculty of Science is the open atmosphere. This is reflected by the light and transparent building and the open minded spirit of the working, exploring and studying people that you will meet there. No wonder students from all over the world have been attracted to Nijmegen. You study in small groups, in direct and open contact with members of the staff. In addition, Nijmegen has excellent student facilities, such as high-tech laboratories, libraries and study ‘landscapes'.
Studying by the ‘Nijmegen approach' is a way of living. We will equip you with tools which are valuable for the rest of your life. You will be challenged to become aware of your intrinsic motivation. In other words, what is your passion in life? With this question in mind we will guide you to translate your passion into a personal Master's programme.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology
We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology: the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. This new approach promises solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges in environmental protection, human health and energy production.
This MSc will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the primary design principles and biotechnology tools being developed in systems and synthetic biology, ranging from understanding genome-wide data to designing and synthesising BioBricks.
You will learn quantitative methods of modelling and data analysis to inform and design new hypotheses based on experimental data. The University’s new centre, SynthSys, is a hub for world-leading research in both systems and synthetic biology.
The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation, which can be either modelling-based or laboratory-based.
The programme is designed to give you a good basis for managerial or technical roles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. It will also prepare you for entry into a PhD programme.
This course provides you with a balance of molecular biology, engineering, computing and modelling skills necessary for a career in synthetic biology. Computational design of biological systems is important as the field of synthetic biology grows. This allows the construction of complex and large biological systems.
While laboratory approaches to engineering biological systems are a major focus, the course specialises in computational design. This provides you with essential computing and engineering skills to allow you to develop software to program biological systems.
Our course is designed for students from both biological and computational backgrounds. Prior experience with computers or computer programming is not required. Students with mathematical, engineering or other scientific backgrounds are also welcome to apply. It is ideal if you are aiming for careers in industry or academia.
We provide a unique, multidisciplinary experience that is essential for understanding synthetic biology. The programme draws together the highly-rated teaching and research expertise of our Schools of Computing Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Biology, as well as the Medical Faculty and the Institute of Human Genetics.
Research is a large component of this course. The emphasis is on delivering the research training you will need in the future to meet the demands of industry and academia effectively. Newcastle's research in life sciences, computing and mathematics is internationally recognised.
The teaching staff are successful researchers in their field and publish regularly in highly-ranked systems synthetic biology journals.
Our experienced and friendly staff are on hand to help you. You gain the experience of working in a team in an environment with the help, support and friendship of fellow students.
Your five month research project gives you real research experience in Synthetic Biology. You will have the opportunity to work closely with a leading research team in the School and there are opportunities to work on industry led projects. You will have one-to-one supervision from an experienced member of the faculty, supported with supervision from associated senior researchers and 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.
You will have dedicated computing facilities in the School of Computing. You will have access to the latest tools for system analysis and development. For certain projects, special facilities for networking can be set up.
You will enjoy access to specialist IT facilities to support your studies, including:
You will have access to a Linux based website that you can customise with PHP hosting services.
We have moved to the new £58m purpose-built Urban Sciences Building. Our new building offers fantastic new facilities for our students and academic community. The building is part of Science Central, a £350 million project bringing together:
This academically challenging and career-developing programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries.
You will employ elements of the developing field of synthetic biology to bring about significant changes and major innovations that address the challenges of rapidly changing human demographics, resource shortages, energy economy transition and the concomitant growth in demand for more and healthier food, sustainable fuel cycles, and a cleaner environment.
You will learn through a variety of activities, including:
You will attend problem-based tutorial sessions and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor or programme director.
You will carry out research at the frontier of knowledge and can make a genuine contribution to the progress of original research. This involves carrying out project work in a research laboratory, reviewing relevant papers, analysing data, writing reports and giving presentations.
By the end of the programme you will have gained:
You will enhance your career prospects by acquiring current, marketable knowledge and developing advanced analytical and presentational skills, within the social and intellectual sphere of a leading European university.
The School of Biological Sciences offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and entrepreneur.
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