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Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MSc/MRes)

Course Description

This specialist postgraduate degree provides you with high-quality postgraduate training in bioinformatics. It provides a foundation for the development of essential bioinformatics knowledge and skills, as well as an introduction to the emerging field of systems biology. The course is run in parallel with an MRes course that includes a larger research component.

The programme is designed for students from a range of scientific backgrounds, who want to pursue research training in the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics and systems biology. It is relevant to those seeking a future career in both academia and industry.

On successful completion of this programme, students from all backgrounds should be able to:

- Understand the core concepts and statistical fundamentals that underpin the field of bioinformatics, most notably in the area of sequence analysis.
- Program in Python, and design and query databases using SQL. Experience of more advanced programming practices (such as software testing and application development) will also be gained.
- Explain core biological concepts (such as genes and genomes, protein structure and function) and growth areas such as Next Generation Sequencing and (at least at an introductory level) systems modelling.

Visit the Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MSc/MRes) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jameel Caitane-Thomas

4075.jpg Jameel Caitane-Thomas had always wanted to carry on in academia after graduating from his undergraduate course. It was another five years before he enrolled on the MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at Birkbeck, with a view to going onto a PhD afterwards.

Jameel says: ‘I needed to continue working while I studied so Birkbeck was really the only option I had. Thankfully, they offered the course that I wanted to study.’

‘I think there’s definitely something to be said about an institution which is set up for mature learners. I noticed a difference in the students and in the way that the tutors treated us and I found it to be a very positive learning environment.’

‘My family and friends initially thought I must be crazy to attempt a Master’s while working but as I started handing in work and getting good results I think they were impressed.’

‘I had always prided myself on my time-management skills but once I started they had to improve even further! Managing relationships was also a challenge and my girlfriend had to get used to me being behind a computer every evening and weekend, but she was amazing and her support was very important.’

‘As soon as I handed in my dissertation I started applying for jobs. My qualification has opened new avenues of career development not previously available to me and I’ve discovered a love of programming, which is what I now do for a living. At interview the panel were very impressed that I’d been working at the same time as studying for my Master’s degree.’

‘Studying at Birkbeck has given me a huge confidence boost. There were points where I didn’t think I’d make it and I had to muster up energy I didn’t think I had, but it’s definitely shown me what I’m capable of.’


Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants may have first degrees in a wide range of subjects, including biology, computer science, mathematics, chemistry or physics.Some practical knowledge of 1 programming language would be a distinct advantage.Mathematics to A-level or equivalent desirable, but GCSE/O-level considered. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Last Updated

07 August 2017

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London

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