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Principles of Protein Structure (PGCert)

Course Description

The twenty-first century has been described as 'the century of biology', with advances in molecular biology already making an important contribution to enormous gains in health and quality of life over much of the world. Proteins are fundamental to all biology. Structural biology is the science of how the shapes of molecules such as proteins affect their function, and our understanding of it has contributed to the design of drugs against devastating diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS. This postgraduate certificate in the principles of protein structure explores the structures of proteins at different levels, before applying this knowledge to an understanding of their function in health and disease.

On successful completion of this course, you will possess a detailed knowledge of protein structure and its importance in molecular biology. You will develop your understanding of basic bioinformatics and learn to use some fairly simple bioinformatics tools. You will recognise and understand how complex protein structures are made up from simpler components.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

An innovative course taught entirely using the internet. You study part-time in your own time, wherever you are in the world. Most of our students have full-time jobs and other personal commitments.
You will interact with your tutors and fellow students through email lists, submit written assignments by email, and attend online tutorials in real time using a chatroom-based interface.
Taught within the Department of Biological Sciences which, with University College London, is part of the leading research-based Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology. Several of the department’s world-class researchers contribute to the course.
May be taken as a stand-alone certificate course or as part of our acclaimed internet-based MSc Structural Molecular Biology.

Visit the Principles of Protein Structure (PGCert) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

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

Degree in science, computing or mathematics, or equivalent qualification, or relevant work experience. 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.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 2650 pa Part-time overseas students: £ 3825 pa

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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