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Applied Bioinformatics (MSc/PgDip)

Course Description

Course Description

Bioinformatics is one of the most exciting fields in modern science. It is defined as the application of IT and computational methods used to tackle biological challenges. Since its origins in genomic sequence analysis more than 20 years ago, bioinformatics has spread, not only across the whole of molecular biology, but also into every field of life science. This includes drug discovery, food technology, medicine, agriculture and environmental science.The first of its kind in the UK, Cranfield’s established Applied Bioinformatics MSc is highly regarded by employers for its real-world relevance and applied content, and has been recognised by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) as providing the necessary skills and experience to contribute to their vision of developing and maintaining world-class UK bioscience.

Course overview

This course aims to equip graduate scientists with the computational skills and awareness needed to archive, analyse and interpret the vast amounts of biological data now becoming available. On completion of this course, you will be able to apply information technology to the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools.

Additionally, you will gain the skills to design and implement new tools and software plugins to fulfil the need of the research community, and will be equipped with a diverse set of knowledge and skills that directly meet the requirements of employers in this sector.

Group project

Working in project teams is part of everyday working life. It requires not only your individual expertise, but also an appreciation of the skills of the other members of the team. This part of the course gives you the opportunity of working as part of a team, on a group project. This is an invaluable experience that will help you to recognise and implement the differing contributions that colleagues bring to team work, and the different roles that we can choose to play within a team.

Individual Project

Industry related projects:

A four-month thesis project carried out either at Cranfield or an external research establishment or commercial organisation within the UK or Europe. This gives you the chance to concentrate on a subject area of particular interest to you, perhaps in collaboration with the type of organisation that you are hoping to find employment.

Real-life-problems solving thesis projects:

Our MSc students finalise their hands-on study practice withindividual thesis projects that solve problems in multidiciplinary areas whilst working under academic supervision. Some recent projects include:

-Development of a Web-based resource for tuberculosis genotyping and diagnosis from whole genome sequencing data: PhyTB:

This project by Ernest Diez (2013-2014) is focused on crerating PhyTB - an application for the interactive study of variation in M.tuberculosis, using data from the PhyloTrack library.

- Applications of data science and machine learning in detection of meat adulteration:

This project by MSc student Rafal Kural (2014-2015) is focused on the application of machine learning methods to unravel hidden pattern of meat samples using Fourier Transform Spectrometry, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry, High Performance Liquid Chromatography and VideometerLab. Over the course of this work it has been proven that it is certainly possible to obtain very accurate detection of meat adulteration, reaching sample adulteration level prediction accuracy of 100% for GCMS and 90-97% for FTIR and VM data.

Core Principles Integration

The Core Principles Integration element consists of a four-week group project focusing on milestone-driven and team based software development to solve a real-world bioinformatics problem.

This element constitutes 20% of the overall mark.



-Introduction to Bioinformatics using Perl
-Exploratory Data Analysis and Essential Statistics using R
-Next Generation Sequencing Informatics
-Informatics for Metabolomics
-Proteome Informatics
-Programming Using Java
-Data integration and Interaction Networks
-Simulating Biological Systems


Modules - examination and written assignments. Core Principles Integration: Group Project - Building Bioinformatics Solutions - grant proposal, a virtual machine with a software prototype deployed, a technical document including a user manual, client meetings and a presentation. Individual Research Project - submitted thesis and oral presentation of the thesis.


Bursaries may be available, however please be aware that funding will, in most cases, only be discussed once you have secured a firm offer of a place on the course. Please contact the Enquiries Office for further details.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/applied-bioinformatics.html

Visit the Applied Bioinformatics (MSc/PgDip) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a life science, computer-science subject or candidates with appropriate professional experience. The course is suitable for new graduates from a computer-science, life science or technology background who are interested in a career within the field of bioinformatics. The course is also ideal for professionals already working in the industry who would like to train to further their careers.

Course Fees

Home/EU: MSc Full-time - £9,000, Overseas: MSc Full-time - £17,500

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