Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This specialist postgraduate degree provides you with high'quality postgraduate training in bioinformatics, including a major research component. It provides a foundation for the development of essential bioinformatics knowledge and skills within the context of academic research, as well as an introduction to the emerging field of systems biology.

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.

Course Modules

Over half of the programme is devoted to a practical project which includes programming and method development as well as the use of existing techniques such as genome analysis, analysis of next'generation sequencing data, molecular simulations and molecular modelling.

Training is also provided in searching and evaluating data in literature and online databases, and the analytical and presentational skills required by the successful research scientist.

You take 4 course units selected from a list of 8 options.

Option modules:

BioComputing I;

BioComputing II;

Data Management;

Molecular Structure;

Sequence Analysis and Genomics;


Structural Bioinformatics;

Systems Biology .

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
Master of Research - MRes £9,200 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
Master of Research - MRes £14,850 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
Master of Research - MRes £4,600 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
Master of Research - MRes £7,425 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • 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: IELTS Academic Test score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.