Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This specialist postgraduate degree provides high'quality training in bioinformatics, including a major research component, and an introduction to the emerging field of systems biology.

The programme is ideal if you are from a scientific background and want to pursue research training in bioinformatics and systems biology, or if you are seeking a future career in both academia and industry. Bioinformatics and systems biology have grown dramatically in the last two decades and this programme has been designed to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries for research and development.

It covers the core concepts and statistical fundamentals underpinning bioinformatics, most notably in the area of sequence analysis. You will learn how to program in Python and design and query databases using SQL, and gain experience in more advanced programming practices such as software testing and application development. You will also explore core biological concepts such as genes and genomes, protein structure and function, and growth areas such as Next Generation Sequencing and systems modelling.

Our research areas include:

' computational structural bioinformatics, with a focus on the characterisation of macromolecular assemblies relevant to disease

' analysis of next'generation sequencing data, both genomic and transcriptomic

' immunoinformatics, in particular virus'host interactions and immune responses to protein therapeutics

' developing bioinformatics and chemoinformatics methods to analyse metabolic pathways

' structure'thermodynamic relationships, molecular simulation and inhibitor design

' developing new computational methods that exploit data produced using various experimental techniques (eg cryo'EM, mass spectrometry, NMR and tomography).


' Part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint initiative with University College London and a major biology research hub in the heart of London.

' Access to online learning material, computer and visualisation laboratories and multimedia seminar rooms, equipped with graphics workstations.

' In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK, with a research environment supporting world'leading and internationally excellent research.

Course Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
Master of Research - MRes £14,850 Overseas Fees
1 year
Full Time
Master of Research - MRes £9,200 Home 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.