Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This specialist postgraduate degree provides high-quality training in bioinformatics. It is run in parallel with an MRes course that includes a larger research component.

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.

TEACHING

Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

CAREERS AND EMPLOYABILITY

Graduates go on to careers in the biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as academia. Possible professions include healthcare scientist (genetics), research scientist, or higher educational lecturer. This degree can also be useful in becoming a science writer or software developer.

Start Date:

two afternoons/evenings a week.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MSc Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MSc Overseas Fees
1 year
Full Time
MSc European Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc European Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Domestic entry requirements: Applicants may have second-class honours degrees in a wide range of subjects, including biology, computer science, mathematics, chemistry or physics. Some practical knowledge of one programming language would be a distinct advantage. Mathematics to A-level or equivalent desirable, but GCSE/O-level considered.
  • International entry requirements: Applicants may have second-class honours degrees in a wide range of subjects, including biology, computer science, mathematics, chemistry or physics. Some practical knowledge of one 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.