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Bioinformatics and Systems Biology MSc

Our course provides an integrated programme taught by researchers at the forefront of fields spanning bioinformatics, genomics and systems biology.

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Year of entry: 2017

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Overview

Why is this course for me?

  • You wish to gain extensive research experience and professional skills in the field of bioinformatics.
  • You are considering moving on to doctoral and research degree programmes or developing a future career in the bioscience industry.
  • We are ranked fourth in the UK for biological sciences (REF 2014)
Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
12 months
Entry requirements
Applicants should hold (or be about to obtain) a first or upper second class honours degree from the United Kingdom, or the overseas equivalent, in a biological, medical, physical or computing sciences subject, with sufficient evidence in relevant modules taken. Exceptional applicants with a 2:2 with some research experience or equivalence would also be considered.

Full entry requirements

Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0)161 306 5439
How to apply

Apply online

Please note we require the following documents before we can consider your application:

Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English

Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.

Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)

Personal statement or statement of purpose

Curriculum vitae (CV)

If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

“My MSc final project was conducted in collaboration with a cancer research group in Liverpool, aimed at facilitating targeted DNA sequencing of gene regions identified as being important for breast cancer. This gave me an opportunity to work together with researchers outside of the university on a project that had real-world value.”

Martin Gerner / MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Course options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning
MScYNNN

Course description

Bioinformatics is changing as high throughput biological data collection becomes more Systems oriented. This means that employers are looking for people able to work across the traditional disciplines. 

The MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at Manchester reflects these exciting developments, providing an integrated programme taught by researchers at the forefront of fields spanning Bioinformatics, Genomics and Systems Biology.

Bioinformatics has been an identifiable discipline for more than a decade, driven by the computational demands of high volumes of biological data. It incorporates both the development and application of algorithms to decipher biological relationships. 

Enormous success has been achieved, for example in defining homologous families of sequences at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels.  However, our appreciation of function is changing rapidly as experimental analysis scales up to cellular and organismal viewpoints. 

At these levels, we are interested in the properties of a network of interacting components in a system, as well as the components themselves. The concepts or Systems Biology and Bioinformatics complement each other, and both are addressed in this course. 

This combination reflects the current skills sought in academic and industrial (eg pharmaceutical) settings. An important feature is the extent to which computational biology is concerned with finding patterns in biological data, and generating hypotheses that feed back into experiments.

Teaching is delivered by more than ten academic staff working in the fields of Bioinformatics, Genomics and Systems Biology, representing the breadth and depth of these areas.

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,250
    International students (per annum): £21,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Applicants should hold (or be about to obtain) a first or upper second class honours degree from the United Kingdom, or the overseas equivalent, in a biological, medical, physical or computing sciences subject, with sufficient evidence in relevant modules taken. Exceptional applicants with a 2:2 with some research experience or equivalence would also be considered.

English language

For overseas applicants whose first language is not English the minimum English language requirement is IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 577 (paper-based), 233 (computer-based) or 90 (internet-based).

If you are to attend a pre-sessional English course at our University Language Centre prior to the start of your Master's degree, a UKVI Approved Secure English Language Test is required for the purpose of your Tier 4 visa application. For details, please see requirements from our University Language Centre

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For more details see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Please note we require the following documents before we can consider your application:

Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English

Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.

Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)

Personal statement or statement of purpose

Curriculum vitae (CV)

If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Bioinformatics is changing as high throughput biological data collection becomes more Systems oriented. This means that employers are looking for people able to work across the traditional disciplines. 

The MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at Manchester reflects these exciting developments, providing an integrated programme taught by researchers at the forefront of fields spanning Bioinformatics, Genomics and Systems Biology.

Bioinformatics has been an identifiable discipline for more than a decade, driven by the computational demands of high volumes of biological data. It incorporates both the development and application of algorithms to decipher biological relationships. 

Enormous success has been achieved, for example in defining homologous families of sequences at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels.  However, our appreciation of function is changing rapidly as experimental analysis scales up to cellular and organismal viewpoints. 

At these levels, we are interested in the properties of a network of interacting components in a system, as well as the components themselves. The concepts or Systems Biology and Bioinformatics complement each other, and both are addressed in this course. 

This combination reflects the current skills sought in academic and industrial (eg pharmaceutical) settings. An important feature is the extent to which computational biology is concerned with finding patterns in biological data, and generating hypotheses that feed back into experiments.

Teaching is delivered by more than ten academic staff working in the fields of Bioinformatics, Genomics and Systems Biology, representing the breadth and depth of these areas.

Aims

The Bioinformatics and Systems Biology course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of methods to analyse and interpret the data generated by modern biology.  This involves the appreciation of biochemistry and molecular biology, together with the techniques of IT and computer science that will prepare students for multidisciplinary careers in research.

To achieve this there are three main objectives:

  • Provide biological background to the data types of Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics.
  • Develop the computational and analytical understanding necessary as a platform for processing biological data.
  • Demonstrate applications and worked examples in the fields of Bioinformatics and System Biology, integrating with student involvement through project work.

Coursework and assessment

Research projects provide experience in carrying through a substantive research project including the planning, execution and communication of original scientific research. They are assessed by written report.

Taught units involve lectures, practicals and problem classes and are assessed through both coursework and exam.

Course unit details

The taught part of the course runs from September to April and consists of 60 credits delivered from four 15 credit units.
  • Bioinformatics       
  • Programming Skills    
  • Computational Systems Biology
  • Experimental Design and Statistics

You will undertake two research project, each of 60 credits, in Semester 2 and the summer.

Additionally tutorials and the Graduate Training Programme (skills development) will run through the whole programme.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Programming SkillsBIOL6020115Mandatory
Communication Skills (0 credit)BIOL603110Mandatory
BioinformaticsBIOL6079115Mandatory
Research Project 1-BioinformaticsBIOL6123060Mandatory
Research Project 2-BioinformaticsBIOL6128060Mandatory
Statistics & Experimental DesignBIOL6516115Mandatory
Computational Approaches to BiologyBIOL6602115Mandatory
PGT Supervisor Meeting (MSc)BIOL721000Mandatory
PGT Advisor Meeting (MSc)-3BIOL730500Mandatory
PGT Advisor Mtg (MSc)-1BIOL731300Mandatory
PGT Advisor Meeting (MSc)-2BIOL732300Mandatory
Post Graduate Academic Literacy Programme (ALP)BIOL854400Mandatory
Computational Systems BiologyCOMP7056015Mandatory
Displaying 10 of 13 course units

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Graduates acquire a wide range of subject specific and transferable skills and gain extensive research experience. Around half of each class find PhD positions straight after the MSc, whilst others build upon their training to enter careers in biology and IT. The combination of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics addressed in this course reflects the current skills sought in academic and industrial (e.g. pharmaceutical) settings.