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.
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
- biomedical text mining
- developing new computational methods that exploit data produced using various experimental techniques (e.g. cryo-EM, mass spectrometry, NMR and tomography).
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MRes) (Part-time)
Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MRes) (Full-time)
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.
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.
International entry requirements
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.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Part-time home/EU students: £
paFull-time home/EU students: £
paPart-time overseas students: £
paFull-time overseas students: £
Payment and Fees Discounts
Funding and Financial Support
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 education lecturer. This degree can also be useful in becoming a science writer or software developer.
Find out more about these professions.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Teaching and assessment
Lectures and coursework early on, with increasing focus on the research project through the year. Research seminars by outside speakers and research supervision for project and thesis.
Examinations (for certain modules only), coursework, literature review, oral presentation, project thesis and viva voce.