• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2017
  • Duration:

    2 years part-time or 1 year full-time

  • Attendance:

    2 evenings a week part-time or 2 afternoons and 2 evenings a week full-time, October to September

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

This specialist postgraduate degree provides you with high-quality postgraduate training in bioinformatics. It provides a foundation for the development of essential bioinformatics knowledge and skills, as well as an introduction to the emerging field of systems biology. The course is run in parallel with an MRes course that includes a larger research component.

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.

 

    For further information about this programme please visit our dedicated website.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.

    Online application

    Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MSc) (Part-time)

    Bioinformatics with Systems Biology (MSc) (Full-time)

    Why study this course at Birkbeck?

    • Provides training in bioinformatics and systems biology - both these areas have grown dramatically in the last 2 decades.
    • Aims to meet the present needs of the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries for research and development.
    • 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 materials, computer laboratories and multimedia seminar rooms.
    • 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.
    • Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.

    Course structure

    The programme is made up of 8 half-modules.

    A third of the programme is devoted to a practical research project. Research areas include: genome analysis; analysis of next-generation sequencing data; immunoinformatics; microarray analysis; molecular modelling; biological database design; structural data analysis; and biomedical text mining.

    Modules

    Entry requirements

    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.

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa

    Payment and Fees Discounts

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    Funding and Financial Support

    The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.

    Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

    Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

    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.

    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

    Teaching

    This programme emphasises active learning. Practical exercises, reinforcing and expanding on the preceding lectures, are integral to most modules. Teaching includes contributions from specialists at other universities and research institutions.

    Assessment

    Written examination, coursework, individual project and oral examination.

    Our research

    Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

    Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

    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.

    Read about Birkbeck research helping to identify fundamental biological and physical structures and fight disease.

    Further study opportunities

    If you are interested in further research, we offer an MPhil/PhD in Biology.