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Applied Bioinformatics MSc

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  • Objectives
    This new and fast-growing field requires forward-thinking people who understand both the biological and computing aspects of this science – Cranfield’s Applied Bioinformatics course has been specifically designed to produce graduates of this nature. We aim to equip you with a diverse set of knowledge and skills that directly meet the requirements of employers in this sector. On completion of this course you will be able to archive, analyse and interpret data collected from biological experiments using information technology and apply this to the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools.
  • Entry requirements
    1st or 2nd class UK honours degree, or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as a life science, a natural science or medical subject covering molecular biology. Where applicable, students must demonstrate competency in English, such as a minimum International English Language Testing System Score (IELTS) of 6.5 or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 580. Our Academic Summer Programme offers pre-sessional training in English.
  • Course description
    • Available full or part time
    • Fee bursaries available

    The human genome project has been hailed as one of the greatest achievements in scientific history. To date, vast amounts of public, private, human and financial resources have been invested into the sequencing of the genome. Now that this has been achieved, the emphasis is shifting towards using this new information to:

    • develop new drugs
    • create new diagnostics tools
    • arrive at a better understanding of disease.

    The course is divided into three parts:

    Taught modules

    Eight compulsory two-week modules from October to April. These modules cover the fundamentals of bioinformatics and the IT skills and scientific knowledge required of a Bioinformatician.

    This element constitutes 40% of the overall mark. The marks for each of the modules are normally obtained from a combination of examination and written assignments. The assignments for each module should be equivalent to 20 hours work. The examination of the modules is in the form of one written examination paper integrating content and concepts from the taught modules. The examinations are held in April.

    Software development group project

    Following the taught programme, students will undertake a four-week group project focusing on milestone-driven and team based software development to solve a real-world bioinformatics problem.

    The aim of the group project is to equip students with the skills and understanding required to begin a career in bioinformatics, either in a commercial environment or through a PhD where the development of bioinformatics, or similar, software tools will be required.

    This element constitutes 10% of the overall mark.

    Research project and thesis

    A five month thesis project, carried out either at Cranfield or an external research establishment or commercial organisation. Please see course content for more information.

    This element constitutes the remaining 50% of the overall mark. The marks are obtained from a combination of a submitted thesis, application and initiative shown during the project which is assessed by the day-to-day project supervisor and assessment of an oral presentation of the project.

    The course content has been developed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and practical experience for a successful career in bioinformatics.

    The MSc is comprised of the following segments:


    Introduction to Bioinformatics


    1 Metabolomics with R

    2 Introduction to Programming with Java

    3 Gene Expression Informatics and Genotyping

    4 Proteomic Bioinformatics

    5 Sequence Analysis

    6 Structural Biology

    7 Systems Biology

    8 Building Web Based Tools with Perl and MySQL


    Group project - Bioinformatics Software Development

    Research Project

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