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.
Months of entry
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.
Information for international students
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.
Fees and funding
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.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Department of Biological Sciences
- + 44 (0)20 7079 0798
- + 44 (0)20 7631 6246