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Bioinformatics & Computational Genomics

Bioinformatics is developing software and algorithms to interrogate 'Big Data', now at the heart of medical research, discovery and practice.

The past decade has seen enormous advances in molecular and biomedical technology resulting in the ‘omics’ revolution.

You’ll be looking at the big data to find patterns that others can’t see, gaining access to data sets that have not yet been analysed.

You’ll discover results that translate to the real world, through commercialisation or clinical trials to tackle diseases.

You’ll use your vision to find unique solutions to medical problems, and by the end of the degree you’ll be ready to work within a multidisciplinary team with bioinformaticians, biologists and clinicians.

Why Queen's?
You'll be involved with our Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, who work with partners around the world in developing cancer treatments and pioneering advances in patient care.

The Centre has an international reputation for successful dissemination and application of cutting edge research, knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of research ideas and innovations.

You might be a computer scientist or mathematician looking to cross over into life sciences and medical research, or come from a biomedical background but keen to acquire new skills.

You are creative, curious and tenacious and like looking at things from a different angle.

"Our course has been designed to equip the next generation of bioinformatics graduates with the skills and knowledge to tackle the major challenge in medical research: how to translate ‘big data’ analysis into personalised treatments for patients.”

Darragh McArt, ‎Lecturer in Translational Bioinformatics.

Course Details
A fascinating and challenging set of subjects, this Masters degree will provide students with a background in computational or life sciences, to move across to an exciting new area of discovery, technology and applications.

Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a Natural Science subject, Mathematics, Computer Science, or a relevant medical subject (eg Genetics, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences). The programme is open to graduates in computer science, life sciences, physics or statistics.

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English


1 year, full-time.

Learning and Teaching
We provide a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in an advanced society making use of innovative technologies.

Across a combination of morning and afternoon classes, examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are lectures, practical experiences, E-Learning technologies, Self-directed study and added value qualifications to enhance employability.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
The rapid development of 'omics' and the explosion of molecular data available across medicine and life sciences, has meant that individuals with experience in this field are highly sought after.

Typical careers might involve working or undertaking research in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic Industry, in medical research centres and in academic institutions.

Further enquiries

Dr Jaine Blayney
Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Tel: 44(0) 28 9097 5807

Subjects taught

You’ll begin with an introductory short course (two weeks at the beginning of the first semester) in Cell Biology, followed by modules in:

•Digital Pathology
•Applied Genomics
•Analysis of Gene Expression
•Genomics and Human Disease
•Scientific Programming and Statistical Computing
•Biostatistical Informatics
•Research Project: Dissertation

We provide a broad learning base and offer training in open-source programming languages commonly used in academia and industry.

The research projects are mainly split between the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, and the Centre for Experimental Medicine. You’ll be working with supervisors who are actively conducting research into the causes and treatments of inflammatory disease and cancer. There are also opportunities to work on research projects with our industrial partners.

You’ll be taught by active researchers including several biologists, one pathologist and two mathematicians/ statisticians. We also have teaching input from our industrial partners.

During the research projects, you may have the opportunity to work alongside PhD students in open-plan environments on-campus, but the course is flexible.

Assessment method

Assessment for the modules will be based on 100 per cent coursework/in-class tests/dissertation. Students who pass all of the taught modules but who fail to achieve a mark of at least 50 per cent in the dissertation are eligible for the award of a PG Diploma.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught

In general, there are no closing dates for the majority of courses (those with closing dates will be highlighted in the Course Finder). However we advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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