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Bioinformatics & Computational Genomics

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

Bioinformatics covers the application of mathematics, statistics and computing to biological and clinical scenarios. It involves the application and development of algorithms and software to understand and interpret ‘Big Data', which is driving medical research, discovery and practice.

WHAT'S INVOLVED?

You’ll be looking at clinical and omics data to find patterns that others can’t see, which relate to patient response to treatments and prognosis.

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 clinical and biological problems, and by the end of the degree you’ll be ready to work within a multidisciplinary team alongside bioinformaticians, biologists and clinicians, dissemination and application of cutting edge research, knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of research ideas and innovations.

https://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/centreforcancerresearchcellbiology

Entry requirements

Graduate
A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a Natural Science subject, Mathematics, Computer Science, or a relevant medical or life sciences subject (e.g. Genetics, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Physics or Statistics). A medical (MB) or dental degree (BDS) is also considered.

Intercalating Applicants
Intercalating medical and dental students within QUB will also be considered if they have successfully completed the third year of their course at first attempt and achieved at least an upper second class honours standard. Intercalating applicants should also ensure they have permission to intercalate from either the Director for Medical Education or Dentistry as appropriate.

An external medical or dental student wishing to intercalate must be ranked in the top half of their year cohort to have their application considered. Applicants must have passed all assessments at first attempt for the year in which they are applying.

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

English language requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: 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.

Duration

1 year, full-time.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Introduction
The rapid production of 'omics' data within medicine and the life sciences has meant that individuals with analytical experience in this field are highly sought after. Recent graduates have gone on to work in industry in companies such as Almac Diagnostics, Biokinetic Europe and Fios Genomics and some have gone onto further PHD level research.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Employment after the Course
Many of our students go on to pursue further PhD study in Bioinformatics at Queen’s and further afield. Others go on to work in a variety of roles in both the private and public sector here in Northern Ireland and internationally. The following are some of the jobs they have taken on:

Bioinformatician at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Application Scientist at Dotmatics
Network and Security Engineer at Darktrace
Junior Bioinformatic Scientist at Almac Group
Bioinformatician at Fios Genomics Ltd
Biomedical Scientist and Junior Bioinformatician, BioKinetic Europe
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Professional Opportunities
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Further enquiries

Dr Jaine Blayney
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Email: j.blayney@qub.ac.uk

Subjects taught

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.

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 disease . There are also opportunities to work on research projects with our industrial partners.
Environment

You’ll be taught by active researchers including biologists, clinicians and bioinformatician. 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. A suite of high-specification PCs is available for use by students on this course.

Comment

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 learning technologies and self-directed study to enhance employability.

Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics highlights

'Big data' can provide the key to unlocking the cause and development of various diseases, such as cancer. It also, offers the prospect of developing new drugs and therapies to prevent and treat conditions and diseases in the 21st century.

Internationally Renowned Experts
• 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.

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
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. 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.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply. See application weblink below.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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