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Postgraduate study
 
  • January 2020: Apply now to start January 2020.
 

Course overview

As biological sciences have become more data driven, bioinformatics is now central to modern biological research, from genetics, nutrition and epidemiology to ecology, neuroscience and biomedicine.

This programme teaches you how to manage and manipulate large datasets to reveal new insights in biological sciences. You get intensive training in a computer-based approach to biological research. You develop the computational and analytical understanding necessary as a platform for processing biological data. This involves the appreciation of biochemistry and molecular biology, together with IT and specialist skills in computer programming, data analysis, statistics and computational biology for multidisciplinary careers in research.

The North East, particularly, the Teesside region, is an important regional, national and international hub for the Life Science Sector, with both well established (FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, GlaxoSmithKline, Hart Biologicals) and emergent companies (Absolute Antibodies, StreamBio, Hexis Labs, Quantum Dx). Next to CPI’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and our Centre for Professional and Executive Development, the University’s National Horizons Centre (NHC) is at the heart of an ecosystem of life science excellence.This course is taught at our National Horizons Centre at the University’s Darlington campus. This £22m purpose-built biosciences research, education and training facility is a focal point for the growing regional biosciences community.The course develops comprehensive knowledge and understanding of bioinformatics in the 21st century. It offers you the unique opportunity participate in a research-intensive course, via a combination of taught modules and an in-depth research project, utilising the NHC facilities.The centre’s imaginative design includes a blend of teaching, learning and collaboration spaces, hi-tech laboratories and a state-of-the-art computing suite. Open spaces provide students and businesses with the tools for project development using data analytics, modelling and simulation, visualisation and process improvement and control.The NHC also offers analytical and digital infrastructure supporting basic and applied research in the biosciences and across disciplinary boundaries, aligned to academic excellence and industry needs. The NHC will expose students to a significant internationally- competitive research and innovation capability that is responsive and engaged with industry needs in the bioscience sector.The curriculum engages students in realistic research-based activities. Many of the research projects involve students working as part of a research team including the AipBAND (An Integrated Platform for Developing Brain Cancer Diagnostic Techniques) project. This is a European-wide partnership institutions, led by Teesside University, with the key objectiveto train a new generation of entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers in the early diagnosis of brain tumours using molecular biomarkers in the blood, meeting the medical and societal challenges of this emerging field, find out more at https://www.aipband-itn.eu/.

 

Course details

For an MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Bioinformatics

Clinical Biochemistry and Diagnostic Techniques

You explore advanced topics in biochemistry with special focus on clinical applications and diagnostic techniques. This involves the study of clinical analysis of bodily fluids and other biological materials to aid in the diagnosis, therapy and monitoring of a variety of diseases. You will acquire the knowledge necessary for understanding the essential concepts of clinical biochemistry and of the associated diagnostic techniques.

Data Analytics

This module provides you with the core principles and practical skills to apply state-of-the-art computational methods to perform data analytics. The skills are very important in the new horizon of data analysis where existing massive amount of data contains valuable knowledge, which is critical for prediction and decision-making. Due to its characters (3V: volume, velocity, and variety), computational methods are required to extract such knowledge.

You form a solid foundation of 1) predictive analytics, 2) data-driven decision making which refers to tools and techniques for building statistical or machine learning models to make predictions and decisions based on data. Practical guidance about how to handle unlabelled, noisy, incomplete, large-scale data is discussed and you learn how to select the best technique to handle different type of data in different scenarios.

Genomics and Bioinformatics

You gain an in depth understanding of advances genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics knowledge and their applications in specific disease state. You learn about the most recent technologies including next generation gene sequencing, genome editing, genomic and bioinformatics analyses. This module also explores the genomic application for disease treatment and prevention (pharmacogenomics), personalised medicine as well as ethical challenges in this field.

Life Science Research Project

You undertake a major independent practical research project in your discipline where you are fully integrated within a research team. Reflecting staff expertise, you will be able to pursue many discipline-related topics, including medical, industrial and environmental microbiology, molecular, cell and system biology, recombinant DNA technology, protein biochemistry, structural biology, fermentation, bioengineering and many other areas, using the state-of-the-art analytical and digital infrastructure at the National Horizons Centre. You will complete a hypothesis-driven project utilising appropriate discipline-specific laboratory, database or computational research methodologies to interrogate a hypothesis in a specialised area of the life sciences. You will be expected to work at a level recognised to be at the forefront of the discipline. Supervisors will provide guidance to support you but a high degree of autonomy is required.

Programming Skills

This module introduces programming, data types, use of algorithms involving repetition and conditional execution. Through a series of problem solving computer lab practicals you will explore the development of well-structured programs and data structures, with attention to maintainable, robust, reliable, and reusable code, and thorough testing.

 

Optional modules

Pathobiology of Infectious Diseases

You gain a deep understanding of infectious disease and will cover a wide range of medically-important human pathogens. Key aspects of pathobiology will be taught including pathogen genomics and evolution, bioinformatics, and the cellular and molecular biology that underpin these host pathogen interactions. Subversion of key mammalian cell biological processes, including immunology, that are targeted by pathogens will also be described. Advanced laboratory techniques and bioinformatics will be introduced that are commonly used to uncover mechanisms of pathogenesis.

The Pathobiology of Neurological Diseases

You explore the pathophysiological basis of diseases commonly associated with the central nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and stroke. The module will explore the genetic, molecular, cellular and neurochemical pathways involved in diseases of the central nervous system and how such abnormalities manifest clinically. It will also examine the various treatment strategies available for such diseases.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

Making the transition to postgraduate-level study can be challenging. Support with making this transition is seen as an important element of this programme.

The Data Analytics and Algorithms for Bioinformatics and Database Theory and Application modules help you understand the requirements of academic study at postgraduate level, to enhance your skills in academic writing and referencing, and to help you develop the skills necessary to operate professionally and ethically in planning and implementing a master’s-level research project.

By including work-based problem-solving projects and case study exercises this programme emphasises real-world working. This helps to develop your critical thinking skills as well as your ability to design, execute and present findings of research, allowing you to cultivate the skills employers are seeking to set you on a successful career path.

A significant feature of the programme is the opportunity to gain experience of working in state-of-the-art bioinformatics research facilities within the National Horizon Centre.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on subject knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition through formative and summative assessment. 

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment with some utilising other approaches such as, oral presentations, technical interviews and technical reports alongside literature surveys, evaluations and summaries.

You are presented with an assessment schedule providing details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments.

 
 

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have at least a UK 2.2 honours degree, or equivalent, in a subject related to life or physical sciences. If your first degree is not in one of the subject areas listed above please contact our admissions team for guidance and advice on how you might become eligible.


International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


In addition, international students normally need at least a 6.0, with no component below 5.5, in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

 

Employability

Work placement

There may be short-term placement opportunities, particularly during the project phase of the course.

Career opportunities

Our bioinformatics programme equips you with a strong foundation for further PhD research or for prospective employment. There is an increasing demand for bioinformatics skills across the biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors. The ability to manage, analyse, integrate and visualise big data using technologies such as Python and R is also applicable to fields including software development, data analytics and finance.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Full-time

2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£6,500 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£12,045 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£6,500 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break
  • Enrolment date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (full-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students

 

Part-time

2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£722 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£722 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break, January enrolment: 28 months, including two summer breaks
  • Attendance: Typically one day a week
  • Enrolment date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students

 
 
 

Choose Teesside

Progress

Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.

 

Skills

Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.

 

Earnings

The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018, tees.ac.uk/source)

 

Campus

Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.

 

Get in touch

 

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