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Bioinformatics

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

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  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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There are thirteen courses related to Bioinformatics that you might be interested in.

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Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

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Course overview

Biosciences and technology are an integral part of the global economy. Our Bioinformatics MSc has been designed with input from major industry players to meet the current and emerging skill gaps for professional bioinformaticians.

Introduction

This course will equip you with the background in biology, statistical analysis, and computing skills necessary to work with modern biological data from genomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies.

You’ll be trained with an emphasis on hands-on practical experience, so that you can tackle your research project with confidence.

You will be taught by internationally renowned scientists at a University with internationally excellent Research Centres, including the University of Liverpool Computational Biology Facility, the newly established Centre for Metabolomics, the Centre for Proteomics, and the Centre for Genomic Research.

If Bioinformatics is your passion, you may wish to continue your education by studying a PhD following successful completion of this MSc.

Please note that this programme is suitable for intercalating medical students.

Who is this course for?

This master’s course is for graduates from a Biological Sciences background who want to combine the skills and technologies from computer science and biology to help better understand and interpret biological data.

What you'll learn

  • The knowledge and skills necessary to perform bioinformatics analyses
  • Statistical techniques in the design of experiments in biological research
  • Theoretical and technical knowledge in sequence analysis, phylogenetics, and the modelling of proteins, and others
  • Coding skills to perform tasks in the biological sciences
  • How to analyse and interpret complex genomic data sets
  • The understanding of proteomic and metabolomic techniques and related data analysis

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

Compulsory modules

Practical Bioinformatics (LIFE748)

Credits: 30 / Semester: whole session

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and skills necessary to perform bioinformatics analyses, in order to prepare students for future bioinformatics work, either inside or outside an educational setting.  The student will: (i) get hands on experience with genomic and protein data (genome sequence, annotation and analysis), and thus a solid grounding in practical bioinformatics work, and (ii) meet with their project supervisor, to prepare for their MSc project work.

The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and workshops. The topics covered will be introduced with a lecture, and then we will apply the lecture material to real-world practical data sets in workshops. The module will be assessed via three coursework assessments, including a presentation, a scientific report and a research project plan.

BIOLOGICAL DATA SKILLS (LIFE707)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Data skills are essential for a career in modern biology. Biological studies increasingly involve the generation of large or complex sets of data, and the ability to analyse data is a core component of a successful biologist’s skill set. Digital fluency is also required more widely outside biological research and a grounding in data analysis is in demand by a broad range of employers. Here you will learn the ability to visualise data, critically test hypotheses, and to interpret and present results.

The learning and teaching materials are delivered as an online set of resources (available through Canvas) coupled with computer-based practical workshops. The module will also introduce students to the powerful open access statistical software package, R.

The module will be assessed by a written data analysis report and an open-book exam

For any students studying off-campus – due to a placement in industry or studying at an overseas University – on-line drop-in sessions will be provided instead of the practical workshops.

INFORMATICS FOR LIFE SCIENCES (LIFE721)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Bioinformatics is a key skill needed in many research settings. This module gives students a theoretical and technical grounding in a range of application areas including bioinformatics-related topics such as sequence analysis, phylogenetics, and the modelling of proteins, and others. While lectures are provided on core topics, there is a strong emphasis on practical exercises to demonstrate the application of common tools and data sources in these contexts. Teaching is delivered in the form of a weekly lecture and workshops. Students will be given guided reading and online activities to support their learning. The module will be assessed by two coursework assessments. The assessments will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the tools used in workshops and interpretation of results.

CODING FOR LIFE SCIENCES (LIFE733)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is aimed at postgraduate students in the Life Sciences, wishing to learn about methods for use in data-intensive research. The module provides a broad introduction to the use of Python coding for performing basic tasks in the biological sciences. The student will get practical experience in writing their own Python scripts for basic bioinformatics tasks, such as manipulating DNA, RNA and protein sequences, file input/output and working with other programs, such as BLAST. There is also an introduction to data visualisation using Python, and simple techniques used in data science, including a basic introduction to machine learning.

Around 10 hours of lectures will be provided on core topics, with a strong emphasis on practical activity in workshops (totalling around 40 hours), allowing students to gain confidence in writing scripts for their own tasks. The module will be assessed by two short coding assignments, one team working coding assignment building a bioinformatics pipeline, and a data science mini-project.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Study as an intercalated degree

Intercalation allows you take a break from your medical degree, usually after year 3 or 4, and study an additional qualification. Most intercalating students choose to study a master's degree. This gives you the opportunity to explore a subject of interest at an advanced level and acquire new skills and knowledge that will enhance and/or complement your medical degree.

Your experience

As a Bioinformatics student, you will benefit from the School of Biosciences experience in delivering dynamic, world-class, inspirational research-led teaching.  We are a melting-pot for the study of the biological sciences, and have been for over 140 years.

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Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place for postrgradute study

  • Programmes taught by internationally-renowned scientists and clinicians
  • Research-connected education covering the full life science spectrum from biochemistry to zoology
  • Access to world-class facilities
  • Provide specialist training with taught and research components
  • Options for intercalating students
  • Vibrant postgraduate community.

Careers and employability

Graduates with a Bioinformatics MSc are highly sought after. In the public sector, bioinformaticians are in demand in research institutes, government departments, the Health Service, forensic science and the Environment Agency.

Commercial sectors such as the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agriculture industries are also employers of our graduates, especially with the increase of next-generation sequencing and the corresponding data analysis that is required.

There is also a current demand for science teachers and following the completion of a PGCE, this master’s is suitable for those interested in a career in teaching.  In fact, many of our graduates pursue careers in a wide range of fields, including management, where the skills obtained through this degree are of considerable benefit.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

The MSc Bioinformatics prepares you for a diversity of job opportunities in the public and private sector.  Potential career pathways include, but are not limited to, the roles of:

  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Biostatistician
  • Bioinformatician
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Microbiologist.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £12,400
Part-time place, per year £6,200
International fees
Full-time place, per year £26,400
Part-time place, per year £13,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

Normally, at least a 2.1 Honours degree in a Biological Sciences subject or equivalent, including at least one module providing training in statistics. Candidates must have a scientific background acceptable to the Director of the programme.

We are able to offer a level of flexibility for applicants. Those with a 2:2 honours degree will be considered on an individual basis.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MSc, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, writing 19, reading 19 and speaking 20
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 105
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 65
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.0, and no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 6.0, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Fees and Finance

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Changes to Bioinformatics MSc

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.