MSc Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics

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Bioinformatics is central to modern medical research where the “big data” generated from modern genomic techniques provides the key to unlocking the mysteries of disease, including cancer.  The Queen’s MSc course in Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics is designed to train biologists and computational scientists to a very high standard, address these exciting data challenges of modern science, and bridge the current skills gap in trained and skilled bioinformaticians nationally and internationally.

1. Individuals with bioinformatics skills are in high demand globally

2. Bioinformatics is vital to research and discovery in industry and academia

3. The course provides a means for computer scientists to cross-over into life sciences and medical research

  • Duration:        One year, full-time 
  • Closing date:  30 June 2016 (Late applications may be considered if places are still available)


Please Note - The MSc in Bioinformatics & Computational Genomics is currently being updated for September 2016 starters. This means that module and programme content may change from that listed above/below.                                                           

Course Content

Cell Biology: Short introductory course followed by the following taught modules:

• Scientific Programming and Statistical Computing
• Genomics and Human Disease
• Analysis of Gene Expression
• Bioimaging Informatics
• Computational Diagnostics
• Statistical Genomics

Entrance Requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a Natural Science subject, Mathematics, Computer Science, or a relevant medical subject (e.g., Genetics, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences).

English Language:

  • an IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading,speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
  • a TOEFL score of 90+ (internet based test), taken within the last two years, with minimum component scores of Listening – 20, Reading – 19, Speaking – 21, Writing - 20;.
  • a valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
  • a valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A;
  • or a first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

Tuition Fees

For further information on Tuition Fees and payment options please refer to the University's webpages for Tuition Fees.

Sources of Funding

International Scholarships

Queen’s University will be offering a number of exciting scholarships to talented international students. The latest information will be available on this website early in 2015.  Please refer to the University’ International Scholarship webpages for further details.

US Loans

Please refer to the US Federal loan webpages to find out if you are eligible.

Other Sources of Funding

For information on other potential sources of funding please refer to the University’s Postgraduate Funding webpages .

How to Apply

Candidates should make applications through the Universities Online Admissions Portal .  Guidance is available on the University’s Prospective Student pages.

When applying please choose 'Medicine’ as your subject area/School.

For further advice on the application process at QUB please contact:

Admissions and Access Service
Lanyon North
Queen’s University Belfast
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5081

Further Information

Professor Peter Hamilton
Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology
Telephone:  +00 (44) 28 9097 2802


Dr. Shu-Dong Zhang
Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology
Tel:  +00(44) 28 9097 5807

Further Information for International Students

The University welcomes International Students each year.  Candidates may find the University’s  International Student Support Office webpages useful for finding out more about living and studying in Belfast.

Once you have applied and accepted your place at the University you mayfind the University’s Admissions webpage for new students webpages of interest.  These webpages contain useful information which will assist you in making the necessary arrangements prior to coming to Belfast to study.

Graduate Prospects

There is currently a worldwide shortage in graduates qualified in Bioinformatics and with the skills needed to interpret the data that is going to underpin advances in biology and medicine in 21st Century.  With the advent of Translational Genomics and Personalised Medicine, the demand for specialists in Bioinformatics will only further increase.  Students completing the Queen’s MSc course in Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics will develop the necessary skills and knowledge to develop careers in this field, undertake research in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic Industry, in medical research centres and in academic institutions. 

Intercalated Opportunities

Intercalated applications for starting in September 2015 are now closed. Intercalated applications for 2016/17 will open in Autumn 2015


This Masters can be taken by students wishing to intercalate following the third year medical or dental examinations.  The School are offering up to 10 competitive Intercalated Scholarships to complete a Masters programme.  The Scholarships, up to the value of £6500.00 each and will cover the Tuition Fees and a Bursary. 

Terms of Intercalated Scholarships (including eligibility):

  1. Students must be a registered medical or dental students at Queen’s University.
  2. Must have successfully completed, or be due to complete, third year medical or dental examinations on the first attempt with an overall classification of a 2.1
  3. Must have applied online to undertake the Bioinformatics & Computational Genomics, Clinical Anatomy, MPH or the MRes as intercalated degrees by 31 January 2015.
  4. The scholarships will be competitive and will be awarded on the basis of academic rankings used to calculate distinctions at the end of year two. 

Application process

  1. Students should apply via the Queen’s on–line portal
  2. You will automatically be considered for one of the Intercalated Scholarships using the above criteria.


Please click here for further information on Intercalated degrees.