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Online MSc Bioinformatics

Advance the future of bioscience

Drive new discoveries for today’s data-driven health and life science industries and academic institutions by learning how to extract meaningful information from complex data sets at one of the top universities for biological and computer science.1

Quick facts

100% Online

study with global appeal


total programme fee. This can be paid in full or in instalments of £1,310 every module2

Russell Group


Scholarship Available

We are excited to be offering Masters Scholarships in 2023/24 for the Online MSc Bioinformatics programme to upskill students from under-represented backgrounds to progress into the AI and Data Science workforce.

This will include 120 students from under-represented groups, particularly women, Black and disabled students and those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, who will each be supported by a £10,000 scholarship.

Terms and conditions:

  1. This scholarship is open to students with a ‘home’ fee status only.
  2. You must have already submitted an application for a place on the Online MSc Bioinformatics programme before applying for this scholarship.

Embrace data-driven bioscience

Connecting contemporary topics from biology and computer science, our online MSc in Bioinformatics will help you understand complex data sets and how to use them in cutting-edge health and life science research. This knowledge is crucial for the development of novel insights in biological, clinical and environmental science. These techniques have significantly benefited our understanding and treatment of diseases such as COVID-19.

Delivered by the multidisciplinary initiative, Centre for Computational Biology, the programme is uniquely placed to support those eager to get ahead in this fast-growing industry. That includes biologists and healthcare professionals interested in data analysis, as well as statisticians or computer scientists wishing to apply their skills in biology.

Based on the successful campus-based programme and ranked top-20 in the UK for both Biological and Computer Science,1 our unique online Masters in Bioinformatics will equip you with all the tools you need for a bright future in bioinformatics.

“The Bioinformatics masters programme at the University of Birmingham not only provides foundational knowledge and skills in statistics, computer programming, and molecular biology, but also helps you to understand and participate in the ongoing revolution in biological data science using real-life problems.”
– Vartika Bisht, campus student

Career outlook

Between 2020 and 2027 the global bioinformatics market is expected to grow by 13.4% (compound annual growth rate),3 as bioinformatics and machine learning become key drivers for new clinical and biological services.

Led by active researchers in bioinformatics and linked to institutions such as University Hospitals Birmingham, the programme content is grounded in the real world. This helps you develop the practical skills you need to further your career in this cutting-edge field.

After graduating, a large proportion of students go on to study a PhD or undertake research for pharmaceutical companies, governmental institutions and medical publications.

Other potential roles for graduates include bioinformatician, bioinformatics analyst, pharmaceutical scientist, biostatistician, medical data scientist and medical AI architect.

Unlock your career

Faculty Introduction

Gain an overview of the Online MSc Bioinformatics programme from our two Co-Programme Directors, Dr Lindsey Compton and Dr Anas Rana. Hear their perspectives on some of the key features of the programme and learn what to experience on the course.

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Admissions requirements

To apply for the online Masters in Bioinformatics, you will need:

  • Completed application
  • Bachelors Certificate or transcript (or equivalent): In order to assess your academic eligibility, you must upload a copy of your Bachelors or alternative qualification certificate or transcript stating the final overall grade of the qualification.
  • At least an upper second-class degree from a UK university or equivalent in a relevant quantitative subject
  • A reference
  • CV
  • A statement of purpose (Optional)
  • Language requirements (international students)*

* Exceptions to the listed admissions requirements will be assessed on an individual basis.

View requirements

Tuition details

The estimated total cost of this programme is £17,030. You can pay in full or in instalments of £1,310 on a module-by-module basis. All costs are listed, to help you make an informed decision.

More tuition details

Start dates:

February | June | October

Curriculum: Discover more with data

Exploring a diverse range of subjects from scientific communication and health data analytics to applied metabolomics and advanced (omics) technologies, the curriculum is perfectly positioned to help health and life science professionals communicate more effectively with data.

Through mini-case studies and group projects, you’ll work through real-life examples, drawing on our connections with University Hospitals Birmingham and other industry partnerships. Collaborating with students from different backgrounds will enrich your experience further, helping you to make use of data in new and inventive ways.

The programme covers the essential topics related to bioinformatics, starting with introductory modules, followed by applied and advanced modules to gradually build your knowledge throughout this unique multidisciplinary programme.

Explore the curriculum
“The diverse course curriculum covers not only the basic aspects of the field but also present-day scenarios. It touches upon most of the concepts and tools being used in the discipline and gives a broad overview of the domain.”
– Vartika Bisht, Campus student

Programme outcomes

  • Explore the ethical implications of research in biology-related fields
  • Develop an understanding of data types used in bioinformatics including clinical health data, genomic data, epigenetic data, and metabolic data
  • Gain an understanding of omics; environmental science and toxicology; computing, algorithmics and programming; and the technologies underlying biology
  • Understand the statistical concepts and advanced machine learning techniques used in bioinformatics
  • Apply statistical and computational techniques underpinning advanced methodologies, and integrate diverse data types
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • Communicate your findings in the most effective way

Immersive online experience

As well as providing the highest levels of convenience and flexibility that 100% online learning offers, the programme is full of interactive elements, like video and group activities, which bring the content to life.

Rather than trying to replicate a campus-based setting online, we’ve built this programme from the ground up, drawing on the latest technology to create a truly unique and immersive student experience.

The online learning environment is not only a window to programme materials, it’s an opportunity to connect directly with your lecturers and other professionals like yourself.

Discover UOB Online

Faculty expertise

Taught by the same leading experts as its campus-based equivalent, the Masters in Bioinformatics programme exposes you to leading research from a multidisciplinary teaching team.

The programme is co-led by Dr. Lindsey Compton and Dr. Anas Rana.

Dr. Compton is a Co-programme director in Genetics in the School of Biosciences with a PhD in Quantitative Genetics has worked with NGS data using bioinformatics approaches to study the expression of homoeologous genes in hexaploid bread wheat. Dr. Anas Rana is a MRC Research Fellow at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences where he is based at the Centre for Computational Biology.

Meet the faculty

Frequently asked questions

You may have some questions about the programme, the university or the online environment. It’s always the way when starting something new. Don’t worry; we’re here to answer them.

If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call +44 (0)800 032 7101.

The programme provides a foundation in biology and computer science, so it is suitable for biologists or clinicians, as well as professionals from a computer science background. To apply you need a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in life sciences, biomedical sciences, mathematics, computer science or another relevant quantitative subject, or relevant work experience if you achieved less than a 2:1.

Work experience in life sciences, biomedical sciences, mathematics, computer science or another relevant quantitative subject is preferred. Though, if you have at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in one of those subjects, no work experience is necessary.

Studying an Online MSc Bioinformatics opens up a number of exciting new career opportunities. With the global bioinformatics market expected to rise by 13.4% (compound annual growth rate) between 2020 and 2027,4 the demand for expertise in this field is growing rapidly.

Delivered by experts from the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Computational Biology, you will be exposed to the latest research and case study content. The University of Birmingham is also a leading provider of both subjects, ranking 12th in biology and 16th in computer science in the UK.5

The programme includes all online resources, including access to the online learning platform, course materials and required digital reading materials, such as online journals. You will also have full access to the library and support from the Academic Skills Centre.

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  1. UNKNOWN (2022) World University Rankings by Subject. QS Top Universities [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 09.05.2022]
  2. Programme fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change each academic year.
  3. UNKNOWN (2019) Allied Market Research. Bioinformatics Market by Technology & Services [online] Available at: [Accessed 07.01.2021]