Over the past few years, bioinformatics has become the most exciting field in biology. At Cranfield University, we provide some of the longest running postgraduate training courses in bioinformatics in the UK. Our courses provide a unique hands-on learning experience in bioinformatics skills, by combining the latest advances in analysing high-throughput genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomics data.

About the Bioinformatics Masterships®

Through our various Bioinformatics Masterships®, you will be able to gain the required knowledge, technical and computational skills to conduct a bioinformatics research at your workplace by signing up to one of our training options toward the Level 7 Bioinformatics Scientist Apprentice.

Cranfield University training toward the standard is provided through two entry routes:

1. The Bioinformatics Mastership
2. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Mastership

1. The Bioinformatics Mastership

Overview

Cranfield’s Bioinformatics Mastership aims to equip employees with the applied computational skills and awareness needed to process, analyse and interpret the vast amounts of biological data now becoming available. Because Cranfield is a solely postgraduate university it means that every single taught module is uniquely tailored to be master's level. The Mastership includes a series of taught modules covering in great depth a plethora of programming languages commonly used in bioinformatics, such as such as Python, Java, R and SQL, and modern web technologies. The Mastership also includes a number of specialised modules focusing on established protocols for proteomic, next generation and 3rd generation sequencing.

Course duration

The total length for the Bioinformatics Scientists Degree L7 Apprenticeship is 30 months, which includes a total of 24 months to pursue an MSc degree in Applied Bioinformatics. This master’s degree includes an independent research project carried out in the workplace. The total attendance requirement for the taught component is 40 days, spread over a period of 24 months in 5-day blocks. A total of 10 days of attendance is expected for the Group Project component (the actual length may vary according to the topic chosen). Finally, a total of 50 study days should be allocated towards assignments preparation and self-study.

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2. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Mastership

This is a more research-focused training programme provided for employees with previous experience in bioinformatics, and who do not necessary need to pursue a large taught component as part of their training. The Mastership includes a Bioinformatics by Research MSc component pursued during the first 24 months of the total 30-month period of this apprenticeship. This will include a major research component done in a form of a thesis (the thesis report is substantially larger than a taught MSc thesis but smaller than a PhD thesis) conducted at the employer workplace. Additionally, candidates can gain up to 20 additional credits of transferable bioinformatics training skills by attending up to four bioinformatics taught modules from a total of eight modules of the Applied Bioinformatics MSc course. The programme is flexible in nature and the choice of the additional accredited taught credits is done in consultation with their supervisor dependent on the candidate qualification and experience.

Course description

Cranfield’s Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Mastership aims to equip employees with the computational skills and awareness needed to process, analyse and interpret the vast amounts of biological data through pursuing a bioinformatics research conducted at their employer’s workplace. The Mastership is flexible in nature and allow candidates to gain up to 20 additional credits of transferable bioinformatics training skills by attending up to four bioinformatics taught modules chosen in consultation with their supervisor depending on their qualification, experience and the research topic. Because Cranfield is a solely postgraduate university it means that every training component is uniquely tailored to be master's level. Furthermore, Cranfield University is recognised for its state-of-the-art facilities and close partnership and collaboration with some of the world-renowned bioinformatics industry. This allows apprentices to apply the latest advances in the field to provide innovative bioinformatics solutions to facilitate and advance research at their employer workplace. 

Course duration

The total length for the Bioinformatics Scientists Degree L7 Apprenticeship is 30 months, which includes a total 24 months to pursue an MSc by Research degree in Bioinformatics. This includes a large research project component carried out at their employer workplace. The programme is flexible in nature and total attendance requirement is dependent on the number of additional credited training modules the candidate wishes to attend according to their experience and research project needs. The maximum attendance required is 40 days spread over a period of 24 months in 5-day blocks. Additionally, a maximum of 25 study days should be allocated towards assignments preparation and self-study for the additional training credits required.

Learn more about the taught module options provided.

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Why this course?

Reasons to study Bioinformatics at Cranfield

The only Bioinformatics master's degree offering a truly bespoke postgraduate experience

Cranfield University is the only solely postgraduate university in the UK, which means that every single lecture and practical session within the Applied Bioinformatics MSc is tailored to master's level. Unlike other Bioinformatics MSc courses you may come across, you won’t be sharing any modules or lectures with other undergraduate students or MSc courses. This gives our Applied Bioinformatics MSc a truly tailored postgraduate experience.

A variety of programming languages

Experience taught us that there is no such thing as a single preferred programming language in the field of bioinformatics. Every programming language has its strength and advantages depending on the task in hand. That’s why the Applied Bioinformatics MSc is the only course in the UK that offers three dedicated programming modules as part of the taught component, covering R, Java and Perl. Furthermore, other programming languages such as Bash, JavaEE, SQL, JavaScript and Python are also comprehensively covered. This means that upon the completion of this course, you will not only have the skills and expertise to develop optimised bioinformatics tools for various tasks, but you will also find it relatively much easier to learn new programming languages that are not covered during the course, as you will have the foundation in interpreted, object-oriented, and statistically-focused languages.

Truly NGS and 3GS-focused courses

Analysing sequencing data from the latest sequencing platforms such as Illumina®, Pacific Biosciences® and 10x Chromium® is nowadays a standard skill required for most bioinformatics jobs (a quick search on LinkedIn for bioinformatics jobs should prove this!) That’s why in these courses we have two dedicated modules on analysing sequencing data.

Industrial and research applications

Drug discovery: Applications of bioinformatics in drug discovery is not only covered in the Applied Bioinformatics MSc course, but is actually an integral part of the delivery of the course. Leading experts from multinational pharmaceutical industry such as Enrico Ferrero (GSK) and Lee Larcombe (nexaSTEM) are core members of the teaching team of this course and are actively delivering several lectures and hands-on computational practicals. These industrial partners also offer a number of thesis projects for our students each academic year.

Plant genetics: The Bioinformatics Team at Cranfield University works very closely with the Agrifood theme, which includes the Crop Water Use and Plant Science Laboratory Groups. The Course Director has an established track record as PI or CoI several plant genetics-focused research projects. If plant genetics and food security is your research of interest, you will be given the opportunity to join one of our research team for your thesis project.

Infectious diseases: We have a long-term ongoing collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Together, we work closely in establishing a molecular understanding for several infectious and tropical diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and Chagas disease. Each year, we offer three to four research MSc thesis project placements for our Bioinformatics students to work closely with LSHTM’s world-renowned leading experts on one of their ongoing research projects. Over the past few years, we have published a number of research articles based on such thesis projects. Our MSc students were either the leading or co-authors on these.

Course details

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