Cranfield University is launching the first Bioinformatics master's level (Level 7) apprenticeship in the UK, responding to urgent industry demands for skills in this field.
Dr Fady Mohareb, Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics at Cranfield University, said: “Bioinformatics is booming and it’s one of the most exciting fields in modern science. The UK industry recognises the current gap in the market for skilled bioinformaticians able to handle the recent biological data surge, and needs its employees to upskill to develop the right expertise in this key area.
“The new master's level apprenticeship has been developed alongside prominent companies in this field, leading to a practical and valuable course for anyone wanting to progress their career.”
Critical skills shortage in bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is the science of using software tools to understand biological and chemical data, and it is identified as one of the critical skills shortages of concern in the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s biennial survey of pharmaceutical companies 2019.
Cranfield’s Level 7 course takes 30 months and equips students with the applied computational skills and awareness needed to process, analyse and interpret the vast amounts of biological data now available. The course is the only in the UK that offers three programming modules covering R, Java and Python. It also includes two dedicated modules on analysing sequencing data from the latest platforms. It combines hands-on training as well as on-the-job learning and university postgraduate-level education.
With close ties to industrial partners such as Unilever, Public Heath England (PHE) GSK, Astra Zeneca and nexaSTEM, the new course can be applied to roles in drug discovery, plant genetics, food science and infectious diseases.