Master of Science in Bioinformatics

Master of Science in Bioinformatics

Course information

Course title Master of Science in Bioinformatics
Course code PMSCBINFTR9
Postnominal M.Sc.(Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 3 Semesters
Mode of attendance Full-time (by Research)
Total ECTS credits 90
Coordinator Jean Paul Ebejer
Delivered by Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking
This programme of study is also offered on a part-time basis. Please consult the Registrar’s website for more information pertaining to courses offered by the University.

Computer Systems have become ubiquitous in the analysis of data to further increase our knowledge in a particular domain. Molecular biology is no exception to this. More so, the amount of data generated in this area has increased exponentially in recent years (e.g. high throughput sequencing for DNA, RNA and DNA-protein interactions or protein structures), and we now require to design new algorithms to handle this data. This programme of study will focus on bioinformatics, the study of the computational aspects of molecular biology data underpinned by solid statistical knowledge. Whilst this course will mainly encourage methods development in Bioinformatics, applications of several bioinformatics tools to existing datasets will also be covered. Bioinformatics offers essential tools to wet laboratory scientists.

This programme of studies will equip students with the computational, molecular biology and statistical knowledge required to build and run the computational tools which underpin novel discoveries in molecular biology.

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The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:

(a) the degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours) from this University, or from any other higher education institution recognized by Senate, obtained with at least Second Class Honours in Information and Communication Technology, Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Biomedical Science, Medical Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Science, Medical Sciences, Biology, Biology and Chemistry, or in any other area of study deemed relevant by the Board of Studies or

(b) the degree of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery from this University or equivalent obtained from any other higher education institution recognized by Senate.

The maximum number of students that can be admitted into the course is 20 students.

When the number of places is so limited and the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants shall be selected using the following criteria, the weighting of which shall be published at the time of the call for applications:

(a) degree type and class
(b) experience in the area of the proposed study and
(c) performance during an interview.

For the purpose of selection, applicants whose qualifications as stipulated above were obtained by 31 August preceding the commencement of the Course shall be considered first.

The selection criteria can be found here.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2020.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Annual Enrolment Fee: Eur 400

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 13,400
Students participating in this programme will gain the following subject knowledge and understanding:
a) dogma of molecular biology (and exceptions to it),
b) genetics,
c) genome sequencing, alignment and variant calling,
d) gene function prediction and annotation,
e) structural bioinformatics (including protein structure prediction),
f) network analysis (gene regulatory networks, protein interaction networks, metabolic networks, signalling networks etc.),
g) systems biology,
h) computational drug discovery,
i) software development principles (including programming and database systems),
j) statistical techniques used to validate bioinformatics methods,
k) ethical implications in the field, and
l) use of bioinformatics tools and databases

Intellectually, skills gained by the students include:
a) critical thinking (ability to read, assess, contrast and criticize scientific literature)
b) analyse data in a molecular biology setting
c) design a scientific study and execute it
d) test and evaluate scientific hypotheses (including tools built or used)
e) document scientific experiments
f) build models for molecular biology systems

Key/transferable skills gained by the student include:
a) programming in Python
b) application of statistical techniques (using R)
c) scientific writing (including publishing a paper and writing a dissertation)
d) orally present scientific material, to an intelligent lay audience
e) organise a bibliography (develop bibliographic skills)
f) gain wet-lab experience
g) undertake rigorous, original and valid scientific research

Many of these skills are industry relevant and increase the student's employability.
Students with an undergraduate degree in a scientific, medical, computational or mathematical subject with a penchant for computing and interdisciplinary research. The student must be willing to cross-train in other areas they may not be familiar with (e.g. genetics, proteomics, statistics, computing). They should also possess a strong interest in applying their knowledge to discoveries in molecular biology.
Graduates of this programme will gain access to a myriad of computational opportunities, both in industry and in academia, in the ever-growing life sciences field. These may include (but are not limited to); data analysis, software engineering and modelling opportunities in genomics, proteomics, drug discovery, systems biology, and, more generally, in healthcare and biomedical research. This course will equip the student with knowledge to pursue reading a doctoral degree in the areas of computational biology, bioinformatics, and cheminformatics.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2020/1.

Last Updated: 30 September 2020

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.