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MSc Bioinformatics in UK

Updated on 09 October, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

The amalgamation of computer technology and biology created Bioinformatics and subsequent programs such as MSc in Bioinformatics. With a focus on genetics and genomics, this discipline involves collecting, storing, analyzing and disseminating biological data. The acquired data improves medical care by creating a better understanding of health and diseases.

Bioinformatics has few dedicated undergraduate courses. Hence, entry-level positions are accessible to students with a degree in computational biology, life sciences, computer science or statistics. However, students looking to pursue research in the field to build their knowledge can do so with an MSc in Bioinformatics in the UK.

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Why choose the UK?

The presence of modern state-of-the-art research facilities and dedicated research-based programs make the UK a lucrative option for Bioinformatics. Furthermore, the country boasts a dedicated institution, UK Research and Innovation, that produces ground-breaking insights into research areas like cancer and HIV.

Eligibility for MSc in Bioinformatics in the UK

MSc in Bioinformatics in the UK is a competitive degree with significant international attention. Each institution has its own set of essential criteria that candidates must fulfill to be eligible for admission.

The standard requirement for eligibility for MSc in Bioinformatics in the UK is completing an honors degree or equivalent with 60% and above. Additionally, students must have completed a degree in one of the following disciplines.

  • Computer science
  • Mathematics
  • Medical sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Mathematics

Certain institutions may also consider students with less than 60%, provided they possess relevant research or professional experience.

To gauge their verbal and written English proficiency, the requirement for MSc Bioinformatics in UK universities includes a TOEFL or IELTS scorecard.

How to Apply

Universities accepting applications for MSc Bioinformatics in the UK usually ask the entrants to fill out an application form released on their official website. The registration form consists of spaces for personal, educational and professional details and supporting documents. After filling out the application form, candidates receive a confirmation email on their registered email address.

The next step is to wait for the admission committee to review the candidate’s profile and accept or deny their admission request.

Top Universities for an MSc in Bioinformatics in the UK

The universities offering an MSc Bioinformatics in the UK combine a robust research program with relevant modules like systems biology. The course is usually brief, with a duration of 12 months, depending on the university.

With the popularity of Bioinformatics increasing, numerous universities throughout the UK have incorporated it into their curriculum. However, the top five universities with MSc in Bioinformatics in the UK are as follows.

Name of UniversityAnnual Tuition FeeQS Subject 2022 – Biological SciencesProgram and SpecializationDuration
Imperial College, LondonGBP 35,00011MSc in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology1 year
The University of EdinburghGBP 38,50022MSc Bioinformatics1 year
The University of ManchesterGBP 26,00047MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology1 year
The University of GlasgowGBP 27,93057MSc Bioinformatics1 year
The University of BristolGBP 24,10064MSc Bioinformatics1 year

Specializations in Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is an expansive and multidisciplinary domain. The subjects in MSc Bioinformatics in the UK consist of molecular genetics, biotechnology and structural bioinformatics, among others. Studying these subjects allows students completing their MSc Bioinformatics in the UK to pursue multiple specializations like:

Post completion, students have access to diverse roles within the confines of Bioinformatics and the flexibility to change specializations.

Academic Cycle

Universities in the United Kingdom strictly follow a bi-yearly admission process for admission to postgraduate courses. Similarly, the MSc Bioinformatics in UK course accepts candidates for two sessions – autumn and spring. The former begins in January, while the latter starts in September.

The process of admission for MSc Bioinformatics in the UK begins well in advance, approximately a few months before the target intake. Applying early is better since the universities stop accepting admissions once the seats are full.

Read More About Studying in UK

Buckinghamshire New UniversityLeeds Trinity UniversityUlster University UK
Glasgow Caledonian UniversityUniversity of SouthamptonBrunel University London
Architecture collegesLiberal ArtsUniversity of Suffolk
Newman UniversityUniversity College BirminghamUniversity of the Highlands and Islands


Cost of Attendance

The one-year MSc Bioinformatics course in the UK from top universities could cost candidates anywhere from GBP 24,100 to GBP 38,500. The fees for MSc Bioinformatics in the UK are decided at the discretion of individual universities, based on factors like:

  • The duration of the program
  • The type of program (research or theoretical)

Cost of Living

In combination with the cost of attendance, the cost of living provides a perfect estimate of the expected expenditure in the UK.

Students planning to study MSc Bioinformatics in the UK will incur GBP 140 per week on average if they choose university dorms for accommodation. On the other hand, outside accommodation in an affordable city like Manchester will cost GBP 148.66 per week.

Furthermore, students residing in shared housing with families or flatmates will also encounter the following costs (per month).

  • Standard utilities like electricity, water, heating and cooling – GBP 181.29
  • Internet connection with 60 Mbps or above speed – GBP 30.20
  • Monthly transportation pass – GBP 65.22

The cost of living will be the highest in cities like London, York and Cambridge, while Sheffield and Cranfield are known to be less expensive.

Top Recruiters for Students Pursuing an MSc Bioinformatics in the UK

The Bioinformatics domain is in significant demand, especially since postgraduate studies expose students to practical and theoretical aspects of the subject. Hence, the graduates are recruited by top pharmaceutical and technological companies.

Some notable names include:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Google
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Aridhia
  • Amro Partners
  • European Bioinformatics Institute

The curriculum of MSc Bioinformatics prepares students for these roles, and the companies provide further training.

Career Prospects

Job TitleAverage annual salary
Global Bioinformatics ManagerGBP 45,632
Research AssociateGBP 38,598
Computational BiologistGBP 44,037
Data Scientist in HealthcareGBP 44,292
Clinical ScientistGBP 46,067

Graduates can also secure research assistant roles at notable universities in the UK and amass experience before shifting to industrial positions.

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Does an MSc Bioinformatics lead to a good career?

An MSc in Bioinformatics combines computational power with biology to analyze genomes and better understand current diseases. It can be pursued with prior knowledge of technology or life sciences.

Is Bioinformatics good in the UK?

Pursuing an MSc Bioinformatics in the UK provides students the chance to capitalize on the exceptional research infrastructure of the country. Additionally, it gives them insights into ground-breaking research at the UK Research and Innovation center.

What is the requirement for pursuing MSc Bioinformatics in the UK?

The standard requirements for MSc Bioinformatics in the UK are as follows:

  • Bachelor’s or equivalent degree in physical or life sciences with 60% and above
  • English proficiency test scores – namely IELTS or TOEFL

What is the salary of an MSc Bioinformatics professional in the UK?

As Bioinformatics graduates, students can work in various roles like data scientists and research associates. The average salary range across all these roles is an estimated GBP 20,000 to GBP 30,000 for fresh graduates.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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