Master of Science in Bioinformatics

For who

If

  • you are fascinated in both engineering / mathematics as well as the biological aspects of science,
  • you like problem solving through data analysis and data mining,
  • you like to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • you want to study fundamental biological processes through integration of modern sequencing techniques and mathematical models,
  • you want to apply individual genome sequencing for personalized health care,
  • you want to contribute to facilitate the use of modern molecular technologies in the industry and in the public sector,

then bioinformatics is something for you.

What

Bioinformatics is essential not only for fundamental biological research but also for medical diagnosis, cancer research, drug development, agriculture, etc.

Recent technological advances in scientific research generate huge amounts of molecular data at an ever increasing pace. This data avalanche, together with the need for multi-angle approaches to analyze, integrate and interpret these data, has created an urgent need for highly trained bioinformatics scientists and engineers with an interdisciplinary mindset. As such, the Master of Science in Bioinformatics aims at educating interdisciplinary competences in the field of biology, computer science, statistics, mathematics and engineering that are of key importance to bioinformatics. Students are provided with the scientific knowledge, skills, attitudes and insights that enable them to function professionally and value-conscious in the domain of bioinformatics, but also in the broader context of the biotechnology/engineering and the different sectors of employment that are open to this master. A Master of Science in Bioinformatics is capable of critically using existing knowledge generated by scientific research, to make improvements and to contribute in an original and innovative manner to the knowledge society. As a bioinformatician you will become an interdisciplinary scientist or engineer who can develop or use state-of-the art statistical and computer science techniques to mine molecular data in order to answer fundamental or applied biological and biomedical questions. 

Ghent University offers an English 120-credit Master of Science in Bioinformatics, which – depending on the chosen track – can result in an Engineering or Bioscience Engineering degree. 

Program overview

The program

  • offers specialized tracks tuned towards the student’s specific interests and background (Systems Biology, Bioscience Engineering and Engineering track) that prepare you for different job profiles in the bioinformatics domain (respectively bioinformatics scientist and bioinformatics engineer),
  • offers theoretical deepening and data analytical – problem solving skills,
  • is embedded in a strong bioinformatics and biotechnology research environment, located at the Faculty of Sciences, Medicine, Bioscience Engineering and Engineering and affiliated with VIB and IMEC.

Master of Science in Bioinformatics: Systems Biology

With a bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or in Bioscience Engineering, you can decide to become a bioinformatics scientist/bioengineer. A bioinformatics scientists applies (bio)informatics tools and techniques to understand a biological system or to solve an innovative research question. You are trained as a problem solver who can creatively and efficiently combine bioinformatics tools and algorithms to analyse, integrate and model data. Having the essential programming and data analysis skills requires a deep understanding of statistics, programming and data analytical techniques (applied mathematics and informatics module of 21 credits). The applied bioinformatics module (33 credits) will make you familiar with the basic data analytical methods (e.g. NGS analysis), help you to acquire interdisciplinary skill sets and illustrate how theoretical concepts of statistics and data mining are used to build bioinformatics tools.
The difference between the Bioscience Engineering and the Systems Biology track is that the former deepens the engineering skills (Bioscience Engineering track of 23 credits), whereas the Systems Biology track (30 credits) pays more attention to advanced (systems) biological knowledge. The master thesis corresponds to 30 credits and focuses on a research topic. Within your program, you have to opportunity to do an internship in order to get familiar with the role and expectations of a bioinformatics scientist in the industry or a governmental institution.

More information here.

Master of Science in Bioinformatics: Bioscience Engineering

With a bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or in Bioscience Engineering, you can decide to become a bioinformatics scientist/bioengineer. A bioinformatics scientists applies (bio)informatics tools and techniques to understand a biological system or to solve an innovative research question. You are trained as a problem solver who can creatively and efficiently combine bioinformatics tools and algorithms to analyse, integrate and model data. Having the essential programming and data analysis skills requires a deep understanding of statistics, programming and data analytical techniques (applied mathematics and informatics module of 21 credits). The applied bioinformatics module (33 credits) will make you familiar with the basic data analytical methods (e.g. NGS analysis), help you to acquire interdisciplinary skill sets and illustrate how theoretical concepts of statistics and data mining are used to build bioinformatics tools.
The difference between the Bioscience Engineering and the Systems Biology track is that the former deepens the engineering skills (Bioscience Engineering track of 23 credits), whereas the Systems Biology track (30 credits) pays more attention to advanced (systems) biological knowledge. The master thesis corresponds to 30 credits and focuses on a research topic. Within your program, you have to opportunity to do an internship in order to get familiar with the role and expectations of a bioinformatics scientist in the industry or a governmental institution.

More information here.

Master of Science in Bioinformatics: Engineering

With a bachelor degree in Engineering or Computer Science, you have the optimal background to become a bioinformatics engineer.
As bioinformatics engineer, you are skilled in developing new algorithms and complex software implementations, primarily focusing on, but equally applicable outside the bioinformatics domain. You will follow a module of ‘biologically oriented’ courses (9 credits) that will provide you with the basic domain knowledge to understand a data-driven biological problem. However, the major part of your curriculum (engineering module of 42 credits) will focus on advanced engineering and computer science techniques that elaborate on an already advanced knowledge obtained during your bachelor. The applied bioinformatics module (33 credits) will make you familiar with the data specificities of the bioinformatics domain (preprocessing techniques, noise and potential biases, assumptions etc.) and allow you to acquire the essential interdisciplinary skill set that is needed to be successful in modern science and engineering. The master thesis corresponds to 30 credits and focuses on a research topic. Within your program, you have the opportunity to do an internship in order to become familiar with the role and expectations of a bioinformatics engineer in the industry or a governmental institution.

More information here.

    Admission requirements

    The admission requirements depend on previous degrees (type of degree, country of issue etc.) or additional experience:

    Info session / Job fair

    Information session: Wednesday 27/04/22 at 17.30

    The Master program and the relevance of bioinformatics and computational biology will be presented. Afterwards, there is the opportunity to ask questions and talk with alumni. People from industry will also be present to discuss job opportunities.

    The session will be online via Gather: https://gather.town/app/HFeoTHaALXK0lmQL/UGent120. The session will be in BEURS 2.

    You need to use a PC (mobile devices and other browsers are not yet fully supported) and open the link using Chrome as browser.

    Contact: Annick.Bleys@psb.ugent.be

    Flyer

    Practical

    ° Welcome at UGent

    Please check the Guide for new students.

    ° Costs

    The Master program costs about 1900€, without living expenses. The exact tuition fee can be found here.

    ° Housing

    Regarding the housing, you can find details here.

    ° VISA

    All information about obtaining a Visa for Belgium is available here.

    As a rule, students must apply for this Visa at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in their own country or in the country where they legally reside, and not from the public authorities in Belgium itself. If there is no Belgian Consulate or Embassy in their home country, they may submit their application at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in one of the neighboring countries.

    ATTENTION: Students should not enter Belgium with a tourist visa if they intend to stay longer than 90 days.

    Contact

    If you have any questions, send a mail to Annick Bleys (annick.bleys@psb.vib-ugent.be).