The MSc Bioinformatics covers a diverse range of areas in bioinformatics and is suitable for students from a variety of academic backgrounds related to the life sciences (biology, biochemistry, genetics, medicine, and other biosciences). Students will learn and work together with world-leading experts.

In the age of big data, conservation biology, biodiversity, genetics, and evolutionary biology involve the study of large amounts of data that increase in volume and variety at a high speed. The use of computational tools is essential to analyse such large datasets, some of which have shaken the foundations of many scientific disciplines. The advent of these technologies is also central to many companies and the public sector and has driven the emergence of innovative start-ups. The job market for graduates proficient in bioinformatics is expanding rapidly and will keep growing.

Topics include programming, machine learning, genomics, protein structure, evolutionary biology, as well as professional and entrepreneurial skills. Students will undertake a scientific research project supervised by the experts of the Faculty of Life Sciences and will leave with highly transferable skills that will boost their future careers and their employability. Moreover, they will learn how to capitalise their innovative ideas in a fast-moving entrepreneurial environment.

Programme structure

The programme comprises three components: mandatory taught units (in the first term), optional units (in the second term), and a research project from Easter to September.

Mandatory units:

  • Scientific Programming
  • Statistics and R
  • Entrepreneurship and Professional Development
  • Project Planning
  • Group Project
  • Research Project.

Plus three units from the following optional units:

  • Genome Biology and Genomics
  • Advanced Programming
  • 3D Protein Structure
  • Genome Evolution
  • Omics

Please visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class honour in degrees related to life sciences (biological sciences, biochemistry, zoology, ecology, bioinformatics etc). A basic understanding of biostatistics is suggested.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£12,800 per year
Overseas: full-time
£24,100 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Bench fees

£500. Further information about bench fees can be found on our webpages. Confirmation of bench fees will be stated in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2023/24

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Bioinformatic skills are essential for future life scientists, not only to molecular sciences, but also in fields such as climate change, biodiversity, metagenomics, or conservation. Outside academia, many sectors are also reliant on Big Data, social media analytics, and other computer-based methodologies such as artificial intelligence or deep learning. Examples in the UK are public projects including Genomics England (Department of Health and Social Care), and the Darwin Tree of Life (Wellcome Trust). Consequently, the job market for graduates proficient in bioinformatics is expanding rapidly and will keep growing.