Birkbeck, University of London
Bioinformatics MRes
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Our MRes Bioinformatics provides high-quality training in bioinformatics, including a major research component.

This specialist postgraduate degree is ideal if you are from a scientific background and want to pursue research training in bioinformatics, or if you are seeking a future career in both academia and industry. Bioinformatics has grown dramatically in the last two decades and this course has been designed to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries for research and development.

It covers the core concepts and statistical fundamentals underpinning bioinformatics, most notably in the area of sequence analysis. You will learn how to program in Python and design and query databases using SQL, and gain experience in more advanced programming practices such as software testing and application development. You will also explore core biological concepts such as genes and genomes, protein structure and function, and growth areas such as next generation sequencing and systems modelling.

Our research areas include:

  • computational structural bioinformatics, with a focus on the characterisation of macromolecular assemblies relevant to disease

  • analysis of next-generation sequencing data, both genomic and transcriptomic

  • immunoinformatics, in particular virus-host interactions and immune responses to protein therapeutics

  • developing bioinformatics and chemoinformatics methods to analyse metabolic pathways

  • structure-thermodynamic relationships, molecular simulation and inhibitor design

  • developing new computational methods that exploit data produced using various experimental techniques (e.g. cryo-EM, mass spectrometry, NMR and tomography).


  • Part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint initiative with University College London and a major biology research hub in the heart of London.

  • Access to online learning material, computer and visualisation laboratories.

  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK, with a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Examinations (for certain modules only), coursework, literature review, oral presentation, project thesis and viva voce.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-

Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study Bioinformatics, MRes, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.

The MRes is a challenging, interdisciplinary course. We recommend initial entry to the MSc Bioinformatics course until November (full time) or February (part time) so that your skills and knowledge can be thoroughly assessed. Occasionally, direct entry to the MRes is possible, when there is very strong prior evidence that the student will perform well on the course. You must have a second-class honours degree (2:2) or above. Some practical knowledge of one programming language would be a distinct advantage. Mathematics to A-level or equivalent desirable, but GCSE/O-level considered. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


Tuition Fees Bioinformatics MRes

England UK £10170 year 1
Northern Ireland £10170 year 1
Scotland £10170 year 1
Wales £10170 year 1
International £16380 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

Average student cost of living in London

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all 17 university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

About Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.

Student composition of Birkbeck, University of London

Students by level of study Academic year 2020/21 - Full-time equivalent student enrollments published by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on 10 February 2022
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Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
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