The continuing developments in technologies such as sequencing, transcription profiling, metabolomics, structural analysis and many more are opening up new areas for understanding biological systems through computational analysis. The vast collection of data generated by these high throughput techniques is also enabling models to be built of overall biological systems. This course trains students in the research methods that enable the analysis of such massive amounts of data. This one year course is delivered by staff from the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Computer Science through a combination of taught courses, workshops and research projects.
Alternatively please visit the funding tab for further details about funding options for the course.
Having previously been trained in molecular biology and
biochemistry, doing a Masters in Computational Biology gave me the
edge when it came to interviews for PhD positions and was definitely a career boost
(Scott, former student)
The programme is principally aimed at graduates with a good degree in the biological and molecular sciences with an interest in computational approaches. The course also accepts graduates of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics who can demonstrate the enthusiasm and interest in modern biological research.
The course produces students with the core skills to support long-term research careers across any area of modern biological science that depends on numerical and computational analysis.
This Masters course develops computational bioscientists who:
The programme consists of modules (including lectures, workshops and projects) that are carefully tailored to deliver the programme’s aims delivered by an interdisciplinary team of staff across the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Computer Science.
The programme develops skills in the following areas:
Applications are normally considered as they arrive.
Note: overseas or other scholarship applications must be received by the advertised closing date on the graduate or international office websites and will be considered together shortly after the closing date.
For entry to the MRes Computational Biology programme, a first or second class honours degree in any biological or molecular science subject. Alternatively, we will consider applicants with a degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics who can demonstrate a commitment to the Biosciences.
All applicants will normally be interviewed before a place is offered. Overseas applicants will not be asked to come to York for interview unless they are visiting the UK, in which case every effort will be made to find an interview date and time that is convenient for their itinerary. If it is not possible to visit, skype interviews will be arranged for all overseas applications.
Applicants offered places must fulfill all conditions for the uptake of their place (financial, language, and degree results where appropriate) by the time the course start. To be eligible for university accommodation, all the conditions for admission must normally be met by early August.
If you have any queries about the application process or more specific queries about the programme content, please contact the Biology Admissions School Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For an online application form please visit the 'How to Apply' page. .
EU and overseas applicants' interviews are conducted by skype. For this reason we require a proficiency in English prior to interview for applicants whose education has not been in English. The Department's requirements are as follows:
TOEFL - paper-based: 600; CBT: 250; iBT: 87 overall (minimum of 21 in each section)
IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum of 6.0 in each section)
Pearson: 61 overall (minimum 55 in each section)
Based on the feedback from our current and previous EU and International students, we strongly recommend that, if offered a place on the course, you plan to arrive in the UK well before the start of the MRes course and ideally take a pre-sessional language course. We would highly recommend the 4-week 'English for Academic and Research Purposes 2' programme that is offered by the University.
Places are limited and early booking is recommended. Please note that the MRes starts one week before the formal start of term so it will not be possible to attend the central orientation programme for international students.
The majority of students on the MRes Computational Biology course will attend on a self-funding basis, by way of parental support, career development bank loans, and savings. Fees and maintenance can sometimes be paid by an employer if the student is already working.
Further information is available on Fees and Funding from the University’s Graduate Student Office. Please visit: http://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-funding/
The employment rate for York MRes graduates is very high. The table below shows the first destinations of graduates between 2000 and 2011 who responded to our requests for information:
|University graduate study (usually PhDs)||75|
|Research at university / research institute||15|
The MRes in Computational Biology trains graduates to meet the computational research demands of modern interdisciplinary bioscience in universities, research institutes and industry. In terms of career development, the programming and data handling skills you develop, along with your exposure to an interdisciplinary research environment, will be very attractive to employers.
The importance of developing a career plan is reinforced via a number of mechanisms throughout the programme and beyond e.g.
Catherine Penfold, UK
- MRes Computational Biology
“I work at a major sequencing centre for the University of California, with the nanotechnology development group, UCSC. I am currently investigating whether it is possible to produce iPS cells by nanopore delivery of Yamanaka-type factors in the form of in vitro transcribed RNAs. The greater aim is to generate data which could provide answers that surround the stochastic nature of cellular re-programming events.
I chose to study at York University for mostly personal reasons; I liked living in York and did not want to move away from friends and family who were very supportive through the challenges of the course. The city itself is beautiful and friendly and compact enough that a bike gets you most places fairly quickly. It's only 2 hours from London and the standard of living, compared with the cost in my opinion is unmatched in England.
Programming and bioinformatics were a complete mystery to me and with a view to pursuing a career in genetic engineering I found this a totally unacceptable state of being. I saw that an understanding of this field would be crucial to any future experimental design, either in academia or commercial science. The year long course was high-pace and intense and I still find myself re-visiting some of the areas covered, which I think is evidence of the relevance of the curriculum to the latest research methods being applied now. The course has many and continuous opportunities to develop problem solving skills. This enabled me to transition from an exploratory scientist, largely with a history of skills acquisition to an engineering scientist and as a result of the course I believe I have a more innovative approach to exploring biology.”
Satnam Surae, UK
- MRes Computational Biology
"During the final year of my undergraduate degree in biochemistry at York, I chose my final year project in structural bioinformatics with Rod Hubbard. This really gave me an insight into computational biology and having enjoyed the project so much, I applied and was offered a place on the course. What attracted me about the course was the breadth of material we would be covering; from programming, to multiple sequence analysis, to systems biology, to data analysis and web applications. The material was well taught and due to small class sizes we had the help and support we needed. The best aspect of the Masters for me was the final project. I was lucky enough to work at UC San Diego and thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the work of a world-class laboratory, but most of all the weather was amazing! Overall, the Masters gave me the fundamental knowledge of computational biology and equipped me with the skills to thrive and succeed in academic research. I am now pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in computational and experimental biology at University College Dublin working on Diabetic Nephropathy where I am bridging the gap between wet and dry lab scientists.."
Richard Williams, UK
- MRes Computational Biology
"My first degree of Biochemistry was gained back in 1998. I knew that a career as a wet-lab scientist was not for me, and therefore studied for a Masters degree in Computer Science and became an IT Consultant for a multinational database and applications software house. I enjoyed life as an IT Consultant and progressed from programmer to project manager, but always felt a longing to get back into science. Following 8 years in industry, I decided to return to University and merge my two backgrounds in Biochemistry and Computer Science through the MRes Computational Biology degree at York. I chose York for a number of reasons, the major ones being: national and international reputation of the university as a whole; national reputation of the Biology Department; the content of the MRes degree, specifically the module breakdown and focus towards project based work; and of course, the MRes degree had a number of prestigious studentships awarded by the BBSRC. One key strength of the course is the varied backgrounds of the students; as the curriculum is broad, we soon discovered that each of us had our own niche areas of expertise, which ensured plenty of peer support within the cohort, and sharing of ideas and expertise - this reminded me of my days as a Consultant. I suppose the best aspect of the course, and one which I think all of my cohort would agree on is the summer placement. I worked with a Java-based model and simulator of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), which is an animal model of the human disease Multiple Sclerosis - I had a fantastic trip to La Jolla (California) to demo my work to the subject matter expert over there. I'm using the MRes as a stepping-stone to a future career in academia, and am happy to say that I secured a place on the PhD in Computer Science programme here at York, and am based within the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA)..