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MSc Bioinformatics

Join a high-impact industry and help tackle global challenges

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that applies and develops computational methods to extract and report on insights from biological data. It includes importing, tidying, visualising, analysing and communicating and is applied to complex problems in any domain of biology and beyond.

In the Department of Biology, we have considerable research expertise in the application and design of computational methods for finding solutions for three major global challenges:

  • health and disease
  • sustainable food and fuel
  • environmental change

This course is aimed at bioscientists with no previous experience of programming or bioinformatic analyses. By undertaking this programme, you will therefore receive a thorough grounding in research bioinformatics that will enable you to pursue a bioscience PhD with a computational component or a range of other specialist career paths within industry.

£23 million investment

New investment in buildings housing teaching and state-of-the-art teaching laboratories

Course content

You will complete a mix of research-led taught modules, a group project, and valuable skills training to prepare you for the Independent Study Module in which you will join one of our research teams to carry out a laboratory research project.


Core modules

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Research project

You will complete an independent study project during the summer, which is designed to give you experience in managing and completing a project in a cutting-edge research context. 

This is an opportunity to further develop and apply your skills to a current research question, and specialise in a particular area or research technique​. 

Most students choose to complete a project in collaboration with an academic supervisor within the University, but you may opt to complete this project as an external placement.

You will have full access to our dedicated Masters workspace while completing your project.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Construct critical evaluations and summaries of scientific literature that demonstrate a deep understanding of the concepts and approaches at the forefront of Bioinformatics
  • Competently undertake the design and execution of Bioinformatic analyses biological data, and carry out research tasks with autonomy and independence
  • Evaluate state-of-the-art experimental and analytical approaches in Bioinformatics, drawing upon first-hand practical experience working in research laboratories
  • Work with a minimum of guidance and supervision as an individual, team member or leader in collaborative groups, and use their initiative and originality to investigate sustainable and ethical solutions to bioscience problems
  • Critically evaluate and communicate Bioinformatics research and its application in a variety of written and oral and spoken formats
  • Apply their technical expertise, practical experience and other transferable skills to a wide range of working environments including research laboratories, industries and enterprises relating to Bioinformatics.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £12,480£29,400
Full-time (1 year) £12,480£29,400

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

We will provide you with a lab coat and safety goggles. You may wish to buy textbooks used in your modules, but this is not compulsory and most recommended books are open source.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and group work. You'll have the opportunity to work closely with academics, who will present a problem and demonstrate how their research may provide a solution. This will allow you to gain in-depth knowledge of current research and developments in the field.

Teaching location

The Department of Biology is located on Campus West - nearly all of your teaching will take place within the Department. The majority of departments, colleges and facilities are based nearby.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including:

  • written reports
  • data analysis reports
  • oral presentations
  • group project work
  • poster presentations
Students sitting round table
Student in lab coat

Careers and skills

This programme gives you a thorough grounding in research bioinformatics that will enable you to pursue a bioscience PhD with a computational component or a range of other specialist career paths within industry. Around half of our students will pursue further study, while the other half go into industry.

Career opportunities

  • Bioinformatics Scientist, Engineer or Technician
  • Research Software Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Data science and analytical roles in other fields

Transferable skills

You will develop the following transferable skills:

  • critical thinking
  • data interpretation
  • statistics
  • programming
  • written, oral and graphical presentation of scientific data and ideas

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:2 or equivalent in bioscience. We also consider applicants who have substantial industry experience. If you have completed an integrated Masters, this course is not suitable for you.
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

If you are an international student, please check the minimum requirements for your country or region.

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