Master’s studies

Master Programme in Bioinformatics 2017/2018

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The Master Programme in Bioinformatics is designed for those of you who wish to focus on the exciting interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics, which combines computer sciences, mathematics and biology. Uppsala University possesses exceptional competence in bioinformatics and computer sciences. The tools and knowledge you will acquire as a student in this programme are central elements in many areas of research, such as studying the function of human hereditary characteristics or developing new types of pharmaceuticals.

In a number of fields, such as biomedicine, pharmaceutical development and evolutionary biology, modern methods are used that generate large volumes of data, including DNA/RNA and protein sequences, molecule structures, gene expression data and measurement data. Transforming this volume of data into applicable information and being able to draw relevant conclusions requires management and analysis tools. The bioinformatician possesses the skills to both use and develop such tools.

Why this programme?

The Master Programme in Bioinformatics offers advanced courses in bioinformatics, where theory and practice from various fields of science such as mathematics, computer science and biology are combined. During the programme, you will meet researchers pursuing new knowledge advances within each respective field, and there will be considerable opportunities where you can contribute to the rapid development of bioinformatics. You will gain hands-on experience in a research group and be able to further develop a programme for analysis of new pharmaceutical candidates, or produce a programme module for analysis of suitable target molecules for a diagnostic tool.

Through our expert teachers, you will obtain a broad network, enabling you to establish links with potential future employers. For instance, you may conduct research at a university, hospital or with a biotech company.

The Master Programme in Bioinformatics will provide you with both theoretical and practical knowledge in molecular biology, data management and programming, as well as bioinformatic applications within these fields. Through project-based courses, you will also learn how to plan, execute and finalise projects.

The programme has courses together with the Master Programme in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering, specialising in Bioinformatics. Alumni from the programme have pursued successful careers mainly in academic research.


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Bioinformatics as the main field of study.


First year
All students in the programme will take the same courses during the first year. The introductory course consists of several components that present important concepts and methods within bioinforma­tics, followed by courses such as Genome Biology, Software Technology, Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics and Evolution Causes and Consequences.

Second year
In the second year, you will specialise in a bioinformatics field of your choice, for example, laboratory information management systems (LIMS), applied bioinformatics or population genetic analysis.

The second year finishes with a degree project carried out at a company, government agency or authority, or at one of our research departments at the university.

See outline for courses within the programme.

Learning experience

Instruction is composed of lectures, group exercises, laboratory work, seminars and your own project work. Instruction is directly linked to current research, and our teachers are active researchers with substantial specialist knowledge. The programme is given in Uppsala.

Through guest lecturers and our close contacts with the biotech industry, you will meet people with experience from bioinformatic development work outside the university.

Alumni (graduate bioinformaticians) who work in different bioinformatic environments and projects are invited to provide insight into the work of a bioinformatician and to recount the knowledge particularly important in their professional lives.

You will also be given suggestions about important courses or useful software tools, as well as information about especially creative research environments. The contact network with tutors, alumni, and company representatives will provide you as a student with the opportunity to form relationships with future employers during the course.

The language of all instruction is English.


Uppsala University has an excellent international reputation, and a Master’s degree in bioinformatics from Uppsala University will provide you with an internationally recognised qualification that opens doors to both academic research and a career in industry, in Sweden and internationally. Depending on your chosen specialisation in the second year, you may work with research and development in: laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and software companies with specialisation in bioinformatic applications.

Currently, most of our alumni are working in research-related environments within the academy or in close cooperation with the university. Government agencies such as the Swedish National Food Administration and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control are also pursuing exciting developments in the field of bioinformatics. The biotechnology industry has an urgent and increasing need for bioinformaticians

The labour market is strongly international since methods and issues are similar in all parts of the world. Our research institutions have cooperation agreements worldwide, and their contact networks will be a valuable resource for you. Our students often gain practical experience or do graduate work outside Sweden. Rapid developments in the field of biotechnology entail that the demand for bioinformatic competence is increasing, particularly in academic research, but also in government agencies and the private sector.


Master Programme in Bioinformatics

120 credits

Autumn 2017 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2017-01-16

Enrolment Code: UU-M1132 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is:

  • knowledge of mathematics (e.g. algebra, analysis, differential equations and mathematical statistics) corresponding to approximately 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits); and
  • knowledge of computer science and scientific computing (e.g. numerical analysis, algorithms, data structures and programming) corresponding to approximately 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits).
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
Exemptions for students from certain countries.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000

Contact and further resources

Biology Education Centre

Uppsala Biomedical Centre, Husargatan 3, Uppsala

Box 592, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden

For programme-specific information, please contact: Bengt Persson

Telephone: +46 18 471 44 22

Questions concerning admission: Fredrik Sundström

Telephone: +46 18 471 48 35

For general information about Master's studies at Uppsala University, please send an email to: