Biology Background - Master's Programme in Bioinformatics 2020/2021

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If you have a biology background and wish to focus on the exciting interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics, combining computer science, mathematics and biology, then the Master's Programme in Bioinformatics is designed for you. The tools and knowledge you acquire from this programme are central elements in many areas of research, such as studying genetic diseases in humans, building the tree of life or developing new types of pharmaceuticals.

Why this programme?

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

Please note, this specialisation of the programme is suitable if you have a background in biology. Another specialisation of the programme is open for applicants with a computer science background.

In the Master's Programme in Bioinformatics, theory and practice from various fields of science such as mathematics, computer science and biology are combined. You will meet researchers working towards advancing the knowledge 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 research groups where you could further develop a programme for analysis of new pharmaceutical candidates, analyse large scale sequence data from complex environments, populations and human cancers or produce a programme module for analysis of suitable target molecules for a diagnostic tool.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • contribute to the rapid development of bioinformatics
  • gain hands-on experience in a research group
  • obtain a broad network and establish links with potential future employers.
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, work with clinical applications at a hospital or work with industrial applications at a biotech company.

Student profile
You are probably coming more or less directly from a Bachelor's programme that included a good amount of courses in Biology and Mathematics. Ideally, you have some training in applying your skills practically and not just theoretical knowledge.

You have a naturally analytical attitude and are able and willing to express your thoughts in both writing and speaking. English is surely no problem for you and you understand that working in this field also means communicating with, and presenting for, specialists in other subjects.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming into contact with current research and prominent researchers in the field.

Related programmes:
Applied Biotechnology
Cell and Molecular Biology
Erasmus Mundus Master's Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME)
Evolutionary Biology
Nabis - Nordic Master in Biodiversity and Systematics


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

All specialisations of this programme


The Master's Programme in Bioinformatics will provide you with both theoretical and practical knowledge in molecular biology, data management and programming, as well as bioinformatics 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's Programme in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering, specialising in Bioinformatics.

Year 1
The first semester, students with biology background will take courses in programming, statistics and database techniques. At the same time, all students in the programme will also take the course Introduction to Bioinformatics, which presents important concepts and methods within bioinformatics. The second semester includes courses such as Genome Analysis, Molecular Evolution, Information Management Systems and Large data sets for scientific applications.

Year 2
During the second year, you will take more specialised courses in bioinformatics, for example, Knowledge-based systems in Bioinformatics, Applied Bioinformatics and Population Genetic Analysis. You can also individualise your studies by doing project work or research training.

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.

Courses within the programme

See complete outline of the programme.

Learning experience

The teaching is composed of lectures, group exercises, computer exercises, seminars and your own project work. The content is directly linked to current research, and our teachers are active researchers with substantial specialist knowledge. Through guest lecturers and our close contacts with the biotech industry, you will meet people with experience from bioinformatics development work outside the university.

Our graduates, who now work in different bioinformatics 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 get suggestions about important courses or useful software tools, as well as information about especially creative research environments. The contact network with teachers, alumni, and company representatives will provide you as a student with the opportunity to form relationships with future employers during the programme.

The programme is given in Uppsala and the language of instruction is English.


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 Public Health Agency of Sweden are also pursuing exciting developments in the field of bioinformatics. The biotechnology industry and hospitals have an urgent and increasing need for bioinformaticians.

Depending on your chosen specialisation in the second year, you may work with research and development in: research laboratories, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and software companies with specialisation in bioinformatics applications.

The job market is international since methods and problems are similar in all parts of the world. Our research departments have cooperation agreements worldwide, and their contact networks will be a valuable resource for you. Rapid developments in the field of biotechnology entail that the demand for bioinformatics competence is increasing, particularly in academic research and at hospitals, but also in government agencies and the private sector.

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.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Biology Background

120 credits

Autumn 2020 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2020-01-15

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:

  • 45 credits in biology including 30 credits in molecular biology, cell biology, evolution or genetics; and
  • 15 credits in mathematics or statistics.
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:
  • 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
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


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. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact:

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Biology Education Centre

EBC, Norbyvägen 14 / BMC A8:1

Norbyvägen 14, 752 36 UPPSALA/Box 592, 751 24 UPPSALA

Student portal

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