Master's Programme in Bioinformatics
Programme syllabus, TBK2M
Decisions and guidelines
Decision to establish the education programme
This syllabus was established by the Board of the Faculty of Science and Technology on November 10, 2015 to be applied as of July 1, 2016. The Master Programme in Bioinformatics (UFV 2008/1204) is in effect as of July 1, 2009, according to a decision by the Vice-Chancellor.
Degree of Master of Science (60 credits) is called “Magisterexamen” in Swedish.
Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) is called “Masterexamen” in Swedish.
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).
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
Objectives of the Degree of Master of Science (120 credits)
The Swedish Higher Education Act
Second-cycle courses and study programmes shall be based fundamentally on the knowledge acquired by students during first-cycle courses and study programmes, or its equivalent.
Second-cycle courses and study programmes shall involve the acquisition of specialist knowledge, competence and skills in relation to first-cycle courses and study programmes, and in addition to the requirements for first-cycle courses and study programmes shall:
- further develop the ability of students to integrate and make autonomous use of their knowledge
- develop the students‘ ability to deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, and
- develop the students‘ potential for professional activities that demand considerable autonomy, or for research and development work.
The Higher Education Ordinance
According to the Higher Education Ordinance the Degree of Master (120 credits) has the following learning objectives.
Degree of Master (120 credits) [Masterexamen]
Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) the student shall
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge of the field and a considerable degree of specialised knowledge in certain areas of the field as well as insight into current research and development work, and
- demonstrate specialised methodological knowledge in the main field of study.
Competence and skills
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) the student shall
- demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
- demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues critically, autonomously and creatively as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake advanced tasks within predetermined time frames and so contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as the ability to evaluate this work
- demonstrate the ability in speech and writing both nationally and internationally to clearly report and discuss his or her conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences, and
- demonstrate the skills required for participation in research and development work or autonomous employment in some other qualified capacity.
Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) the student shall
- demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work
- demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
- demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.
Layout of the programme
Description of the programme
General description of the Master programmes in technology
The Master programmes in technology at Uppsala University are coherent two-year programmes with the possibility to graduate with a degree of Master of Science (60 credits) after one year. The programmes contain recommended courses of study to assure the quality of the degree, presenting students with a choice of courses closely aligned with the learning objectives of the Higher Education Ordinance. There are also designated elective courses with opportunities for specialisation through successive selections of courses. The programme ends with a degree project.
Each academic year is divided into four study periods, two during the autumn semester and two during the spring semester.
Second-cycle courses involve a considerable amount of independent work and responsibility for one’s own learning. This results in increased depth and complexity within the main field of study. It also leads to students acquiring the ability to communicate in English, both orally and in writing.
Description of the Master Programme in Bioinformatics at Uppsala University
The aim of this cross-disciplinary Master programme is to train students in the subject of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics encompasses molecular biology, genetics and genomics and their applications in research and development, as well as applications of computer science, mathematics and mathematical statistics within these areas. The students acquire both theoretical and practical skills in bioinformatics and its applications. The courses are mainly based on subject areas with a strong research representation at the University, and these courses are characterized by their close proximity to research. The program also offers courses that prepare for a career in industry and government.
The degree project is performed at a company, government agency or within the University.
The following in-depth levels are used for the courses in the study plan:
G1N first cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
G1F first cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
G1E first cycle, contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
G2F first cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
G2E first cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
A1N second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
A1F second cycle, has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
A1E second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
A2E second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
GXX first cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified
AXX second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified
Common guidelines and instructions for degree projects apply to all programmes in technology at Uppsala University. Forms and instructions for students are available on the Faculty website http://www.teknat.uu.se/student.
Main Field of Study
Education in the main field of technology is available both as first-cycle courses and second-cycle courses, both as courses in Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Programmes, as well as independent courses.
For a Master of Science degree in technology, the main field of technology is used for Master of Science in Engineering. For courses within Master programmes in technology, specific main fields of study are used. These are Bioinformatics, Renewable energy production, Embedded systems, Industrial engineering and Molecular biotechnology. They are connected to the main specialisations of the programmes. The main fields of study constitute a specific part of the broader definition of the main field of technology and thereby fulfil the requirements for the main field of technology.
The Main Field of Technology
A course can and should be classified as belonging to the main field of technology if mostly dealing with at least one of the following areas:
- Methods for development, construction, commissioning, verification, use or maintenance of physical systems of practical use to improve the living conditions of mankind, or equivalent for components of such systems. The components need not be physical, but can take the form of algorithms or software.
- Methods for efficient organisation of the processes involved in implementing the elements referred to in the above paragraph. Examples of courses that fall within this category are quality engineering, production management and technology-based business development.
A course that fulfils the above criteria can be classified also in another main field of study, given that all criteria of the additional main field of study are fulfilled.
A course mostly dealing with a different main field of study than technology can and should be classified also as technology if it contains elements that describe how the main content of the course can be applied in practice in a context of technology (defined by the above criteria). These elements should form a significant part of the course, they should be clearly indicated in the course syllabus, be taught at a level corresponding to the course level and be part of the examination. A decided double classification in technology should be reconsidered if the course differs from these criteria.
The Main Field of Bioinformatics (second-cycle)
The main field of Bioinformatics is interdisciplinary and includes the development and use of computer calculations and algorithms for the analysis of biological, molecular biological and biomedical data. The main field covers analysis, modelling and visualization of biological data and systems for the organization and management of large and complex datasets.
A course can and should be classified as belonging to the main field of Bioinformatics if mostly dealing with at least one of the following areas:
- Methods for analysis, modelling and visualization of biological data as well as systems for the organisation and management of large and complex datasets or equivalent for components in such systems. The components need not be physical, but can take the form of algorithms or software.
- Methods for the efficient organisation of processes involved in the implementation of the above. Examples of courses within this category are industrial engineering, production management, industrialisation, quality and environmental engineering and project management.
A Bachelor degree, equivalent to a Swedish degree of at least 180 credits (i.e. three years of fulltime study), is required in order to obtain a Master of Science degree.
Master of Science (60 credits)
In order to be entitled to a Master of Arts/Science (60 credits) the following requirements have to be fulfilled: Finished courses at the second level totalling 60 credits (one year of full time studies). Of the courses included 15 credits maximum is allowed to be from the first cycle. Not, however, courses already included in the underlying first cycle degree (i.e. Degree of Bachelor). In addition to this, a main field of study of 30 credits minimum at the second level, including a degree project of 15 credits minimum is required.
Master of Science (120 credits)
In order to entitle to a Master of Arts/Science (120 credits) the following requirements have to be fulfilled: Finished courses at second cycle totalling 120 credits (two years of full time studies). Of the courses included 30 credits maximum is allowed to be at first cycle. Not, however, courses already included in the underlying first cycle degree (i.e. Bachelor's). In addition to this, a main field of study of 60 credits minimum at second cycle, including a degree project of 30 credits minimum is required.
Admission to a later part of the programme
Admission to a later part of a Master programme in technology normally requires at least 15 credits from relevant second-cycle courses, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree, having been approved by the time of application. Application to a later part of the programme should be submitted no later than May 1 for the autumn semester and no later than December 1 for the spring semester.
Grading system and assessment
The form of assessment and the grading system are shown in the course syllabus.
Unless special circumstances apply, students have the right to have their examinations or other assessed work marked and graded within a maximum of 25 calendar days, but at least 14 calendar days before the make-up examination. Any student who has twice taken and failed to pass an examination for a course or course component, which entails, under the Higher Education Ordinance, that s/he has a right to have another examiner appointed, but who cannot be assigned a new examiner for special reasons, has the right to undergo another form of examination. (According to Guidelines regarding Student Working Conditions at Uppsala University as of 2010-01-01).
Inclusion of course credits towards a Master of Science degree
Some courses may not be included in the same degree, due to content overlap. The course content is shown in each course syllabus and the Graduation Office decides which courses may be included in the degree.