Master's Programme in Bioinformatics – Biology Background

120 credits

Do you want to understand the function of human genetic predisposition, recreate relationships between species or develop new drugs? The Master's programme in bioinformatics offers you an education in the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics, where theory and practice from mathematics, computer science and biology are woven together. With the knowledge you gain, you will be able to contribute to the rapid development of bioinformatics.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

In several fields, such as biomedicine and evolutionary biology, modern methods are used to generate large amounts of data, including DNA, RNA and protein sequences, molecule structures and gene expression data. Transforming these large amounts 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.

This specialisation of the programme is suitable if you have a background in biology. Another specialisation of the programme is open to applicants with a computer science background.

You will meet researchers working towards advancing the knowledge within each respective field. There will be opportunities for you to contribute to the rapid development of bioinformatics. You will gain hands-on experience in research groups, where you for example might develop a programme for analysis of new pharmaceutical candidates or analyse large-scale sequence data from complex environments, populations or human cancers.

Through our expert teachers, you will obtain a broad network which will enable you to establish links with potential future employers. For instance, after the programme, you may conduct research at a university or work with clinical applications at a hospital.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • contribute to the rapid development of bioinformatics
  • gain hands-on experience in a research group or a company
  • obtain a broad network and establish links with potential future employers.

Student profile

You are probably coming from a Bachelor's programme that included a number of courses in Biology and some in mathematics or statistics. Ideally, you have some training in applying your skills practically and not only theoretical knowledge.

You have a naturally analytical attitude and are able and willing to express your thoughts in both writing and speaking. English is not a problem for you and you understand that working in this field also means communicating with, and presenting to, specialists in other subjects.

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


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Bioinformatics as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science (60 credits).

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.

You will take some courses together with students in the Master's Programme in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering, specialising in Bioinformatics.

Year 1

In the first semester, students with a 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, Knowledge-Based Systems in Bioinformatics, Statistical Inference for Technological Applications and Big Data in Life Sciences.

Year 2

During the second year, you will take more specialised courses in bioinformatics, for example, Phylogenetic analysis, Proteomics and MetabolomicsProteomics and Metabolomics, Applied Bioinformatics and Population Genomic 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 one of our research departments at the University.

Courses within the programme

See the programme outline for courses within the programme.

The teaching is composed of lectures, group exercises, computer exercises, seminars and your own project work. For the group exercises, you will need to complete them together with your classmates outside the classroom. This way you learn from each other and you train to be a team player. In a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

The course content is directly linked to current research, and our teachers are active researchers with substantial specialist knowledge. Through guest lecturers, you will meet people with experience in bioinformatics development work.

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 you get will provide you 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 Food Agency 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 at research laboratories, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, or 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 time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career.

All specialisations of this programme