Master's Programme in Bioinformatics – Computer Science Background

120 credits

If you have a computer science 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 knowledge you will acquire during this programme is central to many areas of research, such as studying genetic diseases in humans, building the tree of life or developing new types of pharmaceuticals.

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

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

In several fields, such as biomedicine and evolutionary biology, modern methods are used to generate large amounts of data, for example DNA. Transforming these large amounts of data into applicable information and drawing relevant conclusions requires proper data management and analysis tools. The bioinformatician possesses the skills to both use and develop such tools. This entry specialisation into the programme is suitable if you have a background in computer science.

You will meet researchers working towards advancing 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 of large-scale sequence data from complex environments, populations or human cancers.

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.

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, work with clinical applications at a hospital or work with industrial applications at a biotech company.

Student profile

You are probably coming from a background in computer science and mathematics. 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 surely 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 would 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 computer science background will take the course Introduction to molecular biology, genetics and evolution. 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 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 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.

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.

You may work with research and development at

  • research laboratories,
  • hospitals,
  • pharmaceutical companies,
  • biotech companies,
  • software companies with specialisation in bioinformatics 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 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.

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 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