M.Sc. Bioinformatics for Health Sciences

Pompeu Fabra University

Application deadline: January 15; March 15; May 15; June 30
Tuition fee:
  • € 3,257 / Year (EEA)
  • € 3,977 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
Partnership: Joint
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Interuniversity master jointly organised by Pompeu Fabra University and the University of Barcelona, in collaboration with the University of Bologna

The programme´s objective is to provide professionals with expertise and skills geared towards developing new computational strategies and IT systems that are useful in biomedical research and healthcare practice with a special focus on IT systems related to R+D in medicines and potential healthcare applications of the "-omic" technologies.


Genome Bioinformatics

Automatic analysis, alignment, comparison and annotation of biological sequences; analysis of genome evolution and variation; molecular biology databases.

Structural Bioinformatics

An introduction to experimental methods used in determining the structure of biomolecules, prediction ab initio and through similarity of protein structures, biomolecular systems simulation, including energy and interaction predictions between molecules.

Systems Biology

The description of biological networks and protein and metabolic gene network modelling.


Molecular library management and virtual screening, computer assisted drug design and quantitative modelling of structure-activity relationships (QSAR and 3D-QSAR).

Biomedical Computing

Clinical and healthcare information systems, biomedical imaging analysis, studying genotype-phenotype relationships and IT support systems for healthcare decision making.

In addition to these areas of specialisation, the master also provides training related areas of general interest, such as algorithmics and programming, data management and analysis and text mining, and notions about bioethics and data protection applied to bioinformatics.


Course Content

The MSc on Bioinformatics for Health Sciences is a 120 credits master program organized in an academic part and a practicum of 60 ECTS credits each. In addition, due to the diverse origin of the target students, the master offers a series of short initial levelling courses with the aim of providing introductory overviews of key subjects.

Levelling module It consists of 5 ECTS and tries to fill the gap between the previous formation of the student and the requirements of the master. This module is optional but the students will be encouraged to take some of the courses of this module in order to complete their formation and take the maximum profit of the master program.

Optative academic modules The core of the first year consists in a deep introduction to key issues of Bioinformatics and Biomedical Informatics through the completion of 60 credits selected from a relevant offer of courses. The acquisition of advanced skills in com9puter programming is part of the master, as they are critical in order to be able to deal with complex problems in the field. Among the optional courses, the student will be able to choose courses from the other masters in the POP, each with 5 ECTS credits: Genes and Cell Function, Genomes and Systems, Cell Communication and Model Organisms in Biomedicine. Although no specialized tracks are pre-defined, according to the skills and interest of the student, the master coordinator will orient him/her to choose a given set of courses assuring a consistent training and the desired specialization.


The second course of the master consists in 60 credits that will introduce the student in the design and realization of research projects in Bioinformatics. These credits will include an initial course consisting in the elaboration of the protocol for the research to be carried on by each student, supplemented by a set of lectures in issues like project and business management, good practices in research, bioethics, data protection and intellectual property rights. In our opinion, these lectures are essential for getting a balanced view of the field and the correct integration of science in society. After the design of a feasible protocol for the intended research project, the actual Practicum will be performed in an industrial or academic centre, taking profit of the wide offer of research or industrial projects existing in the PRBB or in collaboration with other centres and companies.


Candidates for acceptance to the Master in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences must provide accreditation that they have obtained or are in position to obtain an accredited undergraduate degree (Bachelor degree or recognised equivalent degree from an accredited Higher Education Institution). Degrees in any academic field of study will be accepted.

A letter of motivation in English, stating the candidate's interest in following the master's programme (400 to 600 words)

One letter of recommendation (professional or academic).

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550
TOEFL iBT® test: 80

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