M.Sc. Integrative Systems Biology Masters

University of Nottingham

Tuition fee:
  • € 5,300 / Year (EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Course Content

Many students are familiar with using IT and hence are not intimidated by the prospect of spending more time in front of a computer than in a laboratory. It is also becoming apparent in a growing number of undergraduate courses that modelling the biological system of interest is the way to make the discoveries ahead of the experimental work confirming the result in reality.

At the very least, the subject offers a way to choose which experiments are the most appropriate to carry out, so that the rate of successful discoveries in the laboratory will increase.

Through a mixture of compulsory and optional modules (worth 120 credits), the MSc in Integrative Biology provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

* The mathematical and computational techniques to make useful and effective models of biological systems including and spanning the physical scales from chemistry, through molecular and cellular biology, to whole organism anatomy/physiology and population biology.
* The information and informatics resources available to make these models.
* The application and understanding of Integrative Biology techniques to a specific research project.
* The role of multi-disciplinary work in Integrative Biology.
* The application of Integrative Biology in the private sector.

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

Once you have completed the taught components of the course, you will undertake a 60-credit research project, to be completed in association with biomedical scientists. This project provides you with the opportunity to undertake a major piece of independent research under the supervision of a member of the academic staff.

Course Structure
The MSc in Integrative Biology is delivered on a full-time basis over one year.

This course comprises 180 credits - you will take 120 credits´ worth of taught core and optional modules over the autumn and spring semesters before completing a 60-credit technology Part II project towards the end of the course. Your progression on to the project is dependent on you achieving the required pass mark during the taught modules.
Assessment methods vary across the modules but typically consist of a combination of:

* Written examinations at the end of the appropriate semester associated with the lecture-based modules
* Formal coursework assignments associated with the lecture modules
* Research project
* A viva voce examination
We also offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Biology, which offers the same taught modules as the MSc course but does not include a dissertation requirement.

A comprehensive overview of the principles of programming will be provided including such concepts as procedural logic, variables, flow control, input and output and the analysis and design of programs.Instruction will be provided in the Java programming language. This module looks at the physiological basis of integrated behaviours. It covers hypothalamic control of the endocrine system, temperature and body mass, and integrative aspects of physical exercise.Levels at which integration within physiology can occur. Communication as a paradigm. Vertical communication, horizontal communication. Non-linear nature of biological phenomena. Whole organism physiologies, including comparative, behavioural and evolutionary physiology and physiological ecology. Integration within systems physiology at various levels. Impact of functional genomics on physiological methods.This module provides an introduction to the sources of data on biomolecular interactions and the computing/mathetmatical techniques to construct, visualize and analyse biomolecular networks; more specifically sources of molecular interaction data and their quality, content and completeness, introduction to graph theory, techniques for the construction, visualisation and analysis of properties of biomolecular networks.This module requires students to write a literature review of approximately 3000 words for the research project chosen from a list of topics provided by academic research staff. This information is then used to build a research plan. Any safety training must also be completed.This module covers the full range of soft skills needed by professional scientists and managers in the Integrative Biology arena including: Written and verbal presentations skills The processes of job acquisition and development The cultures and drivers in different academic disciplines participating in Integrative Biology Group management Business establishment and development, especially with respect to the biomedical and food sectors Mechanisms for raising funds for research projects Mathematics is applied to a wide range of topics in medicine and biology. Without assuming any prior biological knowledge, this module describes how mathematics helps us understand topics such as biological patterns and oscillations, how materials such as nutrients and endocrine factors are transported throughout the body, and are subsequently metabolised by, or are incorporated into biological macromolecules, tissues and organs. Applications range from the scale of individual cells to complete populations of plants and animals. Considerable emphasis is placed on model building and development. The module illustrates the applications of nonlinear mathematics and introduces basic techniques for modelling transport processes. Specific topics covered include: * model building, scaling and nondimensionalisation;
* active transport of macromolecules;
* cell cycle and cell metabolism;
* signalling networks.


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