Harnessing the power of data and models to study life
Life is one of the most complex systems to study as it encompasses a multitude of interacting levels.
These scale from the interacting atoms to the essential molecules, genes and proteins up to the interactions between cells, tissues, organisms and between organisms and their environment. In addition to this, living systems are typically spatially structured and very dynamic.
Examples are the propagation of nerve pulses along axons, and the intricate patterning processes occurring during multicellular development. Bioinformatics is used to analyse the multitude of biological 'big data' that originate from observations and experiments investigating living matter.
Biocomplexity researchers develop mathematical and computational models to simulate these processes and thereby unravel the building blocks and interactions responsible for the observed dynamic behaviour.
Therefore both bioinformatics and biocomplexity research are core to research in the life sciences, making it a very interdisciplinary trade.
Bioinformaticians and biocomplexity scientists can be found in many different laboratories, such as in the hospital to discover novel genes that cause a particular disease. Or, at research institutes and companies that study novel drug targets, explore ecological models or improve crop yield.
Tailor your own programme
The Bioinformatics and Biocomplexity programme at Utrecht University will be a deep-dive in bioinformatic data analysis, modelling and simulating biocomplexity. In two years, you will learn the theoretical basis and fundamental techniques relevant for bioinformatics and/or biocomplexity.
Additionally you will learn to apply, modify and redevelop these methods to answer complex biological research questions. We will use state of the art research directly from our community as the basis for our lectures, assignments and internships.
Data sciences and this master’s programme
Big data can be found almost everywhere, from banks to insurance companies. Also, bioinformatics and biocomplexity deal with big data. As such, there are similarities in general techniques like programming or machine learning that do not depend on domain-specific knowledge.
On the other hand, answering the grand questions in biology - without exception - requires a solid understanding of a particular biology discipline, in addition to the analytical methods.
As a consequence, many of the techniques that are used in bioinformatics or biocomplexity, for example, in next-generation sequencing or in determining the evolutionary history of cells and organisms require highly specific classes of algorithms. These algorithms often differ from those used in (applied) data sciences, and their proper application and further development require domain-specific biological knowledge.
The career outlook for bioinformaticians is excellent. Currently, the demand outweighs the supply. At the same time, it is difficult to provide a single definition of the 'bioinformatician’.
This area of expertise is diverse and interdisciplinary, and so are the job opportunities. According to the Researchcentrum voor Onderwijs en Arbeidsmarkt (ROA) the job market for bioinformatics is very good. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in Europe and even outside the EU, bioinformaticians are in high demand.
Accredited by the NVAO
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- Biological Modeling
- Bioinformatics and Genomics
- Master level Computational Biology
- Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Genomics
- Microbial Genomics
- Structural Bioinformatics & Modelling
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- 24 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- Apply before
DisciplinesBiology Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Machine Learning View 20 other Masters in Machine Learning in Netherlands
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- A relevant Bachelor's degree (Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science, Biochemistry, (Molecular)Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical sciences, Bioinformatics, other relevant programme)
- Basic laboratory skills and knowledge and understanding about the current high-throughput experimental techniques that produce large amounts of biological data,
- A good understanding in bioinformatics (Bachelor level 2)
- A good level in computational skills (R, python, command line) (Bachelor level 2)
- A good level of understanding of (bio)statistics and mathematics (Bachelor level 2/3)
- A GPA ≥ 3 or average grade ≥ 7, is used as the standard requirement*
- Time to degree in previous education
- Study progress (grade development over the years)
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International20750 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 20750 EUR per year during 24 months.
EU/EEA2209 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 2209 EUR per year during 24 months.
Living costs for Utrecht
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.