MDP in Bioinformatics

Programme description

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science with subject matters from biomedicine and methods from information technology, statistics, and mathematics. The Master's Degree Programme in Bioinformatics offers data analysis skills in the domain of biology and medicine. Tuition is in English, and the students of this programme learn to work together with associates from different countries and scientific backgrounds. Applicable fields of prior studies are biosciences and information technology, or other relevant fields where sufficient knowledge of information technology and/or biosciences is achieved for studying in the MDP in Bioinformatics. The Master of Science (MSc) degree gives eligibility for scientific postgraduate studies.

The programme aims at acquiring a wide knowledge in the field of bioinformatics; good methodological skills; advanced knowledge in some specialized topic within the domain; an ability to solve independently problems related to challenging research questions; ability to search, combine, and critically evaluate information; presentation and argumentation skills, both oral and written; as well as an ability to engage in a constructive dialogue with related disciplines. In the end of the MSc studies the students are expected to have an insight into actual research and development work as well as into the possibilities and limitations of bioinformatics methods in the application domain and in the society at large.

Learning outcomes

Specific, competence-based learning outcomes of this programme can be found in the Learning outcomes sections of Major subject studies and Compulsory minor subject studies.

General programme structure

The degree is normally attained in two years. All students are introduced to the multidisciplinary field of bioinformatics. The studies encompass different aspects of bioinformatics, computer science, information technology, statistics, mathematics, and biosciences, such as biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics.

Requirements for the MSc in Bioinformatics (120 ECTS):

  1. Major subject studies (40 ECTS)
  2. Other studies (40 ECTS)
    B.1. Language studies (0-7 ECTS)
    B.2. Compulsory minor subject studies (0-19 ECTS)
    B.3. Optional studies (14-40 ECTS)
  3. Master’s thesis (40 ECTS)

Major subject studies and other studies are arranged as courses, typically 4 to 5 ECTS credits each. A student attending to a course is expected to participate in classroom work such as lectures and exercises, work on assignments, web exercises, or individual projects, present a seminar paper, or take an exam, depending on the course. The courses combine different modes of teaching. The study methods vary from course to course and are subject to change. The student is expected to take a majority of the courses in the first year, while the Master's thesis is a personal scientific research project comprising the core of the second year studies.

In the Finnish system, all courses are measured in ECTS credits. One credit refers to an input of approximately 27 hours of work for the attainment of the objectives set for a course.

Initial tests

Every student must participate in the initial tests consisting of basic questions about biosciences and computer science. The results of the initial tests and previous studies of the student determine the courses to be chosen from the group B.2. Compulsory minor subject studies. 

Personal study plan

Every student prepares with the staff a personal study plan (PSP) in order to determine the exact content of her/his studies, depending on initial tests, previous education, and experience and goals. If the applicant has a degree in which the relevant studies in applicable fields are insufficient, the university may require that the student performs additional studies (supplementary studies, max. 60 credits) in addition to Master's degree studies. The supplementary studies will be stated in the PSP.


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