MRes in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology
Professor M. Sternberg
Course Co Director:
Dr Derek Huntley
Our MRes in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology is a multidisciplinary research-based degree, designed for applicants with a biological, biomedical, clinical, physical sciences, bioengineering, computational or mathematical background.
The programme is taught by experts in relevant fields within the College.
You gain the necessary skills to produce effective research in bioinformatics and theoretical systems biology.
Note the MRes for 2023-24 course replaces the MSc in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology but will broadly follow the course arrangement of the 2022-23 MSc.
View full course details on the Imperial study website:
The programme starts with a training phase in the autumn term, where you acquire core biological, computational and mathematics skills through lectures in bioinformatics and theoretical systems biology.
For the remainder of the autumn term, you cover the taught elements of the course comprising of lectures, practical classes and assignments.
This is followed by full-time research projects that last for the rest of the academic year, under the supervision of researchers at Imperial. There could be two research projects. All projects involve liaising with biologists, mathematicians and computing specialists. All projects must be taken at Imperial College with the principal supervisor a member of Imperial staff.
Note the 2023-24 MRes course replaces the MSc in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology but will broadly follow the course arrangement of the 2022-23 MSc. The exact details are subject to minor modifications as the course can be updated to reflect the balance of contemporary research in this area and the availability of specialist staff. Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.
In the first term you take the two modules below:
- Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology
- Mathematics and Computing
The Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology module starts with an introduction to molecular and cellular and systems biology and is particularly aimed as students from a non biological background. It is then followed by in depth lectures on protein annotation, genome annotation, statistical genetics, systems modelling and machine learning.
The Mathematics and Computing module starts with an introduction to calculus aimed at those who did not study beyond an elementary level or require a refresher. The course proceeds with both mathematical modelling, particularly solving differential equations and statistics. The computing language currently taught is Python.
At the start of the new year, there are examinations on these modules.
You take the following research projects. Projects start in January and last for the rest of the academic year. All projects must be taken at Imperial College and supervised by a member of Imperial College.
This project is designed to reinforce programming skills and provide an opportunity to experience creation of code in detail. This is normally undertaken as a group project and runs for about 11 weeks.
Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology Project
This project provides a mechanism for the use of the skills obtained during the course in a research environment. You become part of your host laboratory within Imperial, including associated hospitals and Silwood Park. Many of these projects contribute directly to scientific publications. The project runs for about 22 weeks.
- Online lecture materials
- Practical classes
- Problem classes
- Programming lectures
- Programming practicals
- Group project; software development
- Individual research project(s) & report
- Computer exam (open book)
- Computer assignments
- Mathematics coursework
- Bioinformatics coursework
- Project reports
Links with Employers
Imperial College works closely with employers and industry, including Industrial Advisory Panels to design Master’s courses which provide graduates with technical knowledge, expertise and transferable skills and to encourage students to take internships and placements. All Master’s courses are designed with employer needs in mind with some Master’s courses accredited by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies.
Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in: biological/biomedical/bioengineering, clinical or physical sciences, computational or mathematical subjects. Previous experience in computational or mathematical biology and computer programming is preferred.
If your first degree is from a country other than the UK, you may find the guidelines within our Country Index helpful. Please note that these guidelines indicate the College minimum.
The College also has a minimum English language requirement for postgraduate study; see more details.
If you are in doubt about your eligibility, then do either make an enquiry or apply!
Fees and Funding