The Master in Bioinformatics at Ghent University has started its first academic year 2015-2016.
“Bioinformatics has become a necessity for all life sciences!”
Prof. Yves Van de Peer
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field of science in which biology, computer science, statistics, mathematics and engineering are combined to study and process biological data. Bioinformatics aims at gaining a better and quantitative understanding of cellular processes by integrating, analyzing and modeling molecular data (so-called ‘omics’ data). Within this context, bioinformatics has evolved into a basic scientific discipline which is essential not only for fundamental biological research but also for medical diagnosis, cancer research, drug development, agriculture, etc.
Recent technological advances allow for the generation of huge amounts of molecular data at an ever increasing pace and have dramatically changed our view on life science research. It goes without saying that this data avalanche, together with the need for multi-angle approaches to analyze these data, has created an urgent need for highly trained scientists with an interdisciplinary mindset. The Master of Science in Bioinformatics is an interfaculty master open to certain students from the Faculty of Sciences, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (see admission requirements) that aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to work in such interdisciplinary context.
The interfaculty Master of Science in Bioinformatics at Ghent University provides a curriculum of 120 ECTS, taught in English. Bioinformatics is inherently multidisciplinary, and requires not only learning skills/knowledge from domains different than those of the bachelor's degree, but also acquiring a more in-depth knowledge/training in the domain that corresponds to the students’ specific background and primary interest. The master is structured to provide both this broadening and deepening.
In a common track (33 ECTS) the master offers courses covering the different application domains of bioinformatics. This track, followed by all students irrespective of their background, primarily aims at educating the interdisciplinary competences that are of key importance to bioinformatics.
Depending on the specific background of the student (Bachelor in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Bachelor in Bioscience Engineering or Bachelor of Computer Science Engineering/Bachelor in Informatics), this common track is complemented with one of the following specialization tracks (each of which is 87 ECTS):
- Bioscience Engineering (title of ‘Bioscience engineer’) (Program)
- Systems Biology (Program)
- Engineering (title of ‘Engineer’) (Program)