MPhil Bioinformatics: The University of Manchester

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MPhil Bioinformatics: The University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, Manchester, United Kingdom
Course Language(s) 
1 Year Full Time, 2 Years Part Time
+44 (0)161 275 5608
+44 (0)161 275 5657


Course description

The MPhil is a one-year research degree where students get the opportunity to study a specific research project. The MPhil degree can act as a stand-alone degree for applicants who would like to gain experience in a specific area, or can be linked to a PhD programme. Rather than register on a direct entry 3 or 4 year PhD, some postgraduates may first register on a one-year MPhil programme. Subsequently students may then wish to transfer on to a full PhD programme with a further 2 or 3 years of study.

The Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics grouping seeks to study and understand biological function through a mixture of 'wet' and 'dry' approaches, from molecular building blocks to genome and systems-wide features, which they aim to model and predict. This 'predictive' biology has been brought about by a number of factors, including the growing numbers of gene/protein sequences in the databases and a similar expansion in the molecular structures of proteins available to study. The large number of completed genome sequences has also spawned post-genomic technologies, which aim to characterise gene products (transcriptome, proteome) and the molecules they manipulate (metabolome), as dynamic, functional entities within the cell. This group develops and applies computational approaches to enable these technologies, as well as carrying them out. This can take the form of classic bioinformatics, designing and developing databases such as PRINTS, comparing gene, protein and/or genome sequences and their evolution, and modelling and predicting protein structures. Equally, tools and technology are required for these post-genomic analyses, handling and analysing microarray data, building proteome repositories and search tools, and modelling and predicting metabolic pathways.

Career opportunities

The majority of their MPhil students choose to study for a subsequent 2 or 3 years to gain a PhD qualification. Other students use the skills they have acquired to move into related areas such as education, information technology, consultancy and management, helped by the comprehensive skills training they gain during their programme of study.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview:

The standard entry requirement for MPhil study is a First or Upper Second class honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject. In certain circumstances, a Lower Second class honours degree supplemented by appropriate relevant experience, may be acceptable.

English language:

For MPhil applicants whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 6.5, TOEFL 577 (paper based), TOEFL 233 (computer based) or TOEFL 90 (internet based) is required as a minimum.

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