MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research Project 2-Bioinformatics

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL61280
Credit rating 60
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


For Research Project 2 (RP2) of the MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, students will be working full time over a 3 month period (late May through August). Whereas RP1 engages the student in several activities designed to develop their research, presentation and report writing skills, RP2 is more focussed on the delivery of a dissertation, reporting the research carried out in RP2. The research project in Bioinformatics and/or Systems Biology is assigned towards the middle of Semester 2, based on matching student ranked choices to projects provided (via the course director) from University staff. Each topic in the list is typically described by a title, paragraph description and references. In some cases, two or more co-supervisors will be listed, reflecting the inter-disciplinary nature of the research. Assessment is via the writing of a dissertation and a research performance mark provided by the supervisor. RP1 and RP2, together with the taught course units, are designed to put students in a position to undertake cutting edge PhD or other research work in the general area of computational biology. In some cases work from RP1 or RP2 may lead directly to publishable material. In many cases the type of work performed for RP1 or RP2 leads to consolidation of new collaborations for students and staff, underpinning new combinations of computational and experimental work.


  • Further develop students in research project work.
  • Give students further experience in carrying out research embedded in computational groups working within an interdisciplinary environment, applying computational skills learned on the MSc course in the context of experimental data.
  • Develop scientific writing skills by producing a project report in the format of a Dissertation.
  • Develop students’ collaborative skills within a research environment, enhancing suitability for application to PhD programmes and/or other destinations, including Industrial.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge on a specific area of current research in Bioinformatics and/or Systems Biology.
  • Learn how to deliver computational biology research in a multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Further develop proficiency in the application of computational methods to interpret experimental data.
  • Acquire the experience to communicate research effectively in a Dissertation format report.

Teaching and learning methods

The students will carry out their own research under guidance from their project supervisor(s).

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 8.34%
Dissertation 91.66%
Dissertation: 91.66% (55/60 credits): maximum 9000 words and 8 figures/tables.Research performance assessment: 8.34%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided by the project supervisor(s) during RP2, through written comments on a draft report before submission and on the final report after it has been marked. The course director will arrange meetings over the summer for students to discuss the progress of their project work.

Recommended reading

Specific reading lists will be provided for each project, included in the list of project descriptions.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 100
Independent study hours
Independent study 500

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jean Marc Schwartz Unit coordinator

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