Course update: This course has now closed for applications and will not be running in May 2024
- Qualification: PGCert, CPD
- Duration: 3 - 12 months, depending on the qualification level
- Delivery: All taught units are delivered online
- Workload: Approx 15-20 hours per week
- Next enrolment: CPD - Feb 2023, PGCert - May 2023
- Fees: PGCert - £5,000, CPD - £1,250 per unit
Bioinformaticians are needed now more than ever
Bioinformatics provides an important bridge between cutting edge science and the delivery of genomic medicine in clinical practice.
Gain the necessary skills to produce high-quality bioinformatics workflows to analyse and interpret clinical genomic data, in addition to a critical understanding of data generation with our fully online, part-time Postgraduate Certificate.
Taught by a team that has successfully delivered the Clinical Bioinformatics Scientist Training Programme for the UK’s National Health Service.
Study this course online and tailor your learning around your work and other commitments.
Includes real-world clinical case studies and will focus on providing the necessary bioinformatic skills to produce bioinformatics workflows to analyse clinical genomic data.
Try our free MOOC: Clinical Bioinformatics: Unlocking Genomics
Our free MOOC covers the following topics
- Investigating the role of Clinical Bioinformatics and how it provides an important bridge between computer science and biology.
- Exploring tools and technologies of Clinical Bioinformatics to filter and classify the information from the human genome.
- Understanding the ethical and legal considerations when dealing with patients’ genomic data.
All units are delivered online so you can fit your studies around your work and other commitments.
From 3 - 12 months, part-time.
PGCert- May 2023, CPD Introduction to Clinical Bioinformatics-May 2023, CPD Introduction to Health Informatics-Sept 2023, CPD Introduction to Programming-Nov 2023, CPD Introduction to Next-Generation Sequencing-Feb 2022
For more information on how to apply and what documents to submit with your application, please visit our application and selection section.
Approx 15 hours per week.
Dr Michael Cornell
Fees and funding
For entry in the academic year beginning May 2023, the tuition fees for the 1 year Postgraduate Certificate are £5,000.
Each unit is available individually as a CPD option lasting 3 months. The fee for each unit is £1,250.
During your induction with your dedicated Student Support Advisor you will arrange your payments. You can find further information about paying your fees here .
We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent :
- computing sciences subject
We may also consider exceptional applicants with a Lower Second if you have research experience or equivalent professional experience.
Click here to see a full list of required admissions documentation.
Contact us today
Where and when you will study
Our PGCert in Clinical Bioinformatics is a fully online part-time course, with content delivered online using interactive learning materials you can access on any device. This allows for a truly flexible study experience so you can study in your own time when it is convenient for you. You will be supported through regular contact with your tutor as well as access to a wealth of resources including Jupyter Notebooks to support your Python programming unit.
"Manchester is the first university worldwide to offer a fully online course in clinical bioinformatics. We've been training clinical bioinformaticians for the UK National Health Service since 2013, during that time we’ve seen huge changes in clinical genomics including: rapid changes in sequencing technologies, permitting clinical whole genome sequencing; the integration of resources such as gnomAD and Decipher for variant interpretation; and the concurrent professionalisation of clinical bioinformaticians. The rapid updates to workflows and associated rigour and quality assurance to integrate these changes means that clinical bioinformaticians are needed now more than ever to ensure the best possible outcomes and increased diagnoses for patients.”
Dr Michael Cornell, Course Director
Who this course is for
This course is suitable for a range of healthcare professionals including bioscientists, clinicians, computer scientists, informaticians, clinical scientists.We have also welcomed people from other professional backgrounds who want to develop their skills in this field. Please refer to the admissions info for details.
This course is designed to develop your knowledge in this new field and enhance your career.
What you will learn
- Understand the theory and practice of clinical bioinformatics.
- Develop a critical understanding of how data is generated by clinical genomic laboratories.
- Use this information and how it can be logically and systematically employed to deliver effective clinical management of genetic conditions.
- Contribute to innovation, change and service developments in clinical science at both the laboratory and institutional levels.
How it will benefit your career
Successful graduates of this course will gain the skills and knowledge to pursue and develop a career or hone a specialism in clinical bioinformatics.
Make a real difference in understanding disease processes and improving healthcare. This course provides a starting point for a career in this rapidly expanding area of healthcare.
Unit 1 - Introduction to Clinical Bioinformatics
- Provide background knowledge of human genomics with particular emphasis to the clinical setting
- Application of next generation sequencing technologies in the clinic
- Introduction of basic next generation sequencing and how resulting genomic data is analysed
This module will provide you with a background knowledge of human genomics, with a particular emphasis on the application to the clinical setting. We will focus on the application of next-generation sequencing technologies in the clinic and how they are transforming patient care. We will introduce the basic concepts of next generation sequencing and how the resulting genomic data is analysed. We will also introduce bioinformatics tools, databases and the methodology that will help to make sense of all of this clinical genomic data. You'll contribute to discussion boards, conduct a presentation based on the analysis of a variant provided and a clinical case report.
Unit 2 - Introduction to Health Informatics (15 credits)
- Health informatics and the influence on the delivery of healthcare
- The electronic patient record and the importance of coding healthcare delivery consultations
- The human and organisational factors that are considered when introducing informatics solutions
The aims of this module are to introduce the main areas in health informatics that ultimately influence the delivery of healthcare. It will focus on the electronic patient record and the different informatics areas and concepts including the importance of coding healthcare delivery consultations; challenges and benefits of sharing data across the health system; and the human and organisational factors that are considered when introducing information/informatics solutions into the healthcare system. You'll have the chance to detail the informatics challenges and solutions across the chosen patient pathway as part of a presentation as well as write a short written assignment.
Unit 3 - Introduction to Programming (15 credits)
- Introduction to programming
- Safe and effective software development practice
- Develop practical programming skills
Bioinformatics and physical science in medicine are fast-moving areas. It is often the case that specific tools and resources that would be useful in a clinical setting are not available commercially. Therefore, the ability to be able to develop safe and effective code for use within the trainee’s organisation is an important part of the skill set of an effective information scientist. This module will provide you with a sound introduction to programming and safe and effective software development practice. There is no pre-requisite for students to have previous experience of programming.
Hear from Dr Constantinos Savva about his experiences, challenges and support he received on this unit. Watch the video here.
Unit 4 - Introduction to Next-Generation Sequencing (15 credits)
- Extend your knowledge of the wide range of bioinformatics pipelines, tools and resources
- How these tools are used by clinical bioinformaticians to support patient-centred care, diagnosis and treatment
- Look at the ethical and confidentiality issues that arise with such sensitive data
Advances in genomics are leading to a better understanding of genetic variation and the role that such variation plays in human health and disease. Such insights are important in predicting inherited disease risks, understanding and classifying cancer, predicting individuals’ responses to drug treatment, or better understanding the spread of drug-resistant pathogens.
This module will build on the Introduction to Clinical Bioinformatics unit. It will extend the knowledge of the wide range of bioinformatics pipelines, tools and resources that are used in bioinformatics to process genomic data, and how such tools are used by clinical bioinformaticians to support patient-centred care, diagnosis and treatment. A strong emphasis will be placed on ethical and confidentiality issues that arise with such sensitive data.
You'll conduct an individual presentation based on a bioinformatics workflow created to analyse NGS data.
Watch the most recent webinar focusing on this unit here.
The course is delivered online and is designed to enable you to work and study simultaneously. You will receive a high level of support from the programme team and will have the opportunity to benefit from peer support by establishing a professional network with fellow students.
- knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of clinical bioinformatics;
- a critical understanding of how data generated by clinical genomic laboratories is used to develop a clinical diagnosis, and how this information can be logically and systematically employed to deliver effective clinical management of genetic conditions;
- contribute to innovation, change and service developments in clinical science at both the laboratory and institutional levels by giving you a systematic and critical understanding of relevant knowledge, theoretical frameworks and advanced skills;
- enhanced career-long development to support and enhance best practice in clinical bioinformatics.
This course is delivered entirely via blended-learning, which is fully online, including assessment.
Each unit runs over 10 weeks, with a nominal 15 hours per week of student work. Each week consists of:
An overview of the material - presenting the learning objectives for the week.
Explanatory material (approximately 3 hours of student activity per week) in the form of video lectures, papers/articles, the course text, and links to further resources.
Exercises (approximately 4 hours per week). These are formative, with feedback for them given in the tutorial.
Discussion (approximately 2 hours per week). You are encouraged to discuss the exercises and material in the forums where tutors will facilitate peer learning, providing feedback/input where necessary.
Formative questionnaire This is to gather your questions and highlight misconceptions ready for the tutorial.
Tutorial You will video conference with your tutor in groups of 6-8 to discuss and give/receive feedback.
There is also private study of approximately 5 hours per week consisting of:
- further practice (after the tutorials)
- independent/further study.
The times specified for study will vary greatly throughout the weeks, for example you may spend longer in week 9 preparing for your assessed pieces, however discussion and participation in group work is central to your development as a learner in this course and therefore we expect you to contribute to these aspects through the duration of each course unit.
Assessment is undertaken as coursework, including contribution to discussion boards, short presentations and clinical reports.
Assessment will be tailored to the practical activity associated with each unit.
From your initial expression of interest right through to graduation, you’ll receive all the support you need. We can support you with enrolment and subject assistance, administrative logistics and fee options, online learning skills, workload management and special circumstances including a possible professional entry route.
Academic entry qualification overview
We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent :
- computing sciences subject
with sufficient evidence of the relevant units taken. We may also consider exceptional applicants with a Lower Second if you have research experience or equivalent professional experience.
Please provide two satisfactory professional or academic references and a copy of your CV detailing your full work experience. You will also need to provide a personal statement (approx. 500 words) detailing why you're interested in studying on the course.
If you're applying for a CPD unit, you will still need at least one reference as well as a CV and supporting personal statement.
International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.
We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).
Specifically, we require a minimum of:
- IELTS - (Academic) minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing
- TOEFL: 575 paper-based
- TOEFL: 230 computer-based (with a minimum score in the Test of Written English of 6.0)
- TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with a minimum score of 22 in each component)
English language test validity
How to apply
Advice to applicants
You'll need to submit:
A completed application formPersonal statement (maximum 500 words) answering the following questions:
- What attracts you to apply to this course?
- What do you hope to gain from this course?
- How will help you achieve your future aims and aspirations?
A recent copy of your CV detailing your professional experience
Degree certificate and official transcripts
Evidence of English language (if applicable, see entry requirements above for more information)
As part of the application process you will be asked to provide contact details for two referees, professional and/or academic. The University will contact your referees directly after you submit your application and direct them to complete our online reference form. If you are taking any standalone CPD units, you will only need to provide contact details for one referee.
If you have any questions regarding the course or application process, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Unit teaching dates:
- Unit 1. Introduction to Clinical Bioinformatics May 2023 - August 2023
- Unit 2. Introduction to Health Informatics September 2023 - November 2023
- Unit 3. Introduction to Programming For Clinical Bioinformatics November 2023 - December 2023 and January 2024 - February 2024
- Unit 4. Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Bioinformatics February 2024 - May 2024
If you would like to find out more about the role of Clinical Bioinformatics, you can enrol on our free 5-week massive online open course for a taster. You will explore how the discipline of Clinical Bioinformatics provides an important bridge between cutting-edge science and the delivery of genomic medicine in clinical practice. You will also discover and identify methods and technologies of analysing, filtering, and classifying the information from the human genome. The course will bring these methods and processes to life using case studies, interviews with bioinformaticians, and a host of activities to help you understand the basics of Clinical Bioinformatics. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com with any questions.
Policy on additional costs
All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).
Regulated by the Office for Students
The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website.
You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.