Course update: This course has now closed for applications and will not be running in May 2024

Online course

Clinical Bioinformatics

  • 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.


Key features

Guaranteed quality

Taught by a team that has successfully delivered the Clinical Bioinformatics Scientist Training Programme for the UK’s National Health Service.

Flexible learning

Study this course online and tailor your learning around your work and other commitments.

Real-world challenges

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

Bioinformatician analysing workflows

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.

Join the course for free

Key information

  • Delivery

    All units are delivered online so you can fit your studies around your work and other commitments.

  • Duration

    From 3 - 12 months, part-time.

  • Enrolment dates

    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

  • Applications

    For more information on how to apply and what documents to submit with your application, please visit our application and selection section.

  • Workload

    Approx 15 hours per week.

  • Course director

    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

Entry requirements

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent :

  • biological
  • medical
  • physical
  • 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.

Find out more about entry requirements

Contact us today


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Course overview

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.

Hear current student Brad's story

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.
Learn about genomics from our Course Academics

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.

Hear from Dr. Constantinos Savva

Course units

  • 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
  • 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
  • Unit 3 - Introduction to Programming (15 credits)

    • Introduction to programming
    • Safe and effective software development practice
    • Develop practical programming skills
  • 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

Course structure

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. 

Course learning aims

The course will give you:
  • 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.

Teaching and learning

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:

  • revision
  • coursework
  • 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.

Coursework and assessment

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.

Admissions information

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.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent :

  • biological
  • medical
  • physical
  • 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.

English language

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)
See further information about requirements for your country .
English language test validity
Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

You'll need to submit:

A completed application form

Personal 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    

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 with any questions.

Additional cost information

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.