- Qualification: PGCert, CPD
- Duration: 3 - 24 months, depending on the qualification level
- Delivery: All taught units are delivered online
- Workload: Approx 15 hours per week
- Next enrolment: CPD - Nov 2021, PGCert - May 2022
- 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 bioinformatic 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.
Real-life case studies provided by Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine
Benefits of the collaborative approach
- Learn from a team that has been training clinical bioinformaticians for the NHS for years.
- The course includes real-world clinical cases.
- You'll learn skills to produce bioinformatics workflows to analyse clinical genomic data.
All units are delivered online so you can fit your studies around your work and other commitments.
From 3 - 24 months, part-time.
PGCert- May 2022, CPD Introduction to Clinical Bioinformatics-May 2022, CPD Introduction to Health Informatics-Sept 2022, CPD Introduction to Programming-Nov 2022, CPD Introduction to Next-Generation Sequencing-Feb 2023
Due to a system upgrade, our online application form is currently unavailable. We will be launching a new application form in the week commencing 18 October, at which point we will start accepting applications for 2022 entry. If you would like us to email you when the new application form is launched, please submit your details here
Approx 15 hours per week.
Dr Angela Davies
Fees and funding
For entry in the academic year beginning May 2022, the tuition fees for the 1 year or the 2 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
Who this course is for
This course is suitable for a range of healthcare professionals including bioscientists, clinicians, computer scientists, informaticians, clinical scientists.
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.
Where and when you will study
Our PGCert in Clinical Bioinformatics is a fully online part-time course, with content delivered online using web-enabled technology systems. 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 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 Angela Davies, Course Director
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.
You'll deliver an individual presentation based on the software developed by you to parse an XML document, an LRG for a disease-associated gene, extracting information and displaying it to the user. You will utilise the programming and software development skills that you've acquired over the course. You'll be assessed on how well code is written and the documentation accompanying it.
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. You'll also build a clinical case report on the analysis of the variant as part of your assessment.
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
Due to a system upgrade, our online application form is currently unavailable. We will be launching a new application form in the week commencing 18 October, at which point we will start accepting applications for 2022 entry. If you would like us to email you when the new application form is launched, please submit your details here .
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)
If you have any questions regarding the course or application process, please contact us on email@example.com
Unit teaching dates:
- Unit 1. Introduction to Clinical Bioinformatics May 2022 - August 2022
- Unit 2. Introduction to Health Informatics September 2022 - November 2022
- Unit 3. Introduction to Programming For Clinical Bioinformatics November 2022 - December 2022 and January 2023 - February 2023
- Unit 4. Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Bioinformatics February 2023 - May 2023
Here a link to previous webinars focussed on Unit 3 Introduction to Programming and Unit 4 Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) . These webinars will provide more information on Python programming tools and the support given to those who do not have Python experience.
If you would like to find out more about the area of clinical bioinformatics and the role of clinical bioinformaticians you can enrol on our free 5-week massive online open course for a taster. Alternative you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
However, you can find out more about what it's like to study on one of Manchester's blended-learning programmes .
How your application is considered
How to apply to a part time online or blended course at The University of Manchester - Your Guide
In this short video we explain how to apply to your chosen postgraduate part-time, online or blended course at The University of Manchester.
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).
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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.