Master in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences

> LANGUAGE: English
2 academic years (120 ECTS credits)
> CALENDAR: From September to June | TIMETABLE: Six hours of face-to-face tuition a day between 8:30 am and 7:00 pm  
> TUITION FEE: Students UE: € 3,420 | Non UE students: € 4.639,8 (1 academic year)
Research, Professional and Academic | DOCTORAL STUDIES TO WHICH IT GRANTS ACCESS: Phd in Biomedicine 
Mar campus and Faculty of Biology (Universitat de Barcelona) | MASTER'S PROGRAMME SECRETARY'S OFFICE:
Interuniversity master jointly organised by Pompeu Fabra University (coordinator) and the University of Barcelona

This master offers one registration fee grant worth 2,000 € for the 2016-2017 academic year

Assistència Sanitària offers all students taking a master's degree or a postgraduate course in the field of health at any Catalan university a scholarship programme covering 50% of the registration fee (with a maximum amount of 1,000 €). More information (in Spanish)


The master's programme in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences is designed to provide professionals and researchers with skills and abilities geared towards the development of new computational strategies and IT systems for use in biomedical research.

One of the key features of this programme is the large percentage of optional subjects it offers, allowing students to train in a wide range of bioinformatics disciplines. At the same time, it has a clear professional orientation as witnessed by the inclusion of compulsory subjects on the design, management and exploitation of scientific research.

Who it is for?

The programme is aimed at two types of candidates: holders of degrees in biological and health sciences (biology, medicine, biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmacy, etc.) and holders of engineering degrees or degrees in basic scientific disciplines (chemistry, physics, or mathematics).

Candidates must be interested in the development and application of computational tools for use in the field of biomedicine.


Students of the master's programme may choose between three different course types: research, academic, and professional. The programme spans a total of two academic years and is taught entirely in English.

All first-year subjects are optional with a view to encouraging students to design personalized curricula based on their prior training and future interests by choosing subjects from different fields of bioinformatics (genomic bioinformatics, structural bioinformatics, systems biology, pharmacoinformatics, and medical informatics), as well as among general cross-disciplinary subjects related to algorithms and programming, data management and analysis, and text mining.

In the second year, students acquire basic notions of bioethics and data protection applied to bioinformatics, as well as of the design, management and exploitation of scientific research. They also complete a master's degree final project.


  • Genome bioinformatics: analysis, alignment, comparison and automatic annotation of biological sequences; analysis of genome evolution and variation; molecular biology databases.
  • Structural bioinformatics: introduction to the experimental methods used in the structural determination of biomolecules, protein structure prediction, and the simulation of biomolecular systems.
  • Systems biology: description of biological networks and gene, protein and metabolic network modelling. Emphasis on both topological aspects of networks and on their dynamic behaviour.
  • Pharmacoinformatics: managing molecular libraries and the virtual screening thereof, computer-aided drug design, and quantitative modelling of structure-activity relationships (QSAR and 3D-QSAR).
  • Biomedical informatics: clinical-health information systems, biomedical image analysis, study of genotype-phenotype relationships, and IT support systems for healthcare decision-making.


The internship consists of a supervised placement at a laboratory or company to carry out the final research project for the master's degree. Upon completion of the placement, the student will write a research paper and publicly defend the work he or she has done.

Internships are generally carried out at public and private laboratories in the Barcelona area, although students may also choose to do them in other regions or countries. They take place during the second year of the master's programme, span a total of six months, and are full-time (40 hours a week).

Career prospects

The main career prospects are:

  • Bioinformatics specialist, whether in academic research groups or at hospitals or companies in the biotech, pharmaceutical and bioinformatics industries.
  • Positions at biotech companies in the field of biomedicine.
  • Contract positions at research companies.
  • Drug research and development at public research centres.
  • The master's degree also qualifies holders to pursue the PhD in Biomedicine.

Scholarships and grants  

The master's programme offers one UPF tuition fee scholarship and one grant awarded by the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation.

For information on other available financial aid for master's programmes, see