This program may be of interest to any student who is majoring in health sciences, medicine, biology, veterinary science, nursing, or any other health-related field and/or who is planning to apply to medical school after graduation. In today's globalized world, more and more students seek to include international experience in their studies. This can be achieved by working alongside faculty and students from UPF's prestigious Health and Life Sciences School.

 

Key Areas

  • Anatomy and Embryology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular Biology
  • Comparative Healthcare Systems
  • Nutrition and Food SciencePhysiology
  • Pathology
  • Psychology
  • Public Health

 

(!) All the Health-related direct enrollment courses will take place at Ciutadella Campus Mar which is about a ten-minute walk from the Ciutadella Campus (where HESP and Spanish language courses take place). Please, be aware of this when configurating your class schedules.

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Program Requirements

  • Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 at their school of origin.
  • The program is suitable for both students with a strong command of Spanish and intermediate speakers.
    • Students with a strong command of Spanish may participate in observation activities, as long as their language and other skills enable efficient communication with others in the experiential-learning setting.
    • Students with any level of Spanish may participate in the experiential-learning activities in laboratories.
  • Applicants should come from a university or study-abroad provider with a study-abroad agreement with UPF.

 

Academic Structure

The progam requires a full semester course load (normally 4-5 courses, equivalent to 24-30 ECTS credits). The course load is built from the following components:

1. A minimum of 2-3 courses from a selection of regular courses at the UPF School of Health and Life Sciences. The selected courses belong to various degree programs offered at UPF in the fields of biology, biotechnology, bioinformatics, health, and medical science. These are direct enrollment courses taught in English or Spanish and the list of selected elective courses can be found below. 

2. An optional undergraduate research abroad project directed by UPF Faculty (6 ECTS).

3. Spanish Language courses.

 

Deadline for applications

Fall: May 30 | Winter and Spring: October 30

 

Academic offerings

 

1) Elective courses

We are currently updating the course offering. The course list below is provisional.

Fall 2021 Fall 2021

UPF regular courses (all terms)
Course offeringbear in mind that some courses are taught both in Spanish and Catalan.

NEW! Public Databases in Health and Life Sciences

Language: English

ECTS: 4

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This subject will introduce the different types of data available in the area of the health and life sciences, highlighting their specific characteristics, their heterogeneity and integration needs in order to solve scientific and clinical questions in the field. The main knowledge portals and databases to access and exploit this kind of data will be presented in hands-on sessions to provide students with the expertise to use these resources.
NEW! Data Visualisation

Language: English

ECTS: 4

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This course introduces concepts of visual design and data metaphors of essential data for the design and use of specific interactive bioinformatics software including: colour spaces, bitmaps and vector graphs (PostScript, SVG), 2D and 3D rendering. Processing programming language, graph grammar (R, ggplot2). Visualising data in bioinformatics: R packages in bioinformatics, common visualisations in bioinformatics, tools for manipulating networks. Hive plots. Graphics libraries.  
NEW! Introduction to Bioinformatics

Language: English

ECTS: 4

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General aspects of how the University works. Characteristics of the degrees on offer. Study strategies, learning techniques and finding information. Current state of the art, areas of knowledge and challenges in the professional and productive field of bioinformatics. Basic and applied fields of research relevant to the context of bioinformatics and biomedicine. Intuitive introduction to various concepts, phenomena, principles and methods studied in bioinformatics to give students an idea of real-life problems and help them interpret biological phenomena and formulate them mathematically, as well as helping to confirm/reinforce students’ interest in bioinformatics and biomedical research.
NEW! Biochemistry

Language: English

ECTS: 6

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This course covers fundamental concepts and subjects in biochemistry, from the basic molecules of life to molecular cell biology and genetics. The course covers the structure and function of DNA, RNA, proteins and cellular components, metabolism and its regulations, and on chemical reactions in the cell.

Winter 2022 Winter 2022

51755-Biostatistics and data analysis

Language: English

ECTS: 4

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Biostatistics and Data Analysis provides an introduction to selected important topics in biostatistical concepts and reasoning. This course represents an introduction to the field and provides a survey of data and data types.
Specific topics include tools for describing central tendency and variability in data; methods for performing inference on population means and statistical hypothesis testing; issues of power and sample size in study designs. The course will familiarize the students with the use of the R statistical package and give them the skills needed for effective data management, data manipulation, and data analysis at a basic level.

NEW! Algorithms for sequence analysis in Bioinformatics
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course provides an introduction to pairwise comparison algorithms used in biology. It will start with an overview of the many usages of dynamic programming for pairwise comparisons, database searches, multiple comparisons. Starting from the Needleman and Wunsch algorithm, we will introduce Smith and Waterman, its local alignment variation and will describe space efficient implementations such as Myers and Millers. Given this understanding of pairwise comparison we will see how this approach can be generalized to database searches using the BLAST algorithm and its pairwise alignment heuristic. We will take the opportunity of the BLAST algorithm to introduce the notion of E-value and the implications of score distributions when searching databases. Database searches make it possible to gather large groups of homologous sequences and open the way towards multiple sequence alignments. We will briefly introduce the biological relevance of these models and will then introduce the wide range of algorithms available to assemble these models. Among their many applications, Multiple Sequence Alignments are especially useful for the identification of compensated mutations. We will use this opportunity to introduce the Nussinov RNA folding algorithm and its use when running a CYK analysis in the second part of the course. The last part of the course will be dedicated to genome scale string matching algorithms and their many applications for RNA quantification and Genome assembly.
NEW! Aspects of Physical and Organic Chemistry
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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This course covers fundamental concepts in physics and organic chemistry, including chemical thermodynamics, acid-base chemistry and cheminformatics. Subjects include molecular structure and stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms and chemical equilibrium, as well as basic organic compounds.
NEW! Databases
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course presents the notion of databases and its need in real problems of information management. The relational model (SQL) as well as their integration into information systems and programmatic use is covered in detail, including aspects of transaction banking, integrity and management. Other types of databases (data warehouses, NoSQL ...) are covered in less detail.
NEW! Molecular Biology
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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This course covers the molecular basis of the maintenance, expression, and evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. Topics covered in this course include: gene regulation, DNA replication, genetic recombination, RNA processing, and translation. The course will combine theoretical sessions with seminars and computer practice.
NEW! Clustering Methods and Algorithms in Genomics and Evolution
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course covers dynamic programming, database search (Blast), compression-based string matching (DNA aligners), assembling algorithms, multiple-sequence alignments, RNA folding algorithms (Zuker, Nussinov), structural superposition algorithms. Assembly algorithms, De Bruijn graphs. Usearch, UPGMA, NJ, ML and parsimony trees, Bayesian tree reconstruction.

UPF regular courses (all terms)

Course offering: bear in mind that some courses are taught both in Spanish and Catalan.

Spring 2022 Spring 2022

51759-Population genetics and molecular evolution 
Language: English
ECTS: 3
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This course covers the theoretical concepts and practical skills that are required to analyse and understand DNA and protein sequence evolution both at the population genetics (within species) and divergence (between species) levels. It includes central subjects in these areas, such as measuring molecular variation, the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, the factors promoting evolution, the notions of genetic linkage and gene mapping, the coalescent theory, the neutral theory of molecular evolution, the DNA and amino acid substitution models or the essential ideas of molecular phylogenetic tree thinking. The course also introduce most popular computer algorithms and software to simulate and analyse DNA and protein sequence evolution and provide some guidelines for
the correct interpretation of the results generated by these programs.
NEW! Genetics and Genomics
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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This course covers the basic principles of genetics and genomics. The teaching project of this subject aims, among other goals, to:
-Introduce the student to the main principles of Genetics
-Understand the different models of genetic inheritance.
-Help the student to understand the principles of linkage and chromosome
mapping.
-Teach the mechanisms of chromosome and genome variation.
-Provide students with information on gene interactions, inheritance of complex traits and association mapping.
-This introductory course will provide students with the basis to understand more specialized courses of bioinformatics curricula.
 
NEW! Omics Techniques
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course introduces extensive details of the state-of-the-art, high-throughput methodologies used in biology: DNA and RNA sequencing technologies, Chi-seq, X-Ray, NMR and mass spectrometry. It also covers the technical information required for a comprehensive understanding of the error distribution and biases of experimental data.
UPF regular courses (all terms)
Course offering: bear in mind that some courses are taught both in Spanish and Catalan.

2) Undergraduate Research Abroad Projects (6 ECTS)

(Available during 2nd and 3rd terms)

Besides meeting the general Global Health Program admission requirements, students intersted in the Research Labs must be students of Biomedical related majors.The Research Projects can last for a period of 6 months (January-June/July) or 10 months (September/June).

    Check the research groups which are available to consider your proposal.

 

 

3) Optional Electives from the Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (including Spanish Language Courses) 

(Available during 1st and 2nd terms)

Students may round out their course registration with the BaPIS courses and  Spanish language courses, which are offered for all levels, from beginner to proficiency, including courses for native speakers.