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.

Calendar | Apply | Fees | Policies

 

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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Preliminaries on probability and biostatistics using real bioinformatics data. Starting from a bioinformatics research question, the course explores how to design a scientific study and how to get meaningful data. Basic probability concepts, and first principles on estimation and hypothesis testing are covered. R programming language is introduced to explore and visualize data and do basic statistical analysis.

51845-Algorithms for sequence analysis in Bioinformatics
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course presents the main methods for sequence analysis in bioinformatics, including Viterbi, Baum–Welch, posterior decoding, SCFG applied to RNA folding, gene prediction algorithms, Infernal (Inference of RNA Alignment software), secondary structure prediction algorithms in proteins and algorithms, domain profiles and HMM algorithms and methods for gene prediction, among others.
Algorithms and data structure
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course takes an in-depth look at the notion of algorithmic efficiency and presents several techniques for analysing and improving it. We introduce the main techniques for efficient algorithms design (greedy, divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, backtracking, etc.), as well as a brief introduction to algorithmic intractability. More advanced data structures such as graphs, trees and "heaps", as well as key partner algorithms and some applications, are also introduced.
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.
Databases
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course presents the notion of databases and their use in real-life information management problems. The relational model (SQL) and the integration of databases 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, etc.) are covered in less detail.
Molecular Biology
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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This course covers the main aspects of cell structure and function in eukaryotes and prokaryotes cells. The course also explores the molecular mechanisms of replications, transcription and translation, and its regulation and control.
51846-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.
Structural Bioinformatics
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course looks at the analysis and prediction of the 3D structure of biological macromolecules such as proteins, RNA and DNA. It explores generalizations in 3D macromolecular structure such as comparisons of general folding and local motives, the principles of molecular folding, evolution and interaction of unions and structure/function relationships, working with both experimentally resolved structures and computational models.

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: 4
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This course covers the fundamental concepts underpinning DNA and protein sequence evolution, from within populations to between species, as well as their basic applications. Subjects include the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, linkage disequilibrium and gene mapping, the coalescent theory, neutrality-based tests and phylogenetic reconstruction. It will also explore the main computer algorithms and software to understand the patterns and process underlying DNA (and protein) sequence evolution, as well as to build phylogenetic trees
Genetics and Genomics
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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This course examines the basic concepts of genetics and inheritance. It includes advanced subjects on the structure and function of genes, chromosomes and genomes, as well as basic methodologies and their main applications in life sciences.
Cell Biology and Physiology
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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The course covers the organization and function of the cell, the integration of these operations in the physiology of an organism and introduces students in Cell Biology and in the physiological phenomena to understand the interior of the cell and its organization.
Comparative and Functional Genomics
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course covers concepts of comparative and functional genomics. Gene and genome duplication. Genomes and chromosome reordering. Synteny. Origin of genes. Estimation of gene loss and gain rates. Inference of natural selection in coding and noncoding sequences. Conserved sequences. Codon bias. Functional convergence. Molecular coevolution. Noncoding RNA analysis. Comparative genomics and systems biology. Functional annotation. ENCODE project. Gene expression.
Software Engineering
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course focuses on the concepts of distributed systems and the basic components of web-based systems. Developing web applications and languages and the tools used to develop dynamic content. Web service–database interface. Use of virtualisation technology to provide services. Cloud services and deployment models.
High-Performance Computing
Language: English
ECTS: 4
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This course covers concepts of parallel processing: parallel architectures and programming models, shared memory and message transmission. Identifying parallels in applications, synchronisation methods, dependency analysis, task programming, collective communication and operations, parallel I/O. It shows students how to measure performance and energy consumption in parallel applications. Tools, programming languages, libraries and macros.
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.
Calculus
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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Analysis of real functions of one or multiple variables: continuity, differentiation and integration, with examples of widely used functions in statistics and computer science. Study of sequences, limits and series. Criteria for extreme values. Differential equations and their applications in modelling in bioinformatics.
Theory of Information, Architecture of Computers and Operating Systems
Language: English
ECTS: 6
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Representation of digital information. Computer hardware organisation. Principles of processor architecture. Memory hierarchy and concept of virtual memory. Buses and I/O subsystem. Program execution on a system. Low and high level languages. Multicore and multiprocessor systems. Principles of operating systems. Process management, execution context, thread scheduling and related system calls.
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.