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University: University of Turku (Department of Information Technology) and University of Tampere
Partners: Turku Centre for Computer Science, Nordic Master School in Innovative ICT
The Master’s Degree Programme in Bioinformatics is a programme offering interdisciplinary knowledge of bioinformatics. Education is given in English, and the students in this programme learn to work together with associates from different countries and scientific c backgrounds. Applicable fields of prior studies are biosciences and information technology, or other relevant fields where sufficient knowledge of information technology and/or biosciences is achieved for studying in the Master’s Degree Programme in Bioinformatics.
The programme covers different aspects of bioinformatics and is managed by two universities in Finland: the University of Tampere and the University of Turku (Department of Information Technology). As an equal cooperation of these participating units, the programme offers fundamental knowledge of:
- Algorithms in Bioinformatics
- Biological Databases and Tools
- Information Retrieval and Extraction
- Data Analysis and Machine Learning Methods
- Sequence Analysis, Protein structures, Phylogenetics
- Proteomics, Functional Genomics, Systems Biology
The MSc degree is normally attained in two years. All students are introduced to the multidisciplinary field of bioinformatics. The studies encompass different aspects of bioinformatics, computer science, information technology, statistics, mathematics, and biosciences, such as biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.
Major subject studies and other studies are arranged as courses, typically 3-5 ECTS credits each. A student attending to a course is expected to participate in classroom work such as lectures and exercises, work on group assignments or individual projects, present a seminar paper, or take an exam, depending on the course. The courses combine different modes of teaching, including distance learning. The study methods vary from course to course and are subject to change. The student is expected to take a majority of the courses in the first year, while the Master’s Thesis is a personal scientific research project comprising the core of the second year studies.
The specific need for bioinformatics professionals will be amongst biological and medical research and development groups in the industrial sector as well as in educational institutions. The Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics gives eligibility for scientific postgraduate studies in bioinformatics, and also in biosciences or in information technology. This kind of multidisciplinary education opens up excellent employment opportunities.
Nordic Master School in Innovative ICT
Master’s Degree Programme in Bioinformatics is part of Nordic Master School in Innovative ICT. NMS iICT is one of the pilot projects awarded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and based on joint development of existing Master Programmes (120 sp) at the partner universities, which are Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku, The Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark) and Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia). NMS iICT focuses on combining and coordinating world-leading Nordic ICT –related education of the partner universities. The NMS iICT curricula also are to equip the students with basic skills and tools in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The student of Master’s Degree Programme in Bioinformatics can decide her-/himself whether or not s/he wants to participate in Nordic Master School. In order to become a NMS iICT student, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship -module is an obligatory part of studies. The module is designed especially for students with technical background, taking into consideration their specific needs and interest in the I&E studies – when involved in the business world, it is not sufficient to know the technology, but also the mechanisms how the business works with technology.
The I&E module is, of course, worthwhile for students intending to graduate for commercial world, but also people in the academic world will get an advantage from the module, as more and more of the scientific research is funded by the corporate world. These studies are part of optional studies and form a minor subject (25 sp).
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship – module is described at the end of this section. In addition to the I&E studies, the student can choose to carry out part of her/his major studies in one of the partner universities. Every university offers Core Competence -modules (30 sp), which are based on their special field of know-how. The student can choose one or two of these Core Competence –modules according to her/his personal study plan. Mobility is not a compulsory part of studies, but highly recommended.