Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS) in Bioinformatics

Degree programme

Programme type Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS)
Academic Year 2018/2019
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 8020
Degree Programme Class LM-6 - Biology
Years in which the programme is being held 1st and 2nd year
Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Admission typology Open access with assessment of personal competencies
Place of teaching Bologna
Degree Type Multiple degree
Type International Degree Programme
Degree Programme Director Pier Luigi Martelli
Teachers Teachers
Language English

Admission requirements and assessment of previously acquired knowledge/competences

For admission to the second cycle degree programme in Bioinformatics, candidates must have acquired basic knowledge in: Mathematics
Physics Computing Chemistry
Admission to the second cycle degree programme also is subject to the possession of a first cycle degree or other suitable qualification obtained abroad:
ex Italian Ministerial Decree no. 270: Any first cycle degree
ex. Italian Ministerial Decree no. 509/99: Any first cycle degree
Previous four-year degree programme system: Any degree.
Admission to the Second Cycle Degree Programme is subject to the demonstration of the required skills and knowledge, assessed by a Board based on the analysis of the candidate's CV and an interview, the methods, criteria and procedures of which will be set by the Degree Programme Board and published on the University portal.
Admission to the Second Cycle Degree Programme is in any case subject to the assessment of personal competencies and skills, based on the assessment of the candidates' curriculum, which may be followed by an interview, the methods, criteria and procedures of which will be set by the Degree Programme Board and published on the University portal.
A special Admissions session may be held for international students, with a Board appointed to assess the candidates' personal competencies and skills; this session will be compatible with the schedule established in the call for applications for study grants (which indicatively expires in May).
International students who pass the above-mentioned entrance exam are exonerated from the following assessment of their personal competencies and skills required for other students.

Programme profile

The 2nd cycle degree programme in Bioinformatics provides suitable training and experience in the fields of Biology, Biotechnology and Medicine that in both research and application require information from biomedical databases and the application of existing, or design of new methods, for sequence analysis. Today the advancement of biomedical and biological research demands interdisciplinary professional staff able to not only gather information from existing data bases, but also contribute to improving and creating new ones to safeguard and hand down a unique heritage of molecular information on both our own species and others. The applications of Bioinformatics vary greatly and include various areas as can be seen from the different laboratories that support the training activities in the different subject areas. The 2nd cycle degree programme in Bioinformatics therefore provides the knowledge required to use computer technology and bioinformatic tools to perform research or dissertation work in one of the laboratories running at the University of Bologna, where Bioinformatics is essential for research activities.
The degree programme can be split into a part providing grounding in computing, programming, molecular biology and bioinformatics generally, focusing on the dissertation project, and a second, highly specialised part providing the tools to understand and work in the fields in which bioinformatics has become a fundamental part, such as applied genomics, molecular anthropology, phylogenetics, proteomics and next generation sequencing.
The 2nd cycle degree programme in Bioinformatics therefore covers:
- Molecular biology and basic computing: the ability to focus problems in biological terms and solve them using computer tools. In addition to the concepts of biology and classic computing, the programme also refers to the concepts of mathematics and statistics required to understand advanced bioinformatics instruments.
- Programming: Particular importance is paid to the ability to work autonomously, developing tools through the acquisition, use and optimisation of programming languages.
- Advanced Bioinformatics: Ability to apply advanced bioinformatics instruments.
- Applied Bioinformatics: Problem solving skills, applying bioinformatic knowledge and tools to the problems of modern biology.
The acquired knowledge is applied practically in laboratory work and during the preparation of the dissertation at a national or international research laboratory. The above skills are assessed in written reports on the laboratory experiences, oral exams and the preparation of the dissertation for the final examination.

Expected learning outcomes

This content is not currently available.

Access to further study

It gives access to third cycle studies (Dottorato di ricerca/Scuole di specializzazione) and master universitario di secondo livello.

Career opportunities

function in a professional context:

Bioinformaticians apply computer techniques and technologies to biology, biotechnology and medicine, analysing and describing highly complex biological systems and rapidly studying large quantities of data, or developing new methods for analysing data in the described sectors.

Bioinformaticians perform the following functions:

- Management and implementation of biological databases;

- Management and analysis of human genome DNA, considering data confidentiality, RNA and proteins for diagnostic purposes;

- Management of industrial biotechnology services, certification analysis and biological control laboratories, environmental monitoring services in national health services;

- Management and design of innovative technologies in computer science applied to medicine and biology (creation and management of medical, biological databases, access and research in databases);

- Application of bioinformatics methods to various biological and medical sectors at molecular level.

- Promotion and development of scientific and technological innovation both in research institutes and industry;

- Consulting for hospitals, biotechnological industries and pharmaceutical companies.

competencies associated to the function:

Bioinformaticians require the following competences and skills:

- Ability to consult public and private biological databases and develop them in house when necessary;

- Ability to establish correlations between genes and diseases, contributing to the development of models for understanding the relationship between genotype and phenotype;

- Ability to manage and analyse data produced by diagnostic centres using molecular screening methods;

- Participation in project planning in medical, biotechnological and biological fields;

- Ability to design specific software to characterise complex biological systems;

- Ability to develop ad-hoc solutions to specific molecular biology and systemic problems;

- Ability to cooperate and share results and information with other professional figures such as biologists and computer experts;

- Group working skills, the ability to work by objectives, strong communication skills;

- Ability to work in an international context and relate to people from different cultural backgrounds.

career opportunities:

Bioinformaticians may work in:

- Data processing centres

- Laboratories working the fields of biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, molecular biology, personalised medicine, food processing, pharmacology, environment and bio-nanotechnology

- Hospitals

- Food processing industries

- Pharmaceutical industries

- Chemical industries

- Public and private research centres.