Study handbook

DTU's Study Handbook 2013/2014

MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Master of Science in Engineering (Bioinformatics and Systems Biology)

Systems Biology is a  field of study focusing on biological systems (as opposed to more reductionist approaches, where individual components are studied individually). An important aspect of systems biology is the integration of different types of biological data (e.g., sequence data, mRNA expression data, protein-protein interaction data, data on post-translational modifications, free-text descriptions of disease phenotypes, etc.) as a way of addressing biological research questions. Recent developments in high-throughput technologies has meant that both the types and amount of such data are growing with ever-increasing speed, and knowing how to handle such data, as well as knowing how to analyze them computationally, are therefore important competences in the field. Systems Biology is highly interdis­ciplinary and combines methods from areas such as bioinformatics (the field focusing on computational analysis of biological data), molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, computer science, mathematical model­ling, and biostatistics.

Read more about the education at: Department for Systems Biology’s page on the education.

Academic Requirements 

The MSc in Systems Biology is aimed at students with a background in either biology or computation. Correspondingly, it is possible during the study to focus more on the biological or the computational aspects. 

Regardless of your background, basic knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology is essential in order to understand the biological problems that are addressed in Systems Biology. It is also an advantage to know basic computer programming. We therefore very strongly recommend that all prospective students should make sure to build competences in these fields, for instance by taking elective courses during your BSc, or perhaps by self-study. We suggest courses corresponding to a minimum of 5 ECTS in molecular biology, and 5 ECTS in computer programming (any programming language will be fine).



Bachelors from DTU

Admission to the MSc program in Systems Biology is offered to students holding one of the following BSc degrees from DTU:

  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Medicine and Technology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Human Life Science Engineering
  • Software Technology
  • Physics and Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics and Technology

Students with BSc degrees in other fields can also apply. As mentioned we strongly recommend that students should have basic knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology. Merits and qualifications of the applicants will be considered individually based on the material submitted.

Students with a bachelor degree who seek admission to MSc programs at DTU must demonstrate proficiency in English (B-level for students from Nordic countries, IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test for international students).



Bachelors from other universities 

Students holding a BSc in natural or medical science or the equivalent can apply for the MSc in Systems biology. Merits and qualifications of the applicants will be considered individually based on the material submitted.

Students with a bachelor degree who seek admission to MSc programs at DTU must demonstrate proficiency in English (B-level for students from Nordic countries, IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test for international students)

As an example BSc in Biology from the University of the Faroe Island are admitted if they have passed the following:

  • At least 5 ECTS points basic molecular biology (for example course 27002 Life Science)
  • At least 5 ECTS poins basic programming (for example course 27624 Python for Bioinformatics)





Program Provisions, MSc Eng 
In order to obtain the MSc degree in Systems Biology students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Have passed General Competence Courses adding up to at least 30 points
  • Have passed Technological Specialization Courses adding up to at least 30 points
  • Have performed a Master Thesis of at least 30 points within Systems Biology
  • Have passed a sufficient number of Elective Courses to bring the total number of points of the entire study to 120

Courses

General Competence Courses

The following course is mandatory:

27641Systems Biology5point

At least 5 points must be achieved from these courses:

23531Entrepreneurship in Food5point
23532Beer brewing and quality control summer course5point
27690Module 1: From idea to project plan in biotech and pharmaceutical research5point
27692Module 3: Value creation in pharma- and biotechnology5point
42435Knowledge based Entrepreneurship5point
42490Technology, economics, management and organisation10point

The remaining points (up till 30 points) must be achieved from these courses:

23258General Medical Microbiology5point
27104The Scientific Communication of Comparative Genomics10point
27230Prokaryotic Cell Biology 5point
27430Eukaryotic Cell Biology and Disease5point
27508Enzyme Discovery and Engineering5point

The following will also count as general competence in the innovation and entrepeneurship category. These should be taken as special courses:



For students accepted at DTU  February 2013 course no. 27041 is mandatory and course no. 25530 also count as General Competence Course:



For students accepted at DTU prior to February 2013 course no. 27041 is not mandatory and the course listed below also count as General Competence Course:



27691Module 2: Pilot project 2011/20125point

The courses listed below also count as General Competence Courses for students accepted at DTU prior to September 2010:

27103Development and Research15point
27230Prokaryotic Cell Biology 5point

The courses listed below also count as General Competence Courses for students accepted at DTU prior to September 2009:

27101Framework Course in Biotechnology and Food Sciences10point
27102Research and Development15point

Technological Specialization Courses

02450Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Modeling5point
27233Molecular genetics of industrial bacteria5point
27405Cell factories: Design, engineering and analysis10point
27432Experimental Molecular Biology of Eukaryotes 5point
27612DNA Microarray Analysis5point
27615Molecular Evolution5point
27617Protein structure and computational biology5point
27618Chemoinformatics in drug discovery5point
27619Perl and Unix for Bioinformaticians10point
27622Introduction to Bioinformatics - Turbo version5point
27625Algorithms in bioinformatics5point
27626Next-Generation-Sequencing Analysis5point
27685Immunological Bioinformatics5point

The courses listed below also count as Technological Specialization Courses for students accepted at DTU prior to February 2013:

27301Advanced Biochemistry10point
27321Immunology5point
27411Biological data analysis and chemometrics5point
27508Enzyme Discovery and Engineering5point

The courses listed below also count as Technological Specialization Courses for students accepted at DTU prior to September 2012:

02409Multivariate Statistics5point
02459Advanced Machine Learning5point
24102Development and production of vaccines 5point
26316Analysis and Chromatography10point
27302Advanced Experimental Biochemistry5point
27412Microbial Chemistry5point
27416Fermentation processes (web based course)5point
27623Algorithms in Bioinformatics10point

The courses listed below also count as Technological Specialization Courses for students accepted at DTU prior to September 2011:

01625Nonlinear Dynamics in Engineering and Science5point

The courses listed below also count as Technological Specialization Courses for students accepted at DTU prior to September 2010:

27232Experimental Molecular Biology of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes5point
27335Functionality of nutrients and food supplements in disease prevention and novel food development5point
27621Prokaryotic Gene Discovery, Metagenomics and Pangenomics10point
28855Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and quality in pharma, biotech and food industry5point

Elective Courses

Elective Courses can be chosen among all courses offered by DTU at the MSc level. It is also possible to take MSc level courses at other universities. A list of the DTU courses most relevant for the MSc in Systems Biology can be seen at the Department for Systems Biology’s page on the education.

Studying abroad

DTU recommends that students study one semester at a foreign university if they have not been on an international exchange before. Please contact International Affairs for further information. The faculty staff may also be able to assist.  Deadlines for international exchange are listed here

The head of studies may approve selected courses taken as part of an approved International Exchange Program as substitutes for required DTU courses.

Master Thesis

The Master Thesis is the final project of the course of study. The Master Thesis must as a minimum equal 30 ECTS points but may also be 32½ or 35 ECTS points. 




Head of Studies
Anders Gorm Pedersen  
Department of Systems Biology
DTU Building 208, Room 017
DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Phone: (+45) 4525 2484
E-mail: gorm@cbs.dtu.dk