Digital Health and Life Sciences: Bioinformatics - UTU Masters
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Master's Degree Programme in

Digital Health and Life Sciences: Bioinformatics

Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Turku

EXTENSIVE CROSS-DISCIPLINARY TRAINING FOR FUTURE EXPERTS!

MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMME IN DIGITAL HEALTH AND LIFE SCIENCES OFFERS EXTENSIVE TRAINING IN MODERN BIOSCIENCES AND DIGITAL HEALTH ENGINEERING.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences offers extensive training ranging from molecular level interactions to individuals and society. Bioinformatics is one of the four tracks offered by the programme. Other tracks in the programme are Health Technology, Medical Analytics and Health Internet-of-Things, and Molecular Systems Biology.

The students graduating from this cross-disciplinary programme will have acquired scientific and analytical skills, expertise in present theories and up-to-date technologies, as well as practical skills including teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills in an international environment. The acquired methodological skills and advanced knowledge allow the students to continue their career paths in academia or industry.

PROGRAMME IN BRIEF

Programme structure

The Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences is a two-year programme of 120 ECTS credits. The degree is comprised of

  • common courses which provide you essential knowledge needed in modern bio-health sciences as well as transferrable skills including mandatory language studies,
  • track-specific major subject studies that will provide the state-of-the-art theories and practical skills relevant to the field,
  • Master’s thesis and associated research project where you will apply your newly acquired knowledge,
  • selectable studies in different thematic areas and special themes.
Academic excellence & experience

The Programme offers four tracks with specific focus on digital health and life sciences:

  • Health Technology,
  • Medical Analytics and Health Internet-of-Things (IoT),
  • Bioinformatics,
  • Molecular Systems Biology.

With Bioinformatics as your major subject, you will focus on analyses of many kinds of biomedical data, such as DNA sequences, protein structures, and gene expression levels. As a bioinformatician, you can become a valuable member of a laboratory research group for running analyses or you can specialize in developing new analysis methods. Among others, personalized medicine with human genome sequence and its variations in its core is a growing industry that constantly needs new professionals for such tasks. As a student, you will be participating in actual, new research during your studies and will get experience in working in a multidisciplinary team of experts.

Master's thesis & topics

The Master’s thesis studies consist of an independent, experimental research project, a research seminar and a written Master’s thesis. The research project focuses on data analysis or other computational aspects of biological data and is carried out under supervision.

The results obtained in the research project will be presented in a Master’s seminar using common procedures known from scientific meetings.

The written Master’s thesis will report and discuss the findings of the experimental work and include a literature review of the relevant background.

Examples of thesis topics:

  • Analysis of Alpha CA Genes in Early Vertebrates and High-Invertebrates
  • Probing MST1 Kinase Sequence and Structure for Rational Drug Discovery
  • Optimization and Applications of Large-Scale Biomedical Event Networks

CAREER OPTIONS

Competence description

In the Bioinformatics track of Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences, you will:

  • learn to work in an international and interdisciplinary environment,
  • learn to work in a research group,
  • learn to understand both biological and information technological aspects of bioinformatics,
  • handle masses of data through programming,
  • analyse biological data with statistical methods.
Job options

The Master´s Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences educates future experts for positions in academia, industry and public sector. Students graduating from the programme may work, among others, as:

  • project manager
  • research coordinator
  • research scientist
  • university lecturer
  • data analyst
Career in research

A Master of Science degree provides you with an eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral or licentiate degrees.

Graduates from the programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS. The Graduate School consists of 16 doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

General degree requirements

A BSc degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study.

OR

A polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu). Students with such degree might however be required to complete additional studies while studying for the Master’s degree to qualify for Master’s degree studies (see Additional studies).

Track-specific degree requirements

The degree on basis of which you are applying to the MDP in Digital Health and Life Sciences, Bioinformatics track must be in a relevant field of study. For the Bioinformatics track such fields are biosciences and information technology, or other relevant fields of studies where sufficient knowledge of information technology and/or biosciences is achieved.

You may choose only one of the four available tracks upon application. Therefore, it is very important to choose a track that is close enough to your previous degree.

The decision of admission will be based on

  • the relevance of your awarded degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in your degree(s)
  • your language test result (see Language requirements)
  • your motivation letter and possible answers to the optional questions included in the application

A previously earned Master’s degree does not automatically place the applicant ahead of other applicants.

If need be, the most promising applicants will be invited to an online interview.

Additional studies

The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the Programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete additional, Bachelor level studies. These can be done while studying for the Master’s Degree, but they are not part of the degree and may extend the targeted study time. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.

Language Requirements

All applicants must prove their knowledge of English in one of the ways accepted by the Faculty.

Applicants seeking admission on the basis of a polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu) may be asked to prove their proficiency in Finnish language also if they are required to complete such additional Bachelor’s level studies that are available only in Finnish.

HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY

Application Form and Enclosures

The application form for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is available online during the application period on 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2). On the same form you can apply for any of the four tracks in the Digital Health and Life Sciences programme. Enclosures are attached to the application in digital form (pdf).

If you are graduating only after the deadline, you may apply on the condition that the required application documents are submitted and arrive at the University of Turku by 10 July 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland).

STEP 1: Collect the required application documents

The following documents must be scanned and attached to the electronic application (in pdf format, in color) at the Studyinfo portal:

  • The original degree certificate (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the degree certificate.
  • The original transcript of study records (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the transcript of records.
  • Certificate of knowledge of English (see Language requirements).
  • Certificate of knowledge of Finnish (requested only from applicants who are seeking admission on the basis of a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu) institution in Finland, see Language requirements).

All translations must be made either by an authorized translator or by the degree awarding institution. Each page of an official translation must bear the translator’s stamp and/or signature. Official translations must be exact translations of the original documents. Translations done by the applicant him- or herself are not accepted.

STEP 2: Write a motivation letter

Prepare a motivation letter to be copy-pasted on the application form. The letter of motivation is an important factor in considering the applicant’s suitability to the programme so please prepare it carefully. Please notice that the motivation letter may be checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin system of the University of Turku.

Also be prepared to describe the grading scale used at your institution at the time of your studies. The grading scale must include all the grades and marks appearing on your transcript of records and their relation to each other. You should also provide a link to an official website where this information can be verified. (In many cases this information is already included in the transcript of records.)

The application form also includes programme specific questions. Therefore reserve some time for filling in the application form.

STEP 3: Fill in the application form

The application form is filled online in the Studyinfo portal. Please search at www.studyinfo.fi for the Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences. The application form is available and a completed application can be updated until the end of the application period on 31 January 2018 at 15.00 (GMT +2).

Admission

Annually 30 students are admitted to the programme. The admission decisions are published by 28 March 2018. All applicants will be informed by email, but also hard copies are sent upon request. All students are required to start in the beginning of the autumn semester, and there is no separate admission for the spring semester.

The admitted applicant will have to show the originals of his/her educational documents (degree certificate and transcript of study records) at the University of Turku after arrival in Finland. Depending on the country the original documents may have to be attested or legalized. Please see the country specific requirements for the submission of the documents upon arrival already before applying.

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Master’s Degree Programme in

Digital Health and Life Sciences:
Bioinformatics Track

UNIVERSITY OF TURKU

Degree: Master of Science

Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits

Mode of study: Full-time

Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Future Technologies

Location: Turku, Finland

Language of instruction: English

Start date: August/September 2018

Application period: 1 Dec 2017 – 31 Jan 2018

Tuition fee for citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland:  None

Tuition fee for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries:  €14,000 / academic year

Scholarships available: check the website

CONTACT INFORMATION

Email: master-sci@utu.fi

 

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