Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

What are Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology are interdisciplinary fields that develop and apply computational methods to analyze large collections of biological data to allow for new predictions or discover new biology.

Bioinformatics refers to the study of large sets of biodata such as genetic sequences, cell populations or protein samples, biological statistics, and results of scientific studies.

Computational biology is the development of theoretical methods, computational simulations, and mathematical modeling that can be used for bioinformatics and statistics.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Bioinformatics and Computational Biology courses in the following subject areas:

  • Data Science – The study of analysis and use of large data sets.
  • Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics – Gain practical knowledge and skills in the area of computing and data science.
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Data Analytics – This program aims to produce graduates who will be able to apply for roles pertaining to Data Analytics across all sectors.
  • Certificate in Software Development and Data Analytics – Gain an excellent grounding in computer programming and Data Analytics.
  • Mastering Microbiology – Gain an in-depth awareness of immunology, the biology of bacteria, and various infections.
  • Molecular and Cell Biology – Examine the processes common to all life forms, with emphasis on animal cell biology, learning about molecular biology and cell functions, differentiation, aging, and tumorigenesis.
  • Investigative Biology – Develop your scientific and practical skills through laboratory-based biological investigations.
  • Industrial Microbiology & Biopharmaceuticals – This course aims to introduce students to the principles of pharmaceutical microbiology, aseptic processing, and biopharmaceutical production as applied in an industrial context.
  • Fundamentals of Biology – A study of the fundamentals of Biology including cell division, the principles of evolution, physiology, and much more.

Studying Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in college

There are many Bioinformatics and Computational Biology courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Also, look out for events and conferences that you can attend as these can help you gain knowledge and offer great networking opportunities that may lead to employment. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers. 

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of research and data collection.

The skills you will acquire are transferable across a range of sectors so it can be relatively easy to move into different companies or you will also find opportunities to move into a research career.

An alternative pathway is to join a start-up company and work on projects outsourced by larger organizations. Bioinformatics jobs exist in biomedical, molecular medicine, energy development, biotechnology, environmental restoration, homeland security, forensic investigations, agricultural, and animal science fields.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full-time, Monday to Friday. There may be times, particularly on short-term projects, where working outside of core office hours or at weekends is necessary. In some organizations, you may have the opportunity to work remotely or on a flexible schedule.

Related jobs include:

  • Analytical chemist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Clinical scientist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Microbiologist
  • Physician associate
  • Research scientist
  • Toxicologist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Genetic counselor
  • Medical science liaison
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Neuroscientist
  • Science writer

Further study

After completing a course in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Data Science,


Why are Bioinformatics and Computational Biology important?

Bioinformatics and Computational biology help to bring order into our understanding of life. They make biological concepts rigorous and testable and provide a reference map of individual insights.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

Some skills that may be helpful for a career in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology are excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, exceptional communication and presentation skills to explain your work to people who don’t understand the mechanics behind data analysis, and effective listening skills to understand the requirements.

Prior experience in database interrogation and analysis tools, such as Hadoop, SQL, and SAS may also be of use depending on the company you work for and the position you hold.

General skills that are appreciated by employers from all fields include drive and the resilience to try new ideas if the first one doesn’t work, planning, time management, and organizational skills, the ability to deliver under pressure and to tight deadlines, great attention to detail, team working skills and a collaborative approach to sharing ideas and finding solutions.

Where can I study Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Every 2 days we create as much data as we did from the beginning of time until 2003.
  • Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
  • A human’s ears and nose never stop growing.
  • There are more bacteria in a human mouth than there are people in the world.
  • A human’s little finger contributes over 50% of the hand’s strength.
  • If a human being’s DNA was uncoiled, it would stretch 10 billion miles, from Earth to Pluto and back.


Mariza Halliday

Modern Irish Culture Studies
Astronomy Courses


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy