Bioinformatics

UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR

Bioinformatics brings together the fields of life science, computer science and statistics. When biological information is captured on computer, it can be used to produce new computer systems (databases, software, networks and even hardware) and solve problems in a wide variety of areas ranging from biology to medicine.

Bioinformaticians strive to understand medical and biological systems through the creative use of statistics and computer analysis. They may write computer programs to analyse data in a new way, they may apply existing analytical tools to new data sets, they may introduce novel statistical methods into the analysis of data and they may extend existing analytical capabilities to genome-sized data sets. The most recognised application of bioinformatics has been the mapping of the human genome sequence.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

Study plan

FIRST YEAR
Essential: 12 credit points of Junior units of study in Mathematics and Statistics (including MATH1015/ 1005/1905), 12 credit points of Junior units of study in Biology or MBLG1001/1901, 12 credit points of Junior units of study in Chemistry, and 12 credit points from Junior units of study in Information Technologies (ie, INFO1103/1903 and INFO1105/1905).

SECOND YEAR
Intermediate study includes units in statistics, biology, molecular biology and computer science and information systems.

THIRD YEAR
Students undertake studies in bioinformatics and genomics, or proteomics and functional genomics, studies in applied linear models or applied statistics, and studies in computational methods for life sciences. Students also complete a project providing the opportunity to undertake research supervised by biomedical scientists.

EXAMPLE UNITS
Developmental Genetics Proteomics and Functional Genomics Human Molecular Cell Biology Medical and Metabolic Biochemistry Mathematics

Course accreditation

Bachelor of Science graduates who hold a major in bioinformatics are eligible to attend the National Bioinformatics Symposium and apply to contribute papers for publication to symposia.

Graduate opportunities

Bioinformatics graduates work in computer programming, database development, systems analysis and software engineering and assist biologists and medical researchers in the interpretation of biological or medical data. Bioinformaticians design user interfaces, and run laboratory information management and analysis systems in research laboratories, hospitals, and in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries.

Related subject areas

Biology
Computational science
Statistics

Our courses that offer this major