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Howest University of Applied Sciences Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics
Howest University of Applied Sciences

Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics

2 Years


Part time

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EUR 6,980 *

Distance Learning, On-Campus

* Belgian and EEA students: €979,60 | Non-EEA students: €6979,60


Research into heredity and diseases is no longer possible without programmers. Wondering how you can apply IT and biology skills to lifelike problems in health and disease? Then the unique Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics in Bruges (Belgium) is something for you!

Bioinformatics is a new and spectacular field that uses methods from informatics to store and process molecular biological information (DNA, proteins, functions). In bioinformatics, molecular biology is combined with informatics and programming. A bioinformatics scientist is capable of retrieving the necessary information from databases and of using these to make predictions. As a bioinformatician, you will look for application possibilities of informatics within the (biological/biomedical) laboratory.

  • Informatics scientist:
    application of informatics techniques to storage, organizing, and sharing (molecular biological) data
  • Bioinformatics scientist:
    data processing and (statistical) analysis by means of bioinformatics tools in a dry lab
  • Programmer:
    integration by scripting and automation of bioinformatics tools

In the course of the bioinformatics training program, 3 roles are covered: the role of programmer, the role of informatics scientist, and the role of bioinformatics scientist. You learn several programming languages like PHP, Python, and R and you use the most relevant databases of which you learn to process and interpret the data. During the program, there is a special emphasis on the application of open source tools, both in a Windows and in a Linux environment. During the traineeship (without a bachelor’s thesis) a fourth role is addressed, the role of the New Young Professional, in which the more generic competencies of a bachelor (such as working in a team, clear communication) are pursued.

As the training progresses, you become more and more familiar with the processing of complex biological data, like the analysis of next-generation sequencing data (NGS data) or the application of machine learning techniques and you are able to apply these within a professional framework.

Admission requirements

  • Those with a diploma demonstrating that knowledge of molecular biology is present on a bachelor's level (e.g. Biomedical Laboratory Science, Agro and Biotechnology, Chemistry with biochemistry) can join this advanced bachelor's training. Also, relevant Master's degrees (Industrial Chemical Engineer with biochemistry, Bio-engineer in cell and gene biotechnology, Master degree in biotechnology) are eligible.
  • Enrolment via a credit contract is possible if the previous condition is not met.
  • Students coming from secondary school with an interest in bioinformatics must first obtain their Bachelor's degree (e.g. in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences); after which this advanced bachelor training can be started.
  • International students are permitted to register for the program.
  • In addition to the copy of the legalized and translated diploma, you will need to provide an English language Proficiency Certificate (minimum CEF B2 level).

Program content

1st semester

Period A

  • Web technologies (programmer)
  • Linux operating systems (informatics scientists)
  • Comparative genomic analysis (bioinformatics scientist)

Period B

  • Data analysis, visualization, and biostatistics using R (programmer)
  • Databases and data management (informatics scientist)
  • Structural bioinformatics (bioinformatics scientist)

2nd semester

Period C

  • Scripting (programmer)
  • Data mining (informatics scientist)
  • High throughput analysis (bioinformatics scientist)
  • Systems biology (bioinformatics scientist)

Period D

  • Traineeship in Belgium or abroad

The bioinformatics program is being offered over two academic years through distance learning. During the first academic year, the course units from the first semester are taught sequentially. Each course unit is finalized with an exam before the next one starts. During the second academic year, the course units of the second semester are offered using the same system.

Full-time on-campus training

The program takes one academic year to complete and uses a quad-semester system. In this system, there are four blocks of six (or eight) weeks. In each block, three or four modules are taught, there is an assessment period after each block. To complete the program, the work placement/traineeship subject is presented to a jury from the sector.

Advanced Bachelors Degree in Bioinformatics @Home

The curriculum for the advanced bachelor's program through distance learning is the same as in the full-time on-campus program but is built up differently and spread over two academic years. Per module, three contact moments and an exam are planned.

The subject matter is mainly processed via self-study, in combination with coaching/exercises/questions during the contact moments online. The work placement is preferably done with the employer. The work placement subject is determined in agreement with Howest.

The advanced bachelor's @home program starts every two years. The next training starts in the academic year 2022-2023.


  • Day program: 60 credits
  • @Home programme: 30 credits/year

English Language Requirements

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About the School