Professional development online - graduate in Manchester!To help you to decide whether our programme will be suitable for you, some of our graduates have provided feedback on their experience of distance learning. The projects page also has information on how our graduates have progressed.
Sergey PrykhozhijI obtained excellent education and training by attending two courses "Theory and applications in bioinformatics" and "Biocomputing" at the Bioinformatics Online program at the University of Manchester. These courses also changed my perspective from being a more passive user of the tools to a view that I can develop something of value myself. Recently, this change of perspective resulted in me writing a tool called Zebrafish Expression Ontology of Gene Sets, which was written in Perl and used CGI, which are both topics I learned well during the Biocomputing course.
Athanasios Zovoilis, Medical Genomicist, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USAI had never expected that this course would be so critical for my career and would help me to achieve both a first author paper in Science (Peleg, Sananbenesi, Zovoilis et al, Science 2010) and a transition from a medical doctor background towards a more bioinformatics and genomics direction. The reason is the following: The course addresses perfectly the need of wet lab scientists with almost no bioinformatics background to develop skills that will enable them to perform independently bioinformatics data analysis for which otherwise they would be strongly dependent on informaticians who however often lack the specific knowledge about the scientist's very unique and specific project. Although synergies between wet lab scientists and informaticians are indespensable, the ability of the experimentalist to perform himself much of his research initially in silico saves incredible amounts of time both to him and the informaticians that want to help since now the experimentalist is in the position to set more specific questions and understand the limits of each approach. The focus of the course on "real life" projects serves the above aim perfectly. Although the curriculum is quite demanding and sometimes you really feel like being in school with so many projects and the close supervision and help from the tutors (which can be sometimes challenging when you have family and work) this course was definitely worth of the money I paid for it both in terms of quality/supervision and effectiveness.
Peter C Marks, Software Engineer, USAAfter having worked for many years as a business software engineer, several years ago I decided to pursue my new passion: computational biology. I had no experience in this field and knew that I would need some schooling before being able to find a position. I looked at many options but I decided that the Distance Learning MSc program at the University of Manchester would offer me the best range of courses - biological and/or computational. In addition this program allowed me to continue my current full-time job. I am now beginning my last year of coursework. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience that I would recommend to anyone. In addition, I have begun part-time work for Nicolas Tsesmetzis, a graduate of this program, who works at the Shell facilities in England. Together we are analyzing metagenomic data using large scale clusters in the cloud. So, I am both distance learning and distance working.
Pierre Stockreiser, Computer Scientist, LuxembourgThe Bioinformatics distance learning programme has been one of the best learning experiences I ever made. Throughout the entire MSc period me and my fellow students had a whole range of well conceived online resources at our disposal, the university staff have been extremely competent and helpful and the other students have been motivated people from all around the world and with various backgrounds turning every group session into a first class learning event. By choosing this programme you can do a complete MSc course based on high level and up-to-date topics at home without missing anything compared to local students and as the cherry on top you are invited to the impressive graduation ceremony in Manchester.
William Dickinson - Senior Software Engineer, USAThe University of Manchester Distance Learning MSc Program in Bioinformatics (now called Computational Molecular Biology) is an excellent educational opportunity for individuals interested in this field - especially for those who lack access to similar programs in traditional brick and mortar universities due to geographical or program schedule constraints.
The instruction is top-notch and the courses focus on current topics. Access to journal resources via the John Rylands University Library and the Athens system is superb and likely unmatched by any other. Working with class mates all over the globe is exciting and rewarding because one is exposed to a variety of cultural perspectives and problem solving approaches.
Attending the graduation ceremony is an experience not to be missed! Here you will see the University firsthand - not from a distance - as your home, and you will witness the depth and breadth of the University's vision for the future. Spend several days (more if possible) in Manchester to experience its rich culture and history. I am grateful that the Distance Learning Program at the University of Manchester has enabled me to enhance and advance my understanding Bioinformatics: the knowledge I gained has helped me immensely in my work. I encourage others interested in this field to seriously consider this program.