Master of Science in Bioinformatics

Course Description

This is a 2-year MSc programme with course work in the first year and research in the second year. Field specialization is done in the second year based one’s research project. The programme is suitable for applicants with sciences background such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Laboratory Sciences, Medical Sciences, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry and any other relevant mathematical sciences discipline. MSc Bioinformatics graduates become experts to pursue careers in use and development of bioinformatics tools for storage and analysis large molecular biology datasets in research and medical institutions. Bioinformaticians also make excellent systems administrators or managers in an ICT environment. 

  • Why (study) the programme

Research advancement in molecular biology, medicine and agriculture is increasingly depending on computational techniques within the discipline of Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is a multidisciplinary field which studies and applies computational, mathematical and statistical techniques to solve biological and medical problems. Previously, the generation of genomic data used to be the major challenge, currently however, a large volume of genomic data has been generated resulting into storage, processing and analytical problems to derive meaningful information from the data. The increase in genomics data has been partly due to advancements sequencing technologies and the increase in computation power. The development of next generation sequencing technologies has led to increased sequencing of genomes of interest resulting into drug discoveries and better understanding of diseases. Furthermore, the use of computers in biological sciences and medicine has complements traditional laboratory techniques that allow answering comprehensively critical questions. Generated data can also be comparatively used to answer emerging questions.

Despite the advantages brought about by Bioinformatics developing countries are still lagging behind in training scientists and applying bioinformatics to solve critical problems. This can be attributed to lack of trained scientists, insufficient computer resources, limited Internet bandwidth and poor scientific leadership. However, the number of trained professionals to a doctoral level has recently increased thereby paving way for progress in the field.

The MSc Bioinformatics is designed to culture students to design and analyze experiments aimed at obtaining genomic and proteomic data; possess the necessary knowledge and skills to develop, understand and create bioinformatics software tools and databases; and to become self-assured, independent and assertive professionals for whom analyzing an issue, structuring information, working in international and multidisciplinary teams, conducting and chairing discussions and presenting ideas have become second nature.

By equipping students with advanced knowledge, skills and competences in computational techniques, advanced statistical methods, computational biology concepts, the programme further enables graduates to solve a wide range of biological and medical problems facing the world today particularly Malawi using cutting-edge skills and techniques in Bioinformatics. 

Upon completion of the programme, students are expected to:

  • Discuss bioinformatics techniques and debate emerging computational biology research questions and challenges.
  • Appraise Computational, Statistical, Mathematical, and Biological Sciences theories and techniques in bioinformatics;
  • Apply Computational, Statistical, Mathematical, and Biological Sciences theories and techniques in bioinformatics;
  • Integrate theories and techniques from the knowledge areas covered under this program to solve bioinformatics problems;
  • Demonstrate originality and creativity in the development and application of new knowledge, understanding and practices in Bioinformatics. 
  • Deliver presentation of own work and other relevant material
  • Develop course and other scientific reports 
  • Analyze health and biological datasets of different types.Develop computational programs to aid solving of health and biological problems

Programme structure

The programme is divided into coursework and research dissertation. Both parts of the programme must be passed for the degree to be awarded. Coursework will comprise eight (8) core modules and ten (12) optional modules. The optional elective modules will be offered based on availability of teaching expertise. Each student must complete all eight core (84 credits) modules and two electives (24 credits) for their specialty to obtain at least 108 credit points, to fulfil the coursework requirements for the programme. The two elective modules will be offered in the first or second semester of the second year. Students will be required to submit a research proposal at the end of the first year and a dissertation at the end of the second year. Research project will accumulate 60 credits.

The programme allows for credit transfer from other institutions recognized by the university of Malawi. Students must submit written applications where they want credits earned outside the University of Malawi to be considered under this programme.  One (1) credit point, under the MSc Bioinformatics programme, represents notional 10 hours of learning time which is everything a learner has to do to achieve the intended learning outcomes.

Career prospects

Bioinformatics careers exist in biomedical, molecular medicine, energy development, biotechnology, environmental restoration, homeland security, forensic investigations, agricultural, and animal science fields. The MSc Bioinformatics degree will strengthen a candidate’s suitability for a job in any of these fields. Further, the programme’s strong research component allows some graduates to work in academic and research institutes or proceed to doctoral undertakings.

Entry Requirements

To be admitted into the MSc in Bioinformatics degree programme an applicant must possess a relevant bachelor’s or honours degree in fields such as mathematical or biological sciences, health or medicine with at least a strong pass (55% and above) from a recognized institution of higher learning. Prior Research or work experience or scientific publications is often an added advantage. Candidates are interviewed where necessary.

How to Apply

Calls for applications for masters’ students are advertised all-year round on the university’s website, Applications are made online through the following link : For more information, visit the Central registry. Potential candidates may be invited for oral interviews.

Applications for this postgraduate programme should include:

  1. A completed postgraduate application form. 
  2. Sealed academic transcripts 
  3. Authenticated copies of academic certificates (by a lawyer, magistrate, or registrar of the awarding institution) 
  4. Authenticated copies of professional registration certificates where applicable 
  5. Letter of release from employers (if employed)
  6. Reference letters (one academic and one professional) 

A non-refundable application fee of MK10000.00 for Malawians and $30.00 for non-Malawians. Payment should be made to: 


Application forms that do not meet the requirements stated above will not be processed. Completed application should be sent: 

The Registrar, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences College of Medicine Private Bag 360  Chichiri Blantyre 3, Malawi Attention: Assistant Registrar (Academic) Tel: + 265 (0) 1 874 107, Fax +265 (0) 1 874 700 E-mail: Copy: 

uition and Fees

Per annum 

Malawians $3,500 

Non-Malawians (SADC): $6,000

Non-Malawians (non-SADC): $8,000


Highly competitive funding and scholarship opportunities are available on merit basis. For more information about funding and scholarships for Masters students, contact the Scholarships office on