Bachelor's Degree Program realized with Faculty of Natural Sciences UK
Computer Science (master) and Biology (secondary)
Language of courses:
|Slovak and English|
|doc. RNDr. Edita Mačajová, PhD.|
doc. RNDr. Ján Mazák, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Vladimíra Džugasová, PhD.
doc. RNDr. Andrea Ševčovičová, PhD.
|Related study programs:||master's degree program Computer Science and Genetics on Faculty of Natural Sciences UK|
This program is offered only in Slovak languages.
Bioinformatics is a scientific discipline combining computer science and biology. It addresses biological problems using computational analyses and methods from mathematics and statistics. Recent increase in importance of bioinformatics is due to the fast development of biotechnologies. New technologies allow biologists to obtain large amounts of data on genetic information stored in DNA molecules of different organisms as well as on various cellular processes. Bioinformatics develops software tools indispensable for processing such data and forms a crucial component of research in current biology and medicine. The Bioinformatics study program is designed for students with interest in both mathematics / computer science and life sciences. The program will allow them to develop skills in both of these areas and to explore meaningful connections between them.
In the field of computer science, the program provides knowledge and practical skills in programming, operating systems, databases, data analysis and visualisation, which are key to the work of bioinformaticians. The program also provides a solid theoretical foundation in mathematics and theoretical computer science. In bioinformatics, we consider as important good knowledge of the design of efficient algorithms due to large volumes of processed data and of probability and statistics, which form the theoretical basis of a large part of bioinformatics methods. In the field of biology, the program focuses on genetics, cellular and molecular biology, which are the areas mostly closely linked with bioinformatics. Separate knowledge and skills in computer science and biology are connected by courses directly focused on bioinformatics. The study program also develops general skills, such as problem solving, abstract thinking and precise formulation, team work, written and oral communication with experts with technical and natural science education.
The conversion study program is a four-year study program based on the three-year study program. In the first year, the students complete requirements of the conversion block, the next three years are identical to the three-year program. The conversion program is created for high school graduates who do not have breadth and depth of knowledge required for successful start of bachelor studies in the three-year program, especially for those who have not completed the final high school examinations in the profile subjects of the study program. These gaps and their knowledge are filled by completing courses from the conversion block in the first year of the four-year study.
The study plan consists of compulsory, compulsory elective and optional courses. Compulsory courses, including the final state exams, amount to 138 credits. The block of compulsory elective courses allows the student to complete other important mathematical, computer science or bioinformatics courses, or to complete a bioinformatics course within a study stay at another university. The minimum number of credits for compulsory elective courses is 4. The student chooses the remaining credits from the listed optional courses or from other courses offered at the faculties of Comenius University. The relatively large number of compulsory courses is due to the need to provide sufficient knowledge in both computer science and biology, but compulsory elective and optional courses make up a total of 22% of credits in the three-year study, which gives students sufficient flexibility to adapt their studies to their interests and needs. For students of the conversion programme, a first year is added compared to a three-year study, in which they complete compulsory elective courses of at least 40 credits. These courses will supplement their high-school knowledge of mathematics, programming, chemistry and physics.
A bachelor thesis is a two-semester project that students complete in the last year of their studies on a chosen topic under the guidance of a supervisor. In the bioinformatics study program, the topic of the bachelor thesis is usually development of new bioinformatics tools or analysis of biological data. Experts from research laboratories Comenius University Science Park, the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the like, often participate as thesis supervisors or co0supervisors. The bachelor thesis allows students to deepen their knowledge in the chosen field of bioinformatics, apply it in practice and improve their communication skills.
Examples of successful final theses of our students:
- Andrej Baláž: Sequence based classification of bacteriophages
- Dária Čárska: Detection of microsatellite instability from genomic data obtained by next generation sequencing
- Jana Černíková: Live Monitoring of MinION Sequencing Runs
Bioinformatics experts are essential for research laboratories at universities, research institutes and in companies specialized in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and related fields. Modern methods of molecular biology produce a wealth of data, so experts with a specific combination of knowledge in computer science, mathematics and biology are needed to fill these positions. Graduates of the bachelor's study program in bioinformatics can work in technical positions in these institutions directly after the bachelor's study, but more research-oriented positions require higher education. Graduates of the bachelor's study program can continue their studies in the master's programs in computer science, applied informatics and genetics. The master's study program in computer science offers a specialization in bioinformatics and machine learning, which is especially suitable for graduates of the bachelor's program in bioinformatics.
Graduates of the study program can also work in information technology companies, and they are particularly suited for positions requiring an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. Key skills aquired during the study program include software management, implementation of software applications of small and medium scale and complexity, work in the implementation team to create large systems, effective communication with biology experts, analysis of biological data by existing bioinformatics tools. Graduates also have sufficient theoretical foundation of computer science and understand basic facts and principles in genetics so that they are able to continue their studies in Master's level programs Computer Science, Applied Informatics or Genetics according to selected specialization.