Mathematical Biology – Field of study catalogue MU
“Analytical thinking, work and discoveries”
The Master's study programme in Computational Biology deepens students' biological, mathematical and computer science knowledge gained in the Bachelor's study programme and allows them to specialize in one of the three main areas:
1) processing and analysis of biological, genomic and proteomic data
2) processing, analysis and modelling of clinical, physiological and epidemiological data
3) processing, analysis and modelling of environmental data
Based on the knowledge and skills acquired during the Bachelor's study programme, students deepen their theoretical knowledge as well as application skills with the main focus on principles of mathematical methods used in the processing, analysis and modelling of data in all of the three areas mentioned above. The practical part of the studies as well as the Master's thesis topics emphasize the application of mathematical methods and information technology in solving specific problems.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- understand fundamental and advanced theoretical and methodological principles of biology and mathematics
- use elementary methods for solving differential equations and apply simple continuous deterministic models in biology and medicine
- use stochastic methods for assessment, modelling and prediction of causality and other relations between phenomena in biology and medicine
- solve given problem regarding biological, medical or environmental data analysis and define specific sub-tasks within the solution
- search for the state of the art of the given problem in the Czech as well as foreign literature
- select appropriate mathematical methods for solving the given problem, or propose their modification based on the specific conditions of the given problem
- create software implementing the selected or newly designed mathematical methods under specified conditions of the given problem
- formulate and present conclusions of the mathematical solution to the given problem, in both written and oral form
Graduates of the Computational Biology study programme can stay in academia (Czech and foreign universities, centres for clinical research, the Czech Academy of Sciences), or find employment in the health sector (public and private hospitals), private sector (pharmaceutical companies, companies engaged in conducting clinical trials, companies engaged in marketing surveys) or other fields (health insurance companies, government sector).
The standard duration of the Master's study programme in Computational Biology is four semesters. To be admitted to the final state examination, students must obtain a total of 120 ECTS credits, including 86 ECTS credits for required (including credits for courses focused on writing a Master’s thesis) and selective courses and 102 ECTS credits for required, selective, recommended and elective courses from the broader scientific field. For all students there is an obligation to complete at least one language course of English / French / German / Russian / Spanish for Specific Purposes at the B2 level. Master’s thesis is also an obligatory part of the final state examination.
During the course of their studies, students should follow the Course Catalogue for their year of matriculation. They can access the Course Catalogues through the faculty website.
The final state examination in Computational Biology reflects the study specialization and consists of the Master's thesis oral defence and oral exams in biology and mathematics.
Final exam topics in biology are: 1) General Biology and 2) Ecology. The questions correspond to the assigned subject topics and the recommended literature.
Final exam topics in mathematics are: 1) Deterministic methods and models, and 2) Stochastic methods and models. First, the student answers questions regarding the compulsory topics in both of the two aforementioned areas, then chooses one of the areas and answers questions on advanced topics of the selected area.
Graduates in Computational Biology can proceed in the field of computational biology with acquiring the academic degree "Rerum Naturalium Doctor" (abbreviated as "RNDr." before the name). The state examination includes oral defence of the advanced ('rigorózní') thesis and oral exams in biology and mathematics.
After successful completion of the Master's studies, it is also possible to pursue one's studies in any doctoral study programme (after satisfying the admission requirements), e.g. at the Faculty of Science or at the Faculty of Medicine of MU.