Short courses


SysMIC: Systems Training in Maths, Informatics, Statistics and Computational Biology (Online)

  • 5 hours per week
  • 6 months (per module)


SysMIC is a comprehensive online course in systems biology. It's aimed at PhD students and researchers in the biological sciences.

It will help you improve your maths and programming-related skills if you work (or intend to work) within systems biology, where these skills are increasingly required.

You can study one or more of the three modules available. Modules cover introductory and advanced techniques in maths and computing for use in interdisciplinary bioresearch.

You'll learn how to use MATLAB to model, simulate and analyse biological systems, and how to use R statistics package to analyse data.

The course is approved by the Royal Society of Biology for the purposes of CPD and is worth 360 points on their CPD scheme. This can be used towards Chartered Biologist status.

The course was created by a consortium of universities alongside UCL: the Open University, Birkbeck College and the University of Edinburgh.

Who this course is for

The course is open to researchers at all levels: from PhD students beginning their career through to established researchers wishing to improve their skills.

Course content

You'll have access to introductory and advanced training in maths and computing based around biological examples.

You'll gain an understanding of 1) programming MATLAB to model and simulate biological systems, and 2) the R package to run statistical analysis of results.

There are three modules available:

  1. Introduction in Quantitative Skills for Bioscience
  2. Advanced Quantitative Skills for Bioscience
  3. Individual Research Project

Read more detailed course information on the SysMIC website.

Dates, structure and teaching

Module 1 starts in April and November each year. 

Modules 2 and 3 are more flexible and are not run as a cohort. Contact the SysMIC team for more information.

You can sign up to the course on a module-by-module basis, depending on your existing skills and needs.

Each module lasts six months and will require about five hours study per week.

Online support sessions/tutorials and in-person meet-ups are available. The videos of the support sessions/tutorials are posted on the SysMIC Moodle website in case you can't attend the live event.

Benefits of taking this course

Benefits include the following:

  • You'll become literate in the methods and languages of systems biology
  • It will improve your skills and employability in an area which has been made a focus for BBSRC research
  • You'll be better able to communicate and collaborate with computer scientists, mathematicians and engineers interested in solving complex biological problems
  • It's an opportunity to join the SysMIC network - this is a vibrant and friendly community in which participants help each other by sharing individual expertise and develop new skills


No previous experience in computer programming is required.

The necessary background for the mathematics required will be covered in the course. 

Cost and concessions

Each module costs £1,500 plus VAT.

A 10% discount is available for PhD students and group bookings.

How to apply

Please email the SysMIC team if you'd like to apply for any of the SysMIC modules. 

Find out more

See the SysMIC website for further information. 


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Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00