Skip to main content

Research into heredity and diseases is no longer possible without programmers. If you are wondering how you can apply IT and biology skills to lifelike problems in health and disease, then the unique Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics in Bruges is something for you!

Bioinformatics is a new and spectacular field which uses methods from informatics to store and process molecular biological information (DNA, proteins, functions). In bioinformatics, molecular biology is combined with informatics and programming. Bioinformatics scientists are capable of retrieving the necessary information from databases and using these to make predictions. As a bioinformatician you will look for application possibilities of informatics within biological/biomedical laboratories.

  • Informatics scientist: application of informatics techniques to storage, organising and sharing (molecular biological) data
  • Bioinformatics scientist: data processing and (statistical) analysis by means of bioinformatics tools in a dry lab
  • Programmer: integration by scripting and automation of bioinformatics tools

In the course of the Bioinformatics programme, 3 roles are covered: the role of programmer, the role of informatics scientist and the role of bioinformatics scientist. You learn several programming languages like PHP, Python and R, and you use the most relevant databases from which you learn to process and interpret data. During the programme there is a special emphasis on the application of open source tools, both in a Windows and in a Linux environment. During the traineeship (without a bachelor’s thesis) a fourth role is addressed, that of the new young professional, in which the more generic competencies of a bachelor's training (such as working in team, clear communication, …) are pursued.

As the training progresses, you become more and more familiar with the processing of complex biological data, like the analysis of next generation sequencing data (NGS data) or the application of machine learning techniques and you are able to apply these within a professional framework.


Howest - Bioinformatics

Your timetable

Each week you will have 24 (period A) to 28 (period B and C) hours of classes. Classes are scheduled per half day (per 4 hours). So you come to the campus for at least half a day or a full day.

An example timetable from period B

students in aula

Academic calendar

The academic calendar provides a timeline that outlines important dates and events within the educational programme. It typically includes information about the start and end dates of academic terms or semesters, holidays, breaks, examination periods, registration deadlines, and other significant academic milestones. The academic calendar serves as a guide for students, faculty, and staff to plan and coordinate their activities and ensure a smooth functioning of the educational institution throughout the academic year.

Review the academic calendar of the bioinformatics daytime programme

Bioinformatics daytime programme

If you have just completed a higher education training and/or you want to study full-time, the daytime programme in Bruges (Belgium) is something for you!

  • The training takes one academic year and uses a quad-semester system. In this system, there are 4 blocks or periods of 6 to 8 weeks each.
  • In each block, 3 to 4 course units are covered, followed by an examination period.
  • In the last block, a traineeship – without a bachelor’s thesis – is performed, after which the traineeship subject is presented to a jury of the work field.
  • The lectures, workshops and examinations are organized on campus in Bruges, Belgium.
  • The full-time daytime training is organized every year and starts in September. Due to sequentiality restrictions, it is not possible to start this programme in February.

Roles within the programme


The informatics course units focus on the application of informatics techniques to organize our data in database systems. To analyze (biological) data, we learn to work on a Linux system, and to apply machine learning techniques in the context of big data.


The bioinformatics course units provide an overview of tools and techniques for biological data processing and (statistical) analysis. You learn to process next-generation sequencing data, to analyze and compare molecular sequences in the context of evolution, to model the structures of biological macromolecules, and to analyze biological processes and pathways on the systems level.


During the programme, several programming languages are covered. You learn to create a web interface for your (bioinformatics) analysis using HTML, CSS and PHP, to integrate and automate bioinformatics tools by means of scripting in Python, and to analyze and visualize biological data with the statistical programming language R.

Course unit descriptions for this study programme
Nanopore sequencing experiment Bioinformatics analysis

All-round bioinformatics technician

Thanks to the increasing use of informatics in life sciences, the field of bioinformatics more and more comes to the forefront. Bioinformatics scientists are needed both in the private sector and in research laboratories of universities and their spin-offs (such as Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB)). Researchers really need the bioinformatics scientist/technicians to make the link between informatics and molecular biology.

A bioinformatics scientist is a polyvalent staff member who can be employed in a very wide range of functions within scientific research, both in the private sector and in academic research centers. He is the key person for the processing of experimental data, the generation of ab initio data by means of existing models. This can be about evolution theory, comparative genome analyses, the improvement in predicting genetic conditions, the follow-up and maintenance of databases. In summary, a bioinformatics scientist is the perfect blend between the ICT expert and the molecular biologist!

Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics at home

As a professional working in Life Sciences, you may face the challenge of analyzing biological data in an automated way without the right knowledge and tools. The practical-oriented Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics, offered through distance education, is designed to impart essential competencies in IT, programming, and bio-IT. Explore the possibilities of this program and enhance your professional skills in bioinformatics.

Read more

Quality education

Quality assurance is embedded in the daily operations of our programs. With the involvement of students, professionals in the field and alumni we continuously and systematically improve the quality of our programs. Learn more about the quality assurance of our programs.

In 2022, the Advanced bachelor of Bioinformatics completed an independent external review. The review was conducted by Vluhr KZ and the quality of the program was positively assessed. The panel's report can be consulted here (in Dutch).

Recent graduates of the Advanced bachelor of Bioinformatics are satisfied with the quality of the education they received. Click here to see a review of satisfaction figures.

Opleidingskwaliteitszorg aan Howest

You can already register online for 2023-24. After completing registration, you will receive an email with all the info needed to complete your enrolment. Book your place at Howest now!

Read more

Studenten Toerisme en Recreatiemanagement met lesgever aan de Broeltorens in Kortrijk

How to apply as an incoming international student

All information on nominations, applications and tuitions can be found here.

Info day
Saturday 29 June
FROM 10h TILL 16h
Read more

Come and visit us

These are the next info days in Bruges:

All info days

More info?

Receive the brochure by post
Subscribe to the newsletter of this study programme.

Student met brochure van Howest
Eline Turcksin


Eline Turcksin

At Bioinformatics, Howest, I simply experienced the best year of my student life.

Why could it be yours too?

- You're in a class with people with whom you have more in common than you initially think. By that, I mean that they have (also) already experienced an interesting path and have a wide range of interests. This allows you to discover common ground easily and build connections that can blossom into true friendships, even after a short period of time.

- Bruges is small. This has the great advantage that you can go everywhere by bike (or even on foot). Grabbing a beer at the Poatersgat or enjoying a "Julientje" at the Bosrand (or both!) is perfectly doable after class hours. Sports activities like padel, yoga, or fitness are also within reach, especially with the sports pass you can obtain through Stuvo.

- Easygoing contact with the bioinformatics teachers (and program coordinator!) ensures that you quickly feel at ease, enjoy coming to class, can ask questions easily, and that the atmosphere is simply pleasant.

- The program itself is incredibly educational, relevant, and interesting! Just ask about it at internships or laboratories: there will rarely be someone who discourages you from studying bioinformatics. I can also assure you that although most subjects may seem challenging at first, they usually turn out to be pretty manageable once you deal with them. Moreover, IT programs have the advantage that often the problem (and the solution) has already been described by someone online, not to mention the countless AI tools available. This, combined with your teachers and classmates, ensures that you are never alone in your journey!

If you still have doubts/questions/concerns about your choice of study, I strongly recommend attending the open day at Howest or talking to former students: they will definitely help you along. I secretly already hope you will choose BIT!


Register now!

Have you decided? We look forward to welcoming you to our Howest community! 
You can find all information about registering via the link below.

Apply now

Studenten in pauze met koffie op de campus


Can't find what you're looking for, or do you have a specific question about this course? Don't hesitate to contact us. We would love to help you further.

Jasper Decuyper

Jasper Decuyper

Contact person

Olga Belyaeva

Olga Belyaeva

International Admissions Officer

In the case you buy a laptop through Howest, you can look here which laptop is recommended by your course. In the case you already own a laptop or wish to buy a new one yourself, it needs to qualify to the same specifications.

You must have sufficient knowledge of molecular biology at least at a bachelor's level. You can also register for the programme with a master's degree or PhD, as long as molecular biology has been covered during your studies. No prior knowledge of computer science is expected; for every informatics/programming course we start from scratch. We do expect that, in general, you are able to use a computer fluently.

Both variants give rise to the same degree, but are organised in a different way. The day course is a one-year full-time programme that takes place on the campus in Bruges, Belgium. The @home programme is spread over 4 or 5 semesters (2 - 2.5 years) and has only a limited number of contact moments. Moreover, these can be followed entirely from home.

The course units are always an alternation of bioinformatics, informatics and programming courses. In this way only one programming course per period is dealt with. In the first period you get basic programming through web technologies, after which you learn to script in Python, to complete the programme with data processing and visualization in R. During these courses there will be a lot of exercises to familiarize yourself with the different programming languages.

No, the closing assessment of the Bioinformatics programme is a full-time traineeship which concludes with a presentation and defense in front of a jury. Because the programme is organized as an Advanced Bachelor, you don’t have to write another Bachelor's thesis.

The cost of the programme consists of three parts: a fixed administrative cost, a variable cost based on the number of credits taken and a cost for the compulsory software package of Howest (in the context of legal software). The tuition fees can be found here: