Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Structural Biology

This course offers both taught components and extensive research experience for students with backgrounds in biological, chemical and physical sciences. It is particularly suitable for those who wish to gain both theoretical and practical research experience in the techniques of structural biology or biocomputing. Our research areas include: Molecular chaperones, amyloid fibrils, pore-forming toxins; M. tuberculosis, cytoskeletal proteins; Signal transduction, bacterial pathogenesis and DNA replication; Electron microscopy, cytoskeletal dynamics and function; Electron cryo-microscopy; electron tomography and image processing; development of methods for recognition and separation of ; heterogeneous molecular complexes; bacteriophage assembly; structural analysis of the transcription factor p53; Hsp90, the kinetochore; DNA repair; Protein folding and misfolding, in particular at the point of synthesis on intact ribosomes; Viral protein-nucleic acid interactions.

Course modules

You will begin by following taught modules from our web-based courses on Principles of Protein Structure, Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology, or Protein Crystallography. Alternatively, there is the option of taking a biocomputing module from the Bioinformatics with Systems Biology course. You will also attend lectures and practicals on molecular structure and graphics, as well as a weekly course on Principles and Practice of Structural Biology. During the first term, you will begin your research project, which is the main focus for the rest of the programme. In the second term, you will produce a written dissertation and an oral presentation on the background and plan of the research. You will submit a thesis, which will be orally examined at the end of the academic year. Training is also provided in searching and evaluating data in literature and online databases, and in the analytical and presentational skills required by the successful research scientist.

Assessment methods

Coursework, literature review, oral presentation, project thesis and viva voce.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. We offer Medical Research Council (MRC) studentships on our MRes in Structural Biology, which offers in-depth training in the areas of structural and computational biology. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Master of Research - MRes Full-time October 2018 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
Master of Research - MRes Full-time October 2018 GBP 7,950 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

Department of Biological Sciences
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