Bioinformatics at Charles University

Information about the Charles university bioinformatics study programme provided in cooperation with European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg and Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) Dresden

What is bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that combines informatics and biology to study biological data, mainly nucleic acids and proteins.

The 21st century biology takes advantage of a major progress in many methodological approaches including genomics and proteomics. This has led to an unprecedented growth of valuable biological data. The speed of sequencing of DNA (the major source of biological data today) has grown about 400x in the last 15 years. Other areas of biology are also shifting towards methods that generate large quantities of data and it is therefore hardly surprising that the amount biological data stored at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the major repository of biological data in Europe, has grown to 120 petabytes in 2017. The amount of the data deposited at the EBI doubled in less than two years.

Bioinformatics is a relatively new field with the aim of making sense of the growing number of biological data, it concentrates also on deposition and distribution of biological data. The importance of bioinformatics for basic biological research, drug development, medical diagnostics or agriculture is, therefore, growing with every sequenced nucleotide and with every solved 3D structure and it is expected to grow further. There will be also a growing demand for experts (bioinformaticians) who can use existing bioinformatics algorithms or develop new ones.

Bioinformatics is a multidisciplinary field that combines biology, statistics and informatics – and this is reflected both in the bachelor and the master study programme in Bioinformatics. Two faculties of Charles University in Prague – Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and Faculty of Science join their forces to cover the spectrum of expertise needed to teach bioinformatics. The master study programme will also include significant contributions from internationally-renowned institutions, namely EMBL Heidelberg and Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden to ensure that wide spectrum of bioinformatics methods and approaches is well covered and to provide the students an international perspective to promising and rapidly growing field of bioinformatics and computational biology.

What should I know about studying bioinformatics at Charles University?

What will I study?

Study plan

What can CU offer me?

Study at CU

What will I be able to do?

Examples of projects

Practical details for students of the programme can be found in a separate repository (only in Czech).

Bachelor degree plan

Obligatory courses

Course Recomended year Semester (Winter/Summer)
Linear algebra I 1 W
Combinatorics for bioinformaticians 1 W
Programming I 1 W
Algorithmization 1 Z
Biology of the Cell 1 W
General Chemistry 1 W
Linear algebra II 1 S
Algorithms and Data Structures I 1 S
Programming II 1 S
Mathematical Analysis I 1 S
The basis of Bioinformatics 1 S
Algorithms and Data Structures II 2 W
Genetics 2 W
Biochemistry - The Principles 1 S
Introduction to evolutionary biology 2 W
Database systems 2 W
Introduction to Linux 2 S
Bioinformatical databases and application 2 S
Probability and Statistics 1 2 S
Essentials in molecular biology 2 S
Practical course essentials in molecular biology I 2 S
Structure and Properties of Biopolymers 2 S
Algorithms, databases and tools in bioinformatics 3 W
Proteomics 3 W
Bachelor project 3 S

Elective courses

Programming in C++ 2 W
Programming in Java 2 W
Programming in C# 2 W
Practical courses
Biology of the Cell 2 W
Practical Course of Biochemistry 3 W
Practicle course Plant Cell 3 W
Developmental Biology - a practical course 3 S
Other FMP
Principles of Computers for Bioinformatics 1 S
Combinatorics and Graph Theory 1 S
Mathematical Analysis 2 2 W
Data formats 2 W
Nature Inspired Algorithms 2 S
Text algorithms 3 W
Bioinformatics project 3 W
Introduction to Networking 3 W
Automata and Grammars 3 S
Advanced C++ Programming 3 S
Advanced C# Programminga> 3 S
Advanced Java Programming 3 S
Other FS
Histology/Cytology 2 S
Developmental Biology 2 S
Methods of functional genomics 3 S
Plant cell biology 3 W
Immunology 3 W
Evolutionary genetics 3 W
Basics of Animal Physiology 3 W
Plant Molecular Genetics 3 W
Forensic genetics 3 S
Ecology 3 S


The study plan consists of a balanced mixture of lectures on biology, computer science and mathematics that cover the full range of knowledge that each bioinformatician should master. As the involvement of Faculty of Science and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics is equal, you acquire the necessary theoretical background, but you will also have access to laboratories, both biological and computer ones. As part of the biological courses, you will learn how to work in the lab, and the computer science courses and exercises, will teach you how to program, develop algorithms and complex software systems. The advantage of studying at Charles University is the breadth of courses you have access to. If you would like to take different lectures from those we prepared for you within the bioinformatics curriculum, you can pick any of the courses from the variety of subjects taught at Charles University.


Also those who want to see the world won't get a raw deal. Our faculties have, within the Erasmus program, contracts for tens three, six or twelve month stays with many European universities. Thansk to our cooperation with EMBL in Heidelberg and MPI in Dresden, our students are also given the opportunity to visit these prestigious institutions.

Free time

Learning is not everything. Therefore, Charles University provides also many opportunities for sports activities (winter and summer sports courses, the possibility to visit university sports grounds), and social events (beánie, ball, competitions, tournaments).