Study Bioinformatics

What is bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is a future-focused specialisation of science. It involves the use of technology to collect, classify, analyse and apply biological data. Although it can be applied to various pieces of biological information, the focus is on genetics and genomics – otherwise known as the data that makes you, you.

Technological advances have led to significant reductions in the cost of high throughput DNA and RNA sequencing. The result has been a substantial increase in the production and availability of genetic data.

Bioinformatics considers both the big picture and the miniscule one.

The field of bioinformatics is expanding rapidly, as demand surges for those with the programming, data analysis and modelling skills to interpret and apply these large data sets.

Bioinformatics research is generated and solutions proposed through both the large-scale collection of biological data across a sub-set of the population, as well as the unique makeup of one specific genome. This information is then used in a variety of ways.

Data collected through bioinformatics processes can be used to enrich our scientific understanding of the human body, and particularly disease research and management.

The applications of bioinformatics are still being explored. However, data is already beginning to be used as part of patient care, particularly for those with complex conditions, or may face a genetic predisposition towards certain diseases.

The potential opportunities are wide-ranging, however. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics can draw upon and contribute to a vast array of interconnected scientific areas. These include medicine, agriculture, ecology, forensic science, veterinary science and more.

Discover JCU's
Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences

Combine your technological skills with scientific inquiry to produce and analyse biological datasets. Contribute to this future-focused industry and seize diverse opportunities.

What do those who work in bioinformatics do?

Those who work in bioinformatics enjoy a specialisation that is rich and varied. As a growing industry born of the 21st century uptake of technology, the possibilities within bioinformatics are endless.

Theoretical knowledge and practical skills in programming are key to many bioinformatics roles. When you work in this emerging field, you could be required to create and construct programs that collect particular pieces of information. The production and maintenance of data storage systems is also vital to bioinformatics, especially as the industry navigates privacy and security concerns.

With such a strong focus on data, those with highly developed analytical skills will find numerous opportunities within bioinformatics. A core aspect of the field involves using the data collected to identify and account for specific patterns within experimental results or large information sets.

Due to the substantial amount of data able to be generated, when you work in bioinformatics, you’ll likely be called upon to ask big questions and consider the wider implications of those answers. Creativity is highly valued within these roles. Those who can think outside the box and provide thoughtful insights and solutions to complex problems will be in demand.

Currently, many bioinformatics specialists work within the research sector. This is where much of the data central to the field is being produced. You may be involved in designing experiments, and the programs required to enact them.

Given the relatively intangible nature of biological data, you could find yourself working on modelling information for communication to a variety of audiences. Critical to both the initial and the end stages of projects, your eye for visualisation will contribute to ensuring relevant stakeholders understand the process and results of important research.

Explore the clinical applications of bioinformatics through areas such as medicine, agriculture and veterinary science. You may be involved in the prevention or treatment of genetic diseases as you work on the frontline with patients.

Work towards solving global issues such as food scarcity by applying bioinformatic principles to areas such as agriculture. Consider how plant and animal genetics can impact the production and availability of certain foods.

There’s an application for almost every skillset and interest within bioinformatics. With a passion for data, analysis and communication, you’ll find opportunities across more industries than you thought.

Seize the opportunity to apply your skills to this future-focused field, knowing that you’ll enjoy a dynamic and ever-evolving career.

What jobs are there in bioinformatics?

Data management is a growing focus within many areas of biomedical science. Increasingly, jobs requiring specialisation in bioinformatics are appearing across industry, government and academia. Several regulatory bodies are also beginning to explore the potential impacts of data and technology across the broader health industry, meaning those who understand the interplay of health data, biomedical science and computational methods are more in-demand than ever.

JCU graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to excel across industries and locations. A Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences prepares you to work in large metropolitan areas, rural and regional Australia or anywhere across the globe. Your adaptable problem-solving skills will be in high demand.

Those with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, majoring in Bioinformatics from JCU may find success in the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal science
  • Energy development
  • Environmental conservation
  • Forensics
  • Information technology
  • Medical research
  • Statistics and mathematical modelling.
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Why study Bioinformatics at JCU?

When you study a JCU Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, majoring in Bioinformatics, you’ll receive a flexible and future-focused qualification that prepares you for a diverse career in the 21st century medical sciences field.

Benefit from class work and assessments that are directly applicable to the real-world. Develop the skills to devise and independently present grant proposals, innovative updates and solutions to challenging problems. You’ll emerge with a strong understanding of how the tools of the trade are used within industry, preparing you to excel in the workplace upon graduation.

With learning outcomes that align with JCU courses in medicine, allied health and veterinary science, you’ll be equipped to pursue roles across a variety of industries. Discover available opportunities for volunteering and workplace learning, expanding your future employability and understanding of the emerging bioinformatics industry. JCU offers both student mentor programs and innovation initiatives to ensure you are well-equipped for post-graduation success.

Biomedical Sciences students embrace the state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities available on JCU campuses. Uncover opportunities for hands-on learning and practical laboratory experience available at The Science Place and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, as well as a multitude of research projects being conducted alongside your classroom learning.

Study on-campus at JCU Townsville and build strong peer networks within our enthusiastic student community. Small class sizes ensure you receive one-on-one attention from your lecturers and tailored support that empowers you to succeed in your studies. Explore the ever-expanding opportunities in Bioinformatics with JCU today, where experience has no substitute.

A headshot of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences Associate Professor Matt Field standing in front of a computer server.

Associate Professor Matt Field



"Biology is now a data-rich science, and there is a great need for graduates with a combination of biological knowledge and computational skills. It is a very exciting time to learn bioinformatics with breakthroughs in single cell and long read sequencing technologies allowing us to answer questions at unprecedented resolution. The bioinformatics major within JCU’s Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences will equip students with the necessary skills to work in these high-demand areas.”

Discover Bioinformatics at JCU

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