General requirements

For admission to this doctoral programme, candidates must meet the general requirements set by the University as well as the specific requirements of the programme.

First, they must prove the meet one of the following requirements:

  • They hold an official Spanish bachelor's degree, or equivalent, and university master's degree, or equivalent, and have passed at least 300 ECTS credits in these two degrees.
  • They hold an official Spanish university degree, corresponding to previous university education systems, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in these official university studies, of which at least 60 must correspond to a master's degree.
  • They hold an official university degree from a country included in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that gives entitlement to admission to official master's degree courses, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in these official university studies, of which at least 60 must correspond to a master's degree.
  • They hold an official Spanish bachelor's degree whose duration, pursuant to EU regulations, is at least 300 ECTS credits. In this case, the student must obligatorily take the specific bridging courses, unless the corresponding doctoral programme includes research training credits, equivalent in formative value to the research credits from master's degree courses.
  • They hold an official university degree and, subject to prior obtainment of a training place in the appropriate entrance examination for specialized health training places, have completed with a favourable assessment at least two years of training in a programme to obtain the official qualification for any of the Health Sciences specializations.
  • They hold an official university degree from a non-EHEA country, without need for official recognition, subject to verification that the level of training is equivalent to that of an official Spanish university master's degree and gives entitlement to admission to doctoral studies in the country awarding the degree.
  • They hold a Spanish doctorate obtained in accordance with previous university systems.
  • Pre-EHEA graduates, architects or engineers who also hold the advanced studies diploma (DEA), obtained in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 778/1998, of 30 April, or have achieved the research proficiency regulated in Royal Decree 185/1985, of 23 January.
  • They hold an official university degree that has obtained the equivalent of level 3 in the Spanish Qualification Framework for Higher Education (MECES), in accordance with the procedure set forth in Royal Decree 967/2014, of 21 November, establishing the requirements and procedure for the official recognition and declaration of equivalence for qualifications and at official university academic level and for the validation of foreign higher education studies, and the procedure for determining the correspondence with the levels of the MECES of the official qualifications of architect, engineer, pre-EHEA graduate, foundation degree holder or diploma holder.

If the candidate has not passed the credits required for admission to a university master's degree, they shall have to take the bridging courses that are specified by the Programme.

If the candidate holds only an official university bachelor's degree whose duration, pursuant to EU regulations, is 300 ECTS credits or they have not passed the credits required for admission to a university master's degree, permission to continue the doctoral programme is conditional upon passing the bridging courses that correspond to the module, study plan or initiation to research courses in the corresponding learning period.

Students must have appropriate knowledge for the concepts and basic tools used when carrying out competitive research in the field of bioinformatics. As such, the main and prioritised path for access to this Programme is completion of a master's degree focusing on research into one of the disciplines that make up the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics.

The only alternative path is for for students who have not completed a master's degree but have completed a bachelor's degree of 300 ECTS credits or more (not including research credits) in one of the disciplines that make up the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics, who may access the Programme on the condition of taking 30 ECTS credits of a master's degree in Bioinformatics taught at one of the universities jointly responsible for the Programme (see section 3.4), during their first year.

The Programme's vehicular language is English, thus another access requirement is to demonstrate a level of English equivalent to level B2 or upper intermediate independent user under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For candidates with no accreditation of their level of English, this will be evaluated by the Selection and Monitoring Committee during the interview.

Admission requirements

In addition to the general and additional requirements stipulated by the University itself, the Bioinformatics doctoral programme has the following specific requirements:

  • If you're not a citizen of an English-speaking country, you must provide proof of a level of English equal to or higher than B2 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Higher levels of proficiency (C1 or C2) will be valued as a plus.
  • If you have attended school or have completed a bachelor's or master's degree (or equivalent qualification with regards to enrolment in the doctorate programme) in English in a country where English is an official language, you will be deemed to have an equivalent level to the one required.
  • You may also demonstrate your linguistic competency in English by means of another official certificate that proves you have a level equivalent to or higher than the one required. You can consult this equivalency table to see examples of certificates that correspond to these levels.

The UOC's Centre for Modern Languages offers English courses to attain the minimum level required for admission into the different doctoral programmes.

The UOC offers an online English language proficiency test, which can be accessed via this link, to accredit your knowledge of English. A score of between 72 and 94 accredits a level corresponding to B2 as defined by the CEFR. When taking this test, you must specify the code that corresponds to the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya): 4418. This code does not exempt the student from paying the corresponding exam cost and fees.

Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee admission to the doctoral programme. These requirements must be met in order to apply for admission to the doctoral programme and for this application to be assessed.

If you apply for a UOC grant, you must accredit a level equal to or higher than B2 from the time of application. For other grants, financial aid or research contracts, please consult the terms and conditions and requirements for each case (level of English and part-time or full-time format).

Admission documents

If you apply for admission to one of the UOC¿s doctoral programmes, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Photocopy of your national ID card (DNI), foreigner ID number (NIE) or passport.
  • A letter of motivation/presentation briefly explaining your career to date, and detailing the specific motivations for your application, a description of your research interests, and your connection with the research group.
  • A letter of endorsement (optional) including the name of the researcher endorsing your project.
  • A CV, including the masters degree and/or postgraduate programmes and courses taken that are related with the research interests expressed in the motivation letter, and, if applicable, any prior scientific output.
  • An example of a recent academic work (in Catalan, Spanish or English).
  • Academic transcripts corresponding to predoctoral courses, stating the subjects taken and the mark obtained, the exam sitting, the type of subject, the number of credits, and the average grade of the academic record, if they have not been furnished to accredit compliance with the admission requirements.
  • Certification accrediting the level of English required for the doctoral programme.
  • Documentation that accredits compliance with the access requirements.Further information can be found in the corresponding section of the Campus, Secretary's Office.
  • For university qualifications obtained in educational systems outside of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) without official recognition, it is necessary to obtain authentication of the university qualification by diplomatic channels (or, where appropriate, with the Apostille of the Hague Convention). If the certificates, qualifications and academic records are not written in English or one of the official languages of the Spanish state, the documentation must be accompanied by a sworn translation into Catalan, Spanish or English. Failure to submit this documentation or instances of the information that it contains not matching the content of the request may lead to admittance to the doctoral programme being denied.
  • Once your access documentation has been checked and your application accepted, admission to the programme depends upon submission of the official documentation.
Evaluation criteria

The programmes' Selection and Monitoring Committee will assess the submissions that meet the above admission requirements and the following selection criteria with their weightings:


1. Suitability of the bachelor's degree and master's degree (20%). Students who have completed a bachelor's degree or master's degree in Bioinformatics will obtain the maximum score in this section. The line of research into which candidates wish to be admitted will be taken into account in the remaining cases.


2. Academic record at bachelor's degree and master's degree levels (45%). As part of this condition, the CSS will assess whether the candidate's academic record is sufficiently competitive to award them a predoctoral grant. If not, an essential condition for admission to the programme will be for candidates to propose (or the programme to allocate) a thesis supervisor who may provide another type of predoctoral contract (e.g. as part of a project).


3. A letter of motivation of a maximum of two pages, specifying, as well as the reasons why they want to study this doctoral degree, their previous training and to which line of research on the doctoral programme they wish to be admitted; if they consider it appropriate, the candidate will also propose a possible thesis supervisor (10%).


4. Interview (15%). The interview will be conducted in English, evaluating the candidate's conversational language skills, while providing an opportunity to resolve queries and provide additional information in relation to the programme's curriculum and objectives.


5. Additional academic activities: published research papers and papers at conferences (10%). 


The Selection and Monitoring Committee will prioritize the candidates based on this information and these weightings and submit their findings to the programme's Academic Committee, which will rule on the final admissions list. The number of students admitted will be determined by the number of new places offered and will take into account the availability of resources to ensure that the thesis is managed and supervised correctly.

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Teaching starting: September 2024