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Instructor-led course

Provided by: Bioinformatics

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An Introduction to MATLAB for biologists (ONLINE LIVE TRAINING)


PLEASE NOTE The Bioinformatics Team are presently teaching as many courses live online, with tutors available to help you work through the course material on a personal copy of the course environment. We aim to simulate the classroom experience as closely as possible, with opportunities for one-to-one discussion with tutors and a focus on interactivity throughout.

This course aims to give you an introduction to the basics of Matlab. During the two day course we will use a practical based approach to give you the confidence to start using Matlab in your own work. In particular we will show you how to write your own scripts and functions and how to use pre-written functions. We will also explore the many ways in which help is available to Matlab users. In addition we will cover basic computer programming in Matlab to enable you to write more efficient scripts.

Please note that if you are not eligible for a University of Cambridge Raven account you will need to Book or register Interest by linking here.

Target audience
  • Graduate students, Postdocs and Staff members from the University of Cambridge, Affiliated Institutions and other external Institutions or individuals
  • Please be aware that these courses are only free for registered University of Cambridge students. All other participants will be charged a registration fee in some form. Registration fees and further details regarding the charging policy are available here.
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here
  • There are no prerequisites for this course and you do not need to have done any programming before to attend the course.
  • The course is not intended for experienced Matlab users however attendants should ideally have some intention to use Matlab soon after attending the course.
Topics covered

Bioinformatics, Biology, Data handling


After this course you should be able to:

  • Use Matlab to perform mathematical calculations
  • Write script files in Matlab
  • Write simple functions
  • Import data and plot graphs

During this course you will learn about:

  • The Matlab interface
  • Writing in script files
  • The many ways to access help
  • Importing data
  • Plotting
  • Using in-built functions
  • Creating your own functions
  • Basic programming in Matlab (including for loops)

Presentations, demonstrations and practicals


Day 1 Topics
Session 1 The basics of using the command line
Session 2 Creating and using script files
Session 3 Accessing help
Session 4 Exploring inbuilt functions
Session 5 Introduction to plotting in MATLAB
Day 2
Session 1 Anonymous functions
Session 2 Creating separate function files
Session 3 Importing data
Session 4 MATLAB as a programming language
Session 5 Extension exercises
Registration fees
  • Free for registered University of Cambridge students
  • £ 50/day for all University of Cambridge staff, including postdocs, temporary visitors (students and researchers) and participants from Affiliated Institutions. Please note that these charges are recovered by us at the Institutional level
  • It remains the participant's responsibility to acquire prior approval from the relevant group leader, line manager or budget holder to attend the course. It is requested that people booking only do so with the agreement of the relevant party as costs will be charged back to your Lab Head or Group Supervisor.
  • £ 50/day for all other academic participants from external Institutions and charitable organizations. These charges must be paid at registration
  • £ 100/day for all Industry participants. These charges must be paid at registration
  • Further details regarding the charging policy are available here



A number of times per year

Basic Skills and Programming

Events available