Postgraduate taught 

Biomedical Sciences MSc

Diagnostic technologies and devices BIOL5198

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Infection and Immunity
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

During this course students will appraise the diverse modern technologies available for diagnosis of infectious and non-transmissible diseases. Working in small groups students will then critically research the limitations of current diagnostics for a selected disease, devise a new diagnostic device or test that would overcome these limitations, and present their findings.


Three week full time course: Introductory lectures, group work, private study and ongoing reflective portfolio, one seminar to report on progress per week, final presentation session of posters

Excluded Courses

Drug Discovery




Summative Assessment

Students are assessed individually with a reflective portfolio, summarising their participation and contribution to the group work, and an assessment of the skills developed during the course (30%). Each group of students will prepare a poster showing their evaluation of the current diagnostic, and their proposal for an improved diagnostic device or methodology (70%), aimed at a specific and appropriate target audience. A group mark will be awarded for the poster that is the same for all students in the group.

Course Aims

The course aims to provide students with an opportunity to evaluate the diverse modern technologies available for diagnosis of infectious and non-transmissible diseases. Working in groups, they will then research current diagnostic technologies and devices for a selected disease, assessing the limitations of the current diagnostic tests, and will devise a new diagnostic device or application of methodology to overcome the limitations and improve diagnosis.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

i) critically evaluate available diagnostic methodologies;

ii) discuss regulatory standards for diagnostic tests, the registration of diagnostic devices in Europe and other markets, and licensing and protection of intellectual property;

iii) select and critically investigate diagnostic tests available for a specific disease, identifying the strengths and limitations of the current approaches;

iv) develop and appraise solutions to overcome the limitations of current tests;

v) summarise and present their conclusions in the form of a poster in a style appropriate for a target audience of a biotechnology company looking to invest;

vi) work effectively in autonomous groups, and reflect critically on their role and performance within the group.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.