Postgraduate taught 

Infection Biology (with specialisms) MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Diagnostic technologies and devices BIOL5198

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Infection and Immunity
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting 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.


This course will consist of lectures and seminars and a final presentation.

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.

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 the U.K., 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.