module specification

BM7042 - Biomedical Diagnostics (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Biomedical Diagnostics
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
137 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   In class test (1.5 hrs)
Coursework 50%   Report (2000 words)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Biomedical Diagnostics focuses on current and emerging wet techniques used to analyse disease biomarkers, with an emphasis on genomic markers, for diagnosis in medicine. It runs in the Autumn semester and is assessed by an in-course test and an essay.  There are no pre-requisites other than satisfaction of general entry requirements, and it includes a component of laboratory work.


Detection of atoms and small molecules in clinical samples;
Antibody-based techniques including ELISA, immunohistochemistry, nephelometry, FACS;
Review of human genetic diseases: types of mutations; single gene and polygenic disorders; autosomal and sex-linked recessive and dominant inheritance; chromosomal abnormalities;
Molecular techniques: PCR, gene expression analysis (real time PCR, expression profiling) and proteomics (e.g. use of MALDI-TOF), ISH / FISH, cytogenetics and pre-natal diagnosis, CGH;
Detection of mutations in hereditary genetic diseases and cancers;
Detection of infectious diseases (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan) by molecular methods;
Prenatal diagnosis and family screening – procedures, outcomes and practice in the UK;
New techniques and their potential impact.


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be directed in their learning through a programme of lectures, tutorials focussing on real-world case studies and problems, and practical work.  In addition there will be directed learning in preparation for and / or reflection on, lectures, tutorials and practical classes; directed learning for preparation for an in-class test; and self-directed learning.   Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject, lab skills and their ability to apply their knowledge to real-world problems.
PDP: as indicated in the above summary, material on this module will allow students to develop skills in problem solving and evaluation of information which will enhance employability. Laboratory work also enhances time-management and personal organisational skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Show a thorough understanding of the principles of analyte detection and apply them to the detection of a wide range of biomarkers and show a thorough understanding of the use of antibodies in diagnostic methodologies;
2. Demonstrate a deep understanding of molecular defects underlying common genetic diseases and methodologies currently used to detect them;
3. Show a thorough understanding of the key methodologies currently used in molecular diagnostics of infectious disease and show an awareness of ethical issues associated with the diagnosis of genetic disease and evaluate and interpret contemporary research in molecular diagnostics.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by an in-course test (50%) and by completion of a substantial individual 2,000 word report on a contemporary issue (50%).
To pass the module students must achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%

Component  Learning outcomes
In class test  1,2
report            2,3