Research course

Healthcare Technologies - Diagnostics

Open University · Department of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) or an appropriate first degree and postgraduate qualification

Months of entry


Course content

Our research into diagnostics incorporates analytical sciences with strong applications in the field of biomedical sciences and health. It is our aim through our work, and our extensive network of collaborations with academics in different disciplines, clinicians and industrial partners, to develop technology which has the potential to be of direct benefit to patients; assisting with the detection, monitoring and treatment of disease.

Key themes of our research include:

  • Diagnostics for cancer, focusing on the imaging and targeting of cancer cells.
  • Sensor and biosensor development, focusing on the development and refinement of technologies for the rapid and non-invasive diagnosis of disease.
  • Identification and quantification of biomarkers, focusing on research into the biomarker profiles of disease states and development of methods to improve accurate biomarker detection in complex samples.
  • Molecular imprinted polymers, focusing on the development of novel systems and materials for sensor applications and the accurate detection of biomarkers.
Current/recent research projects:
  • Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry and breath analysis for disease diagnosis and monitoring.
  • Is food intolerance a factor causing Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?
  • Development and analysis of recognition polymers for chemical and biological diagnostic applications.
  • Multi-functional labels for parallel analysis and characterisation of carbohydrate biomarkers.
  • Analysis and identification of nucleic acids by mass spectrometry.

Potential supervisors:

Department specialisms

Diagnosis of melanoma using mass spectrometry: comparison with sniffer dogs used for cancer detection Development of toxin/drug-specific biosensors using artificial recognition methods Development of novel in-situ diagnostic agents and their application to drug toxicity assays

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months
part time
72 months


part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036