Issue date: 14 December 2010
The University of the West of England has just announced a ground-breaking Masters by Research degree in Bio-Sensing Technology. It is being aimed at new graduates, research scientists or scientists from commercial companies who wish to expand their expertise or solve practical issues related to development of these novel technologies.
Bio-sensing technologies are of increasing importance in healthcare, agri-food, forensic, environmental and security sectors, and this is reflected in the continued growth of global markets for such technologies. Bio-sensing technologies can be applied to detection, monitoring and quantification of a wide range of compounds or analytes which are of interest to these sectors.
The Masters by Research in Bio-Sensing Technology course is being run collaboratively by UWE's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Faculty of Environment and Technology and Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology. It can be taken either full-time for one year or part-time over two years, the part-time option making it suitable for students who want to continue with their employment in industry, the NHS or other relevant organisations.
Professor Olena Doran, the Programme Leader said, “This is the only Masters by Research of its kind in the UK and worldwide. The course is a new and exciting opportunity for students and staff to bring together fundamental and applied aspects of research and to generate outcomes which will be truly beneficial to industry, healthcare and other end-users. It will enrich students' experience and give them transferable skills and knowledge of real-world markets which will be invaluable in their future careers.”
Bio-sensing technologies include screen-printed biosensors, bioluminescent bacteria-based sensors, DNA and protein biomarkers, magnetic particle-based immunoassay, impedance spectroscopy, 3D imaging technology and others. Application areas include biomedicine, healthcare/diagnostics, agri-food, environmental, bio-security, forensics and animal welfare.
“We take science all the way from the book to the bio-sensor,” says module leader Dr Roy Pemberton. The course is structured to comprise a unique combination of taught and research modules with strong emphasis on individually designed research projects, interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches and exposure to real-world industrial markets. Students will have the opportunity to select their research projects from a wide range of available bio-sensing technologies and to apply this technology to a chosen application area of interest.
Research projects, which form the main part of syllabus, will be undertaken at research centres in UWE's Faculty of Life Sciences and Faculty of Environment and Technology, including the Centre for Research in Biosciences, with an opportunity to conduct part of the project in an industrial or NHS setting.
Because of its links with UWE's Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology,students will have an opportunity to learn about practical industry needs, to participate in industry-orientated workshops, seminars and other events, and to develop their own industrial and academic networks. By the end of the study, students will have received multidisciplinary training and will be equipped with valuable transferable skills in preparation for employment.