Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 3 x 1 hour lectures per week
Practical 4 x 4 hour practicals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Practical report  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  60%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Candidates must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain and discuss key immunological principles and terminology

2. Compare and contrast conceptually different aspects of immune function (for example, innate vs adaptive immunity)

3. Perform and interpret basic immunological assays

Brief description

Main concepts covered include the mechanism of innate and adaptive immune responses in health and disease. Also, the way in which the immune system can be manipulated for the purposes of investigation or treatment.


The module is comprised of a number interconnecting themes building logically from first principles. It begins with an introduction to the fundamentals of immunology. A variety of pathogens and their modes of attack are considered and defensive molecules, cells and tissues are introduced. Basic mechanisms underpinning immune function are explained: innate immunity, pattern recognition and the initiation of immune responses, antigen presentation and the development of adaptive T- and B-cell responses.

Humoral and cell-mediated immunity and the regulation of immune responses are then explored in greater detail.
The remainder of the module tackles a series of specialist themes with strong fundamental or applied relevance, including for example: reproductive immunology, neuroendocrine influences on immunity, immunosenescence, autoimmunity, vaccination, technologies exploiting antibodies, the role of model organisms (e.g., transgenic mice) and the comparative immunology of lower vertebrates and invertebrates.

Practicals cover aspects of immune function and immunological measurement, reinforcing themes covered in lectures.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written communication skills will be developed by the practical report and preparation for the exam. Feedback will be given on the practical report and exam scripts.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside of contact time students will pursue independent research, develop learning skills, and manage their own time and workloads in relation to the practical report and preparation for the exam.
Information Technology Students will develop information technology skills through using internet literature searches to access appropriate information relating to practical reports and exam revision. The practical report will be written using a computer. Feedback will be given on exam scripts and practical reports.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving The practicals will involve a problem solving component through which the problem solving skills of the student will be developed and assessed. Feedback will be given to the student on the practical report.
Research skills The practical report and exam will require students to access and synthesize information from scientific literature. Research skills will therefore be assessed in both the examination and the practical report. Feedback will be given on the practical report.
Subject Specific Skills Concepts relating to immunology will be developed. These will be assessed in the exam. Feedback will be given on exam scripts. Students will develop the ability to perform and interpret immunological assays. This will be assessed in the practical report. Feedback will be given on practical reports.
Team work Possibly developed by group working in practical sessions but not assessed or the subject of feedback.


This module is at CQFW Level 5