module specification

BM7101 - Introduction to Immunology (2016/17)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2016/17
Module title Introduction to Immunology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 100
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   In-course quizzes 200 words
Coursework 30%   Reflective journal (log) 800 words
Coursework 50%   Written assignment 1000 words
Running in 2016/17

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module provides an understanding and knowledge of the theory and practice of immunology. It addresses the mechanisms of the mammalian immune system in defence against disease, the consequences of inappropriate responses of the immune system, immunological disease or disorders, organ transplantation, prophylaxis and immunotherapy, and immunological techniques.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. To provide, through in depth study, knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of immunology. It will also reinforce analytical, evaluative and communication skills, allow students to research a topical issue in depth and present it at an appropriate level and to reflect on the topics studied and their application in biomedical practice.


Basis of immunity: historical perspectives; self /non-self behaviour of cells; comparative immunology; components and effector mechanisms of innate and non-specific immunity; specific immunity; ontogeny of effector mechanisms for primary and secondary responses; immunoregulation; Class I and II major histocompatibility (MHC) gene products.
Pathology and immunotherapy: immune-mediated injury and disease; hypersensitivity, immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and immunopathology; tumour immunology; cancer immunotherapy; immunity to infection; transplantation immunology; immunosuppressive therapy; experimental systems and immunomodulation therapy.
Immunotechnology: hybridoma technology; monoclonal antibodies and their biochemical and medical applications; vaccine design and production.

Learning and teaching

Information pertaining to the subject matter will be presented through an integrated programme of lectures and supporting exercises, together with some use of a problem-based learning approach and the guided use of student-centred learning resources.  Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework.  Student centred assignments will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge, and develop subject specific skills and competence.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the products of immunological responses, and the mechanisms of specific and non-specific defence and show an understanding of the consequences of inappropriate responses and malfunctions in the ontogeny of immune response components.
2. Demonstrate an ability to utilise immunological techniques as a member of a team to generate practical data to diagnose diseases and show an appreciation of current and evolving concepts in immunology and developments in immunotechnology, immunotherapy and immunoprophylaxis and
3. Think critically in analysing and solving immunological problems and demonstrate through the reflective learning journal that the student has reflected on their own performance as an independent professional learner

Assessment strategy

The module will be formatively assessed by in-course online quizzes  (20%) and two coursework components. A reflective learning log (800 words) and a written assignment (30%; 1000 words). Criteria for assessment will include an understanding of the subject matter; an ability, both orally and written, to explain, describe and discuss the work; completeness and conciseness of written reports and essays with emphasis upon critical ability and scientific rigour. To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%.

Component Learning outcomes
Quizzes 1
Reflective learning log 2,3
Written assignment 2,3



Alberts et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell 5th Ed. Garland Science. NY.
Eales L. (2003) Immunology for Life Scientists. 2nd Ed. Wiley.
Murphy K, Travers P, Walport M. (2008) Janeway's Immunobiology 7th Ed. Garland Science. NY.
Lodish et al.  (2008) Molecular Cell Biology 6th Ed. Freeman. NY.