module specification

BM7119 - Advanced Immunology (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21, but may be subject to modification
Module title Advanced Immunology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
156 hours Guided independent study
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   Progress test I
In-Course Test 40%   Progress test II
Group Presentation 30%   Case Study
Running in 2020/21
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. Reviewing the development and operation of the immune system in both health and disease. Exploring current ideas in immunopathology, immunosuppression, stem cells and immunotherapy. Exploring recent developments in immunoassays and immunocytochemical techniques for detection of antigens and disease markers.

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 as well as to reinforce analytical, evaluative and communication skills. It will also enable students to research a topical issue and present it at an appropriate level and to reflect on the topics studied and their application in biomedical practice.


Review of the development and operation of the immune system: Ontogeny and activation of immune effector cells; major histocompatibility complex; tolerance; cell surface markers and cytokine receptors; adaptive and innate immune responses.
Immunopathology: Primary and secondary immunodeficiency; autoimmunity: mechanisms; organ and non-organ specific; genetic and acquired links; hypersensitivity related allergic and inflammatory diseases.
Advances in immunodiagnostics: Developments in immunoassay and immunocytochemistry. Uses of flow cytometry and immunophenotyping in leukaemia and lymphoma; links to PCR diagnostics.
Advances in immunotherapy: modulators; immune intervention and drug targeting in cancer therapy; experimental systems in immunotherapy including the development and uses of engineered antibodies.
Overview of the complement system, including it’s regulation. Autoimmune disease in which complement is an effector mechanism (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis).
Transplantation immunology: HLA antigens and immunological basis of graft rejection; clinical manifestations of graft rejection; tissue typing techniques; immunosuppression and organ/bone marrow transplantation.

Learning and teaching

Information pertaining to the Immunology 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 and will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge, and develop subject specific skills and competence.
Students receive 44 hours of instruction time, which includes online lectures, tutorials, formative
On completion of this module students’ provide an evaluation of how the module enabled them to develop skills such as information technology, organisational skills, team building, communication time management, and working under pressure.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the development, differentiation and maturation of  lymphocytes and myeloid cells and comprehend and discuss the complex interplay of the various mechanisms of immune responses to non-self.
  2. Explain advances in the understanding of development of disease states attributable to the  malfunction of the immune system.
  3. Understand and discuss how advances in the understanding of the immune system and in  immunodiagnostics have led to novel/experimental therapies and improvements in the diagnosis of disease and provide a critical analysis and abstract meaning from a case study.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by two in-course tests, Progress Test I (30%) and Progress Test II (40%) each and a case-study (30%). Progress Test I consists of a short answer and MCQ based assessment on material delivered in learning modules 1-5, and Progress Test II consists of a short answer and MCQ based assessment on material delivered in weeks 6-9. Both of these components will be used to provide formative feedback. The case study is in week 14 (30%) and there will be an associated tutorial for guidance on the case studies available on WebLearn.
To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%.

Component Learning outcomes
Progress test I 1,2
Progress test II 1,2,3
Case Study 1,2,3


 Progress test II 1,2,3
Case Study 1,2,3


Text Books:
Abul, K Abbas and Andrew H Lichtman (2007) Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Elsevier Publishers 6th edition.
Goldsby, R.A., Kindt, T.J., Osbourne B.A. and Kuby, J (2006). Immunology 6th edition. W.H.Freeman
Nairn and Helbert (2007) Immunology for Medical students. Mosby, 2nd edition

Annual Review of Immunology
Immunology Today,
Current Opinion in Immunology,
Nature Reviews Immunology,