module specification

BM7048 - Cancer Immunotherapy (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Cancer Immunotherapy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
137 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Report (2000 words)
Seen Examination 50%   Online seen exam (1.5 hour)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module explains the existing cancer therapies, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery and expands into growing fields in cancer biology and oncology of the role of the immune system in cancer development, especially the roles of inflammation and immunoevasion.  Cancer Immunotherapy will enable an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer growth and enable these concepts to expand into an understanding of the concepts behind developing targeted cancer immunotherapies.


Review of the immune system and the tumour microenvironment
Cancer therapies: Where are we now? Where are we going?
Study the use of monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy and prevention, the use of DNA and dendritic cell vaccines as well as adjuvant development, immuno-chemotherapy (Synergy: immunotherapy-containing combination therapy) and understand about the microbial causes of cancer.
Clinical immunotherapy across tumour types
Modulating the tumour-microenvironment-immune system interface
Adoptive T cell therapy and epigenetics and cancer (to improve immunotherapy)
State-of-the-art immunotherapy: basic science updates
Practical challenges in expanding and commercializing immunotherapy


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be guided in their learning using a combination of private study, interactive lectures, online quizzes to assess progress, investigative practicals and small group tutorials exploring realistic problems/case studies. Preparation for assignments will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge base and develop subject skills and competences. They will be able to assess and reflect upon their understanding of the material through the completion on-line quizzes.

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. Understand the immunology of the tumour microenvironment in relation to tumour growth, angiogenesis, drug resistance and metastasis and critically evaluate the differences between traditional cancer treatments and immunotherapy.
2. Recognise all cancers’ abilities to suppress and evade immune effector mechanisms to be able to understand existing and prospective therapies that can inhibit tumour-derived immuno-tolerance and immuno-suppression.
3. Apply critical thinking to analyse and solve immunological problems in cancer development and spread with a view to developing therapeutic solutions.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by the completion of a 2,000 word practical report from a lab session (50%) and by an end of module test (50%, comprising essay style questions. Complete weekly quizzes

To pass the module students must achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%