Immunology BSc/MSci

Immunology 3B BIOL4057

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Infection and Immunity
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides a detailed insight into the mechanisms by which the immune system protects us from microbial pathogens, and how this knowledge is driving the development of novel vaccines, improved cancer therapies and new treatment strategies or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.


The course will consist of lectures, laboratories, seminars and tutorials as arranged. The timetable will vary from week to week to accommodate staff and resource availability, and to meet the educational needs of the course.

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 90-minute problem style examination paper (20%) in the April/May diet and a 3-hour examination paper (40%) in the April / May diet and in-course assessment (40%).


In course assessment comprises four components. These are designed to test verbal/presentation skills (10%), essay writing (10%), laboratory skills (10%) and data comprehension and analysis in journal clubs using small groups with set exercises (10%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below.

Course Aims

The course aims to provide an understanding of the basic principles of immune-recognition of pathogens, together with aspects of immune dysfunction in the context of infection, autoimmunity and sterile inflammation. Pathologic processes will be described in tissue specific contexts with a focus on disease processes that are current topics of research in the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ describe key aspects of immune system interactions with bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses and cancers;

■ identify and illustrate routes of microbial evasion of host immunity;

■ describe basic mechanisms by which loss of self-tolerance leads to autoimmune diseases

■ illustrate tissue-specific immunologic function and dysfunction (e.g. the lung, gut, joints, brain and skin);

■ appraise the mechanistic basis of immune-based therapies for disease;

■ design and organise oral presentations on key topics in immunology.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.