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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

  • this course will extend your broader knowledge of the immune system and how it functions in health and disease giving you a sound basis for further work in this field or related areas;
  • it will introduce current topics at the leading edge of immunology research which further our understanding of the immune system;
  • it will extend your knowledge of  gene expression and protein structure which underpin immunology;
  • it will develop your ability to read and critically assess current scientific literature;
  • it will improve understanding of current research techniques applicable in Immunology and other medical and basic sciences

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Isabel Crane
  • Dr Heather Wilson

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Intercalating (Studied) or IM3501 Fundamentals of Immunology (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The content is modularised with the first module building on immunology knowledge acquired at 3rd year and providing students with a broad understanding of all elements of the immune system, how they function to maintain health and how immune dysfunction can cause disease. Topics covered will include the factors that determine the effectiveness of immune responses to micro-organisms and tumours as well as an understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the immune system can cause disease including allergy, autoimmunity and transplant rejection and potential methods for controlling such responses. The second module explores current knowledge of protein structure and function as proteins are central to all immunological processes, and understanding them is essential. It will cover the relationships between primary sequence and final structure, consequences for function, including interactions, as well as insights into mutations that cause disease and into the evolution of biological systems. The third module will provide insights into the processes and mechanisms that control gene expression in the context of differentiation, development and the adaptation to changes in the environment, using examples from bacteria, yeast and animal systems. Specific examples will include transcriptional control networks, post-transcriptional control by alternative splicing and control of mRNA stability. The fourth module will utilise a series of tutorials and workshops to explore current important hypotheses and advances in immunological theory and practice.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 x three-hour examination (70%) plus in course assessment (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: 1 mini review.

Essays take on average 30 minutes each to mark with feedback. Essays submitted via MyAberdeen and feedback directly via MyAberdeen.
Short Reviews will take 20 min to mark.

Formative Assessment

- Practice exam questions on MyAberdeen. - Problem-solving tutorials. - Presentation and critical assessment of research literature at tutorials .


- Essay will be marked with written comments. - Tutorial sessions will provide feedback on essay writing. - Tutorial sessions will provide feedback on problem-solving, presentation and critical assessment of research literature.

Course Learning Outcomes


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