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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

  • this course enables the students to extend their knowledge in basic Immunology to frontline research into specific mechanisms that focus on infectious agents and maintaining immunity;
  • module 1 enables understanding of how human pathogens can evade our immune system and the challenges of immunotherapeutic and vaccine development for these pathogens;
  • module 2 focuses on molecular mechanisms that shape the immune system and provide novel therapeutic targets for autoimmunity, cancer, transplantation and infection

Overall, this course provides the students with current knowledge in a variety of health and disease issues that are attractive to potential employers in academia and industry.

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

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)
  • (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The content comprises two modules. In the first module, Infection, Immunity and Disease, students will study immune function in the context of disease to understand how immunological dysfunction can lead to a pathological inflammatory response and disease. How tolerance to non infectious- or self-antigen is broken will be examined and the role of T lymphocyte subset differentiation and bias in autoimmunity and asthma. In addition how pathogens subvert the immune response to avoid immune detection and establish chronic infections will be considered. The complex cellular and molecular immune mechanisms underlying the recognition of and responses toward microorganisms and the co-ordinated series of events linking the innate with the adaptive immune response to infection will be considered in detail. Examples of immune responses to specific bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic agents will be given. The second module explores current knowledge of molecular Immunology focussing on recent discoveries that have shaped our understanding of how the adaptive immune system (mainly comprised of B and T lymphocytes) discriminates and functions at a molecular level. Specific areas will include T-cell interaction with polymorphic major histocompatibility molecules (MHC); T-cell mediated immunological tolerance; the decision-making processes that permit T-cells to generate an appropriate response after antigen encounter; immune evasion strategies at a molecular level; and the balance of activational and inhibitory receptors.

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 three-hour written paper (66.7%), in-course assessment (33.3%). In course assessment comprises: 2 essays (2000 words).

Formative Assessment

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


- Essays 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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